Emerging Trends in OTA Distribution for Hotels in Thailand
Staying ahead of your competition in the hospitality tech space is not just an option but is rapidly becoming a necessity. As a Hotel digital sales and marketing agency co-founder and a hotelier for almost 20 years, it seems to me that the most successful hotels are those which lead the charge and stay at the forefront of emerging trends in online travel agency (OTA) distribution. In this article, I’ll dive into the rapidly evolving trends in online travel agent distribution and explore some ideas and strategies to help keep your hotel ahead of your comp set.
Rise of Niche Online Travel Agents
While the online travel giants like Agoda, Booking.com, Ctrip and Expedia continue to dominate the OTA space in the APAC region, one notable trend is the rise of niche OTAs. These niche platforms cater to specific traveler segments, offering unique experiences or specialized services. As a digital marketing agency who provide OTA management services, staying ahead involves identifying and strategically partnering with these niche platforms and selecting the properties which align with each of our client properties. Leveraging these niche OTA can open up new markets for your hotel and help attract a more targeted audience.
Importance of Mobile Optimization
As many of you avid data-hounds will know, the influence of mobile devices on travel decisions is ever-growing. Travelers are increasingly using smartphones and tablets to research, book, and manage their trips. Ensuring that your hotel website and booking engine process and experience is optimized for mobile is no longer a choice, it’s a necessity! We build booking engine solutions for all types of hospitality businesses around the world, and our in-house development spends a vast amount of time ensuring that the booking process on The Percentage App is fully responsive and mobile-friendly to ensure that the guest has a great mobile booking experience.
AI and Personalization
Artificial Intelligence (AI) is not just a buzzword; it’s primed to be a transformative force in the hotel tech industry. OTAs are leveraging AI to analyze vast datasets, predict traveler trends and behaviors so that they can offer personalized recommendations at scale. Incorporating AI-driven strategies, such as personalized marketing campaigns based on guest behavior, can enhance the effectiveness of your hotels promotions and lead to higher conversion rates.
Direct Bookings and Loyalty Programs
I may sound like a stuck record, but encouraging direct bookings from your guests is essential to reducing your dependency on OTAs and to help increase your margins. Fostering loyalty from your guests, building relationships and offering great value for booking direct are just some ways that you can improve your direct booking performance. Create compelling loyalty programs, offer exclusive perks for direct bookings, and optimize your websites for user-friendly direct booking experiences, you can’t afford not to. These and other actions will not only increase your revenues but will also establish a direct relationship between the hotel and the guest, thus reducing your CAC (customer acquisition costs) over time.
Dynamic Pricing Strategies
Dynamic pricing and dynamic rate structures which are powered by data analytics and AI, allow your hotel to adjust room rates automatically based on real-time demand indicators, market conditions, and even competitor pricing. Implement dynamic pricing strategies to ensure that your rates remain competitive and attractive to potential guests and this will help maximize your room revenues in all different market scenarios.
Sustainability as a Selling Point
Guests are becoming evermore eco-savvy and sustainability is fast becoming a decisive factor for certain travelers when choosing and booking hotels and accommodations. Highlighting your eco-friendly practices and certifications on OTA listings can attract environmentally conscious travelers and help your hotel showcase sustainability initiatives and contribute to a more positive brand image. It will even help to attract the growing segment of socially conscious travelers.
The Key Takeaways
OTA commercial and distribution strategy is evolving rapidly, and hotels in Thailand must evolve with it. Staying ahead of the curve and your competitors involves not just keeping up with trends but anticipating them before they happen. As a forward-thinking hotel digital marketing agency, we’re proactive in adopting emerging technologies, fostering direct relationships between hotels and guests, and aligning our clients’ properties with the values of today’s travelers. Do you need help with online sales and marketing for your hotel?
Get in touch with our team at The Percentage Company today for your free audit and proposal.