How to improve your Online Distribution Channel Strategy

Do you have the ideal distribution mix?

Let's face it, a new year is in sight and secretly we are all planning ahead already. If it isn’t for personal causes (which countries am I going to visit in 2019?) it must be for the company you are working for. For many, a new year also means starting with a clean slate, making the new year even better than before. As a Hotelier, you probably recognise it all too well, although you might not know where to start yet. We are happy to help you with asking you this first question: do you have the ideal online distribution mix at the moment?

 

1. Compare your current Online Travel Agency (OTA) connections

Start with getting a clearer overview of your successful OTA connections, it is a good idea to check the reservations made in the last year. Which booking sites did you receive most reservations from? And, maybe even more interesting, which ones didn’t yield as much as expected? Create a list of valuable and disadvantageous booking sites to take stock of the situation.

Also informative: 3 types of OTA's to spice up your Online Distribution cocktail

 

2. Add new connections to your distribution mix

Check which booking sites you are connected with right now. How many connections do you have? If there are just two connections, you might want to reconsider adding some more. When using our Channel Manager you can add an unlimited amount of booking site connections to your account. So why not add more? It doesn’t cost you extra time (except for the setup of the connection) and it increases the hotels online visibility. On the other hand, adding random OTA's to your hotel account doesn’t necessarily benefit you. Be critical and check if your current connections are really worth spending time on.

 

3. Get more out of your successful connections

Make use of your hotel´s most successful connections. Talk to your account manager and see how you can make your inventory even more likeable. It might be an easy adjustment (review your hotel description or switch to more appealing images), but maybe adding a special rate might be beneficial as well. Please do keep in mind to always ask yourself the following question: does this adjustment fit the identity of my property?

More: 5 tips to drive more direct bookings at your hotel website

 

4. Start a conversation with the less beneficial booking sites

Do not eliminate the booking sites that are not very profitable, but start an honest conversation with the account manager and ask questions such as: Why is this booking site not profitable at this moment? What can be done to increase the revenue via this specific booking site? What is the target market and how does it fit your target market? In the end, you can decide to either remove the travel agency or give it another shot by mixing up your distribution.

 

SmartHOTEL Channel Manager

 

About SmartHOTEL

For more than 16 years, SmartHOTEL has been helping hoteliers navigate the exciting world of online distribution. From our office based in the Netherlands and the United Kingdom, our team serves independent hotels, hostels and chains worldwide by providing channel management and tailored online distribution solutions. A lot has changed over the last years, but our goal remains the same: simply connect hotels to the world. For any questions regarding our services, please contact us at sales@smarthotel.nl or call +31 (0)182 75 11 18.

 

By Chantal Mieremet | October 31, 2018

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