Sometimes, we all need to be reminded of just how much we’re throwing away by leaning too heavily on OTAs as a primary source of online bookings. Everyone knows that OTA bookings cost more, but very little is ever made of the fact that OTA bookings are usually much lower in total value than direct bookings.
The picture of an OTA customer is clear. They don’t care about your hotel brand (or any other property’s brand for that matter), what makes your experience unique, or any of your updates and renovations. You are a commodity to them. They’re looking solely at price and where they feel they’ll receive more bang for their buck.
OTAs are not only your least valuable booking sources, they are also your costliest. To make matters worse, many hotels attempt to out-do their competition on OTA channels by offering even lower rates than what is listed on their own hotel website (via opaque offers). It’s the hotel industry’s version of hara-kiri. Not only is this short-sighted, it unnecessarily undercuts and cheapens any other efforts you make to drive profitability at your property. Lowering already-discounted room rates will ultimately leave potential guests no reason to book direct.