OTAs vs Direct: Winning the guest relationship with technology

Back in September 2018, Staylists CEO Adrian joined fellow speakers and senior figures from the world of hotels, technology and investment for Noetic's 'OTAs vs Direct Conference.' Check out what he had to say.

Winning the guest relationship with technology.

"Speed, ease and convenience are the three most important things when it comes to booking a hotel.

Guests want everything now, and OTAs deliver on that. The truth may sound uncomfortable, but independent accommodation owners couldn’t live without the OTAs today.

But, the focus is always on what the OTAs provide hotels. Really, the focus should be on the guests, because that’s where the benefits are clear.

What does an OTA provide a hotel?

The potential for increased occupancy.

What does an OTA provide a guest?

Value comparison, frictionless booking, flexible cancellation, and an easy platform to navigate and use through to completion.

This is an issue when it comes to booking direct. You may well bounce to the direct booking website from a Google search, but you’ll probably just bounce straight off it again. They just don’t work. So, hotels need to adopt new technologies to remedy that and makes processes smoother.

The OTAs are unlikely to be toppled by a single newcomer. The challenge will come from an ecosystem of new technologies. Today, it’s easy to develop technology to just perpetuate the current landscape, which won’t change a thing. Instead, you can come up with something new, something disruptive, and change the landscape for good.

We’re already in an interface race. The market is fragmented; so new players have to do a lot with their data and their technology to compete. Get in front of as many eyeballs as possible, use real-time inventory, and utilise innovative, smart booking technology and a disrupter will win.

And hotels need to do it fast.

Guests will soon realise the 18-or-so-percent commission hotels are paying to OTAs will cost them too, because it’s costing the hotel. More money going out means less money being invested internally, which means less money invested into the guest experience."

A full summary of the day's talks can be found here.