Tech Talk

Recent posts

Think about the moment when you first enter your hotel room. Look around: Does the room tell you anything unique about the hotel where you are staying? Or is it all beige walls and double beds with white covers, and you have to walk back outside and look at the sign on the hotel’s facade to even remember where you are?

Hotel guests commonly bring multiple devices with them during their stay. However, many hotel environments don’t provide easy access to charging outlets. This situation can lead to a guest feeling more than inconvenienced. A recent survey found almost 90 percent of people "felt panic" when their phone battery dropped to 20 percent or below.

Spam is one of the major problems that most hotel website owners face on regular basis. It is a bad practice used by spammers to persuade the page rank of a site.

GBTA recently partnered with AccorHotels to conduct a study investigating the role of loyalty in managed travel programs in Europe with the goal of understanding how loyalty programs currently fit within company travel policy and what opportunities may exist in the future.

People today expect to be connected always and everywhere; sometimes it’s hard to believe that there was a world before smartphones and Wi-Fi. In the time since Wi-Fi became ubiquitous in hotels, apartments, and public spaces, it has fueled the evolution of connectivity in a lot of ways. Just like Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, the most basic needs start at the bottom, and you can’t get to the next level without a strong foundation. 



want to read more articles like this?

want to read more articles like this?

Sign up to receive our twice-a-month Watercooler and Siegel Sez Newsletters and never miss another article or news story.

x
 

TripAdvisor® Instant Booking… Revulsion or Revolution?

01/27/2016

Speaking of revolution, in 1902 Vladimir Ilyich Lenin published “What Is to Be Done? Burning Questions of Our Movement." It was intended in part to mark the end of one period of political development in Russia and to give practical tips for what was needed next. So not very different from this column…

This might seem like the farthest thing from hospitality marketing and distribution, but actually the parallels are striking. After a period of turmoil and the rise of alternatives to direct sales and classical GDS – such as Google, OTAs, Metas, and media-commerce entities like TripAdvisor – hoteliers are plagued by symptoms similar to what Lenin described as “disunity, dissolution and vacillation."

New questions face hoteliers every day:
  • Google – Paid search, booking commissions or both?
  • OTAs – Straight or pay-for-premium display?
  • Metas – Kayak, Trivago, the smaller ankle biters or all of them?
  • TripAdvisor – Meta referrals, Instant Booking or both?

In addition, these questions are clouded by organizational disputes. Some brands may have PPC campaigns under marketing, while OTAs fall under distribution/revenue management, and special media-commerce offers are left to individual properties. Groups, corporate and other “structured” demand may fall within sales, while with respect to OTAs, merchant rate deals (AKA classic Expedia) are handled by different people than retail commission deals (AKA Booking.com).

With all the departmental barriers, you can imagine the drama when TripAdvisor knocked on the door offering both PPC and Instant Booking options. In a similar development, “Book on Google” was also a bracing development, but as everybody knows, “what’s good for Google is good for America." Furthermore, being able to get wide distribution on Google is a nice strategic counter point in negotiations with OTAs, and managing a CPA/commissionable program is less risky than PPC campaigns, so on one hand hoteliers seem generally at peace with “Book on Google”.

On the other hand, the TripAdvisor Instant Booking question is one that both brands and independents pose more often and more sharply. To answer that question, we need to acknowledge, much like Lenin, that a discontinuity has occurred and it poses burning questions for hoteliers. The first hard notion to accept is that the old departmental divisions don’t make a lot a sense. 

For transient/FIT business, the distinction between PPC (search and metasearch) and distribution (OTA merchant rates and commissions) never made much sense and makes even less now. Hoteliers need to be looking at the all-in costs of putting heads in beds.  As shown in the Fall 2015 issue of Hospitality Upgrade, in the article Hospitality Demand Generation Trends and Opportunity Costs, the all-in costs of a PPC-driven booking are remarkably similar to an OTA commission.

Failing to understand that, you might fall prey to silly arguments against TripAdvisor Instant Booking such as “but it’s additional unbudgeted spend” or even less logical, “the conversions are low so ROI must not be good."

Let’s address those myths head on:  
  • First, no, getting rooms filled through TripAdvisor’s Instant Booking is not “additional spend." As long as you’re keeping your channels open, paying a commission to Booking or Expedia is not different than paying it to TripAdvisor. If anything, a new entrant might help the market be a little more competitive and arguably prevent commissions from raising as fast as they otherwise might.
  • Second, precisely because it’s a CPA/commission based product whether conversions are one way or another is largely immaterial since the commission is only paid upon conversion and hoteliers with any sense will have negotiated a commission due only for net (not canceled) bookings.
That said, there are also “early bird gets the worm” arguments for opting in favor of TripAdvisor’s Instant Booking sooner rather than later:
  • For your average independent hotel, Instant Booking CPA is less than or close to 12 percent. Getting the same exact booking from a main line OTA is likely to cost 16 percent. So striking while it’s hot and getting a long term deal with TripAdvisor at 12 percent is an obvious plus. 
  • Another argument is that if your hotel is on Booking.com, chances are you are already participating in Instant Booking. So if Booking.com is selling your hotel on Instant Booking, why wouldn’t you?
  • Finally, there’s an argument for cutting a deal while TripAdvisor is still trying to push this feature rather than wait until it’s fully established. If you negotiate today you’re likely to get commission rates that are at least 5 percent less than traditional retail commission rates. If you wait too long, it’s likely that by the time you want in market competition will have driven the rates up.

Tip: Embrace the revolution! Whether for strategic reasons or commissions saving or both, now is a good time to join TripAdvisor’s Instant Booking.

About The Author
Max Rayner
Partner
Hudson Crossing


Max Rayner is a partner at Hudson Crossing and his practice areas include strategy, transactions, agile transformation, product innovation, technology and user experience.

 
Comments
higher education
It's an amazing article designed for all the online visitors; they will obtain advantage from it I am sure.
9/24/2017 6:09:14 AM

healthcare
Hello! This is my 1st comment here so I just wanted to give a quick shout out and tell you I really enjoy reading through your blog posts. Can you suggest any other blogs/websites/forums that go over the same topics? Thank you!|
7/6/2017 6:56:13 PM

health insurance
I like the helpful info you provide in your articles. I'll bookmark your blog and check again here regularly. I'm quite sure I will learn lots of new stuff right here! Good luck for the next!
7/5/2017 8:36:26 PM

medical health news
Hi! Someone in my Facebook group shared this site with us so I came to give it a look. I'm definitely enjoying the information. I'm book-marking and will be tweeting this to my followers! Excellent blog and outstanding style and design.
7/4/2017 11:49:44 PM

masters in education
Hi there, I discovered your website by the use of Google while looking for a comparable subject, your website came up, it looks great. I've bookmarked it in my google bookmarks.
6/29/2017 8:12:05 PM

college education
Thanks for the good writeup. It in reality was once a amusement account it. Glance complex to far introduced agreeable from you! By the way, how can we keep in touch?
6/28/2017 10:21:29 PM

higher education degree
Everything is very open with a really clear explanation of the issues. It was definitely informative. Your website is very useful. Many thanks for sharing!
6/27/2017 7:02:17 PM

Leave comment



 Security code