Algorithm changes – There have been recent changes in how the algorithm for booking platforms such as Booking.com and TripAdvisor show their results. It means many hotels have seen a drop in bookings and need other ways to generate sales. Our regular Hotel Owner column covers how hotels can build a multi-faceted sales pipeline and diversify the risk away from being solely reliant on OTA’s. As a DMO, position yourself as a supportive reseller of their product, something which they can access for a fraction of the commission cost that come with these platforms.
Which? Research – A recent study by Which? found that travellers pay on average 12% more by using an OTA. As a DMO, something you’re unlikely to be surprised at, but you can help. Encourage local accommodation businesses to sign up with you and explain the benefits of your booking portal (less commission, coupled with your planned marketing campaigns) which means that they pay less in commission. Support your members by encouraging visitors to book through your website or direct with the provider.
Coronavirus – It’s not going away anytime soon, so let’s look at how you can maximise the opportunities. Indications are that the staycation market will rise as people choose to stay in the UK rather than travel abroad; this may be a last-minute opportunity in some cases. Create a statement, which covers your response for your area and how you are working with relevant authorities to keep your area ‘open for business’. Encourage members to share news, information and updates with you predominantly for summer season, but also last-minute availability e.g. Easter escapes.
DMOs are in prime position to support accommodation providers and now is a good time to promote your membership. There are some clear opportunities for better engagement with your accommodation businesses – we hope that this helps!