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As search engine marketing became the number one source driving visitors to OTA websites the OTAs continued the battle to outwit and outbid each other through search engines.This battle drove Cost Per Click through the roof and search engine marketing became so expensive that OTAs had to find other ways to drive traffic.Today’s frequent traveler has become more loyal towards metasearch websites than towards a specific OTA.So, let’s look at the question that often raises the most serious concern: I know you are not sure those bookings will be replaced by your own website or other OTAs. Having one less OTA trying to undercut others on metasearch websites means better rate parity for your hotel.Metasearch came to the rescue and as travelers increasingly started to use metasearch websites such as Trip Advisor, Hotels Combined, Trivago, etc to find and compare hotel prices, OTAs started to shift focus and marketing budgets to compete on metasearch websites rather than search engines.Metasearch taught travelers that with very little effort it is easy to find a better deal for a specific hotel and today metasearch has become the number one source of traffic for OTA websites.
Once that customer understands that the OTA they have used to book your hotel was informed by you and therefore wrong, they most likely will seriously complain to the concerned OTA. I hope you now realise that winning this battle is not as hard as you might think.
End of April the agreement was terminated and from May onwards OTA A was no longer selling the resort.
As the graph shows, in June OTA B made up more than what was “lost” from OTA A and total online bookings in June set a new record.
For customers’ sake, hotels and OTAs are supposed to be business partners, right? Lots of hotels try to fight this battle, but the majority are either ill-prepared or only half motivated to actually fight.
The battle with OTAs will not go away though and the only sure thing is that at least some OTAs will always continue to find new ways to outsmart and undercut hotels and competitors.