Dependence on OTA’s and how it can be reduced

The current wave of cancellations as a result of the COVID-19 crisis has clearly shown all the downsides of the dependence on OTAs in the hotel industry. Nevertheless, there is no getting around OTAs, that much is clear! Nevertheless, one can perhaps deal with the topic right now and ask oneself how the dependence can be reduced in the future.

If a guest from Brazil wants to come to Stuttgart for the first time, the easiest way to find the right hotel is via an OTA. If the same guest wants to come back to Stuttgart next year after his stay, he should have the hotel he stayed at last time in mind and not book again via an OTA. To achieve this, two conditions must be met: Excellent personal service during the stay and seamless digital support for the guest along the guest journey. This seamless support is only possible if you know the guests’ preferences, for example, in terms of personal contact options. A digital solution provides access to all this guest data. In the end, the goal is to turn the guest into a brand ambassador for your own hotel, so that they tell all their acquaintances about this great stay and recommend your hotel brand to others.

Digital solutions that support guest service and communication in the hotel offer the possibility of seamless digital support for the guest – directly after the booking, throughout the stay, even after the guest has already left the hotel. What does such a solution look like? In the best case, it is based on a progressive web app approach that offers all the advantages of a classic app, but does not have to be downloaded first like an app. The guest is simply directed to the digital solution via a link in the booking confirmation. There he can then find out about all the insider tips for the stay and even already fill in all the data for the registration form. During the stay, the guest then accesses the solution via the in-house WLAN and can do all sorts of administrative things via the little digital companion on his smartphone. For example, they can cancel room cleaning, book spa appointments, or provide feedback while still at the hotel. In addition to the obvious benefits, such as improving your reputation by actively requesting feedback or reducing costs by automatically requesting room cleaning, there is also a major advantage for you: You remain in constant contact with your guests via the digital companion.

Now what does all of this do for you in terms of the dependency of OTA's?

On the one hand, your staff is no longer busy with so many administrative things, as processes are virtually outsourced to the guest. If all employees are too busy organizing and handling administrative and recurring tasks – there is simply no time left for detailed personal guest care. This means that personal service is enhanced and remains in the guest’s memory. It’s easier to respond to guests’ needs on a personal level and build a stronger personal relationship with guests, which is very important for building loyalty to your hotel. Secondly, through digital contact you can draw attention to a renewed direct booking at the right moment.

Find out in a free and non-binding conversation with our experts Alexander Haußmann and Benjamin Müller how to integrate the digital companion in your hotel now and how you can already start with the free version, get to grips with the topic and benefit later. Inquire now.