Sunday, April 18, 2010

Captain Kirk Attacks The Accommodation Industry

Much to the disdain of some of our fellow motel comrades, we have been a defender of Online Travel Agents (OTAs). In taking this position, we have taken more than a few hits from friendly fire! 

Although, we have been critical of some of the one-off through the floor tariff promotions by OTAs, we believe that the silly "discounting" that has occurred for all to see are largely due to the knee-jerk reaction by some accommodation suppliers. 

Overall we think OTAs add value to the accommodation industry and can provide very good ROI. We believe that savvy accommodation providers should expose their inventory and work with OTAs, without feeling the need to give away rooms. 

As an accommodation operator, we have no problem with paying OTAs a 10% commission for every successful reservation made. OTAs do the leg work, they advertise and expose our inventory to a bulk market that we are unable to reach without the requirement of risking an up-front fee. 

We like the fact that OTAs are promoting the desirability of travel and operate in a space where potential guests like to contemplate and research travel - including the MSM. 

An unintended bonus for exposing inventory on OTAs is "The Billboard Effect". We like the fact that many guests will only use listings on OTA websites for research purposes and then contact us to make a reservaton direct.

So what happens if an OTA goes feral by attempting to drive down tariff and taking their suppliers for granted? 

Look no further than that have become so arrogant that they are shaming and challenging their suppliers in public to drop their pants AND using Star Trek's William “Priceline Negotiator” Shatner on prime-time TV to do it for them. 

Good thing that the Motella Blog is keeping watch to ensure that OTAs popular with Kiwi accommodation providers know their place and will not follow suit;-) 

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