Sunday, September 5, 2010 Turns-on Television

We are aware that Online Travel Agents (OTAs) receive a lot of flack from accommodation operators.

We do not agree with a lot of the negative sentiments from some our more vocal accommodation industry colleagues. We appreciate that OTAs do a lot of leg work, they advertise and expose room inventory to a bulk market that individual operators are unable to reach. OTAs generate positive publicity by promoting the desirability of travel and are operating in a space where potential guests like to contemplate and research travel - including the MSM. 

We also like the unintended commission-free bonus of  "The Billboard Effect".

If accommodation operators work in partnership with OTAs by using dynamic tariff, they are able to gain additional business and grow average tariff. While we do not entertain wowsers in the accommodation industry that whinge about paying a 10% commission  for services received, we do have some sympathy for those that claim that OTAs focus too much on tariff based promotions.'s sub $99 and 50 percent off promotions that  were supported by Tourism New Zealand caused rumblings from accommodation operators that accused Wotif of normalising guest expectations of deep discounting. 

We suggested in this blog that operators should be considering quality and adding value before sending tariff through the floor. what about OTAs promoting 70 percent discounts? 

One practice that is been used by OTAs that we do not approve of is "bait advertising" by promising savings on accommodation of up to 70 percent (and higher) by using Google Adwords campaigns. There is also the practice of OTAs developing landing pages that appear in the main body of search results that also promise massive savings: (See our post HERE). 

So what's the problem? 

The problem we have is that we challenge anyone to easily find genuine savings on accommodation of up to 70 percent.

We believe that OTAs over promising unrealistic savings are doing a disservice to potential guests, themselves and the accommodation industry.

Which brings us to's launch of their new major TV campaign that encourages "consumers to spend less on their hotel room and more on their holiday!"

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