Hospitality Financial Leadership: OTA’s and How Hotels Can Best Use Them
December 17, 2018 12:23pm
By David Lund
A lot gets said about OTA’s and most of it is negative coming from the hotel world. I get it on one hand as I was the one having to explain to owners each month why our commission expense was constantly on the increase. However, on the other hand I also knew we had our backsides saved many months because we turned on the tap and let them in.
What’s the alternative – no OTA’s at all? That’s probably not on anyone’s wish list at this time of the year. Would another alternative be lower fees? Absolutely this would be welcomed but it’s a super competitive landscape out there with lots of different options for hotels to consider. I say the market sets the fees. How about a third alternative – getting the most out of the OTA?
One aspect that I see all the time from hoteliers is a single focus on the elephant in the room, no matter what the issue. Talk about profit and they want to talk about increasing RevPAR. Talk about service and they default to negative Trip Advisor comments. There are always other ways to look at any situation. The elephant in the room with OTA’s for hotels is the commission costs. What hotels could do to alter their perspective just a little would be to consider and take advantage of the other services offered by the OTA’s. The services BTW are free! That’s like the old glass of water in the restaurant is “free.”
When it comes to OTA’s, hotels are fixed almost all the time on the same two things. The revenue generated by the room bookings and the commissions. What if there were more aspects to consider than just the immediate gratification and the hangover afterwards?
Here is a list of what I think are very compelling value-adds from some OTA’s that hotels could and should take advantage of. I also believe when they do use these services it adds bottom line improvements as well as long-term business intelligence, greater stability and market diversification. This longer term view is priceless, especially in markets where there is new supply and fierce competition.
Hotels that utilize a strategy that considers how they can get the most value from their partnership with their OTA’s are going to be the most successful in the long run. This reminds me of a saying that an old boss of mine would use quite often. He would say this to the director of sales when he/she were full of himself after a good month’s results on our RevPAR index or the revenue picture to budget.
He would say, “Any Monkey Can Fill This Place When the Phones are Ringing” – “What are You Doing to Keep the Phones Ringing?”
Tags: hospitality financial leadership,
David Lund is The Hotel Financial Coach, an international hospitality financial leadership pioneer. He has held positions as a Regional Financial Controller, Corporate Director and Hotel Manager with Fairmont Hotels for over 30 years.
He authored an award-winning workshop on Hospitality Financial Leadership and has delivered it to hundreds of hotel managers and leaders. David coach’s hospitality executives and delivers his Financial Leadership Workshops throughout the world, helping hotels, owners and brands increase profits and build financially engaged leadership teams.
David speaks at hospitality company meetings, associations and he has had several financial leadership articles published in hotel trade magazines and he is the author of two books on Hospitality Financial Leadership. David is a Certified Hotel Accounting Executive through HFTP and a Certified Professional Coach with CTI.
For a complimentary copy of my guidebook on creating a finically engaged team in your hotel head over to my website, www.hotelfinancialcoach.com and don’t forget to email me firstname.lastname@example.org for any of my free hospitality financial spreadsheets.
Contact: David Lund
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