If hotels can enhance the quality of their relationship with guests during the stay because of what they know about the guest before and after they arrive, they can demonstrate more value than the OTAs can.
One thing OTAs like to claim is that hey don’t own the guest, just their journey, but Duetto's Michael McCartan said they don’t even own that. Despite their immense reach and the power of their distribution system, OTAs aren’t able to service guests on property, and so despite whatever they do to encourage guests to book at your hotels at the end of they day they have to hand that guest over to operators to have them fulfill the stay.
“The fact that the hotel engages the guest and has them physically on property at the same time is a huge benefit to the hotel,” McCartan said. “If hotels can enhance the quality of their relationship with guests during the stay because of what they know about the guest before and after they arrive, they can demonstrate more value than the OTAs can.”
It sounds like the life hack to end all life hacks, but McCartan said hotels drop the ball in the one area where OTAs have become masters: taking the guest stay to the digital space. The digital experience behind hotels must become more personalized to allow hotels to understand the likes and dislikes of individual guests, then translate that information into action once they are on property. Because of this, OTAs will always be at a disadvantage due to lacking the physical aspect of the hotel experience.
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