Unlike OTA websites, hoteliers who acquire guests via metasearch will still own their customer data and relationships.
But OTAs continue to have the advantage when competing in meta auctions. They are masters of data, combining information about customer lifetime value, engagement level and market parity rates to impact their bid levels and win bookings every time. With neither the budget nor the scale that allows for this sophisticated, algorithmic approach to meta, many hotels once again risk being crushed by OTAs.
But while hotels may not be able to match the scale and strength of an OTA, a smart approach to meta - using parity data, guest behavioural data and booking data - could see them bidding successfully on the right traffic for their business and winning direct bookings as a result.
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