Top Tech Trends for Driving Your Hotel Revenue

Hospitality

With the constant evolution of technology and new trends coming and going, its important for hotels to keep a track of what is happening around them. Knowing the impact of new technology and how it can affect revenue is key to running any business successfully today. The same applies to the travel and hospitality sector which is one of the most dynamic industries today. Given the huge dependence on guest behavior, hoteliers need to know how to influence key decision makers and be visible at every key touch point. Here are some upcoming trends that we feel will have an impact on the industry and hoteliers should take notice and prepare well in advance.

1) Data explosion with 5G Network:
The new 5G, with its superfast download speed and other benefits, is sure to have a massive impact on the expectations and behavior of mobile phone users. One can readily access virtual reality and videos and the 5G network is likely to bring a huge change in how guests research and book travel and hotel. Users will have the opportunity to visualize themselves in their preferred room instead of only seeing the photos.

‘Mobile-first strategy’ will likely rule the trend. Google, being the early adopter like it is, may reward hotels that pro-actively focus on their mobile strategy and penalize the ones that are not at all mobile friendly. Thus, hotels need to make sure their brand website is mobile friendly and has a good page load speed. It’s important to develop mobile focused marketing strategy to capture this segment of guests that like to book things on mobile.

2) Virtual and Augmented Reality:
Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) will get a big boost with 5G network. However, AR proves to be more realistic than VR to hoteliers. Why? Real environment is replaced by a virtual one by VR. To visualize this, one needs wearable technology. On the contrary, AR introduces digital components into real environment that one can easily access with smartphones.

Some hotels have already started using this technology like AR-enabled maps and brochures. It is a great opportunity for hotel industry to enhance in-stay and pre-stay experience of their guests.

3) Dominance of Videos:
Conveying information through videos is more effective than words because people today prefer watching than reading, especially in mobile phones. Do you know that YouTube is the second largest search engine globally? Facebook too generates huge traffic from its videos every day. With the emergence of 5G, videos will achieve greater importance.

To future-proof business, hoteliers have to invest in entertaining, informational and relevant video advertising. According to Google, videos are likely to capture 80% of online media in the coming years.

With so many innovative technologies coming up in the market, hotels have to optimize these opportunities to reap the maximum benefit for their business.

Get Hotel channel manager & Online Distribution

Top Tips to Improve Your Hotel’s Visibility on OTAs

Assuming that you are already distributing your hotel rates and availability on multiple online travel agents, we will delve straight into some top tips that you can utilize to boost your online visibility and improve booking revenue. The ground rule for working with any distribution/sales channel is to ensure that you keep your hotel listing up-to-date to give a true picture to the guests. That said, here are some simple tips that can further increase your hotel’s presence on these important channels.

hotels OTAs

1.  Regular Update of Content

Reinforcing the ground rule again – it is super important to keep your hotel listing updated and attractive. The language used to define your hotel amenities should be simple and fluid. Ensure that you have posted recent photos of the hotel’s different segments – lobby, façade, rooms, restaurants, banquet, swimming pool, gym etc. As they say, a picture speaks a thousand words – travelers like to know how the place looks before they decide if they wish to stay there. Details of room amenities, location, direction to reach, nearby attractions as well as hotel policies should be accurately displayed in relevant sections of the listing.

This builds customer trust and helps them make informed decisions. Further, it helps bring up your hotel on relevant search results when guests use filters on OTAs. For example, if your hotel is pet friendly, ensure that you mention it in your listing so that travelers who are looking to bring their pet can consider your property amongst others. Further, if any hotel policy changes, it is important to update them on OTAs. For example, if your hotel was a no-smoking property earlier, but if you have recently added smoking rooms, then you need to showcase that on the OTAs, so that people looking for such rooms will keep your hotel in consideration. These updates may seem minor but goes a long way to ensure that your hotel can be found easily depending on the visitor’s search behavior.

Further, to increase visibility in the search results, coordinate with the Market Manager of different OTAs you work with, to add relevant keywords and meta tags to highlight special offers and promotions. Depending on the OTA policy, most of the market managers allow you to submit the tag copy to emphasize your hotel’s new offering, renovation, festive discount etc.

2.  Ensure Rate Parity

The second most important tip is to ensure you keep your rates in parity across different distribution platforms. Travelers like to shop around when looking to book accommodation. When they see different rates for your property on different sites, it somehow impacts their trust factor. Further, OTAs tend to give you better ranking to hotels that have no rate parity issues as it helps maintain rate integrity for their channel as well. Additionally, when your rates are in parity, you can push your presence on meta-search sites to drive more direct bookings.

3. Targeted Advertising

Making updates and tweaks to your hotel listing on OTAs is a crucial part, but to give an additional boost to your property’s visibility, you can invest in targeted ad by bidding for top spots in OTA search results. Most OTAs offer this capability today and this is an easy way to increase exposure in these channels. However, it is best to make it goal oriented – pushing these ads for either specific promotional campaigns or to push visibility in certain markets during off-peak period.

Ads such as Expedia TravelAds or Sponsored Search on Travelocity and Orbitz can be effective if used correctly and it also helps improve the organic search ranking for the hotel on these OTAs.

4. Sell Last Room Availability

One of the core concepts of revenue management focuses around the fact that hotels should spread out their inventory on not rely on just 1 or 2 channels. While, the brand website, consortia and wholesalers are all important sales channels along with OTAs, there are times when you need to look at specialized or niche channels to make sure you sell off distressed inventory, up to the last available room.  Channels like HotelTonight helps hotels sell inventory in a 24-hour window as that is the core concept of the channel. The channels user base are mostly travelers that are looking for last minute deals and hence this can be a good platform to dispose distressed inventory. Further, channels like HotelByDay offer room booking by the number of hours thus raising the revenue potential of fixed inventory. As a hotelier, it is good to know about new distribution options and try them to explore new revenue potential.

5. Rapport building with OTA Market Managers

You can only do what is in your control with regards your OTA listing. However, if you maintain a great rapport with the OTA Market Managers, that can go a long way in helping you maximise your hotel presence. People like to do business with people they like – hence the human element is very critical in most businesses. Being in the good books of the OTA Market Managers, communicating with them regularly, inviting them for your hotel events etc. can help create strategic business relations and have a positive impact for your business. The market managers keep a tab on the pulse of booking patterns and trends and can be very resourceful, it all comes down to your strategy and skills to bring out the results.

It’s time to put these tips and tricks into practice and see how you can leverage them. A good presence across OTAs will have a billboard effect, which not only will improve OTA bookings but will also positively impact direct bookings from your brand website.

If you need help with managing OTAs for your hotel, set up an appointment with one of our Connectivity Advisors today – https://bit.ly/2HiEzJp.

Auris Hotels Partners with eRevMax for Superior Distribution and Visibility

Auris Group, a Dubai-based hotel chain with luxurious properties throughout the Middle East, has recently completed a two-way integration with eRevMax that allows them to update rates and rooms inventory automatically through eRevMax’s Connect distribution system. This integration is done at a time when the Auris Group is implementing a high level digital reputation and marketing strategy that will guarantee rate parity on all channels, market parity, digital visibility and availability.


One of the largest groups in the Middle East Auris preeviously had been managing channels and booking processes independently, but with hoteliers across the Middle East collectively encouraging tourism, particularly to areas such as Dubai and Abu Dhabi, this was no longer a suitable option. Auris Managing Director Hatem Gasmi, reports that Connect has made it possible to meet new and improved business objectives that includes increased visibility and marketing for their pipeline projects.

eRevMax predicts hotel online distribution trends 2014

As technology advances and the world of social media expands, more and more travelers are turning towards smart phones and tablets to book hotel rooms. eRevMax, the leader in hotel online distribution and channel management solution has released an Infographic “Online Hotel Distribution” to provide hoteliers with upcoming trends backed by relevant data.


Travelers who book hotel rooms online are increasingly equipped with smart phones and tablets. The infographic shows 7% of all bookings were generated from mobile and tablet devices in 2013, and this trend will grow by another 20% this year. In 2014, hotel bookings through mobile will contribute over $26 billion.


The eRevMax study sheds light on how metasearch sites realized a 13% increase in 2013. Google Hotel Finder, TripConnect and Trivago are becoming a driving force in hotel online distribution as 60% of travellers shop by comparing rates on these sites. To shift market share from the OTAs to direct bookings, hoteliers should utilize metasearch sites as a part of their overall distrbution strategy as it offers better search experience and allows the traveller to find the lowest prices available online.

Bookings from OTAs surged ahead with a 12% rise in Q3 2013 and now stands at 13% of overall bookings in North America. It also shows that 33% of all bookings take place at the brand’s website, an increase of 5% in Q3 2013. eRevMax suggests hoteliers work with OTAs to increase revenues and implement reputation management solutions for quick responses to their guests.

Another important tip by the hotel solutions provider is to leverage the billboard effect, defined as the increase in offline bookings of a property when it is listed with an Online Travel Agency (OTA). An experiment conducted by Cornell University observed that one of the participant hotels experienced an impressive 14% increase in direct bookings when it contracted with an OTA. Besides, Average Daily Rate (ADR) increased by 1.5% during OTA listing of the same property. 

In this world of social media, SEO and analytics, failure to adopt digital platforms in their marketing strategy is suicidal for hotels. The data shows that 81% of tech-savvy travellers find user reviews important, while 49% travellers book hotel only after reading reviews. Nearly 21% used Facebook to search for hotel information at least once while 14% of travellers use the Facebook platform to book a hotel room. Hence, it is imperative that hotels take social-commerce seriously. 

To access the full infographic, click Infographic: Online Hotel Distribution 2014