Although they are becoming more and more dependent on OTAs, hotels simultaneously try to get out from the clutches of such websites that take from them a fair amount of commission and get as many direct bookings as possible.
Online travel agencies, known as OTA, including Booking.com, have definitely started a complete revolution in the process of booking accommodation in hotels.
OTAs bring extremely high revenues to hotels which, because of this, cannot afford the luxury of non-cooperation with many online agencies that get good commissions for each booking.
This is the reason why hotels are advertised on the websites of the most influential online booking agencies, but, at the same time, they try to get as many direct bookings as possible, through their own website, Facebook page, Twitter and Instagram.
Simply put, any channel that brings bookings without commission fee is excellent for the hotel owners.
In order for their website to gain a certain competitive advantage over Booking.com, some hotel brands have decided not to place their best photos on OTAs websites, but to keep them exclusively for their site only.
But this can be a huge mistake!
If you do not put enough effort into the design of your hotel / apartment profile on Booking.com and similar websites, and do not complete that “make-up” of your account, you will see a big drop in the number of bookings.
But why do hotels need to send the best photos and designs to online agencies?
First of all, a big part of direct online bookings on your hotel’s website were made by visitors who have found your hotel on Booking.com and then decided to “Google you” and find your website; or they have booked their firts visit through OTA, but then they booked directly every next visit.
You can easily see this in your website’s analytics, if you regularly monitor these data. According to some surveys in the US, as many as 3/4 of the total direct hotel bookings were made by visitors who came from the website of some online agency.
You must keep the visitor’s attention the moment they see your hotel, wherever it is, on yours or on any other website.
You have to win the user with this first impression, which is the most important one, and that can only be done with the best photos that you have. Let’s be realistic, people today do not even read at all, they just watch beautiful photos.
A good picture speaks a thousand words, and a good photo of your hotel may be worth a thousand reservations! So do not hide it, let everyone see what you offer.