A recent study conducted by Expedia Group claimed travelers are 57 percent more likely to book a hotel via an OTA than before the pandemic, as a result of emerging traveler booking motivations such as:
- To get the best nightly rate (69 percent)
- To get the best room (40 percent)
- To compare properties in one location (35 percent)
Other motivations include earning reward points (32 percent), one-stop shopping (28 percent) direct promotions (26 percent), and buying a bundled offer, such a flight and hotel, in one transaction (25 percent).
Needless to say, this is a very self-serving study with less than stellar methodology (audience polled of only n=500 US consumers).
Unfortunately, there is some truth to Expedia’s claims and the hospitality industry is partly to blame for at least some of the emerging traveler booking motivations cited above. Here are some of the advantages the OTAs undoubtedly have in the post-crisis period and the tactics hoteliers can deploy to neutralize these advantages, hold on to their direct guests, and ultimately outsmart the OTAs: