In a recent interview with EyeForTravel, Sascha Hausmann, CEO of Busy Rooms, discussed hotel distribution developments in 2013, as well as trends to monitor in 2014. Here are some of the key points Hausmann covered in her examination of distribution strategies.
Major Developments in 2013
Alternative distribution, outside of the regular and traditional OTA business, was a hot button issue last year. It is clear that travelers like the ability to compare products. This is where metasearch engines have made great strides. Allowing travelers to not only compare properties in a given location, but to find the best price from a range of OTAs has given metasearch channels a leg up on the competition.
Major Trends to Keep an Eye on in 2014
1) Continuous growth in mobile and a shift from web-based searching and booking to mobile web-based
2) A focus on direct distribution fostered by metasearch
3) Rate parity will become a tool used by hoteliers rather than forced by OTA/tour operators
How to Optimize Your Effectiveness
In recent years, the focus for most hotels has been which mix of OTAs will provide the most visibility for your property. However, with the advent of metasearch engines and the growth of online advertising options, the right mix of OTAs is no longer enough. Travelers do not easily group themselves around specific channels anymore, instead using a broad range of outlets.
The Role of Channel Management
The channel management industry came into existence to solve that problem of managing a variety of different outlets, both in terms of availability and pricing. However, these channels have not progressed from being just another online travel agency management tool.
Hausmann predicts that the next generation of channel management will be able to go far beyond just managing the online booking sector, but will also allow for centralizing online marketing opportunities and direct consumer traffic while providing detailed performance metrics and market intelligence.
To read this EyeForTravel interview in its entirety, and to learn more about distribution strategies, click here.