A common hallmark among many popular independent hotel properties is an established identity and reputation. Rather than maximizing their autonomy, many of these hotels have developed operating standards that set a level of expectation to ensure consistent guest experiences. As a result, these hotels are rewarded with a strong and positive reputation among travelers. Today, due to the importance of Online Travel Agents (OTAs) and guest feedback websites, a hotel’s online reputation plays a key factor in its ability to generate revenue, grow profits and position itself for future success.
In a blog post titled, Advantages of Global Distribution for Independent Hotels, we examined the workings of the global distribution network and how hotel operators leverage the system to attract new guests. In continuing this dialogue, we will now take a closer look at OTAs, such as Expedia, Orbitz, Travelocity and Booking.com. We will examine them from various perspectives and provide tips to help operators protect their online reputation and enhance their bottom line.
OTAs make finding hotel rooms very easy for consumers. Travelers start with a short list of search options, such as Location, Arrival and Departure Dates and Number of Rooms, and then further narrow their results with additional categories, including Neighborhood and Amenities. But there are two specific search and sort options that hoteliers should note: Price and Star Rating.
Importance of the GDS
Hotel operators who are plugged into a Global Distribution System (GDS) have the ability to control the room rates displayed to guests. As innRoad customers would agree, this is where our all-inclusive, cloud-based hotel property management system serves as a valuable tool for hotel managers. With innRoad, operators can update rates and then automatically populate all connected OTAs – eliminating multiple entries, reducing errors and saving time. However, with Star Ratings, hoteliers must rely on the hard work they’ve put into building their reputation to ensure their property is correctly represented.
Many OTAs, like Orbitz and Expedia, use a 5-star rating system to classify hotels. Rating methodologies differ from site to site, but OTAs generally use a combination of data from 3rd party review sites, such as AAA and TripAdvisor, insight on levels of service and amenities from their business teams, average room rates and direct customer feedback to give hotels their ratings.
Great Guest Experience
Without an exact science or formula used to rate hotels, operators must rely heavily on the feedback from guests who have experienced staying in their hotel. As noted above, this is why delivering consistent service and hospitality is critical for independent hotel operators. With every guest who leaves your hotel completely satisfied with their experience, it presents an opportunity to further develop your online reputation. And as we can see from OTAs, your guest’s opinions are valuable enough to impact your bottom line.
This is why we designed innRoad with the needs of busy independent hotel operators in mind. With our cloud-based hotel property management software, you can save time completing routine, but essential, daily tasks so that you can focus on managing more complex responsibilities, such as monitoring and leveraging OTAs to generate future business. Our goal is to help you better operate your hotel and position it for greater success.
Contact us today to schedule a personalized demo and get your hotel on its path to profits.