The question in the headline above may sound silly but research shows that the majority of Americans have curiously searched for themselves online, so if you’ve ever typed your name into Google, you’re definitely not alone. Now, on a much more serious note, when is the last time your Googled your hotel? Searching for yourself can be fun, but the results that show for your hotel can impact its financial future.
In your hotel’s online results, you’ll likely see your website, social media pages, consumer review sites and online travel agents (OTA), like Expedia, Orbitz and Booking.com – well, that’s if you’re connected to a global distribution system (GDS) and use OTAs to market your property. The benefits of a GDS and OTAs are always some of the most highly debated topics among independent hoteliers. Some operators argue that their fees are too high and cut too deeply into profits and others have nothing but praise for the online booking channels that drive revenue and reservations for their properties. With these greatly varying opinions, it begs the question, “Who has the best argument?” Rather than sorting through dozens of varying, but legitimate, opinions of hoteliers, let’s look at this from the perspective of those who have the greatest influence on your hotel – your guests.
When travelers search for hotels online, they look for properties that fit their needs and budget. While their search parameters are fairly straightforward, the process of finding the “perfect” hotel is the exact opposite. Travelers utilize multiple devices and can spend weeks gathering information before making a lodging decision. Travelers today want to customize their trips exactly to their liking, so a major part of their decision making is determining which hotel they trust to deliver the experience they desire. By actively managing information that is available to potential guests, hotel operators put themselves in a great position to grab the attention of these curious travelers and capture their valuable reservations.
So, if you were a traveler looking to book a hotel in an unfamiliar city, which of these hotels would you be more likely to select?
A) A hotel with a robust web presence, including OTAs filled with guest reviews, photos and detailed information, that provides you with a solid outlook on what to expect during your stay.
B) A hotel with a sparse online profile that requires you to dig for information about the property and guest experience.
Rather than continuing this debate, we’ll let you decide which of these hotels would be more likely to receive your reservation.
By working through this scenario, we wanted to showcase just how important global distribution, including GDS and OTA connectivity, is to the independent hotel reservation generation process. Not only does it expand your digital footprint, it provides your hotel with multiple channels for capturing reservations. By leveraging a GDS and OTAs, hotels have the power to connect with a larger number of guests and capture the revenue needed to drive their business forward.
Global Distribution is one of the key hotel management solutions provided by innRoad’s hotel property management system (PMS). Paired with our Property Manager, Booking Engine and Revenue Manager, innRoad supplies independent hoteliers with the tools needed to achieve operational and financial success.
To help unlock the potential in independent hotels, we’re offering a Free PMS Buyer’s Guide that provides a step-by-step breakdown of how to evaluate and select the best PMS for your property. Operating an independent hotel is challenging, but with the right tools and technology, hoteliers can achieve the level of success they desire.