The direct booking movement is moving to meta – what hoteliers need to know
By cameron in Uncategorized
Should I list my hotel on metasearch? If you’ve found yourself asking this over the past year or so, you’re not alone.
NB This is a viewpoint by Lily McIlwain, content manager for Triptease.
Triptease has produced a report to help hoteliers understand what is required. Click here to download its Hotelier’s Guide to Metasearch.
Metasearch sites are growing at a phenomenal rate, with recent research suggesting that they are now the most important advertising channel for hotels, outstripping even Google AdWords when it comes to driving traffic. It’s a compelling offering for hotels seeking to grow their direct channel.
Though metas have been part of the online travel industry since its inception, their increasing accessibility to smaller hotels, combined with meteoric growth in consumer traffic, has made sure that Kayak, trivago and co are more relevant than ever. But it’s always worth asking whether that perceived relevance is reflected in the behaviour of actual hotels.
Any trend has early adopters. The big groups – and a few savvy independents – are already well established on metasearch sites. A lot of the hoteliers we speak to at Triptease, though, tend to fall into one big camp – those who say: “Metasearch is on my radar, but I’m not sure it’s worth my time.”
So why does this matter to me and my hotel?
The Direct Booking Movement is moving to meta. Metasearch engines are a way for hotels to display rates in direct comparison to OTAs, at a cost that can work out much cheaper than commission fees charged by OTAs. Metas are becoming ever more popular with consumers – traffic has tripled since 2014 – and it’s easier than ever to list as a hotel.
For some metasearch publishers, a hotel doesn’t even need to have its own website to advertise.
The capabilities of search are improving in an exponential curve. We’ve already seen Kayak and Skyscanner integrate themselves with Alexa and Google Home, allowing consumers to book hotel rooms without even touching a computer. The ability to intuitively serve a customer with exactly what they’re searching for is increasingly going to be held in the hands of a select few – and those few are likely to include metas.
The hotel industry was hurt badly by the initial advent of online travel: it didn’t adapt quickly enough and OTAs rushed in to fill the gap. Performing well on metasearch is a way for hotels to reclaim some of that ground, but it requires realising meta’s value sooner rather than later.
In addition, metasearch companies are evolving from focusing purely on advertising business to offering various B2B solutions to hotels. Most recently, we saw trivago debut its Rate Insights feature, giving partner hoteliers access to pricing data based on competitor positioning and market demand.
“OK, I’m interested – tell me how”
Listing on meta isn’t a quick fix. Achieving long term gains means getting the basics right, so Triptease has put together a Hotelier’s Guide to Metasearch that includes everything a hotelier could need to get started. Featuring expert input from 80 DAYS and Koddi, the guide walks hoteliers through:
- The five steps to a successful campaign
- Why the direct booking movement is moving to meta
- Where next?
- A buyer’s guide