There’s no doubt OTAs have several things that you don’t, like up-to-the-moment technology, a global staff reaching tens of thousands and marketing budgets with lots of commas.
However, they do have their weaknesses, including a major flaw that also happens to be one of your hotel’s strongest marketing weapons: your ability to present your property as THE best place to experience your city/region.
Modern travelers are no longer drawn solely to price, convenience or rooms with a view. They want what’s OUTSIDE your front doors. They want to explore, discover and make memories. In fact, according to a TripAdvisor study, experiences and the promise of an enhanced perspective are what ultimately drive travelers to pull out their wallets.
What OTAs lack is true, local knowledge that showcases remarkable things to do, see and taste that can turn a traveler’s itinerary from blah to brilliant. You have a powerful unique ability to PROMISE the guest that you will enhance their perspective of your city/state/region, and OTAs cant do that across thousands of properties!
Check out this chart from the TripAdvisor study, which shows the disparity between what travelers actually want vs. what hoteliers THINK travelers want:
Provide a Sense of Place:
Modern travelers are experiential explorers, first and foremost. They want to experience your destination at every touchpoint, from eating locally sourced ingredients at your restaurant to being surrounded by the works of local artists on your walls. Showcase all the ways they can experience your destination in an authentic way, from telling the story of the local boutique down the street, the family-owned restaurant that all the locals love or the hidden hike that mostly locals venture out on. Make your hotel website more about your destination, rather than a boring list of your amenities.
Sure, OTAs are great at selling hotel rooms. But, they can’t hold a candle to your hotel’s ability to share the experiences that will ultimately matter. Make destination marketing a priority on your hotel website. When you showcase the secrets and local experiences of your destination, you’ll win over travelers’ hearts and their wallets.
Tambourine uses technology and creativity to increase revenue for hotels and destinations worldwide. The firm, now in its 33rd year, is located in New York City and Fort Lauderdale. Please visit: www.Tambourine.com