Blog About OTAs

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gillumhouse's picture
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Another vinnkeepeer is fed up with the OTAs. He is trying to do what InnRewards tried  to do only his slant is BookDirect.

Here is a blog that was written about his idea. https://www.bookdirectrewards.com/blog/otas-have-replaced-tripadvisor-as-the-800-lb-gorilla-38

Just as I urged to join InnRewards, I am now urging to join BookDirectRewards.com  He has a free basic listing and an upgrded for $60 and a Premium for $240. I have signed on for the $60. I was willing to throw some cash in to InnRewards but he wanted so much to keep it free for innkeepers. This one realizes he is going to need some cash to keep it going. I believe in putting my money where my mouth is. It is early days - until it gets populated there will not be a big push tp public but it is live now.

I am going to urge joining this to try to break the stranglehold the commission sites have our industry in.

TheBeachHouse's picture
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.

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TheBeachHouse's picture
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06/24/2013

I added us to the site.    Best of luck!   Hope it catches on.

gillumhouse's picture
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They are trying to make a trending/awareness of booking direct. It is requested that there be posts on FB and tweets on Twitter today Feb 7 with the #BOOKDIRECT urging booking direct to get the best deals/rates. Hoping we can do something to educate John Q Public to Book Direct rather than use the OTAs.

Hillbilly's picture
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I would love for this to work. Here is the issue. The public (customers) do not care about how much money we make or how much the innkeeper pays out to OTAs. They are looking out for themselves, not the innkeepers. They don’t care. They want the easiest and most efficient way to book. That’s why the trend is to book with OTAs. OtAs have saturated the advertising market in making sure people think it’s the “Best Rate Guaranteed!” Well with a “Guarantee” like that why would a customer book with anyone else? I don’t know the % of inkeepers that list with OTAs but I’m thinking it’s pretty substantial. ( I’m not one of them )when listing they have to agree not to undercut their prices. If they do it’s my understanding they can be dropped from listing with them. If this is where you already get most of your business, innkeeper will not chance it. So therefore have no reasons to list with Directories like this.  Gillumhouse you were the best help and cheerleader in trying to make Innrewards a go. For that I was greatful. It was nice to have your support. So it’s great you are supporting this gentleman with his dream. In order for it to work he needs to concentrate on the customer not the innkeeper. Innkeepers go where the customers are.

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Hillbilly

 

gillumhouse's picture
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They are trying to get to the customer with the #BOOKDIRECT but as you well know, without innkeepers on board to populate things, the effort is for naught. Going to keep trying to get innkeepers off their complaining butts (those who use the bloodsuckers are not afraid to complain about them, but are loathe to try something to break the chains) to list and promote booking direct.

 

Hillbilly's picture
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gillumhouse wrote:

They are trying to get to the customer with the #BOOKDIRECT but as you well know, without innkeepers on board to populate things, the effort is for naught. Going to keep trying to get innkeepers off their complaining butts (those who use the bloodsuckers are not afraid to complain about them, but are loathe to try something to break the chains) to list and promote booking direct.

 

I completely know what you’re saying. You can see it first hand with the lack of interest on this topic. I did reach out to offer suggestions on what didn’t work and help give advice on what they might try. Thank you for showing us the site. It’s interesting being on this side of the coin so to speak. 

gillumhouse's picture
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Thank you. That was generous of you.

Hillbilly's picture
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I would love for this to work. Here is the issue. The public (customers) do not care about how much money we make or how much the innkeeper pays out to OTAs. They are looking out for themselves, not the innkeepers. They don’t care. They want the easiest and most efficient way to book. That’s why the trend is to book with OTAs. OtAs have saturated the advertising market in making sure people think it’s the “Best Rate Guaranteed!” Well with a “Guarantee” like that why would a customer book with anyone else? I don’t know the % of inkeepers that list with OTAs but I’m thinking it’s pretty substantial. ( I’m not one of them )when listing they have to agree not to undercut their prices. If they do it’s my understanding they can be dropped from listing with them. If this is where you already get most of your business, innkeeper will not chance it. So therefore have no reasons to list with Directories like this.  Gillumhouse you were the best help and cheerleader in trying to make Innrewards a go. For that I was greatful. It was nice to have your support. So it’s great you are supporting this gentleman with his dream. In order for it to work he needs to concentrate on the customer not the innkeeper. Innkeepers go where the customers are.

Hillbilly's picture
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10/22/2011

I wish them the best! I really hope they can make a go of it. They have a monumental mountain to climb!

They will get a few at the start but then it will quickly die off as soon as people stop talking about it. They will make 100’s of phone calls and have 98% of then hang up before they get to their second sentence. After spending well over $10,000 on a dream to try and make a difference, I quickly became sickened by the truth that there is no way to fight the big Gorillas. Their goal to dominate the way reservations are made has long arrived. We depend so much on them it’s disgusting. We have no one to blame but ourselves. This was a self inflicted wound.  We can all pretend we don’t need the OTA’s but they have made it so easy for the customers to make a reservation and offer rewards for booking anywhere not just one property. I can go on and on with this subject but it will get boring because you all already know these facts. The ones who think they can hold out on not listing with OTA’s are either happy with not as many bookings as they use to get. Or they think they can beat this and are in denial. I know this because it cost me thousands to try and prove myself wrong by trying this same thing.it was a hard lesson but that’s part of life. Directories have their places. Unfortunately for the lodging industry they are a thing of the past. There are very few left and they are on life support. Even the biggest one out there is in the process of changing over to the OTA business model. I’m not trying to crush their dreams as that’s not my goal with this.i just want them to really think about what they are up against.

gillumhouse's picture
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I told him about your attempt - but as we all know, someone with an idea has to try it.The UK group Cambs & I are part of has the same problem - getting people off their duff to list. It is an uphill battle. I just shake my head at people who are willing to pay commissions rather than list somewhere for free to attempt to bring in more direct bookings.

Yes, I may "die on the vine" because I refuse to go the OTA route. But I will go down my way. Independent and in control of my own business. I will give whatever support I can to anyone who tries to salvage our industry from the leeches.

Yes, innkeepers have done it to themselves. It started, I believe with those who were too lazy or would not attempt to keep up with marketing on their own and chose to let another entity take care of them. Then it got to the point that many decided "if I can't beat them, join them".

I acknowledge that I am in a different position than most - I am OLD so I do not really have a future. However, I AM in the same position of the B & B must bring in revenue to pay the loans and help with living expenses. We used to live on Himself's SS and that is no longer. This winter has not helped considering the low temps we have endured - and I have the thermostat set at 62 degrees, at all times unless there are guests in-house, then up to 69 downstairs (rooms have electric baseboard heat). The new office will help with the gas bill as the room will now be insulated and help keep the "living room" warmer. I will be working my own marketing harder in 2018. The return of a guest common area will help also.

notAgrandma's picture
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07/07/2017

I may be mentioning something that you already know, but be sure to focus on your Google my business listing. G.m.b. has replaced even your web page as the "go to" place for seeing your B&B. Guests click on your listing to view photos, read details about your inn (such as location & amenities), reviews, and rates. However, I think rates are only displayed if you're listed in OTAs. Make sure your photos and short description are up to date, and post new photos regularly to keep your ranking up in Google searches, even if they're only photos of floral arrangements or a new bedspread. If you feel comfortable doing so, encourage your guests to leave Google reviews as they're now waaaaaay more valuable than TA.

The great thing about everything I just mentioned is that it's free & has a huge impact on your marketing!

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