Efficient distribution is fundamental for the long-term health of your hotel. Let’s look into an efficient hotel distribution strategy, that enables the building of an optimal channel mix and tips to ensure you’re making the most of your channel manager.
Today, hoteliers enjoy unprecedented visibility and pathways to reach guests where they shop. Potential guests are now able to do much more research on places to stay and can quickly compare prices across multiple hotels.
However, increased exposure is just the start of the process. A bigger job is to convert the lookers into bookers. Whether bookings come from OTAs, metasearch, your website, mobile apps, or over the phone, you can maximise profitability for your hotel by implementing a differentiated distribution strategy.
Let’s look at a few areas your strategy must cover to be successful.
1) Channel Management and visibility
Maximising reach without breaking the bank is a constant dilemma for hoteliers. In today’s hyper
competitive environment, leveraging the reach and marketing spend of OTAs (right channel mix) to increase
your demand is a critical component of the modern hotel distribution strategy. A channel manager not only helps
you stay on top on managing your channels; acting as a data warehouse, it is also a crucial tool to help you make
informed decisions about this channel mix.
2) Understand your cost of acquisition
Don’t go on the face value; dig deeper into channel insights to understand the true cost of every channel.
3) Define your target audience
4) Focus on direct bookings
Since a booking engine on your property’s website is typically commission-free, your direct bookings result in
higher profits and increased revenue for your hotel.While you may need to partner with OTAs via the channel
manager, in order to attract certain types of customers, you will begin to earn more direct bookings as
customers discover your brand on their own.
5) Your website
Your website is the most cost-effective way to market your property and drive commission-free bookings via a
booking engine attached to it. Ensuring the website and booking engine are optimised to deliver should be a
priority for every hotelier.
6) Smart rate planning
Leverage the insights within your channel manager, booking engine, and PMS to keep a flexible daily rate to
maximise yield, and increase your bottom line. You can even incentivise getting forward bookings now with
flexible cancellation policies. Another rate variance you can apply is seasonal rates.
With these tips to building a profitable distribution strategy, your property will increase both bookings and revenue. The success of your property is in your hands.
Every hotel has an optimal distribution channel mix – meaning that channels are selected and managed in such a way that they will drive optimal profitability for the hotel in the long run. This is unique to every hotel and depends on several factors such as location, brand presence etc.
With market data under your belt, you will make more informed decisions.
Forecasting and pricing is more scientific and more successful when based on accurate data.
Identifying factors that influence channel traffic and revenue are easier.
This article has been taken from STAAH’s ebook on How to set up a Channel Manager like a pro