Rethinking OTA's: The Path to Profitability
Traditional hospitality has always had a love/hate relationship with OTA's. Outdoor Hospitality is no different. I cannot count the number of times parks have resisted connecting to OTA's because of the commission they take from each booking. They do not take into account the number of nights they sell. Our data proves, they are well worth their commissions.
Outdoor hospitality has long been able to book Cabins and Roofed Accommodations on OTA's. All AOS properties take full advantage of this capability. The new OTA's coming for RV sites, such as Book Outdoors, will now allow RV enthusiasts to book RV sites via an OTA channel. AOS is ready to board their parks onto this exciting platform.
Still thinking of bucking the trend to OTA's? Think again.
A new report by Amy Hinote of VRM Intel reports the following data from the vacation rental space:
"New US data shows direct booking is down 19% YOY for professional vacation rentals in 2021. Airbnb is up 29%, and Vrbo is up 17% as a percentage of revenue. Is it due to more OTA marketing, less PM marketing, a new customer base, consolidation, or a lack of consumer education . . . or something else?"
What does this mean for you?
Make sure you connect to a PMS which allows you to a direct connect to multiple OTA channels, NOT just their channel. If a PMS only connects to their booking channel, they are NOT an OTA. They are a PMS with a website. There is a huge difference.
Secondly, stop bucking the trend. OTA's are here to stay and you need to get on the train or you will indeed be left behind. If Marriott and Hilton believe there is value in OTA's, trust me, there is value in OTA's.
Finally, make sure you have good photos to use when you list your properties. Hire a local photographer to take well staged shots of your accommodations. Pictures sell sites.
These few helpful hints will get you selling nights and giving up the fight against the market leaders paving the way to your profitability.