Trivago pushing for more Direct to Independent Hotel business
There’s a big shift happening in meta search that is creating a real alternative to OTA-dominated business for independent hotels.
Tripadvisor and Google are both moving into the “direct to hotel” space, with onsite bookings, which Bookassist sees as a potential opportunity for independent hotels to break the stranglehold that OTAs can often have on their online business. Major meta search player Trivago, which is owned by Expedia, is also making moves to tap into the direct space more and open up opportunities for independents (and of course for itself). To date, Trivago was much more focused on the brands and chains in the hospitality sector and is dominated by OTA offers for its hotels.
In a recent interview on Skift, Johannes Thomas, Trivago’s managing director in charge of hotels, says he wants to reduce the company’s reliance on advertising from OTAs and tap into the independent hotel market. Trivago knows that “the hotel is the most valuable source of information” on its own unique services and believes that hotel sites are “the most-trusted”. The company has begun to improve its tools to allow hotels to edit and update their online content on Trivago and is hiring a strong team in this area.
Trivago still believes that managing bookings on its own site, as Tripadvisor and Google are now doing, is a non-runner. According to Thomas, Trivago wants to become a de-facto independent source of information and believes that “In a moment, where you take an on-site booking, in that moment we believe you lose credibility and trust” of the online customer. This of course is a valid issue in particular for Tripadvisor, a potential conflict of interest if it is monetising hotel listings, and it also calls into question the independence of hotel search results on Google.
For the full interview, see skift: http://skift.com/2015/09/29/interview-trivago-building-big-team-in-shift-toward-direct-hotel-relationships/
Dr Des O’Mahony is CEO and Founder at Bookassist (http://www.bookassist.com), the multi-award-winning technology and digital strategy partner for hotels worldwide, and is a HSMAI “Top 20 Extraordinary Minds” recipient.