Bookassist’s Google Hotel Price Ads Connection Boosts Direct Business For Hotels
Up to now, only large travel sites (OTAs) were able to reach customers early in the decision-making process online, but now meta-search technologies like Google’s allow the hotel website to also position itself directly in front of potential guests as they begin their search.Hotels can compete head on with OTAs in Google Hotel Price Ads, on Google Maps, Google+ Local and Google Hotel Finder.
“By being part of meta-search on websites like Google Hotel Finder we are levelling the playing field with OTAs, giving guests the opportunity to book directly with our hotel. Meta-search marketing generates incremental revenues for us, produces excellent return on our ad spend, and is managed stress-free for us by Bookassist”, comments Valerie Steinbeck, Group Revenue & Ecommerce Manager, Destination Killarney Group.
“This is a real opportunity for hotels to position their own websites right where their customers are considering options and making decisions”, says Mary Collins, Head of Internet Marketing at Bookassist.
With this integration, live hotel rates will now display next to those of the OTAs in Google’s Hotel Finder, on Google Maps, in Google+ Local, and Google Universal searches. Now when a potential customer enters dates in a hotel’s destination or for a particular hotel, the hotel’s own rates and availability can compete with the OTAs for the direct sale.
While many hotels are taking advantage of this growing direct online revenue opportunity and are adding meta-search marketing to their core marketing budgets the concluding message for hotels must, however, be one of caution. Even though this new technology gives them a new opportunity to compete with OTAs they must be mindful that the technology is simply an enabler. With the increased online visibility it will give to a critical audience, careful monitoring and management of online rates and availability has never been more critical.