Did you know that as much as 72% of an independent hotel’s bookings will come from online travel agencies (OTAs)?

That’s a lot, but regardless of your stance on commission and the ways in which OTAs enforce their rules on hoteliers, there’s no doubting you need to make the most of your partnerships with them.

There’s one simple reason for this: the more positive and strategic your OTA relationships, the more likely you are to tempt people to book direct.

Think about costly readmission

Picture the scene: someone finds your hotel on an OTA. They book, stay and love the experience.

Six months later, they decide to return, but can only find a reference to your hotel’s booking process in an old email from Booking.com. So, they place their return reservation via that method. And you get billed for commission. Again.

It doesn’t have to the like this. By viewing your OTA partnerships as providers of new business, you can focus more wholesomely on ensuring people rebook directly.

This means you need to take control and optimise your OTA strategy by learning from their strategies.

What can we learn from OTAs?

The likes of Booking.com and Expedia are smart; they know how to tempt people to book quickly.

By using subtle (and, sometimes, not so subtle) buying signals and urgency, they manage to keep potential bookers captivated for longer and feel as though they’re missing out.

We think there are three things you can learn from OTAs if you’re an independent hotelier.

Make it easy – and tempting – to book

When was the last time you tried to book a room on your hotel’s website? Sounds like a weird idea, doesn’t it? Not so.

Chances are, you’ll have placed a booking on an OTA yourself within the last twelve months, and it’s a safe bet the process was simple and, dare we say it, enjoyable.

Can you say the same for your own website? If not, make notes about where it’s lacking and where you need to improve. And, if you fancy it, why not book yourself a room somewhere as a mini break to see what you can ‘borrow’ from the experience?


CMS Hospitality holds over 30 years of experience in delivering hospitality software solutions. CMS offers the most complete solution in hospitality software, whether you’re running a hotel, a resort or a hostel. Our highly experienced support and installations team holds a unique understanding of the hospitality industry. We will aim to provide software that suits your property’s needs.

Call us today at (+61) 2 9440 9711, or email us at sales@cmshospitality.com. We will be happy to guide you to the CMS Hospitality solution that’s right for you.