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Which other channels are you using to promote your hotel?

Which other channels are you using to promote your hotel?

Like Expedia, AIRBNB, google adwords + own website, TripAdvisor, else?

What are prosand cons compared to booking?

28 Replies

7
pibomarco

I think the only worth mentioning based on the amount of bookings I receive are (from the most bookings to least):
1. Booking.com
2. AirBnB
3. My WIX website (without adwords).
4. Expedia
--------------------
Others, almost not worth mentioning because I receive very little bookings:
5. HRS.com
6. Hostelworld
7. Ostrovuk
...

Hard to define pros and cons.. I personally preffer AirBnB (because the guest mentality and their culture is overall better from my experiances. They are more humble).
Also their flexibilty about property description, house rules, payout options, privacy ect.. And extra bonus that also AirBnB started t obe a proffesional hospitality same as other OTA's, which means I will be able to list all my units, not just one per type using two way connection with my chanel manager.. And I think it will be very competitive to Booking.com on the amount of bookings received. But at the moment Booking.com is number 1 based on the revenue.

Expedia's extranet I found difficult and little annoying and they are the most expensive.

For the others don't even know because i can not make an opinion since I receive maybe juat a few bookings per year.

I think I get many direct bookings also from TripAdvisor, because I am subscribed to the yearly Business advantage, so the potential guests that are itnerested in my property are redirected to my website to book with some additional discounts.

I prefer the most my website. 0% commision, and guest are also defenitly nicer.. not to be consered about bad reviews etc. ;)

Booking.com is like a woman.. Can't live with them, can't live without them! I was once suspended for few months and realised that I need them more then they need me. :) That sucked big time!
Not a big problem during the high season.. But it is important to get some bookings also in low season that is why these OTA's are important. That is why I would also recommend Genious program you can cath an additional bookings in lower seasons.

1 year ago
3
Torrdarach

We also use Trivago, Expedia etc. We have not joined AirB&B for personal reasons. We have heard too many nightmare stories regarding AirB&B.

1 year ago
2
Boschdal

I am from South Africa. Booking.com for some reason get the most hits although all my links are the same.... strange. I would like to attract more of the Asian markets. Any ideas?

1 year ago
1
Nancy Nguyen

There are some sites:

  • Agoda
  • Hostel world/ hostel booker
  • Asiaroom/ Lateroom
  • Asiatravel
  • Ctrip ...
1 year ago
5
Graham Fisher

Thought this may be of interest to anyone considering AirB&B...

San Francisco seeking hefty USD5.5 million fine for couple's illegal Airbnb rentals

The city of San Francisco is seeking a huge fine of $5.5 million for two property owners illegally renting out 14 apartments on Airbnb in a scheme of 'breath taking deceit and fraud.'

The city asked a Superior Court judge to slap the huge fine on Darren and Valerie Lee who own 45 apartments.

It dates back to a lawsuit filed by the city in 2014 alleging the couple illegally converted a building to short-term rentals after evicting tenants.

The Lees agreed to settle a year later and paid $276,000 with an undertaking not to violate short-term rental laws again.

City attorney Dennis Herrera alleges they were soon breaking the law again by listing 14 apartments on Airbnb which were rented out for a combined 2,271 nights, generating more than $700,000.

The city's motion to the court to enforce the injunction is seeking a penalty of $750 for every day each apartment was available and $1,500 for each day an apartment was actually rented.

That adds up to $5.5 million.

1 year ago
1
Geraldtonbackpackers

Hi Everyone

I am a new business and have a small Hostel in a small city. Most of my guests are international backpackers.

I use Booking.com, Air BNB, Hostel World, and my WIX webpage. I didnt need to sign up with Agoda as it comes through Booking.com.

I have not had any issues with AirBNB, I find it easy to correspond with the guests but difficult to manage the availability, I may not have spent enough time navigating through the process though.

I seem to get most of my bookings through Booking.com, I feel Booking.com is very expensive though and am trying to get my web page to generate more bookings.

I only signed up with Hostel World as I found alot of backpackers use their phones to make bookings and Hostel World has an App they can use. Their commission is the highest.

1 year ago
7
pibomarco

@Gerald

AirBnB is basicly more expensive. Because they charge 12% or more the service fee to the guest. about 3% to the host. Meaning you basicly have to lower the prices on AirBnB that are matched with pricing on Booking.com which takes aprox 15% from the owner only.

You should use a chanel manager and you will have no problems with managing the availabilty.

1 year ago
4
Pita Lie

Due to the nature of our business, we only use Hostelworld, Expedia and Booking.com. We do not opt for Airbnb due to the niche customers are not we are looking for.

All of them demands 15% comm fee. At the moment Hostelworld and Hotels.com (under Expedia) sends us the most bookings as customers nowadays use Trivago and Tripadvisor and their sites gives customers comparisons of prices in the sites and we set our price to be the cheapest with Hostelworld and Hotels.com as their payment managements are much superior than BDC.

We do not use our own website but we use "Book Now" button on Facebook. Our customers are 18 - 25 years old using socmed heavily. The "Book Now" button is directed to our integrated Channel Management System and PMS that also offers payment getaway so we do not have to pay extra on boosting our own website and manage website.

Believe knowing your own niche and customers is the key as every OTA has different niche.

@Boschdal, BDC and Hostelworld and Expedia offers special targeted market to Asians. You can contact your customer service. BDC has specific different payment method as Asians (specifically Chineses uses Alipay to pay). BDC will offer you a Virtual Credit Card payment system for it. Expedia has in their extranet option to target the countries. (I provide the screenprint from expedia extranet where you can choose specific countries or region). Hostelworld also designs specific microsite for Chinese audience.

Hope it helps. Cheers

1 year ago
4
Pita Lie

@Boshcdal BDC offers China target market feature. You can go to extranet and find the feature under Rate and Availability button.

1 year ago
2
Boschdal

Hi, South Africa, we have quite a few others than you...cant seem to do WIX etc. We use SAFARINOW, SLEEPINGOUT, TRAVELGROUND. The others you already mentioned.

1 year ago
2
Boschdal

Did you know you can get insurance for Bilking? Ours are up to R25 000 per customer ...but they want a lot of paper work.

1 year ago
7
pibomarco

Pita Lie, what is your niche? I think AirBnB is great market, very competitive to those you mentioned.
I'm also on Expedia, Hostelworld, BDC,... And so far I must say that with AirBnB I have no issues at all and receiving quite a lot of bookings from there comparing to other OTA's. And is on the rise. Also AirBnB now offers "proffesional hospitality" same as to other OTA's and is not just "home rental" based.

1 year ago
4
Pita Lie

Hi Pibomarco

Yes, I do aware of that. AirBnB now is joining up with siteminder to be just another OTAs just like others. Many laws and city regulations even here in Asia prohibit AirBnB to expand more. I as customer am using AirBnB as well when I am looking for something more specific . Ours is a youth hostel mostly single travelers that are looking to meet others. This niche does not look for hostel in AirBnB and when they do go thru AirBnB they expect more exclusive and personal service which we cannot offer. I do not like their previous and current platform as well but as they are joining up with siteminder, we might keep that in mind if we have enough space to cater more business. So far, our place of 25 rooms are quite okay with three main channels.

Thanks anyway

1 year ago
7
pibomarco

I understand. I personaly don't use AirBnB as a traveller. Would go through BDC. :)
Very helpful posts though. Cheers!

1 year ago
4
Pita Lie

I compare BDC and Hotels.com when I book hotels. They are competitive in price. BDC offers genius perk that gives good discount and freebies but sometimes Hotels.com or Expedia offers cheaper rates especially when you make it combo with the flight. I am just a normal traveler look for good value of money - and that's how I pattern my guests will do as well. LOL. However I limit my choice with BDC as I personally how lousy they are in handling my credit card details. (Who still keep manual record like that in 2018 but BDC?)

Cheers

1 year ago
7
pibomarco

I preffer BDC because it feels most secured and guaranteed AND I can make a booking with "unvalid" CC, LOL. ;)
As far as I noticed at Expedia they can charge the host up to 23% and also additional a service fee to the guest. But it msut depends on which area I guess. Also I guess a better option with the flights involved for sure.

1 year ago
4
Pita Lie

OK, marked Pibomarco ---> invalid credit card customer LOL

I am user and customer of all channels I use so I know their - and + except for Jumia. Depends on the area indeed and for me always, the value of money. I use Jumia for African countries as they have more choices and accept prepayment as I do not like to carry cash and pay cash due to being traveled by myself to certain areas that might not have ATM facilities. No, I do not like to book directly to accommodations as I love OTA's customer service if problem arise (again this is because of my choice of destinations LOL) and also I like the idea to "spread the money to make the economy moving". OTA hires many customers services and support system staffs all over the world and decrease unemployment rates in many countries. It is just me and my crazy idea. Of course it is only in my head. LOL.

1 year ago
7
pibomarco

I like your perspective and you are tottaly accurate. ;)

1 year ago
1
Gigimillena

Hi everyone! I just joined booking.com in February and this is my 1st time to visit Partner Forum. I am so happy to know of this support system. I have been getting considerable number bookings at least 4 bookings per week since March to April but come May I'm not receiving bookings anymore. I received 2 bookings NO SHOW. I hope you can advise me what I need to do.I am retired and this is my only income. Thank you.

1 year ago
2
Donna Luxford

Hi. I use Airbnb, Bookabach and Booking.com. Booking.com I have only been with for few days or so and have had no bookings so far. Airbnb is where I have had all of my bookings from. Personally I far prefer Airbnb for payments etc. The guest can pay with credit card to Airbnb and then they pay back to my bank less their commission. With bookabach the guest can also pay via CC and they will pay it to my bank. By far better than the other platforms as I dont have a POS system at our place and nor can we afford it. Majority of people want to pay via CC so this is a vital thing to have but I thought I would give book.com a go, but unfortuneately I can only offer bank transfer for guests, as dont want cash.

1 year ago
1
B.TRAN

For our US Properties we use the following:



ChoiceHotels.com <-- our franchisor / hotel chain

Expedia.com and their affiliating site (Hotels.com, Hotwire, Orbitz, etc.)

Priceline/Agoda

Wholesalers (GTA, Hotelbeds, etc.)

Personal website - www.westwinghotel.com

and of course Booking.com !

1 year ago
2
Martin

Hi!

It really depends on your country, but for sure you should promote your hotel in all of the expedia sites, the good thing is that you can create 1 account in either of them (hotels.com, expedia.com, orbitz, ebookers, hotwire etc), also Agoda, hostelworld are good.

For sure you will need a channel manager to avoid overbookings. I use nuevah and i'm super happy with them, lots of choice when it comes to channel integrations and very reliable channel manager. Hope it helps! http://www.nuevah.com/

9 months ago
2
Ragnar - Nordi…

Here's how I see it:

You need the booking platforms if your own website / social media does not generate enough traffic on it's own. But it's preferable to take bookings yourself directly.

It's not even about the commission. Using BCD, AirBnB, Agoda etc gives you less opportunity to grow your business, because:

  • You often don't get each customer's email address, and don't have control over the check-out process, so it's harder to sell additional services before arrival.
  • You can't do remarketing ads (sending ads to people on FB for example using their pixel, after they've visited your website)
  • You give these websites valuable keyword juice for SEO, so your own website ranks lower for your own brand name.

That being said, you will incur other costs like adwords, blogging, paid ads and other SEO work to scale the traffic on your own website. But done well, it's a lot more profitable.

9 months ago
7
pibomarco

The fact is that more and more bookers are using booking platforms. Because it's easy, they provide good customer service and the guest is protected in case of overbookings ect..

To run your property without booking platforms, your property must be really SPECIAL and in high demand.

It's good to have both. I receive quite "a lot" direct bookings via my WIX website.

"...But done well, it's a lot more profitable..." I highy doubt that though. Who is your target then? Everyone that I know they use either Booking.com or AirBnB.com for traveling.

Those who are interested to book directly, a lot of them goes on Booking.com to see what is available, they make a little google search and contact the property directly, asking for a better price ect..

9 months ago
2
Ragnar - Nordi…

Pibomarco, I agree that booking platforms are growing and will never go away, because they do serve bookers very well.

However, I say that taking bookings on your own website is more profitable because then you retain CONTROL - over the booking process, over customer emails, over cookies, over extra services.

Even if you discount the price on your own website, you should be able to make it up by offering extra services directly - or using ads & email to encourage repeat visits.

How to get more website visitors is another question.

Like you're saying savvy travelers are likely to search for your website to get a better deal. But there's so many ways to build traffic to reach a broader target market. We need to make it easy for people to find us.

Here are some ways to build traffic:

  1. Creating a helpful collection of articles about the surrounding area and things to do. This is SEO work, but more than that it's about building a relationship with people who visit your website.
  2. Adwords. PPC ads. Hosts that do not make this profitable lack the digital marketing knowledge to make it work. Instead of paying a $3 commission to a platform, you could pay $15 to get a booking directly on your website. At first glance it seems expensive. But the advantage is that it's extremely scaleable, you retain control, and can increase your margins more easily with extra offers.
  3. Partner up with local tours, events and activities. Let them offer value to their customers by giving away discount codes for booking accommodation with you. Also, sell their services on your website for a commission.

I'm just spitting ideas here.

How do the margins for bookings from your Wix website compare to BCD?

8 months ago
7
pibomarco

For me the only difference is, that guest can book directly on my website with a lower rate comparing to BC (if you're not a GENIOUS booker. Genious members are usually loyal to BC and don't search accomodations elsewhere).

All my extra services are managed/ordered at the property on-site and not upfront.

On BC and other platforms I have very strict policy, nonrefundable ect.. Meaning that for high season it gives me enough time to acumulate also direct bookings. High season when the demand is high is not an issue. Booking platforms are best in low seasons.

The point is if you want to sell your rooms MAX as possible you NEED to use booking channels + your own website with great SEO ect is just a bonus.

I am not sure, I didn't make calculations. I use booking engine on my site with 0% commission.
Monthly rate for WIX & channel manager aprox 60€/month. Basicly when I receive direct booking I save minimum of 5% comparing to BC.

8 months ago
2
Ragnar - Nordi…

@Pibomarco,

Out of interest, which booking engine do you use on your own website?

8 months ago
7
pibomarco

I have two properties on the same location (two websites).

Property 1: Free booking engine (widget) that came with Chanel Manager (MyAllocator).

Property 2: From the free widget I am now upgarding to advanced booking engine + PMS (Cloudbeds).

Not a big fan though at the moment.. Will need some time to get used to the platform..

8 months ago