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Promotions, specials, discounts, a catch 22!... My Channel Management System (Nightsbridge) allows us to have a direct interface with most OTAs giving us a good "billboard effect" or in other words a good presence on the web. Having said that, one must be very cautious when creating specials, especially if you're on more than one OTA.
Every large OTA uses algorithm to check your pricing and if you happen to be cheaper on any other channel than theirs, you go down their ranking. They use TripAdvisor mostly. Search for your property and have a look for yourself.
Now comes the specials. Some OTA are more creative than others and more user friendly. Bkg.com is most probably the best for that. Why would you want to create a special? Well, most probably it's because you are on a seasonal market and you are trying to boost your bookings. And this is where the catch is! Being very seasonal in Cape Town, we are bound to feel a nice drop in our sales in our winter (Jun-Sep), so I am just wondering if offering specials will just drop the very little income we get in winter.. Specials we do, but that often leaves us with as little as 50% gross revenue, meaning an even smaller net margin (15% VAT + 15% commission + 15% additional special + etc....).
I was also over the moon, when I saw my listing on top of the BKG.com page. I thought I was being so clever in offering BKG.com a higher commission, thinking it would push me to the very top. But like Yew Bh said, it's only because I kept on checking on my listing, thus being identified by BKG.com as a potential guest, hence my top position. Try from another computer...
The bottom line is that there's lots of competition out there, and we are in a very challenging industry. We're all trying to get the most of our business, but some external factors are difficult to curb. Be it the seasonality, new immigration rules (like the birth unabridged certificate for minors entering RSA), weather (with unfortunately too famous "Day Zero" water saga in Cape Town), economy, political uncertainty, etc... So I don't know if any discount or special would in fact attract more bookings, or like I said just shoot ourselves in the foot, hindering even more the little revenue we're getting...
Wishing you a wonderful Sunday. Here it's sunny in CPT, reaching up to 22deg today. Best regards / Yves