Hotels vs OTAs

Research supports the view that Online Travel Agents (OTAs) are great tools for providing an overview of accommodation options available for a given destination. A large inventory combined with clear information, customer reviews and a range of payment options make them popular.

RevPAR in online distribution channels means that it will make little difference whether a guest books through an OTA or directly using the hotel website. However, for the hotel, it’s the difference between owning the customer, and paying out 15% to 20% in commission to the OTA per booking.

It’s not that hotels don’t understand marketing, it’s just they don’t have the time and in-house expertise to dedicate and exploit the online marketplace in the same way that the OTAs do.

The good news is that as people have become more web-savvy, so too have their research skills: they will now check a range of websites prior to making a booking, and that includes visiting the hotel website (in some cases historically buried under lots of affiliate broker websites).




In one online survey we found that 40% of visitors to a hotel website, were actually looking for the best rate.

Internet Affected Survey

What Changed?

In the early days of marketing on the world-wide-web it was the OTAs and not the hoteliers that immediately saw the potential for growth. Consequently, while hotels worked on making their website functional and developed social media presences on Facebook, Twitter and others, OTAs exploited the online marketplace focusing exclusively on e-commerce.

By the time the vast majority of hoteliers realized the value of the online marketplace it was too late, the OTAs were too far out in front to chase.

What’s changed is that in recent years the technologies that OTAs have been exploiting to appear everywhere from Facebook, Pinterest, to Email and Mobile Search, are also accessible to hotels. We know because we manage them for our clients.

In addition, although OTAs are not going to go out of business any time soon, their growth is being challenged by people’s change in habits. Meta-search, social media along with Google’s plans to develop their Hotel Finder product into something more elaborate, all look to shape 2015 in a significant way.


We expect Google to drop the OTAs from search as soon as their own products gain traction

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What We Do

W e work with a hotel’s existing marketing teams, helping them to perform better. Our monthly reporting cycle clearly reconciles our fees against the value our services have created for your hotel. We visit you quarterly in-person, wherever you are in the world, to deliver strategic presentations and insights for your hotel’s future business.


We increase direct bookings and guest ownership by:
 Identifying oppurtunitiesin the online marketplace.   Increasing customer retentionvia loyalty schemes and promotions.  Segmenting guest datafor future activities. Helping hotelsbecome better online marketers.

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Own your customers, increase your in-house marketing capacity and reduce your monthly OTA commission cheques with our services.