Q2 Worldwide Meta Search Engines Distribution Trends report from Fornova highlights direct booking challenges for hotels
Fornova released their first Worldwide Meta Search Engines Distribution Trends report, highlights hotels losing out to OTAs on Meta for bookings with longer lead-times.
The key findings in the report reveal that hotels are more likely to be undercut by OTAs when the booking lead-time is longer than 14 days. The picture is even more ungainly with uncontracted OTAs, who are two to three times more likely to undercut hotels' direct rates on Meta Search Engines (MSEs), compared to contracted OTAs.
Dori Stein, CEO at Fornova, said, "Meta Search Engines have the deeply held promise of being the great equaliser, in aid of hotels looking to increase their share of direct bookings." He continued, "While offering hotels stronger reach, MSEs also reduce the barrier-to-entry for many other OTAs and resellers who may source hotel inventory indirectly, typically from wholesalers. We refer to such OTAs as uncontracted OTAs. For hotels, MSEs can be a double-edged sword - while it provides greater opportunity, it also requires more consistent monitoring and responsive management to realise its full potential."
Hotels and chains pursuing a direct-booking strategy are affected by the distribution trends on MSEs more severely, as any rate-parity issue is more easily visible to guests on this channel. This can often result in increased cost from consumer claims and damage to the hotel or brand reputation.
"Most hotels that focus on increasing direct-bookings have some form of 'best-rate guarantee' programme in place as part of their marketing and promotion strategy. Such programmes typically offer to refund the price difference in addition to rewards and incentives." said Nir Dupler, Chief Revenue Officer at Fornova, "When guests find these cheaper rates easily on MSEs, hotels and brands are left dealing with the added cost of handling consumer claims, which affects revenues and profit."
Hotels based in North America consistently outperformed in their participation levels on MSEs as well as maintained their Rate Integrity better, compared to hotels based in other regions. China and India were the worst performing PoS for all hotels participating on MSEs. The detailed report which contains trends, analysis of contracted and uncontracted OTAs including PoS highlights and breakdown by region is available from Fornova as a free download.
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Director of Marketing, Fornova