Breaking Barriers: Hotels Are Reclaiming Power in Website Management — Photo by The Hotels Network

A company's website serves as a powerful conduit for customer engagement, brand representation, and revenue generation. Nowhere is this more evident than in the hospitality industry, where a hotel website frequently marks the first point of contact with potential guests. Amidst discussions on digital marketing and website management, a pivotal question emerges: where should the control over website content and functionality reside - with its creators or with the businesses they represent, such as hotels striving to enhance their online presence with superior content and features?

The principle of customer-focused website design and management is vital, particularly in hospitality where customer engagement is key to success. Websites should continuously evolve based on customer feedback, preferences, and behaviors. It is therefore important for hoteliers to seek out partners who enable them to remain agile, avoiding the pitfalls of stagnation that could result in a static online presence, ill-equipped to cater to the needs of tech-savvy travelers.

The practice of hotel brands committing to a single partner limits access to a diverse array of tools and perspectives critical in an AI-driven industry. Embracing a variety of technological inputs is essential, especially in AI integration and personalization, as they present unique opportunities for enriching the guest experience. Exclusivity can hinder access to advanced features, diverse AI technologies, and innovative digital strategies, thereby limiting a hotel's ability to deliver a cutting-edge digital experience. Consequently, it fosters a uniform digital landscape devoid of the creative competition necessary to drive technological progress.

In a rapidly evolving digital landscape, staying attuned to market dynamics is crucial to ensure that a hotel's website accurately mirrors current market realities and meets evolving guest expectations. Hotels that partner exclusively with a single developer risk missing out on the optimization of essential strategies such as SEO, social media integrations, and data analytics. This oversight can weaken their online visibility and hamper their efforts in customer engagement.

Respecting the autonomy of hotels in selecting their web solutions is not just a matter of fairness but a testament to true partnership. Empowering hotels to choose the most suitable web solutions acknowledges their expertise in understanding their own customer base and business needs. This approach cultivates a collaborative environment where the shared goal is to provide exceptional customer experiences and propel business growth.

Binding hotels to exclusive contracts exposes properties to the risk of compromising customer experience, stifling innovation, and limiting market responsiveness and AI integration. As the digital landscape continues to evolve, it's imperative for hotels to have the freedom to collaborate with a variety of developers. This ensures competitiveness and enables them to adeptly address the evolving needs of their guests.

About the authors

Michael J. Goldrich, THN's Chief Experience Officer. After spending nearly two decades in digital marketing and project leadership for multimillion-dollar brands and startups, Michael knows what drives website engagement – and it’s not by leveraging the marketing trend of the month. It’s how well you connect with the potential guests you’re trying to help and communicate your understanding back to them. Connect with Michael on LinkedIn.

Mercedes Blanco, THN's Chief Partnerships Officer. Mercedes is a corporate leader executive with over 15 years of experience in travel and hospitality. Passionate about creating value through digital-tech solutions, as well as fighting for women empowerment, she is an active member of the Sales Americas Advisory Board at HSMAI, and founding member of Women in Travel THRIVE. Connect with Mercedes on LinkedIn.

About The Hotels Network

The Hotels Network is an innovative technology company working with over 20,000 hotels around the globe. Boasting an international team of specialists with deep expertise in hospitality, product design and consumer marketing, the company offers clients a full-stack growth platform to power their direct channel. By leveraging a series of integrated tools and analytics, hotel brands can attract, engage and convert guests throughout the user journey.

In addition to price comparison, reviews summary and a full suite of personalization options, THN's Predictive Personalization product harnesses machine learning techniques to predict user behavior and then automatically personalizes both the message and the offer for each user. The company's benchmarking product, BenchDirect, is the first of its kind for the direct channel, providing hotels with never-before-seen competitive data.

THN is proud to have been recognized for the company's product innovations, rapid growth, and unique workplace culture for the second year in a row, most recently named the Best Direct Booking Tool for 2024 in the prestigious HotelTechAwards.

For more information about THN, visit or contact [email protected].

Paige Lopez
Content Marketing Manager
The Hotels Network