OTAs biggest advantage is marketing not price

Author: Tim Ramskill, James Kirk (

Categories: Deal-making, Marketing, Technology
Tags: advantage, banding, digital platforms, online channel, OTAs, price, traffic
I’m very sceptical about brand loyalty is the first thing that I’d say and we’ve talked about that in today’s panel session, that ultimately I think brand loyalty in the hotel sector is limited. Will customers always be seeking best value? Well I think naturally that's going to be a part of their decision making process but I think the interesting thing is that there is a widely held perception that the online channel, the OTA channel is cheaper than dealing direct with the hotelier when actually, basically offering the same prices. So the challenge for the operators is really, you know, it’s not really that the OTA’s have got a price advantage it’s just that they’ve got a marketing capability and advantage that's been driving traffic to the OTA sites relating to the hotels. So I think yes, we’re sceptical about branding but overall there’s still a strong opportunity for the hoteliers to respond because the price differential is not that great.
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