Is this a relationship that is one premised upon the positives or negatives, is it a friend or foe type set of circumstances. I think ultimately what will be successful are those who can at least embrace it as a partnership opportunity, be mindful of where the OTAs can truly add incremental value. Many talk about the OTAs adding, if they can add incremental room nights, that’s definitely extra revenue you might not otherwise have achieved and that's serves a purpose. I think the reality at the moment is, yes you’re getting some of that but you’re also facing a challenge from quite a large amount of business not necessarily being incremental. So, I think it’s working on the ways that you can ensure that what you get is incremental and at the same time as we touched on before, ensuring that when we do gain access to that customer who may have arrived via the OTA channel, you try and make the most of the opportunity to cement your relationship as a hotelier with that customer going forwards to maybe cut out the OTA going forwards.
In this digital age there is tension between online travel agents and brands, as Carl Michel of Generator Hostels discusses in this TV show.
Digital age conflicts
There's always a tension between an OTA and a direct machine, one of the challenges is simply, you've got to, you've gotta co-exist - we're frenemies, basically, to the OTAs, they are a necessary evil, what we hope to see, is by driving more content onto our web-site, and more unique offers onto our website, that we'll gradually gain more brand fans, brand loyalists, but we're still a relatively small brand, we only have ten locations, so we have to recognise the OTAs do play an important role in getting our brand distributed and out there to the market.
Hospitality TV will continue to feature shows about OTAs and what the digital age means for hospitality. Why not take a look at who else has been featured in the Hospitality250.