Insights from Thadani: Finding the balance between OTAs and Hotels
The reason OTAs became so popular was that the benefits suited both, the consumer as well as the hotel.
In ‘The Ultimate Indian Travel & Hospitality Report’ provided by Hotelivate to Hotelier India, Manav Thadani published his insights – ‘The Mighty (OTAs) and the Influential (Hotels): Finding Their Balance’, which talked about the fierce battle between OTAs and hotels for a higher share of the consumer’s wallet.
Prior to the mid-90s, consumers could either book directly with the hotel or rely on a travel agent for their travel and accommodation needs. At the time, hotels were paying a commission of around ten per cent to the travel agents. Once OTAs entered the scene; powered with sophisticated technology, they did a far better job of providing an additional room booking
channel for both consumers as well as hotels. The reason OTAs became so popular was that the benefits suited both, the consumer as well as the hotel.
For the consumer:
- OTAs offered a range of options to choose from that gave travellers more control over their bookings.
- They were independent, appearing to be fairer and more consumer-oriented than hotel brands.
- OTA websites were intuitive and simple to navigate enabling a more satisfying customer experience.
- OTAs helped drive occupancy.
- They offered a great marketing platform, especially for smaller chains and independent properties.
- OTAs diversified the customer base by introducing new guests.
- They also helped integrate related travel industries such as hotels, airlines and car rentals through innovative packages.