Source: The perfect meta is yet to come
It’s not happened yet but MetaSearch is Evolving as a BookDirect Channel. The future looks bright as news services to help hotel list directly are coming online. Meta search is another name for the hotel comparison sites, like Trivago, that show multiple prices from multiple sources for the same hotel.
New Services help Hotel Get Booked Direct on Metasearch
Traditionally they get their content from OTAs, but that is changing as new hotel friendly booking services are evolving to help small hotel display their properties along site the OTAs in metasearch. An example is Seekda.com metasearch. To use it hotels signup and set an advertising budget. Seekda staff will setup the property, rooms, villa, seasons and rates.
The hotel manager then needs to show when a unit is available and when it is not. They set a budget which is used to advertise the hotel on the metasearch cost compare sites. It can be CPC (cost per click, like Adwords) or a CPA (cost per action which is usually a %). The management system charges a small % on all bookings transacted (usually about 4). It is a lot less than the cost through an OTA.
Return on Investment
The thing to balance is how much you are willing to spend on advertising and to calculate your expected return on investment (ROI). You can start by setting a budget at bout $100 US per month and see how that works. So lets say you get just 2 booking in the first month. Advertising has cost you $50 per booking. In addition you have 4% in fees. If your average stay is 10 days at $200 per day your revenue is $2000 x 2 bookings = $4000. It has cost you $160 (at 4%) plus $50 for a total of $210. that just 5.25%.
The equation can change based on actual room rates and length of stay. But at half the expectation the commission is still well under what OTAs charge. In some case it can be better to have a fixed rate per booking rather that a % and that is often negotiable with the Metasearch agent.
Good News for Hotels
This is good news for hotel that are looking to bolster their Book Direct strategies and are working to balance more direct booking with traditional distribution and online agents.
For More Details on Meta search in Tourism see our next blog where we will look more closely at how the meta-search engines work.
This blog covers how TripAdvisor and Google Hotel Ads are evolving as meta-search cost compare channels. It also compare these new meta channels with traditional distribution. More Details >>>
Keep tune we will be doing a more on this issue very soon.