Booking Flights and Hotels: Online Agents or Direct? – NYTimes.com.
Its an age old battle; Direct Booking VS Agents. Now it seems Agents, especially Online Travel Agent like Expedia, Booking.com and others, are loosing out to airlines as travelers often find better deals, upgrades and extras on the airline sites.
So the forcast by some is that is the way of the future for hotels also. For hotels we know that travelers like to contact their hosts and will often check with OTAs then go direct to the hotel. Expedia had estimated that for every booking one would go direct to the hotel. Of course the hotel pricing must be as good. Often hotel managers will upgrade and offer direct guests some special attention.
Its a rocky road to the future as it has been in the past. For the last couple of years Google pulled the rug from under local hotel in favour of the big and authoritative OTA. The first pages of G search results is littered with online travel agents. mall hotels just could not get on against the heavy competition and massive authority sites of the middlemen. (see video on search as media https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-3h5u8sdwPo)
Sadly gone is the map area targeting. This was a nice feature but not one that was widely popular.
The big problem for hotel on hotel finder is their is just no room for everyone. So only a selct few are going to get choise by brother G. There are several thinks a hotel can do to get position on this important spot. That will be something we cover in another blog!