Metasearch Engine: A simple method to increase your hotel’s direct sale!

Lots have changed in the world of tourism & hospitality.

The rise of online booking is one among them.

Guests today are very comfortable in booking their hotel rooms via distribution channels. A recent survey states that 76% of online bookings happen through OTAs. (Source: Pebble Design)

Though it helps hoteliers to invite new guests by maximizing visibility, it is also a huge setback for them.

The commission hotels need to pay for these OTAs accounts for up to 30% of bookings. Not only this, but hoteliers are also encountering rate parity issues.

Such wars between hotels and OTAs exist for years.

However, the introduction of metasearch engine has changed the game. The battle has not come to an end, but it now takes place on the metasearch engine platform.

Metasearch Engine

Metasearch Engine is a price comparison tool that pulls information like room rates & availabilities from all the OTAs and other booking channels and puts it together which helps guests to compare and find hotel rooms at the best price.

Meta search engine receives almost 45% of unique visitors.  

Since it is a big number, it indicates the significance of monetizing this traffic to increase your hotel bookings. More than this, some of the metasearch engines also provide instant booking option.

Some of the popular metasearch engines are Google Hotel Ads, TripAdvisor, Trivago, Kayak and a very few.

Travelers worldwide are using metasearch engines to find the hotel room at the best price.

China (54%) holds the first place in using the metasearch engines, then comes Germany (42%), France (38%), US (36%), and the UK (35%). (Source: L2, Inc.)

As a hotel owner, using metasearch engines, you can advertise your hotel and drive direct sales with less investment.

Metasearch engine gives hoteliers a great option of providing their hotel website link directly from this platform which increases the probability of receiving direct bookings.

Hotels need to run ads campaigns based on cost per click (CPC). Metasearch engine also makes it easier for hotels to change room rates and availabilities right away.   

It can also allow hoteliers to showcase their reviews which gives more credibility to the hotel property and increases trust among guests.

In addition, hotels can provide as much as information like hotel address, a fine description of the hotel rooms, and reviews in this single platform. Thus it makes your guest booking process easy and informed.

Does Metasearch engine really provide value to your hotel?

The answer is certainly ‘yes.’ A metasearch engine is a great tool for hoteliers that helps them to fight against OTAs.

The promise of OTAs is to increase visibility and thereby increase your bookings.

Metasearch engine gives the same, but without spending a significant amount.  You can run campaigns which is less costly than paying commission to OTAs.

Why should hotels invest in metasearch engines?

Firstly, it increases your hotel visibility which ultimately increases your direct revenue.

Secondly, hotels should no longer depend on OTAs to attract new guests. The role of OTAs cannot be irreplaceable. However, the dependency on OTAs will be reduced. Hotels with metasearch engines can attract new bookings globally.

Thirdly, OTAs never give the guest details to the hotels. Hotels need to garner the details of the guest only after their visit.

In contrast, OTAs should use the guest details to run more personalized campaigns and other promotions. By refusing to give those details, OTAs are making hotels incapable of building a better relationship with their guests.

But with metasearch engine, hotels can get access to the guest details if the guest booked directly. It helps hotels to communicate well with their guests and provide value from the very first moment of booking.   

Fourthly, and last, OTAs have already started integrating with this platform. Therefore, it is wise to implement this strategy right now!

How to implement a metasearch engine for your hotel?

Hotels can implement this strategy on their own, or they can outsource it. Outsourcing can be a bit costlier than doing it by yourself. Most of the hotels lack this skillset. However, learning this can be quite simple with lots of materials available over the internet. (Here’s the link to get started with Google Hotel Ads)

Remember, whenever you implement a new strategy, first you need to analyze your business context.

Things to do while implementing the metasearch engine for your hotel

  1. Identify your customer base
  2. Identify the ideal platform that helps you reach your guests.
  3. Don’t bid for too high or too low. If you consider bidding too high, remember your customer acquisition cost will also increase. If you bid too low, your hotel won’t show at all.
  4. Offer the best competitive price for your hotel.

The importance of having an online booking system

All travel related searches today begin on Google.

Interestingly enough, 52% of travel planners visit the hotel website after seeing the hotel listed on an OTA. (Source: IBC)

It creates a great opportunity for hotels to convert more guests.

Whether a guest visits your site from metasearch engine or OTAs, having an online booking system will help you increase bookings.  

Therefore, having an online booking system is inevitable for you!

The future of Metasearch engine

Till today, most of the metasearch engines are promising their guests to find the best price for the property they have chosen.

Metasearch engine should focus on helping guests to find the best hotel with the best price rather than focusing only on the best price. Focusing on providing the best hotel will make metasearch engine thrive in this world.