To TripConnect or not to TripConnect, that is the question...
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TripAdvisor is becoming a huge showcase and OTAs (Booking.com especially) are taking part in Instant Booking, so not connecting your website to it could marginalise your business.
With a cost-per-acquisition model, you will not run the risk of costs soaring, as can happen in cost-per-click investments, especially in hotels with lower-mid costs and short-mid stays.
It does not demand a lot of control and monitoring.
Due to the guaranteed cost effectiveness highlighted above, you will not have to monitor it regularly, which results in not having to waste time.
Similarly, the hotel does not need to manage it as a new channel because it uses the existing rates.
If you do not put your “direct sale” onto Instant Booking, an OTA such as Booking.com will do it instead.
Simple as that.
By taking part, you make certain users book through Instant Booking rather than through other existing options, and some potential cannibalisation scenarios will arise which need to be considered.
Instant Booking instead of Business Listings:
A negative effect for you, however. You will have the fixed investment on Business Listings and now you will also have the Instant Booking cost. Will TripAdvisor lower the cost of its Business Listing now that it offers another way hotel direct channel?
Instant booking instead of TripConnect:
The effect will be:
▪ Positive if TripConnect was costing you (on percentage) more than Instant Booking would cost now.
▪ Negative otherwise.
Instant Booking instead of OTA:
Positive effect and likely it will happen. It is the great advantage of Instant Booking: you will reduce distributions costs, since you will go from OTA sales (20% average commission) to 12% or 15% plus the cost of your direct sale. You can save between 1% and 6% on each booking.
Your total sales will not necessarily increase with Instant Booking rather than OTAs, but rather you will be able to distribute them through more cost effective channels – that’s the positive cannibalisation from OTAs to Instant Booking.
Instant Booking instead of direct bookings:
Negative effect, although highly unlikely. Certain users used TripAdvisor as a search tool but would end up booking on the hotel website or another OTA.
Compatible with TripConnect.
TripAdvisor is the biggest showcase in the world and each square inch gained on its green is pure gold. The cost for you will be one or the other (not both) depending on the user’s choice.
Also, remember that Instant Booking guarantees up to 50% of appearances.
You must protect the other 50%.
Instant Booking is the latest of many changes in of online hotel distribution.
As a hotel, you have two options: do nothing and leave OTAs such as Booking.com to make the most of the opportunity for itself, or fully embrace Instant Booking yourself and compete with the OTAs face to face.