Hotel Revenue management 101

Beyond OTA’s: The advantages of an independent hotel website

While Online Travel Agencies (OTAs) have been a go-to solution for many hotels, there are many advantages to having a hotel own website. In this blog, we’ll look at the limitation OTA agents have and why you cannot overlook the importance of direct marketing and sales through your own website.

Today, many hotels tend to place too much reliance on their OTA partners to send them bookings. In many ways it’s easier to advertise your hotel on an OTA website. OTA’s have the resources to guarantee placement with search engines. Search engines in turn filter qualified travellers to their platform looking for hotels and accommodation of choice.

When it comes to marketing your hotel directly to travellers, it takes skill. Direct website marketing also requires a little understanding about how the internet works. Having a website for the sake of being on the internet can defeat the purpose of good direct marketing and sales.

At the very least, a website needs good navigation, it needs to be functional on both PC’s and Mobile devices. The menus need to be easy to navigate and you should have good product information like Photos and layout plans. Even colour co-ordination and themes need to blend nicely together to make it attractive on the eye and keep visitors on site. Most importantly, the website needs to be search engine optimizated.

All this needs careful planning and foresight even before marketing your website directly to Traveller.


  1. High Commission Fees: OTAs often charge commission fees ranging between 15% and 25% of any reservation made through their platform. These fees can erode your profit margins and pose challenges to long-term profitability.

  2. Rate Parity Issues: Maintaining rate parity across multiple OTAs and controlling prices to ensure rooms are sold at the correct rate can be troublesome. Any discrepancies can lead to frustrated guests and potential penalties.

  3. Limited Upselling Opportunities: Many OTAs lack the flexibility to create package deals, limiting your ability to offer upsell options, such as spa packages or additional services, directly to guests during the booking process, potentially missing out on additional revenue.

  4. Loss of Control Over Inventory: Relying solely on OTAs means you have less control over your inventory. In some cases, hotels may face difficulties in managing their inventory effectively, leading to issues like overbooking or underutilised rooms.


  1. Direct Bookings: Your hotel website is your digital storefront that allows guests to easily check for room availability, rates, and book directly with you. This not only reduces commission costs but also fosters a direct relationship with your guests.

  2. Branding Control: Your website is where you can showcase your unique brand identity. When you have a website that shows off your values and your services, it allows you to tell your hotel's story, highlight your strengths, and differentiate yourself from the competition.

  3. Increased Credibility: Many travellers conduct thorough research before making reservations. A well-designed website effectively conveys professionalism and credibility, building trust among potential guests and increasing the likelihood of them choosing your hotel over others.

  4. Ability to Create Unique Offers and Promotions: With your own website, you can create unique offers that are tailored to your potential guests, setting you apart from competitors. You can also create promotions that highlight your other services like dining discounts, spa packages, or excursions.

  5. Customer Data Management: Another benefit of having your own website is that you can keep a registrar of all customer inquiries and their contact information for future PR and email marketing campaigns.

  6. News and Event Updates: Your hotel website can be used for uploading news about your hotel and any special events or promotions that may appeal to returning guests or loyal customers.

Direct Marketing Tips - Beyond Your Website

  1. Create Engaging Content: Populate your website with engaging content and high-quality images that showcase your hotel's unique features and atmosphere.

  2. Integrate Booking Engine Services to the website: Websites are static electronic brochures. Only when you integrate a booking engine into the website can you capture direct booking opportunities. Making it easy for guests to inquire about room availability and hotel rates without human intervention 24/7 helps ensure better sales conversions from your website and other direct sales channels.

  3. Use a Channel Manager to Manage Your direct and agent inventory: Manage and distribute room inventory across multiple channels at the same time (direct booking engine and 3rd party agents) on one platform at the same time with the help of Channel Manager.

  4. Set Up a Payment Gateway: Hotels that can easily process a multitude of payment transactions from different sources will undoubtedly give themselves a competitive advantage by making the sales conversion process easier. Hoteliers should consider the CM Pay option for their hotel, which is available from the Hotel Channel Manager. CM Pay is a payment gateway synchronised with Opn Payments for fast and easy processing of point-of-sale transactions.

  5. Subscribe to an All-in-One Productivity Solution: For more advanced hoteliers, consider an "all-in-one" solution. This is especially beneficial if your hotel needs elements of Digital Website Marketing (Website), Direct Sales (Booking Engine), and Productivity Management (Channel Manager and/or PMS). Taken together, the package is designed to provide better functionality through integration across different platforms and an economy of scale from cost savings. An example of an all-in-one package includes Website, Booking Engine, and Property Management System.

  6. Implement Security Measures: Prioritise security by implementing SSL certificates and other protective features to reassure guests that their online transactions are safe and secure.


The advantages of having an independent hotel website is obvious. But don’t be fooled into thinking that the website is all you need. Its just one component in the larger scheme of things. The website by itself cannot capture booking opportunities without a booking engine or convert the customer to sales without a payment gateway. Moreover, in today’s competitive market many hotels work by selling their room inventory through different channels and work with various agents and wholesalers. This alone presents its own set of challenges.

Successful marketing and sales for hotels who want to enhance bookings from their direct channel, will need to rely on the collaborative approach using various productivity tools – like Booking Engine, Payment Gateway, Channel Manager and Property Management System. That's where Hoteliers.Guru comes in, offering a comprehensive suite of cloud-based services designed to empower hotels in today's competitive hospitality industry to not only save cost but to enhance staff productivity.

By embracing these integrated solutions from Hoteliers.Guru, hotels can optimise their digital presence, streamline operations, and effectively manage bookings. This holistic approach leads to greater success and competitiveness in the dynamic world of hospitality.