When your guests look for hotels to book, they are given numerous options to choose from. With all of these options, it can be difficult for your hotel to stand out. One way you can make your hotel more visible is by using third-party reservations. But what are these third-party sites, and are they truly beneficial to your hotel? In this article, we will explore what third-party hotel reservations are and the pros and cons of using them for your business.
What Are Third Party Hotel Booking Sites?
Third-party hotel booking sites are websites that allow guests to compare rates and book rooms at hotels. These sites are a popular option for travelers because they provide an easy way to compare rates and find the best deals. Some of the most popular third-party hotel booking sites include Expedia, Travelocity, and Orbitz.
When a guest books a room through one of these third-party sites, the site will charge the hotel a commission. The amount of this commission varies depending on the site, but it is typically around 15%. Furthermore, many of these sites list rooms at a cheaper price than what the hotel normally offers. This is because third-party sites often offer discounts and promotions that hotels do not offer on their own websites, which makes the rooms more appealing to guests.
Benefits Of Using Third-Party Sites For Reservations
There are many benefits of using third-party sites for reservations.
Increased Traffic To Your Website
One of the most significant benefits is that it can increase traffic to your website. When guests book rooms through third-party sites, they are typically redirected to your hotel’s website to complete the reservation. This gives guests a chance to see what your hotel has to offer and learn more about your property.
If you have a well-designed website with compelling content, this can be a great way to increase bookings and get more guests interested in your hotel.
More Opportunities For Guests To Find Your Hotel
Another benefit of using third-party sites is that it gives guests more opportunities to find your hotel. When guests are searching for hotels, they will typically only see a few results on the first page of their search. However, if your hotel is listed on multiple third-party sites, it is more likely to show up in the search results. This gives guests more chances to find your hotel and book a room.
Some third-party sites also offer additional marketing opportunities that can help increase visibility for your hotel. For example, many third-party sites allow hotels to list special offers and deals. This can be a great way to attract guests who are looking for a good deal on their hotel room.
In addition, some third-party sites also offer paid advertising opportunities. This allows you to specifically target potential guests with your ads and ensure that they see your hotel when they are searching for accommodation.
Rooms Sell That Weren’t Selling On Their Own
Another advantage of third-party sites is that they can help you sell rooms that weren’t selling on their own. For example, if you have a room that has been empty for a while, you can list it at a discounted rate on a third-party site. This can help you fill the room and generate some revenue from it rather than leaving it empty.
Similarly, third-party sites can also be a great way to sell last-minute rooms. If you have a room that is about to become vacant, you can list it on a third-party site at a discounted rate. This can help you fill the room and avoid having it go empty.
Increased Revenue During Slow Periods
Finally, third-party sites can also help you generate revenue during slow periods. For example, if business is slow during the week, you can list rooms at a discounted rate on third-party sites to attract guests. This can help you fill your hotel and make some extra revenue during typically slow times. Hotels also utilize these sites the most during seasons that are not as busy to help generate revenue and keep rooms booked.
Disadvantages Of Using Third Party Sites For Reservations
However, there are also some disadvantages of using third-party sites for reservations.
One of the biggest disadvantages is that third-party sites typically charge a commission when a guest books a room on their platform. As mentioned previously, the commission rate is typically around 15%. This means that for every room booked through a third-party site, the hotel will have to pay an additional 15% on top of the room rate.
While this may not seem like a lot, it can add up quickly. If you are a small hotel with only a few rooms, the commission fees can eat into your profits. However, if you are a larger hotel with hundreds of rooms, the commission fees may not have as big of an impact.
Rooms Are Sold At A Cheaper Price
Another disadvantage is that third-party sites typically sell rooms at a cheaper price than the hotel’s website. This is because third-party sites are able to negotiate better rates with hotels. As a result, guests may be able to find cheaper rates for your hotel on third-party sites than they would be able to find on your own website.
Risk Of Overbooking
There is also a risk of overbooking when using third-party sites. This happens when a hotel accepts too many reservations and does not have enough rooms to accommodate all of the guests. While this can happen when booking directly with a hotel, it is more likely to happen when using a third-party site.
Issues With Customer Service And Cancellation Policies
Finally, there may also be issues with customer service and cancellation policies when using third-party sites. For example, if a guest has an issue with their room, they will likely contact the third-party site rather than the hotel. This can be frustrating for both the hotel and the guest, as it can be difficult to resolve the issue.
On the other hand, if the customer has an issue with the cancellation policy or third-party service, they may blame the hotel directly for the issue. This can cause negative publicity for the hotel.
Should You Utilize Third Party Booking Sites?
Now that you understand the pros and cons of third-party hotel booking sites, you may be wondering if you should use them for your hotel.
As with anything, there are both advantages and disadvantages to using third-party sites. The best way to decide if third-party sites are right for your hotel is to weigh the pros and cons and decide what is best for your business.
If you do decide to use third-party sites, be sure to choose a reputable site with a good reputation. This will help ensure that you get quality guests and that your hotel’s reputation is not harmed by any negative feedback.
Hopefully, this article has helped you understand third-party hotel booking sites and whether or not they are right for your hotel.