A report released by MasterCard recently showed that Asia accounted half of the world’s top ten most popular tourist destinations. Tourist spending increased in Asia is also due to the rise of the development of large shopping centers as well as some niche tourism market – such as Malaysia’s health travel and halal food tour.
With the increase of air routes to make travel more cost-effective, the growing number of tourists has given a positive impact on hospitality industry and some countries like Malaysia and Thailand have achieved double-digit growth in terms of tourist receipt. Asian countries like Thailand and Indonesia have been badly hit by terrorist attacks, political crisis but the fast recovery of their tourism has shown that the desire of the new generation of tourists to travel at Asia cannot be contained.
The Hotel Industry’s Challenges
In this recent years, there have been an upward trend in various KPIs of the hotel industry across Asia but the over-reliance on the OTA has triggered a firestorm of backlash from hoteliers. High commissions paid to the OTA makes hotel profits severely affected and therefore, the hoteliers need to think of ways to redirect the bookings back to their direct online sales channel.
In this battle with the OTAs, the hotel must understand the market situation. Why the OTAs can be so popular?
One simple reason is: OTAs allow customers book in accordance with the price range, location, customer reviews and other factors; OTAs put in a lot of marketing efforts to get coverage of their products in order to attract tourists. So, how should the hoteliers be using the social media and other innovative technologies to encourage more customers for direct booking? That’s the future of hotel bookings and that’s what they need to do.
Hotel should look for an online reservation system or direct booking engine that canhelp them perform better by enabling more and faster direct bookings and reduce the dependencies on OTAs. With the system and support, they will never on their own. They need a team of locally-grown, internationally exposed & trained marketers with vast experience in business intelligence & digital marketing to assist them in cost savings, business development & technological advancement.
With that kind of support and system in place, the hotel will save more time & effort and they will be able to lower their guest acquisition costs.