Hotels in the Asia and Pacific region must not let online travel agents (OTAs) undercut them if they want to grow their direct bookings, says Triptease.
The direct booking platform has published a report looking at the direct booking movement in the region, in which Phocuswright research claims 70% of bookings are made through OTAs.
In the report, Triptease aims to give its best tips for increasing direct bookings and how hoteliers can “turbo-charge” performance on mobile.
On OTA undercutting, the report says: “Staying in parity with OTAs is essential for hotels that want to grow their direct bookings. If Agoda or Traveloka is selling your rooms for less than you are, it not only chips away at customers’ trust in your brand, it reinforces the myth that OTAs are always cheaper. It’s no easy task, but keeping OTAs in check when it comes to pricing will lead to long term beneﬁts.”
Triptease analysed more than 7.7 million searches for rooms via its hotel clients’ websites in countries across the APAC region. It showed that OTAs were undercutting hotels by an average of 30% in Vietnam, 29.8% in China and 23.4% in Malaysia.
In Australia and New Zealand, OTAs undercut hotels at 12.4% and 12.6% on average, while in Thailand the rates seen on OTAs are on average 17.7% cheaper.
The average undercut across the whole APAC region is 11.4%, which equates to $12.06.
The report went on: “Asia-Paciﬁc is the largest regional travel market in the world. It is unique, fast-changing and fertile ground for ambitious hoteliers. It also happens to be top priority for online travel agencies like Booking.com and Expedia.
“The direct booking movement has a long way to go in Asia-Paciﬁc. OTAs are expanding cleverly and making hotels work for their bookings. But in APAC particularly, there is a lot for hotels to be positive about: opportunities to seize upon, fresh audiences to win and, ultimately, serious growth potential.
“To make that growth as proﬁtable as possible, direct bookings have to be a major part of their strategies. We’ve seen elsewhere that the more hotels get behind direct bookings, the wider the beneﬁts spread.”