Hotels are shunning social media and turning away from online travel agents to focus on direct bookings.
This was the conclusion of research by Swiss hotel management school, Ecole Hoteliere de Lausanne, and RateTiger.
The six-month study of 72 hotels in France, Germany, Spain, UK and the US found hotels resent paying high commission to online travel agents.
Instead, they are concentrating on building more corporate contracts that "deliver more predictable business", and are diversifying their online distribution mix to generate additional revenue opportunities.
The research says hotels are still unconvinced about the impact of Facebook, Twitter, TripAdvisor and YouTube on bookings.
One in three of the hotels have no social digital media strategy, and only one in eight use any form of social media as a marketing tool.
"We have found that hotels work with more travel agents and consortia contracts for the corporate segment, apply best available rate to walk-ins, and develop special offers for returning customers, including the introduction of loyalty programmes," said Horatiu Tudori, senior lecturer revenue management, Ecole Hoteliere de Lausanne.
"This is an interesting turn-around from the unbalanced and heavily online-focused sales strategies of the past few years, which are not bringing the yields independent hotels so much need right now. We also found that hotels just don't see the true revenue value in social networks, opting for more traditional methods to engage customers."
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Friday, August 10, 2012