A review of the most read articles in hotelmarketing.com is always an interesting exercise in looking at trends. After all people read what they’re interested in and headlines/titles are the catch phrase that grab one’s interest. Even if an article talks about something entirely different. It’s the headline that tells you what made them click.
In 2011 I published a recap of hotelmarketing.com’s most popular articles, and the summary is quite similar.
Here’s my “analysis” of what’s happening in the hotel marketing space based on the hot topics:
1. Still the most interesting topic for any hotel marketer today is how to shift more bookings from OTAs to direct. While I understand that many hotels have concerns about this, it is odd to see that so many years down the line, it’s still the number one concern. As a note, OTAs are obviously seeing this and starting to invest in different channels such as buying meta-search but they aren’t about to disappear any time soon (and we wouldn’t want them to).
2. Even though hoteliers think they want to reduce their OTA dependency, what happens in the OTA world is on the top of their list. It’s interesting how many articles about Travelocity, Expedia and Booking.com are on the top of the list. Some even have almost the same title and manage to sit beside each other. The truth is OTAs rule in the hotel booking space and hoteliers want to be in the know.
3. If anything, 2013 is the year rate-parity took a hit. And correctly so. While rate-parity, OTA dependency and OTA success are all closely related, it’s interesting to see how many people want to change something there. Rate-parity is a bit like a drug, we know it’s not helping and yet we can’t get off it.
4. Trends, trends, trends. Hoteliers, like most professions, are interested in what’s next. Lots of articles of the future trends that are shaping the business in the top and it’s a good thing. It’s a good thing that hoteliers and marketers are looking outside to test new waters. Two years ago we had Groupon in the headlines but they’re nowhere to be seen this year. Two new names that appear this year are Pinterest and Airbnb. A new subject that is taking importance is meta-search and that’s definitely a space to watch.
The hottest topic is and remains OTAs and direct bookings. Which doesn’t change much year over year. OTAs are the makers and breakers of the industry and direct bookings are the high profit channel, so balancing the two will remain a hot topic for a while. What is coming in 2014? In my opinion what is becoming the biggest “disruptor” of the industry is meta-search and meta-search has a long way to go to become a real product because let’s face it, today OTAs are the best meta-search solution, the idea of having 5 or even 15 prices for a single hotel is just confusing to the end user, especially when most of these rates are the same.
MOST POPULAR ARTICLES IN HOTEL MARKETING FOR 2013
How hotel marketers can shift bookings from OTAs to the hotel websiteDeloitte on hospitality industry trends 2013Travel agencies versus the internet: Global booking trends
10 hospitality technology trends you need to know about
Is Booking.com thrashing Expedia in Europe?
Expedia stock tumbles 25 percent, a bad sign for online travel
How Booking.com beats Expedia in Europe
Travelocity to outsource core of its business to Expedia
Top 10 online hotel marketing resolutions for 2013
As rate-parity comes under fire, hotel marketers should prepare for plan B
Six strategies for more direct online hotel bookings
The Expedia/Travelocity deal and its implications for hotel suppliers
The 2013 traveler, according to Google
TripAdvisor rolls out TripConnect
Hotels using ‘fenced’ deals to compete with OTAs
How does TripAdvisor rankings translate into room nights?
Accor invests to limit influence of OTAs
Hotels cancel their old cancellation policies
UK based OTAs take rate parity hit
How hotel images impact OTA bookings and revenue
Online Travel Agencies: the empire strikes back?
Hotel revenue management: A necessary evil, but not sufficient for delivering profitably
Ritz Carlton’s view on luxury hotel marketing and technology
Airbnb looks to disrupt travel industry
Ernst & Young on new ways of reaching hotel guests
French hotels take on hotel booking websites
Customer loyalty in the hotel industry, traveler survey findings
Top five Google Hotel Finder ranking factors
Six strategies for more direct online hotel bookings
Reviews now a major component of Google’s search results for hotels
The trends set to shape next ten years of travel
Mobile poised to become the dominant channel for booking hotels
Preparing for Google Penguin 2.0: How to protect your hotel website
Booking.com’s mobile bookings triple
Boutique hotels: Five tips to beat the big brands
Meet the new American traveler
10 key trends currently driving online travel
Europe: Expedia market share flatens, as Booking.com grows every month
Marriott to target younger travelers with major rebranding
Days of rapid growth for OTAs are gone
Three timely hotel marketing trends according to Google
TripAdvisor 2.0? Ten travel websites to watch
How to incentivize your employees for direct hotel bookings
New wave of travel apps challenging leading OTAs
OTAs continue to gain market share in online hotel bookings
Hotel rate parity: Should it stay or should it go?
Google experiencing major decline in travel ad spend
How Expedia wants to become the LinkedIn of online travel
Pinterest finally moves into travel with Place Pins
TripAdvisor introduces new property dashboard
The hotel marketers guide to 2014 digital marketing budget planning
Hotels must fix rate parity as survey shows guests save 15% through OTAs
For more direct hotel bookings, connect the dots in Google land
Hotels are getting a new competitor on Booking.com
How TripAdvisor wants to own the travel cycle
Hotel brands target a new luxury traveler
Expedia’s advertising challenge
GDS more popular with travel agents than ever
Benefits of Expedia Hotel Collect program to outweight additional cost
Do hotel marketers understand the true cost of online guest acquisition?