Airbnb and Google are the new OTAs and 4 more stories
Google vs. OTAs?
Google has this incredible power of being the starting point of just about every online search. As we know when a single source controls so much we're going to hit a conflict of interest problem sooner or later. The recent evolution from metasearch provider to full booking solution puts them willy-nilly in the OTA space. 11 years ago they did the same to product search, if anything we should learn from history. This very in depth article on a couple that took on Google after Google made them irrelevant is an interesting look and the parallels are uncanny.
The evolution of online ad-costs
It seems the costs to advertise keep increasing, and maybe that's true on a single account basis. But a study from Adstage of the costs per click in 2017 show that in general they vary up and down quite a lot. Adstage has analyses AdWords, Facebook Ads and more. These are sweeping numbers and should be taken with a grain of salt but benchmarking is always interesting.
Pressure selling: right, wrong or just efficient?
Several European governments are looking into the pressure (scarcity) selling on OTAs. It has been happening for a while now and hotels are starting to add it to their booking engines as well. Is it right? Are they pressuring people to take a decision against their well. It is wrong because it is ugly that is not arguable. But it works, too well. This article explains the psychology behind it, it's a great educational piece of how to do it right.
Airbnb as an OTA, it was inevitable
We should welcome a new channel in the OTA space (well, with Google we got 2 new channels). But Airbnb has their work cut out for them. They managed to get the media to compare themselves with Hotel chains (never understood how) but now they're going up against a totally different competitor with totally different set of rules. Still, I think it's a great thing for hotels. And maybe this can help remove some of the litigation issues and focus on growing travel.
A bit of education on AI
True, AI is a buzzword, but the fact remains that it is slowly going to be everywhere. I don't think there will be one big over-night shift, but slowly systems will get deeper and deeper artificial intelligence built in. And before we know it, everything will have a level of AI to help or coax us into buying or doing things. This article isn't focused on the hotel industry but it explains the current (rather basic) state of AI and how it will grow. If you're one for understanding trends, it is recommended.