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Metasearch for Hoteliers: The Basics

Welcome to the first article in our series "Metasearch for hoteliers“To teach you what metasearch is and why it is so important in today's competitive hospitality industry.

We live in the digital age. Today's travelers are also digital, so they look for and book their accommodations online. Accenture noted in its report 5 Big Ideas to Master Digital in Hospitality realizes that digital technologies keep increasing the expectations of the guests. Today's digital world has never existed in this form and it is constantly evolving, so that only the most accomplished players can keep up and win the favor of the guest. A meaningful and appealing online presence is therefore of crucial importance for hoteliers and rental companies.

In addition to targeting travelers, you also need to generate hotel bookings. And by hotel bookings we mean direct bookings, of course. The metasearch can help here. Metasearch engines are growing tremendously and have become an important factor in the hotel and hospitality industry. They are now one of the most important advertising instruments and increasingly contribute to direct bookings.

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In the study Independent Lodging Properties and the Online MarketplacePhocuswright examined the marketing, sales, and technology strategies of independent properties and found that most of their business development nowadays is achieved through online channels. The metasearch turned out to be an effective sales channel that directly generated a significant proportion of bookings in a cost-efficient manner. According to the study, almost two thirds of the independent accommodations now receive direct bookings via meta searches and almost 90 percent state that they either want to maintain or increase their use in the future in order to increase their visibility and booking numbers.

If you are still undecided whether you want to advertise your hotel using a meta search in order to generate more direct bookings, we will be happy to help you and explain all aspects of the meta search to you - from the basics to practical implementation.

What exactly is a hotel metasearch?

A hotel metasearch is a price comparison site for hotels and other types of accommodation. It compiles rates and information from various travel websites, thereby offering users the greatest possible bandwidth and the best available prices. In this way, travelers can easily find the best offers for accommodation that is well located, that offers the desired facilities and that is optimally suited to the travel period and price. When a traveler is interested in accommodation and clicks on it, they will be directed to an online travel agent or hotel website where they can complete the booking.

This infographic shows how a Metasearch engine works as a sales channel:

That's why the metasearch is important: direct bookings and more

As mentioned earlier, metasearch engines have given guests more control than ever before. More and more people are relying on metasearch to find and compare hotels - a paradigm shift across the hospitality industry, even before the actual booking process begins. As a hotelier, you can hardly avoid metasearch.

A metasearch engine is primarily considered to be Marketing platform - a portal in which different booking channels can advertise themselves. Metasearch enables you to have a level playing field and visibility, not only vis-à-vis other competitors, but also vis-à-vis all online travel agencies (OTAs) and other major tour operators. From this it can be deduced that the metasearch can give you, as a hotel manager, more self-confidence in the competitive online industry.

Another and very important advantage of metasearch is that it can also be used as a distribution channel acts that can generate a considerable proportion of direct bookings for hoteliers without a large financial investment. The metasearch can also help to keep control of the distribution costs. With real-time inventory and dynamic pricing, you can coordinate various campaigns across your entire value chain. You also have the opportunity to benefit from various sales channels, for example by having some bookings processed through OTAs and some as direct bookings. So you can act very flexibly - just as your business strategy and business goals require.

It is interesting to see that the metasearch is already helping hotel managers to optimize their marketing and sales strategies. According to the Phocuswright study Independent Lodging Properties and the Online Marketplace Metasearch has established itself as an important digital channel for independent hotels, which is used to advertise and generate direct bookings. A large proportion of the total online room turnover (13 percent in the USA and 12 percent in Europe) is attributable to metasearch. 60 percent of the hoteliers surveyed named metasearch as a very effective or the most effective marketing channel, and 42 percent said they would use it more for sales in the future.

So it's no wonder that most successful hotels and accommodations rely on metasearch entries for organic / paid search listings.

Would you also like to try out metasearch as a sales channel? Then read the next article in our series: Metasearch for hoteliers: ideal for generating direct bookings

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Photo: Mimi Thian on Unsplash

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