Motel Mingle Forums Online Bookings What Online booking sites are you using?

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  • #2006

    CVM

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      I am currently only using my own motel website for online bookings through RMS and wondering if it is worth registering with the Wotifs,booking.com etc. What booking sites are you using and are you happy with them?

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      • #4174

        Angimon

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        • Topics Started 14
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          Hi Busybees
          I’m not necessarily the best at keeping our figures on where our business originates – when I took the business listing with TA I went in all guns blazing to get stats, however this hasn’t continued. In saying that, TA send a monthly report, and as per Portland Cabbage’s comment, we have a tracked phone number so you can see how many people rang that number. In July I received 34 calls (I’m not sure of the conversion rate to actual bookings), and 56 clicks. My understanding is the clicks is the number of times people clicked on our website address via TA – once again, unsure of conversion, but you’ve gotta be in it to win it! :)
          Hope this helps.

        • #4166

          howie

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          • Topics Started 3
          • Replies 71

            Hi busybees I would be interested in the webinar and contact details you mentioned , we are using update 247 and have found it pretty good so far, we also list with most of the major sites just for exposure as they only make up about 9% of our guests , therefore i just put our own reduced prices on our own website and if they don’t like it tough , I notice the other 2 motels in town do the same , having said that we are only a small regional town in Victoria. If they did enforce the parity clause on us we will just say thanks but no thanks, as when someone googles accommodation in our area all 3 motels come up first page even if you can’t spell properly! I understand not all businesses will have that luxury , but i don`t believe we will lose all 9% off business and the extra that we keep from no commissions will most likely offset the loss
            We where with Arra when we took over( budget) but we just couldn’t see the value in it , we got a breakdown of bookings from them and it worked out at about $2,000.00 /year but was costing $6,000.00 a year so we dropped out made our own website and picked up $20.000.00 worth of bookings in the first year with a very basic website (website cost $1,600.00.
            I now see Arra are trying to force people into other add ons which all cost. Really we only were getting people that wanted the cheapest room but expected everything for nothing , just the wrong type of customer. The Budget brand is seen as old and cheap and that’s probably the guests that you will attract

          • #4149

            BusybeesBusybees

            Participant
            • Topics Started 22
            • Replies 232

              Hi Portland Cabbage,
              There seems to be a lot of talk about the price parity and mentioning ACCC, where people have said the OTAs backed off.

              There is a webinair, that I have just received but haven’t had the chance to watch yet…

              Just in case you missed the webinar I held the other week, I thought I would send you a link to be able to view it anytime.

              The webinar was about ‘How to Instantly Regain Market Share and Direct Bookings from OTAs’. Click here to view the webinar.

              With the relationship between Online Travel Agencies (OTAs) and hotels resembling an abusive one with OTAs calling the shots, taking the rewards and leaving hoteliers shaking, most hoteliers are too afraid to fight back.

              In the webinar I will show you that you no longer have to accept what the giant OTAs dictate. I will show you what you need to assert yourself against the OTAs and win more client via direct channels, in particular your website.

              Things I will cover in the website include:
              • How to instantly regain market share from OTAs and increase direct bookings
              • How to overcome rate parity agreement issues when charging less
              • The right way to combat OTAs multi-million dollar advertising campaigns that steal your direct bookings
              • Discover how to deal with “brand hijacking” on Google
              • The perfect harmony between OTAs and direct bookings… one does exist!
              Let me know if you have any questions after viewing the webinar including knowing more about our ‘Direct Booking Booster’ program.

              If you want I can email the web address for the host and you can contact him to view it.

              • #4182

                PortlandcabbagePortlandcabbage

                Participant
                • Topics Started 2
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                  Hi Busybees
                  I just watched the webinar and it was very good. I agree with everything that is being said, motels need to take back bookings direct. It was fine when online bookings commission was a reasonable set price but OTA’s have now gotten too greedy.

              • #4145

                PortlandcabbagePortlandcabbage

                Participant
                • Topics Started 2
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                  Hi Busybees

                  Glad I could assist.
                  I would like to be with Expedia and Wotif but then I can’t set lower rates on the internet through my TA business listing. If they allowed this then I would rejoin them 🙁

                • #4137

                  BusybeesBusybees

                  Participant
                  • Topics Started 22
                  • Replies 232

                    Yep thanks heaps Portland Cabbage,
                    It certainly does!! I think I will be contacting them tomorrow and find out what it will cost me per month.
                    We didn’t initially hook up with Expedia but…..the Arra group of which we are a part:
                    A) will charge us more in our subs if we are NOT with Expedia and
                    B) have also made a deal with them.
                    So once again, they are dictating how we run our business, but that is for another forum!!
                    Having said that, we have this month received more bookings through Expedia than booking.no!! So perhaps it was to our benefit that we did rejoin.
                    Thanks again cheers

                  • #4127

                    BusybeesBusybees

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                    • Topics Started 22
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                      Hi Portland Cabbage,
                      Just wondering on the update of TA business listing, In one response (somewhere on here!!) you had just joined and had received 2 bookings in the first week. So is it still going well?
                      This pay per click is still a little confusing, someone said “click is when they click on your rates” {April 30 So, your cost for using trip connect is how many people click through on your rates (pay per click)}. and someone else said it is when they actually click to book that you get charged. {May 5.. if you generate a booking at a click through to your website}

                      So can you please tell me which if either is correct, or what actually is correct?? [hope that makes sense].
                      Angimon,
                      you said the rate had come down considerably and that you thought it was worth the outlay, is this still your opinion? How many bookings do you get from here?

                      • #4170

                        Angimon

                        Participant
                        • Topics Started 14
                        • Replies 80

                          Hi Busybees
                          I’m not necessarily the best at keeping our figures on where our business originates – when I took the business listing with TA I went in all guns blazing to get stats, however this hasn’t continued. In saying that, TA send a monthly report, and as per Portland Cabbage’s comment, we have a tracked phone number so you can see how many people rang that number. In July I received 34 calls (I’m not sure of the conversion rate to actual bookings), and 342 clicks. My understanding is the clicks is the number of times people clicked on our website address via TA – once again, unsure of conversion, but you’ve gotta be in it to win it! 🙂
                          Hope this helps.

                          • #4178

                            Angimon

                            Participant
                            • Topics Started 14
                            • Replies 80

                              Sorry, a bit misleading there… 56 clicks 🙂 tried to edit and it just reposted… whoops!

                          • #4131

                            PortlandcabbagePortlandcabbage

                            Participant
                            • Topics Started 2
                            • Replies 22

                              Hi Busybees

                              I am doing TA Business Listing which costs me a flat rate of $100 per month. This puts my phone number, Star reviews, Certificates, email address on the TA listing for my motel. It also puts my web address as a link direct to my website which has a price rate/availability page set up. This means that prospective customers can book direct through TA onto my website. The phone number that TA have put on my page is a linked number through TA so we always know how many phone calls are booked direct through TA.
                              It also gives me a pop up box which I can put Special Rates or offers on.
                              I like it, I am getting nearly double the TA enquiries compared to last year. I am also getting a lot of guests who are going to TA then linking directly to my website then calling me direct.
                              I am not using the pay per click only the business listing. Hope this helps. I am also on Booking.com, Jetstar, Agoda, Stay247, the Hotel Network. I am no longer on Wotif. Hope this helps….

                          • #4060

                            BusybeesBusybees

                            Participant
                            • Topics Started 22
                            • Replies 232

                              Hi Ballina Colonial,
                              I have just received an email from hotelandtravelindex.com . It said “Thank you for taking the time to speak with us and for updating your property’s free listing at HotelandTravelindex.com, the leading source of hotel information for travel agents worldwide. I am pleased to advise that the updates have been processed.”
                              I did not speak with them yesterday or any time for that matter!! I thought it a bit weird so I went on line and googled them. I noticed your motel was there, hence this question. Did you sign up with them? Do you pay extra to be a ‘featured listing’? Have you heard from them? OR is this just one more of those , invoice you now and perhaps you will get sucked in?? scenarios?
                              I will wait for your reply AND anyone else who may have information on this company.
                              cheers

                            • #3792

                              PortlandcabbagePortlandcabbage

                              Participant
                              • Topics Started 2
                              • Replies 22

                                Hi, is anyone with HOOROO for bookings online??

                                They are also increasing their commission. Read below an email I received from them:

                                Commission Change
                                Effective 1 July, 2015, Hooroo will increase commissions from 9.1% to 12% (excl of GST). On a GST inclusive basis this reflects an increase from 10% to 13.2%.
                                Hooroo is increasing our base commission to ensure we can continue to invest in the growth of the Hooroo business in the highly competitive OTA market in which we compete.
                                The change is being made in accordance with clause 7.4 of your agreement with us. For further details on the changes to the Supplier Agreement please click here. To browse FAQ’s click here. Please direct any queries to support@hooroo.com or call 1300 558 610.
                                Regards,
                                Team Hooroo

                                • #3795

                                  imageBallina Colonial Motel

                                  Participant
                                  • Topics Started 10
                                  • Replies 87

                                    We are signed up with these guys and although we are the closest motel to the airport, have received just one booking in the last six months. I’m not too worried about the increase, as it pretty much brings them inline with the other OTAs and we price all our OTAs on the basis of a 12/13% commission rate. A quick read of the contract and it is the usual ‘parity rate’ issue.

                                • #3176

                                  BusybeesBusybees

                                  Participant
                                  • Topics Started 22
                                  • Replies 232

                                    Hi there Ballina Colonial,
                                    We are only connected to Booking.com, wotif, booking button and bookeasy. I have often wondered about connecting to the others, hence why i asked the question< “who is connected to what OTAs?”.
                                    Like you, booking.com is definitely dominating the bookings. I have put that down to smart advertising…booking dot com booking dot yeah! I guess while they are not costing you money to stay with them, then no harm done. I wonder if the takeover of wotif by expedia will make any difference? I guess time will tell.

                                  • #3174

                                    imageBallina Colonial Motel

                                    Participant
                                    • Topics Started 10
                                    • Replies 87

                                      As we crawl out from Christmas and the holiday period, licking our wounds and trying to counter those guests that push you to your limits, it is interesting to see just where our online bookings are coming from.

                                      Five years ago Wotif dominated the market, but not anymore. In fact they are now bottom of my league. An analysis shows that Booking.com accounted for 58% of my online bookings, followed by Expedia at 21%, Booking Button at 12% and Wotif at just 9%. How does this compare to yours?

                                      The other point I would make is that my November blog above listed the main nine OTAs I use, yet Agoda, Quickbeds, RoamFree, Jetstar and BookEasy produced not one single booking. So why do I continue with them? Are others finding that the small players are not even worth maintaining?

                                    • #3142

                                      bellavilla166

                                      Participant
                                      • Topics Started 3
                                      • Replies 16

                                        Just back onto booking sites
                                        You have to have a channel manager to update all the sites or you have to update them all manually.
                                        No channel manager = double bookings in peak periods
                                        Channel manager = no double bookings

                                        With a channel manager you can have unlimited booking sites without updating them all manually…but everything comes at a cost.
                                        The channel manager “netroomz” is cost effective for a small medium motel…check it out
                                        Cheers Stan

                                      • #3140

                                        bellavilla166

                                        Participant
                                        • Topics Started 3
                                        • Replies 16

                                          Hello Folks
                                          Booking.com is by far the most popular on line booking provider because of their cancellation policy.
                                          You can set your own cancellation policy on their site….just send them an email with your charges.
                                          We had the following; 10% on booking and the remainder on booking, and a cancellation policy.
                                          This was good in that it validates the card but involves extra paperwork.
                                          We came unstuck when a cust cancelled within the cancellation period and we had to give her the 10% back also.
                                          I had a agree to disagree with booking.com on this and have now revised our policy.
                                          So be careful on your wording.
                                          Also cancellation policies can bite you at peak season…IE people cancelling and you losing bookings because you were full on the screen

                                        • #3139

                                          imageBallina Colonial Motel

                                          Participant
                                          • Topics Started 10
                                          • Replies 87

                                            Kate hi again; must be getting bored! This is a comment I wrote in November 2014 in another section.

                                            ‘I know this is one of our favourite subjects and recently a friend of mine in another motel rang me with a problem.
                                            I have been telling him for years to take payment at booking, but he never has and on numerous occasions has been seen off with no shows and invalid Credit Cards. His latest problem is that he is getting an extraordinary 1 in 5 cancel. I explained that with no monetary commitment from the customer, they will cancel at will, even within your cancellation period. You can’t pay for your plane ticket (often cheaper than the accommodation cost) when you get to check-in, so why do they think they can for a motel?

                                            It got me thinking as to what other local motels were doing, so did a quick analysis. I had a feeling I was one on the strictest and I was right, as I am the only one that makes a notional charge on a cancelation outside of the cancellation period.
                                            Only one other charged 100% at time of booking.

                                            Four charge 100% of 1st night at time of booking.

                                            The other six on arrival.

                                            Three others are on seven days cancellation notice.

                                            One is on three days and four on two days cancellation notice.

                                            The remaining three give just one day.

                                            It was interesting that the three largest motels collected monies on arrival and also had a one day cancellation policy!

                                            Where do you fit? I know that I probably lose a few booking as a result of the policy, but like someone else said; I sleep well at night (and don’t have a night bell!).’

                                            p.s. This policy is consistent across all OTAs in that they/we collect the monies up front as well as the cancellation notice period. I would also comment that it looks like Booking.com are now doing some sort of validation on the Credit Card details provided by customers, as in the last two months we have not had one single ‘decline’ due to lack of funds or invalid details.

                                          • #3111

                                            Kate

                                            Participant
                                            • Topics Started 4
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                                              Thanks Busybees!

                                            • #3110

                                              BusybeesBusybees

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                                              • Topics Started 22
                                              • Replies 232

                                                Hi Kate,
                                                When you sign up to any OTA (online travel agent), you set YOUR cancellation policies. So whatever you feel comfortable with, is what you do, and should be the same across all OTAs.
                                                Our policy is, the guest has up to 24 hours prior to check in to receive a full refund, so if they are checking it Tuesday for a 3 day stay, they have until 2pm on Monday to cancel or alter their booking after that they, they lose their first night’s tariff. If they fail to show they lose the lot. 2 big brand name motels are now putting 24hour cancellation policy in place.
                                                We also take the first night’s tariff to secure the booking. Don’t just “hold” the room, as this gives them no incentive to get back and book it or to cancel it!
                                                You are crazy to be holding 2 rooms for them,that means that you are potentially losing money as no-one else can book that room, then the original only takes one room you have then lost that room and the money!!
                                                I have always argued that EVERY accommodation provider should follow the same policies across the board. the same as us, 24 hour cancellation. That way the guest doesn’t get confused with all different policies.
                                                Good luck!

                                              • #3109

                                                Kate

                                                Participant
                                                • Topics Started 4
                                                • Replies 7

                                                  HI Ballina, Another question from me! The previous owners were on Wotif, and that’s it. I have recently joined Booking.com also, however am a bit unsure about the cancellation policy. With wotif, as people pay up front, I find that they are less likely to change or cancel the booking. With booking.com, just today I have had someone book two rooms as they were unsure which one they would prefer, and they will cancel the other one down the track. Do you find having an iron clad cancellation policy with booking.com is helpful, or puts people off?

                                                • #3061

                                                  imageBallina Colonial Motel

                                                  Participant
                                                  • Topics Started 10
                                                  • Replies 87

                                                    Yesterday I was talking to the CEO of STAR Ratings Australia. They are looking to provide an amalgam of the customer review scores from a number of key OTA’s on their website in the very near future. I think this will also include TripAdvisor’s.

                                                    The one interesting statistic he was able to provide from surveys they had conducted, was that TripAdvisor was anything but the top review source, as I had thought and mentioned above. But, did you know who tops the list?

                                                    Booking.com now have a 50% share of all reviews!

                                                    It begs the question that maybe we should be taking Booking.com and its reviews a little more seriously.

                                                  • #3059

                                                    BusybeesBusybees

                                                    Participant
                                                    • Topics Started 22
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                                                      cheers! Ballina Colonial for the info

                                                    • #3056

                                                      imageBallina Colonial Motel

                                                      Participant
                                                      • Topics Started 10
                                                      • Replies 87

                                                        I had a look into the business listings with TripAdvisor, where by you could pay to include your own ‘booking button’ as one of the preferential sites under your listing. Unfortunately you were not necessarily the ‘preferred’, as you were just in the list and not top of the list. You would then have to offer a better rate than the other OTA’s to get any business.

                                                        There is also a ‘specials/banner’ option at the top of the page, but don’t know much about that and I think in the case of TripAdvisor, people look at the individual accommodation provider rather than ‘top of page’.

                                                        I’m also not convinced that TripAdvisor is so powerful as it once was. With genuine reviews on Wotif and Booking.com etc, I think that is where our customers are headed. Another observation I make is that I get less reviews (often zero) when we are busy and fully booked out over holiday periods. I guess the annual holiday makers have better things to do than write nit-picking reviews!

                                                      • #3055

                                                        imageBallina Colonial Motel

                                                        Participant
                                                        • Topics Started 10
                                                        • Replies 87

                                                          Been trying to get a few days off before the ‘big rush’, so sorry I did not answer earlier. O.K. the nine I use , which are all controlled via SiteMinder (excluding your own ‘booking button) are:

                                                          Agoda – for Asian customers (com rate 12%).
                                                          Book Easy – as this is our VIC’s (com rate 11% – 15%).
                                                          Booking.com – for obvious reasons and a must have (com Rate 12%).
                                                          Expedia – North American visitors + not many operators on it (com rate 10%).
                                                          Jetstar/Hooroo/Qantas – I’m closest motel to our airport (com rate 11%).
                                                          QuickBeds – likely to get zapped as produces very little business (com rate 10%).
                                                          RoamFree – also likely to get zapped as produces very little business (com rate 12%).
                                                          The Hotel Network – gets us lots of Government (RMS) bookings (com rate 10%).
                                                          Wotif – for obvious reasons and a must have (com rate 12%).

                                                          Hope this helps

                                                        • #2971

                                                          BusybeesBusybees

                                                          Participant
                                                          • Topics Started 22
                                                          • Replies 232

                                                            What I would like to know is….
                                                            *Who has a business listing with TripAdvisor?? and if so do you have both mobile and desktop or just one?
                                                            *and have you noticed a difference with your other OTAs.
                                                            *Have they dropped in favour of Trip, therefore saving you commission on the OTAs?? or is there no difference, or that minor its not worth the effort?
                                                            Hoping to hear from a lot of you!!!
                                                            cheers
                                                            Busybees

                                                          • #2970

                                                            BusybeesBusybees

                                                            Participant
                                                            • Topics Started 22
                                                            • Replies 232

                                                              Hi CVM,
                                                              We are currently linked to booking.com, wotif, stay247 ARRA website, and of course our own website. We will now need to connect to expedia I guess due to the take over. I have thought agbout agoda, yahoo and a few others.
                                                              I really don’t like booking.com due to the attitude of the customer service team. We seem to have endless problems with them, hardly any with wotif. We are using rms for the front office and we have useRoss as our channel manager. There appears to be issues with the connections between booking.com rms and useRoss, but of course no one is to blame and each point the finger to the other. We of course are the ones losing out!! Last Tuesday booking.com had us booked out but in reality we were not!! Thankfully a guest rang and inquired, which alerted us to the problem, but of course not b.c problem when i rang and because it was after 7pm no help from useRoss! My husband got really irate one day about 6 months ago with a b.c customer service officer and since then we have had trouble every other day, co-incidence????? I guess we will never really know.
                                                              Unfortunately, they OTAs and especially b.c are a necessary evil!

                                                            • #2963

                                                              123daily

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                                                              • Replies 14

                                                                Hi CVM. We are using Wotif and Booking.com

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