Which OTA is right for you? Your Booking.com questions answered

In a perfect world all guests would book direct, behave impeccably, never cancel, always turn up and everyone would achieve their dream occupancy levels to run a rewarding holiday rental business with a healthy turnover.

In reality, big Online Travel Agents (OTAs) like Booking.com, HomeAway, Airbnb and TripAdvisor always appear at the top of search engine results pages, have significant marketing budgets and enjoy brand recognition that is synonymous with the book now message. If you don’t list your holiday accommodation on these channels, you’re significantly limiting your reach. But with so many booking websites to choose from, how do you know which one is right for you?

We’ll be talking to contacts at some of the big booking websites, asking questions that will help you decide which OTA best suits you. Starting with the highest performing OTA in our channel manager, Booking.com.

As a Premier Connectivity Partner of Booking.com, our integration with this giant in the vacation rental world is always up-to-date and constantly evolving to reflect changes in the industry, making life easier for SuperControllers.

How SuperControl works with Booking.com

  • Our channel manager has a two-way integration with Booking.com, so when bookings are placed via Booking.com your own website is updated instantly and vice versa.
  • Auto-onboarding makes it easy to add new listings via SuperControl.
  • Availability, pricing, options/extras, discounts, content, special prices, short breaks and special offers update in real-time automatically.
  • Our Strategic Partnerships Manager, Kerry, meets with the Booking.com team each quarter to review the integration and ensure it’s performing well for the SuperControl community.
  • Our developers receive priority support from Booking.com’s Connectivity team.

We spoke to Booking.com’s Connectivity Partner Business Manager, Sally Wickens.

Sally Wickens, Connectivity Partner Business Manager, Booking.com

 

What’s good about working with SuperControl?
“SuperControl are experts in the self-catering market. We learn from each other and both have the goal of removing friction for customers – both guests and properties. As a Premier Partner, SuperControl are constantly implementing new features and ensuring the connection is streamlined and fast. With your tools and support, many partners have reached results that would be impossible to achieve without the use of travel technology.”

Why should holiday rental owners list their properties on Booking.com?
“Booking.com has grown from a small Dutch start-up to one of the largest travel e-commerce companies in the world. With a mission to empower people to experience the world, Booking.com invests in digital technology that helps take the friction out of travel. At Booking.com, we connect travellers with the world’s largest selection of incredible places to stay, including everything from apartments, vacation homes, and family-run B&Bs to 5-star luxury resorts, tree houses, and even igloos.

“Each day, more than 1.5 million room nights are reserved on our platform and we recently announced 3 billion guest arrivals since 2007. Booking.com is dedicated to helping its partners grow their brands and their businesses by helping them fill their rooms each night. We offer our vacation rental partners tools specifically catered to their needs as businesses. This includes the ability to set house rules, add guest requirements and report misconduct, display company branding, communicate with guests on check-in and much more. Booking.com’s expertise in navigating the digital and mobile world empowers its partners to stay ahead of trending shifts in traveller behaviour. As more and more consumers go mobile, Booking.com can help partners navigate this ecosystem and ensure their rooms are full and businesses are growing.

“A global expert in digital marketing, Booking.com’s sophisticated, multilingual digital marketing expertise brings significant international traffic to accommodation partners that they might otherwise have difficulty attracting on their own. This allows our partners to focus on doing what they do best – running a great property – and leaving the marketing to us.”

What type of person uses Booking.com?
“With more than 1.5 million room nights reserved on the platform each day, there is no single profile or type of Booking.com guest. Our platform is not only used by guests looking for vacation rentals or apartments but also for those looking for hotels or travelling for business trips as well as completely unique places to stay, like a treehouse or houseboat. Booking.com helps make the accommodation market a level playing field, bringing smaller independent hotels, holiday homes and urban apartments customers alongside resorts and established hotel chains, keeping competition alive and healthy in the broader tourism and accommodation industry.”

What are Booking.com’s plans for 2020?
“At Booking.com, we’ve known for years that having a great place to stay can be one of the most important aspects of your trip. We’ve devoted more than 20 years to helping people find the stay that’s just right for them in the most intuitive, personalised and relevant way possible. Removing friction from that process and creating a seamless accommodation experience for travellers has been our core focus for many years. Which is great, but we aren’t stopping there. With our mission to empower people to experience the world, our vision is to look at the entire trip to see where we can remove even more friction for our customers.

“Seamlessly connecting people with great things to do, transport options, tables at nearby restaurants and services that they can trust, all at great prices, wherever they are and whenever they need, is an integral part of this vision. Our aim is to provide the world’s most comprehensive offering of travel experiences, including the best choice for our customers. Our current Attractions offering, for example, is the ultimate technology response to take the friction out of the in-destination experience. It empowers travellers to discover the best a destination has to offer, all via their smartphone and includes hassle-free payment, priority queueing where available and exclusive discounts for Booking.com customers. Ultimately, we want our customers to spend less time searching and planning for every aspect of their trip and more time exploring and enjoying themselves. And you’ll see our time and effort spent on doing everything it takes to accomplish this vision.”

What advice do you have to help self-caterers improve their listings’ performance?
“At Booking.com, we believe that all properties deserve to be discovered. The perfect listing captures a blend of inspiration and information, captures guests’ attention with attractive photos, and answers their questions with accurate, complete content, without forgetting the personal touch that can be given using the Host Profile feature available for our properties.

“You cannot stand out if you cannot be found, so it is important to have the availability settings always up-to-date and be flexible about the minimum amount of days or the starting date for a stay. Using our product Genius and promotions are other ways to catch the attention of potential customers.”

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