The discussion around OTA’s and subsequent commision is best described as ‘that old chestnut’, or for some businesses ‘an additional tax that hoteliers have to deal with’.

There’s no getting away from it that for the majority of hotels the inclusion of OTA’s (Online Travel Agents –,, Expedia etc) within your business model drives a high level of commission payments. For many hotels, these commission levels can easily outstrip what a hotel may pay for its utilities.

The use of OTA’s is variable across the UK with some hotels impacted by just 25%, others by as much as 80%. But what can you do to mitigate the impact of OTA’s and drive more direct bookings? Opting out completely could be seriously harm your business if you’ve come to depend on OTA revenue. So what else can you do?

Whilst you think your options are limited, get in touch if you need guidance around setting up some of the following options?

  1. Create a Book Direct card to hand out to OTA arrivals. This card would offer 10% off their next stay. You’re still yielding on Bar rates but not to the extent of the OTA commission.
  2. Send your guests a post stay guest survey around their experience and include the 10% off Bar Rates if they complete the survey. Give the guest a reward for for their feedback!
  3. Create a Loyalty Club for your hotel that sits behind a registration and login portal that the OTA’s cannot see. This allows you to offer better rates than the OTA’s (avoid rate parity issues) or even a dynamic voucher scheme offering added value when your guests stay.

Of course the best way to get your guests to book direct is to really look after them during their stay.

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