Changing world of meta-search and its impact on independent hotels
While the use of meta search in travel is not a new concept, the launch of Google Hotel Price Ads and TripAdvisor Hotel Availability Check is changing how consumers first discover a property and ultimately convert.
Meta search sites like Kayak and OTAs like Expedia have been used as travel search engines by consumers to find which hotels are in their desired location and price range. The key difference with TripAdvisor integrating meta search is the influence of rates being strategically placed next to millions of hotel reviews, lessening the number of steps and sites a consumer needs to visit prior to converting.
TripAdvisor has been offering advertising space in the Show Price or Check Availability section on property profiles to OTAs, hotel chains, and independent hotels that work with agency partners for quite a few years now. Up until recently that space was limited to the display of the booking provider’s website link.
Although return was typically high for these placements, this provided limited ability to prequalify a user through rates or availability prior to incurring the cost for the click. With the launch of the rate display, consumers can now see the rate and if the hotel has availability prior to the click which has led to many advertisers observing their overall click costs decreasing and conversion rates increasing.