During the pandemic, many hotels have seen their direct sales grow exponentially within their channel mix. Meanwhile, on the sly, Booking.com has also managed to increase its share with almost no resistance.
Given the current situation, where many channels are still not appearing and we don’t know if they will be activated this season, Booking.com has become the basket where most of your distribution eggs are stored.
Hotels can use Booking.com’s online payment to receive prepayment on their bookings (refundable or non-refundable) and generate some cash. Music to our ears? In reality, what this means is that Booking.com is moving to the merchant model, charging the booking themselves, and gaining the capacity to undercut prices, playing the old game of net vs. final prices.
Fighting for its own survival and growth in hotel distribution, it has not hesitated to pull out its heaviest artillery and take advantage of the hotelier’s need at a moment of great crisis. This has meant a significant increase of the channel in the hotel channel mix, where in most cases, it is the undisputed number one, giving it more power and freedom to impose its own conditions on hotels.
It is understandable to pull out all the stops in order to overcome the current crisis and try to generate as many sales as possible. But you also have to keep a cool head and crunch the numbers, because small actions with a lower investment cost in the direct channel can lead to a higher return.
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