Generating direct bookings with metasearch engines

Sep 24, 2018Revenue Management, Revenue Strategy

Nowadays, metasearch engines are a fast-growing advertising model in the travel industry. They can be an alternative channel for generating traffic and therefore represent an opportunity for hotels helping them to increase direct bookings.

Metasearch engines present a consolidated offer while providing travelers with a wide choice of properties and price transparency. The mechanism is simple with benefits for both hotels and consumers. Hotels pay advertising fees which ultimately lead to direct bookings. The traveler clicks on their chosen property and completes the transaction directly on the hotel website.

Metasearch engines search for the user’s request in other search engines and databases, aggregating then the result in a singles list. For travelers, this means easy access to real-time availability and pricing. For hotels, metasearch engines represent a key driver of traffic and direct bookings.

Metasearch engines can be an important tool to reduce their dependency from OTAs as they redirect the users to the property’s website, to complete the booking process. Generally, metasearch investment produces a very good return-on-ad-spend.

Metasearch engines, include the giants Google Hotel Finder, Trivago by Expedia, and TripAdvisor. The hotel’s goal should be to see themselves in the Google Hotel Finder metasearch pricing menus or among the top three features advertisers in the TripAdvisor meta-search menu. These metasearch functionalities, although not reaching very significant results at the moment, are constantly growing and increasing their functionalities, and could raise their role in hotel online distribution in the next few years.