Here’s what some digital marketing and e-commerce officials in the hotel industry said about some of the biggest issues they face heading into the new year, shared during Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International’s recent chief digital officer executive roundtable. Driving direct bookings To maximize revenue, digital marketers must find ways to drive more direct bookings. This means hoteliers must convince potential guests to do two things: book at their hotel and do so on their own site as opposed to some intermediary like an online travel agency or metasearch site. Chi Chan, SVP of e-commerce and distribution for Loews Hotels, said hoteliers need to accept that there’s a cost in acquiring new, loyal guests, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be smart about spending your money. “Say we’re paying 20% commission to the OTAs,” Chan said. “What if you took 15% (of what you’d spend on commissions) and spend it on digital marketing so you could optimize the business instead of just saying, ‘Oh there’s no money for digital.’” Get the full story at Hotel News Now