Hoteliers who decline to take a holistic approach to customer travel risk losing more control of the customer relationship to OTAs, which have been building this capability. Already, OTAs and online intermediaries represent around 20% of the total travel market, and their share is set to grow and further squeeze hotel margins. With ancillary products outside of the food, beverage, conferences and events categories representing a small percentage of hotel revenue, this is an opportunity worth pursuing for hotel companies. To make this change, hoteliers must truly understand customers’ needs, develop magnetic ancillary product propositions to meet these needs, merchandise in a compelling way through all direct channels, provide excellent customer service, capture data and use insights to improve the proposition. Yes, the strategy has risk. It is unproven whether consumers will accept direct hotel channels as the gateway to their one-stop travel shopping experience. OTAs and meta-mediaries, with their ability to bring together the most information, appear to be in a more attractive position. And beefing up ancillary offers could add too many complications. Revenue management becomes more complicated for the hotel, and some customers might struggle to compare the packages to other providers, give up and go elsewhere. Get the full story at Hotel News Now