Posted by: Carlos | August 18, 2010

Why it pays to list your hotel on

These days it seems most holidaymakers have discovered the best travel deals are to be found online. This means that hotels, guest houses and self catering accommodation suppliers have to find a way to market themselves effectively on the net. Unfortunately many of the owners suffer as they are not internet savvy and do not understand fully how to get the best from online sales.

It’s unfortunate, too, that many will register with online accommodation intermediaries and this can become a serious problem as your rooms may be advertised at discounted rate. If these intermediaries are your only sales channel then these discounted rates becomes your norm and profits are hit hard. In effect the discounted rates become your published rates very quickly and this can seriously affect the financial stability of your business.

The answer is very simple; you need various distribution channels: a direct channel where your own website can be found on the main search engines, some hotel aggregator exposure and local and traditional routes also. The ideal situation is to find an aggregator who will advertise and sell your room for normal price and not take a cut of your booking fee! We will come onto this shortly.

When prospective visitors are searching Google they must be able to locate your hotel directly in Google and find your own website that you control and can take bookings. It is a major advantage if your website takes bookings as it will do this for you 24 hours a day and will also look after payment. Your website should be simple but informative and include some lovely pictures of your accommodation and sights to see nearby to draw visitors into booking straight away. The more informative your site gives, the better chance of a conversion.

Of course it’s not easy to get ranked on Google and if you do not have the skills, it can be prohibitively expensive to get it done with any degree of success. What you are looking to achieve is that you are at the top; or near the top of the rankings if someone searches for your hotel, your area or the name of your village or town. What you don’t want is your regular visitors to search for your hotel and find an intermediary and then book at a discounted rate with a commission charge on top when they were going to book with you anyway!

Online distribution of accommodation is not going to go away so it needs to be embraced. I said before that the ideal is to get an aggregator to advertise your own website offering rooms at full price with no commission payable. This will also allow you to offer your own discounts if you wish without eating away all your profit. You might even find an aggregator that will build a website for you.

Too good to be true? Yes probably but if you are in Wales then there is something that offers all of this for a very low fee. The website uses a new mapping system to allow users to easily find hotels and self catering accommodation in Wales and also allows them to identify attractions and features in the surrounding countryside.

On top of this they have been spending their own money to ensure that their website ranks highly for some very well searched key words such as Wales hotels and B&Bs in Wales. This should ensure a steady stream of traffic to your website and bookings will surely follow all at the price you want to sell them for!

Give them a go at what have you got to lose?


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