It is estimated that by the year 2020, Meta Search engines will be playing a significant role in the travel and hotel industry by contributing up to nearly 20% of the sales through bookings. The real element that gives Meta Search engines a cutting edge advantage over OTA’s in terms of hotel distribution channels, is its comparison tools and budget friendly features. Ignoring Meta Search Engines from the distribution portfolio can be a sharp error on part of the present day hotelier who seeks global expansion.
Understanding Meta Search Engines
A Meta Search Engine is a search tool that takes input from an internet user, sends the query to third party search engines and produces search results. That said Meta Search Engines give a systematic presentation of data with ranks and figures that are useful to the enquiring user. This also includes comparison analysis with other vendors, images, description, etc.
Present Distribution Channels for Hoteliers
Previously OTAs or Online Travel agents used to have a major hold of the third party selling market. Hoteliers mostly tie-up with OTAs and get their services listed online which are further sold to online bookers or travelers by OTA’s either directly or through the merchant’s website. The OTAs receive a commission for these services. However, Meta Search Engines also act as a distribution channel by simply displaying the current rates of hotels without any direct selling of inventory or commission involved. Meta Search engines also provide comparison results that can assist online bookers to compare room rates, images and other facilities offered by the hotelier with offers from other hotels.
Some of the Meta Search Engines
Presently Google and TripAdvisor are Meta Search engines that provide instant and direct bookings like the OTA’s. These Meta Search Engines do charge for such services. Nevertheless their charges are lower than OTAs charges.
Benefits Associated with Meta Search Engine Marketing
- Meta Search Engines allow hotel bookings through OTA’s as well as through the merchant’s or brand’s website.
- Due to multiple benefits, a large number of travelers now seek booking through Meta Search Engines.
- Meta Search engines help the hotelier in increasing brand awareness and developing business growth.
- Users have access to direct hotel information through Meta Search engines
- When compared to traditional search, Meta search engines have shown prominence with an upward trend by 13%
- Meta Search Engines give comparison and analysis benefits which most of the OTAs don’t
ResAvenue Connectivity with Meta Search Engines
ResAvenue, a hotel management software service provider connects hoteliers to metasearch sites like TripAdvisor and advertises the hotel’s inventory on these sites. Hoteliers can avail hotel channel manager services via ResAvenue hotel software and improve the visibility of their property to generate business. Meta Search Engine connectivity also helps the online hotel to save revenue which would be spent on OTA commissions.