Google dominates the search industry. Google has a grand plan to also dominate the travel industry. The domination began in June of 2010, when Google displayed their first Hotel Prices on Google Maps. But the reality didn’t hit the independent lodging industry until April 1, 2016, when Google began ranking their Local Listings based on OTA (Online Travel Agency) availability. Today, if you don’t have room availability for a desired date advertised on an OTA, then your visibility in the 4-pack in Google Maps and Google Maps Mobile Apps will be lower than your competitors that do have their room availability advertised. This type of date-driven OTA availability also applies to your TripAdvisor listing.
What does this mean for our industry?
In the last two years, Innkeepers in competitive areas that never played the OTA game have been forced to join companies such as Expedia and Booking.com to maintain their placement. This means that Innkeepers are having to pay fees they never had to pay in the past – fees that typically average around 18% per booking.
So, for every dollar you make with an OTA, 18 cents goes to the OTA, Google, etc. Many Innkeepers used to be able to reinvest this same 18% in their own business.
This is why we, as in industry, must band together. We must create ways to fight back against this loss of revenue. And this is why Acorn Internet Services has partnered with PAII and AIHP to create a national movement for our industry.
Please help us help you! Learn how you can get involved!