251 | Channel Mix: Hotels balance costs of guest acquisition, OTAs and overall business opportunities


Online travel agencies. Hoteliers love them. Hoteliers hate them.

Brand.com, GDS, call centers, travel agents, groups and so on. There are many types of business in every market.

In this episode, Lodging Leaders explores how hotel owners and operators can learn to use third-party platforms such as OTAs and when to tap other resources for those all-important direct channels. The knowledge is critical to a hotel’s profit contribution, say experts.

Understanding the full array of business in a market and how to manage communication through the full guest journey can improve the relationship a hotel has with its customers and drive retention and repeat bookings.

We feature Mark Lewis-Brown, CEO and president of Vertical Booking USA, which provides customer reservation system software to hotels; Matthew Arrants, executive vice president of Pinnacle Advisory Group; Tim Lee, a consultant with Pinnacle Advisory who used to work for Expedia Group; and Cindy Estis Green, co-founder and CEO of Kalibri Labs, which analyzes the hotel industry’s distribution channels.

Resources and Links

  • 329 | Ruff and Ready: ADA gives hotels a short leash when accommodating guests with service animals

    Many hotels these days have made room for guests with disabilities. Hotel managers and staff should also know what the Americans with Disabilities Act says about accommodating guests with pets. During the pandemic lockdowns, a lot of people added a pet to their household and now they’re bringing Fido along on vacation. Hotel employees need to know how to cater to both consumers who are pet owners as well as guests who travel with a trained service animal. Episode 329 of Lodging Leaders podcast reports on how the ADA defines a service animal and how a hotel is legally obligated to serve a guest who comes with a dog or any other animal.

  • 328 | Curb Appeal: Hotels’ refreshed images designed to attract road trippers

    Nearly 48 million Americans plan to travel over the Fourth of July weekend, predicts AAA. Most of them will drive and many of them plan to stay in hotels. What makes a travel consumer choose your hotel? Price can be a factor but so can the story the property tells through its online photos and its real-life curb appeal. First impressions of a hotel set the tone for the guest’s entire stay. Its roadside image is more important than ever as the lodging industry this summer hangs its hopes on a comeback driven by domestic travelers. Lodging Leaders podcast explores the importance of a hotel’s curb appeal as hoteliers think of ways to attract travelers seeking safety and assurance as the nation emerges from the coronavirus pandemic.

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