I noticed a very interesting announcement today from Pegasus. For those that don’t know them, Pegasus are a leader in hotel distribution to hotels, serving around 100,000 properties around the world. For this reason, I’m always keen to hear what tools they are developing for hotels to improve their distribution strategies. Today, Pegasus communicated that one of their divisions, Open Hospitality, is now offering Google Hotel Price Ads (HPA) to hotels following a successful pilot with more than 50 hotels. Those hotels using Open Hospitality reservation and booking services can opt to drive traffic from search results in Google Search, Google Maps, Google Places and the Google Hotel Finder directly to the brand website to increase more profitable direct bookings.
Davis Millili, Chief Executive Officer of Pegasus Solutions commented: “Google has emerged as a central channel in the hotel shopping process. It may be used for a quick reference or as the actual booking channel, but it can’t be ignored as one capable of driving valuable direct business to hotel websites.”
Leveraging existing reservation and booking products and services, Open Hospitality can serve real-time pricing through Google searches for participating clients, allowing bookers to be redirected to the hotel website for booking. Google Hotel Price Ads accommodates customers who prefer to book hotels directly with the hotel, sending online shoppers directly to the brand website. In addition to creating opportunity for more profitable direct bookings, this has the added benefit of allowing hotels to sell ancillary products, such as dining, spa services, events or other amenities in the booking process. Mirroring the airline ancillary business which is starting to grow considerable seems to be a natural step for some hotel chains.
Of course, driving traffic direct to you own brand website is a critical aim of any distribution strategy you have. This is where you make the most money – no costs to OTA’s or third parties – and it also allows you to control your pricing and brand identify more clearly. We talk a lot about ways to do this, and certainly this new offering from Pegasus provided a different approach to try to drive traffic.