Hoteliers around the world constantly battle with rate parity issues. Even though they benefit from working with OTAs to reach a wider audience, this partnership can quickly sour when OTAs undercut the hotels to lure away customers that might have otherwise book direct on the hotel’s website.
Rate disparity is rampant in Asia
Recently, we conducted a research study on all of our Rate Match customers worldwide. We found that rate disparity issues occurred more frequently among hotels in Asia than other regions.
There are several reasons why this phenomenon occurs. With the hotel industry booming and competition heating up in Asia, hotels are trying to win new customers by offering steep discounts or offers to wholesalers in hopes of attracting volume. Although wholesalers are supposed to sell these rates for large group blocks, some unscrupulously allow the rates to be accessed by OTAs, which then sell the wholesale rates to individuals.
Some OTAs will also cut into their own commissions to undercut the hotel’s rate. Due to lack of regulations governing price parity in Asia, hotels have little recourse to fight against this practice.
This problem calls on an innovative solution to help hoteliers instantly and easily check and enforce parity, thereby increasing direct bookings.
Empowering hoteliers to take back control
Meet Rate Match, an innovative price-checking and rate-matching tool that automates a hotel’s best rate guarantee on its website.
Rate Match give travelers the confidence to book direct on hotel website by checking the hotel price against the OTAs to ensure the hotel has the best price. If a lower price is found elsewhere, Rate Match will automatically adjust the hotel’s best available rate to match or beat the OTA and make it instantly bookable so that the guest does not look to book elsewhere. It will also notify the hotel in real time about the price disparity.
When we tested Rate Match on Belvedere Hotel, a luxury hotel in Times Square, New York City, we saw immediate impacts on a hotel’s bottom line.
Furthermore, we continued to see more success with this tool as we rolled it out to other clients around the world including Absolute Hotel Services, one of the fastest growing hospitality management companies in Asia that oversees luxury boutique hotel brands such as U Hotels and Eastin Hotels.
How Absolute Hotel Services benefits from cutting-edge Rate Match technology
Working with Absolute Hotel Services, we deployed Rate Match on the booking engines of 12 U Hotels and 9 Eastin Hotels and tested it with two groups of users.
In the control group, Rate Match was not shown on the booking engine and users experienced the booking process as they normally would. In the test group, users were shown the Rate Match widget, which immediately pops up with price comparisons as soon as the user enters stay dates.
After launch, Rate Match quickly delivered impressive results.
It helped U Hotels quadruple its conversion rate and enhanced user engagement on the website. For example:
- People who saw Rate Match widget on Rooms Availability page spent 41% less time making their booking decisions
- User engagement increased as the exit rate dropped by 83%
Rate Match also helped Eastin Hotels & Residences more than double its conversion rate within a short period while improving user engagement on the website.
- People who saw Rate Match widget on Rooms Availability page spent 36% less time making the booking decision
- User engagement increased as the exit rate dropped by 84%
Hoteliers can make rate disparity a rarity by leveraging innovation solutions such as Rate Match that guarantee price parity with the OTAs. Request a demo today to learn more!