"Bookings, Marketing, & OTAs" Panel Discussion was streamed live Feb. 4th at 18:00 GMT. See below for a recording of the entire discussion.
This particular talk was very long, since it was such an important current topic, but the questions below are time stamped if you want to jump to certain parts of the video. These include both questions given to the panelists ahead of time, as well as questions live tweeted in from viewers.
Our panelists included:
John Moriarty: Dunloe View Hostel; Killarney, Ireland
Maoz Inon: Abraham Hostel; Fauzi Azar Inn; ILH-Israel Hostels
Dennis Pitcock: Hostel Manager & Consultant; various hostels worldwide
(Moderator- Courtney Loechl: Pacific Tradewinds Hostel manager; Hostelmanagement.com collaborator)
Enjoy the discussion!
Panel Discussion Questions:
Are you currently listing your hostel on Hostelworld?
If so, have you altered your allocations or rates since the new contract came out a few months ago?
If not, when did you terminate your partnership with them and why?
Have you remained profitable since parting ways?
On which other OTA websites do you list your hostel?
Why did you choose to work with those sites in particular, and what has been your experience or result with each of them?
In your opinion, why should or shouldn't you list your bed allocations on multiple websites?
What channel manager do you use?
Do you use any non-traditional websites to sell your hostel beds, such as Airbnb?
What has been your experience with those sites?
Are you interested in continuing to use OTAs if their commission remains at 10% or lower?
Why or why not?
If not, what terms would you find acceptable from an OTA?
What concerns, if any, do you have regarding the relationship between hostels and OTAs?
Airbnb commission and guest fee info
Twitter Question: "Does anyone know about the TripAdvisor for Business program, and something called Trip Connect?"
Do you educate your guests about the pros & cons of the various booking options (OTAs, direct bookings, walk-ins, etc)?
If yes, how?
If not, why?
Twitter Comment: TripAdvisor Source Bookings
Twitter Question: "Any suggestions on competing with OTAs on Google Adwords for keywords 'Hostel in (your city)'?"
Twitter Question for Maoz: "What is your ROI for your YouTube advertising?"
PPC (Pay Per Click) Campaign Info
Twitter Question: "What ideal qualities would you like to see in an OTA?"
Approximately what percentage of your business comes from direct sources as opposed to OTAs or other channels? (your own website, email or phone reservations, or walk-ins)
Which efforts have proven to be successful for increasing direct bookings for your hostel?
How much time, effort or money have you put into improving SEO for your own hostel’s website?
Have you observed any noticeable result from this?
Is your hostel a member of any local network or association, or do you regularly work with any hostels in your city or region?
If yes, what kind of marketing efforts are being done between the hostels to promote those properties?
Have you been in contact with those hostels regarding the changes to the Hostelworld contract?
In the interest of finding a productive and beneficial solution to the challenges that hostels face, what advice would you give to hostel operators who are not satisfied with Hostelworld’s new terms?
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