So, that leaves the second question: How to make sure an OTA will completely stop selling your hotel?
If you close their allotment they will simply continue to use wholesale rates.
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That battle was won long ago by the OTAs, spending massively on Pay Per Click search engine marketing, using your hotel’s name and aggressively driving potential customers direct to their OTA websites.
The battle with OTAs will not go away though and the only sure thing is that at least some OTAs will always continue to find new ways to outsmart and undercut hotels and competitors.Almost every hotel that has been in this situation knows that.You can terminate their agreement, send them dozens of emails, but they will continue to use rates from other sources.Today’s frequent traveler has become more loyal towards metasearch websites than towards a specific OTA.So, let’s look at the question that often raises the most serious concern: I know you are not sure those bookings will be replaced by your own website or other OTAs. Having one less OTA trying to undercut others on metasearch websites means better rate parity for your hotel.Tell the OTA that you will ask all customers at check-in how they have booked the hotel and if any of them mention the concerned OTA that you will NOT accept them, and that you will show the customer that you have informed the OTA that you will not accept any of their customers. Make sure you know in advance how to handle them, and perhaps help them with alternative accommodation, or treat them as walk-in customers.Once that customer understands that the OTA they have used to book your hotel was informed by you and therefore wrong, they most likely will seriously complain to the concerned OTA. I hope you now realise that winning this battle is not as hard as you might think.Years ago I was in this situation myself a few times and I admit I was more than concerned – it was a real risk. Times have changed and today I believe there is no need for serious concerns anymore and the risk is manageable. As mentioned, metasearch is the number one source of traffic for OTAs; that’s where most travellers start when they want to book a hotel. Better rate parity means higher conversions, through your own website AND through other OTAs. I have changed the names of actual OTAs and do not show absolute figures, but these are real figures of a resort in Bali.So, when you have stopped working with a specific OTA the next time a customer is looking at your hotel on a metasearch website they will still see plenty of other OTAs displaying your prices and they will simply click on any of the remaining OTAs. Today EVERY frequent online traveler knows the major OTAs in their markets and OTA loyalty is a thing of the past. So stopping an uncontrollable OTA selling your hotel at lower rates than others will therefore not only result in other OTAs compensating for lost bookings from that OTA, but will actually result in more online bookings in general, PLUS you can expect higher conversions on your own website. OTA A was consistently abusing wholesale rates, even after repeat reminders.You obviously have to work with your wholesalers as well and make sure you control what they do with their rates, but as more and more wholesalers are connected with each other that exercise is also often a huge time waster.What is more important, and more effective, is to inform the concerned OTA formally that you terminate all cooperation and will not accept ANY customer that has booked through them. Yes, you most likely will end up with a very upset customer at the reception.