HOTELS need to recognise the importance of the Internet if they wish to remain competitive, according to field experts at the Indonesia E-Tourism Summit in Jakarta yesterday.
Rick Yvanovich, founder and CEO of information technology and services company TRG International, said that hotels selling rooms at the over 900 OTAs worldwide and on their own websites have a much greater chance of getting business.
Yvanovich said: “A case study on an international hotel chain showed that 62 per cent of its online bookings originated from OTAs. If the chain had not put its inventory with the OTAs, I question whether it would have secured any bookings at all.”
He added that while hotels should engage as many OTAs as possible, it should focus on partnering with those that were strong in their target markets. Hotels should also develop their own websites to generate business.
Indira Abidin, managing director of advertising and public relations firm Fortune PR, agreed with Yvanovich. “You need to have a website that works. This does not mean only having nice pictures,” she said.
“Aside from having high SEO (search engine optimisation), the website must also be user-friendly, and the information and offers must be updated regularly.”