Online hotel bookings are expected to continue to thrive and hoteliers need to support its relationship with online travel agencies (OTA) for mutual growth.

“They are an important part of our business. We lean on OTAs when it comes to their knowledge because they hold key data and have tremendous worldwide reach and visibility that can get us into new markets that we may not otherwise be able to reach,” said Glenn Nobbs, general manager of Copthorne Hotel Dubai.

Nobbs shared his opinion in a panel discussion at The Hospitality Leadership Forum, a central feature of The Hotel Show held at the Dubai World Trade Centre from September 16-18 2018.

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He and other industry speakers debated on the topic “OTA’s & Hotelier: The Hotelier’s Perspective”. All of them acknowledged that OTAs are an important source of business for the hotels because they can reach new guests and access new markets, particularly due to their multi-billion dollar advertising spend across the globe. In fact, it would be very difficult for hotels to compete effectively against OTAs.

“However, we have direct control on the guest experience once they bring the customer to us so it’s our responsibility to manage that relationship and make sure the guest comes back directly to us through our brand’s website next time,” explained Nobbs.