According to a 2009 report done by Cornell University’s Center for Hospitality
Research, the billboard effect is “a boost in reservations through the hotel’s
website, due to the hotel’s being listed on the Online Travel Agents (OTA) website.
Presentation by Joshua Miranda
» The Travel Industry Dictionary defines the billboard
effect as follows:
“In the hotel industry, the increase in direct bookings
a hotel or brand experiences when it is featured on an
online booking site.”
The increased visibility and bookings on a hotel’s
website and off-line brought about by guests
discovering the hotel on third party distribution
The billboard effect is measured in increased bookings
but also in increased searches for the hotel online.
» When a hotel is listed on any OTA, it receives
reservations not only through that channel, but it
also gains reservations through other channels, such
as its own web site or telephone reservations.
» The “Billboard effect” is a marketing strategy for
hotels to get listed on third-party distributors’
websites, commonly known as online travel agents
(OTA), gain a reservation benefit in addition to
» That benefit, often called the billboard effect,
involves a boost in reservations through the hotel’s
own distribution channels (including its website),
due to the hotel’s being listed on the OTA website.
“This means the more the OTA’s hotels signs up
with the more visibility online and more direct
» People are shopping around on a number of hotel and
travel websites before narrowing down their search.
» Typically in hospitality, these sites include a hotel search
on a search engine e.g. Google (65% market share), an
OTA website, Trip Advisor, the hotel’s own website, etc.
» Therefore jumping from an OTA website to a hotel
branded website and vice versa is at least partially due to
particular travel research patterns unique to the users and
not due to the so-called billboard effect
» Steps are as follows:
» Step 1: “Search on Google first to identify a property
in a particular area”
» Step 2: “Log on to any OTA and check what the rate
for the property”
» Step 3: “Visit Trip Advisor to read the reviews of the
» Step 4: “Visit the hotel website and book if I like the
location, rates, terms and conditions and what I
have read and seen about this hotel”
» One third of the visitors on OTA sites will go check the
hotel website either for more information, larger
photos or to compare rates.
» One third will go and search for the hotel on Social
Media sites to find out what others are saying about
the hotel, they will either go back to the OTA or search
for your hotel.
» One third of the guests on your website will go to OTAs
to find out if rates or sales conditions are better or if
booking process is easier. Or will go there because they
are used to dealing with OTAs
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