Expedia is one of the world’s leading online travel agencies (OTAs) and the Expedia Extranet provides a variety of options, tools and features, which can help hotels to reach new customers. In this article, you can learn about specific tips and strategies that will assist you in generating more bookings.

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What is an Online Travel Agent (OTA)?

An online travel agency, or OTA, is the name given to a website, app, or online platform, which allows customers to access travel products and services. These products and services may include hotel reservations, flight tickets, travel packages, cruise bookings, transportation services, and more.

In this sense, an OTA fulfils many of the functions that have historically been associated with conventional travel agencies. However, OTAs tend to have a greater self-service element, meaning the customer can directly browse the available options and book them, rather than relying on a professional travel agent.

Examples of online travel agencies include Expedia, Hotels.com, and Trivago. Hotel owners often work closely with OTAs, utilising services like the Expedia Extranet in order to reach more customers and attract more bookings.

What is Expedia?

Expedia is an online travel agency, which is owned by the Expedia Group. The online platform, which is based in the United States, offers a variety of travel products and services from around the world, allowing customers to explore and book hotel rooms, along with travel, holiday packages, car rentals, and more.

Expedia is one of the largest OTAs in the world, attracting millions of customers on a global basis. The platform primarily functions as an online website, but Expedia also has its own mobile app. Due to its reach and status, Expedia and the Expedia Extranet form a crucial part of many hotel marketing and distribution strategies.

Video: Expedia’s B2B Travel Booking System

What Are Expedia Partner Central and the Expedia Extranet?

Expedia Partner Central is the extranet associated with the Expedia service and can be used by hotels to carry out a number of relevant tasks related to their hotel listing, and to gain access to insights about performance.

Using the Expedia Extranet, those in the hotel industry can manage their room rates and other pricing decisions, make alterations to their hotel description and property details, and upload photographs of their hotel. A number of optional marketing and promotional options are available, along with guest contact functions.

5 Main Strategies to Optimise Your Expedia Listing?

Through the use of the Expedia Extranet, you can optimise your hotel listings, in order to generate the maximum possible interest from guests. Below, you can find some Expedia Extranet strategies, which will assist you in highlighting the qualities of your hotel and generating more bookings from Expedia customers.

1. Create a Full Hotel Description

One of the main ways Expedia customers are going to be able to learn about your hotel and what it has to offer is through your hotel description, so you need to make sure you utilise the Expedia Extranet to create a full and compelling description, which will make customers want to book a room in your property.

Your hotel description should give an honest description of what your hotel has to offer. However, you should also use this description as an opportunity to highlight some of your brand values. Furthermore, your hotel description can contain keywords, which may assist with search engine optimisation (SEO) efforts, improving visibility.

2. Manage Availability With a Channel Manager

The Expedia Extranet provides users with a calendar and availability tool, which you will need to keep up-to-date in order to attract bookings, avoid double bookings, and provide customers with the necessary availability information. However, the process of manually updating this can be far too time consuming.

Instead, one of the very best Expedia Extranet strategies involves the use of a channel manager, which can connect directly to your property management system. This then allows availability information to synchronise across the different platforms, so Expedia automatically receives all of the latest availability data.

3. Upload High-Resolution Images

Descriptions are important, but many customers will make judgements about hotels based on what they can see too. This is why it is so important that you utilise the tools provided by the Expedia Extranet to upload compelling, high-resolution photographs and other images that can present your hotel in the best possible light.

Use this facility to upload photographs highlighting the best qualities of your hotel. Showcase what your hotel rooms look like, and promote any extra facilities you have, such as swimming pools, gyms, and conference rooms. Aim to provide photographs and even videos of the hotel’s interior and exterior, so customers know what to expect.

4. Manage Your Expedia Reviews

Customers who book hotel rooms through Expedia and stay at your hotel may also use the platform to provide feedback in the form of reviews. For hotel managers and marketers, Expedia and the Expedia Extranet can be used to respond to these reviews, or to otherwise manage customer feedback, with a view to optimising your hotel’s reputation.

The main thing to focus on here is responding to reviews appropriately. Thank your customers for leaving positive reviews and encourage them to visit again one day. With negative reviews, acknowledge the feedback, thank customers for highlighting problems, and explain the steps you will take to resolve their complaints.

5. Adopt a Generous Cancellation Policy

Expedia allows customers to search for hotels based on a variety of criteria, and one of these is the cancellation policy of the hotel. This means Expedia customers can search for hotels that allow free cancellations, and if your hotel does not provide this service, it will not be shown in their search results.

Cancellations may be disappointing, but they are also simply a hotel management reality. Plans can change, circumstances can get in the way, and customers tend to prefer hotels that offer flexibility. At the very least, you should consider offering free cancellations during the quieter times of the year, so that you build goodwill. You can even set up your hotel listing so that customers who cancel are offered an alternate date.

3 Tips to Increase Bookings on the Expedia Extranet

Aside from the strategies provided, there are several other Expedia Extranet tips that can help you and your hotel to increase the number of bookings you attract from customers using the platform.

1. Participate in Campaigns Optimised by Expedia

A significant part of attracting customers and optimising revenue involves devising hotel marketing strategies. One of the great things about the Expedia Extranet, however, is the fact that hotels have the opportunity to participate in campaigns that have already been optimised by Expedia, with the intricacies of their platform in mind.

Some of these campaigns are designed to reach customers in specific locations around the world, or people who fall within certain demographics. Additionally, there are options to provide discounts at specific times, such as the holiday season. Ultimately, these campaigns can help to provide extra incentives for customers to book with your hotel.

2. Create a Package Deal to be Sold on Expedia Hotel + Flight Combos

The Expedia platform provides a number of travel-related products and services, including hotels and flights. While customers can book these separately, Expedia also offers package deals, combining hotels and flights for greater convenience, and the Expedia Extranet allows you to participate in these hotel and flight combos.

Packages of this kind are sold at a discount and you will have control over the extent of that discount. Generally, the higher the discount, the higher the visibility, and this can be an especially effective way to increase demand during times when customer interest drops, and to avoid situations where there are vacant rooms in your hotel.

3. Keep in Touch with Expedia Representative to Discuss Future Campaigns

The Expedia Extranet also provides property partners with access to an Expedia representative, and hotels should take advantage of this because these representatives can provide help and valuable insights.

As with any form of hotel technology, there is the potential for technical issues to arise and reps can assist with many of these issues. However, just as importantly, these reps can work directly with hotels to devise strategies and create tailored campaigns that are based around a particular event, occasion, or change in circumstances.

Other OTAs to Increase Bookings

Expedia and the Expedia Extranet have the power to expand a hotel’s reach and increase bookings. Yet, Expedia is just one example of an online travel agency, and there are a wide range of additional platforms, each with its own plus points. In general, it makes sense to engage with multiple OTAs, rather than focusing only on Expedia.

You can find out more about online travel agencies, how they work, and why they are useful while accessing a list of the best options in the “12 Online Travel Agents (OTAs) to Increase Your Hotel Bookings” article.

Online Travel Agents: Tips to Increase Your Bookings

Working with Expedia, the Expedia Extranet, and various other online travel agencies can help you to generate more bookings, but there are still specific steps you need to take to maximise this distribution channel. This includes utilising the platforms properly, highlighting your qualities, keeping up with hotel trends, and more.

Read “OTA: 10 Tips To Increase Your Hotel Bookings Through OTAs“ to access 10 tips that can assist you in your efforts to generate bookings from Expedia and any other online travel agencies you decide to work with.

Expedia is one of the world’s leading online travel agencies and working with the platform can help hotels to expand their reach. In particular, the Expedia Extranet provides a variety of tools and features, which can help your hotel to stand out from rivals and appeal to Expedia users looking for guest accommodation.

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