Booking.com tests native hotel ads

A few years ago, Expedia launched the TravelAds program with the goal of providing hotels with an additional marketing tool or better use of the potential of its platform, and now Booking.com is introducing native ads on ...

A few years ago, Expedia launched the TravelAds program with the goal of providing hotels with an additional marketing tool or better use of the potential of its platform, now Booking.com is also introducing native ads to its platform.

For many hotels, the line between “distribution” and “marketing” has always been rather blurred. Commissions paid to OTAs are traditionally considered the cost of "distribution", while it can be argued that much of it is "marketing", according to the Mirai agency.

On the one hand, OTAs work with commission models, a concept that is deeply rooted in hoteliers ’DNA as a cost of“ distribution ”. On the other hand, marketing platforms like Google mostly work on CPC (cost-per-click) or CPM (cost-per-1000 impressions) models.

Booking.com native ads will function as a done blend of both.

Namely, the program will allow hotels to "bid" in the CPC model to increase their visibility in destination searches. The winner of this bid gets direct access to the second position on the first page of results (not on the following pages). Such an offer will have an ad tag, not a promotional article, which is normally used when hotels participate in augmentation programs.

Hotels will most likely have higher ADRs in native ads than those ranked organically. Of course, in the ads there is no possibility of linking to the hotel's website, but to the hotel's Booking.com page. Therefore, Booking.com will not only receive CPC revenue, but will also receive a commission from each booking. It is also important to emphasize how native ads will be positioned when searching for destinations.

The program is currently being tested in the US market, and it is not yet possible to apply for it, but it is certain that this possibility will soon appear.

From Google and Facebook, everyone is entering the tourism segment more and more every year and offering additional collaborations through their platforms to capture ever-increasing portions of the hotel’s advertising budget. While Expedia, TripAdvisor and Booking.com are moving into additional cross-selling of their services, and surely this news will not be the only one, but just another new extension of global online players, in order to give additional value, ie have additional income from the commissions.

Source: Mirai, Shift / Photo: Booking.com, illustration: HrTurizam.hr

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