This article in Eye for Travel discusses the dominance of the two biggest OTAs, Booking and Expedia, and the inexorable rise of Airbnb in the short-term lodging sector, and outlines ways the smaller players can fight back: by creating an emotionally-intelligent and personalised space for the consumer; by using insights from customer data, to offer a relevant and personalised service matching their needs; by promoting offers and specials relevant to the customer, before the point of booking; through understanding booking patterns and tailoring suggestions in line with this; by using data to find ideas for conversation starters; in dividing the customer base into different groups, delivering specific promotions and rewards to target types of customers; and by focusing on building customer loyalty, finding what ‘value’ means to each customer.

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