COO - Chief operating officer
Empowering Mexican Independent Hotels to Reclaim Inventory Control
“With GuruHotel's cutting-edge technology, Maglén Resort has achieved remarkable success.” Jose Luis Cardenas - GM at Maglén Group
By enticing customers to book directly through their website instead of OTA's, Maglén Resort in scenic Baja California offers an unmatched experience with its winery, brewery, coffee shop, and fine dining restaurants.
In 2022, an impressive 64% of bookings were made directly through their website, a testament to GuruHotel's seamless and empowering booking platform.
In the world of e-commerce, small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) often rely on third-party platforms and marketplaces to gain exposure. The hotel industry is no exception to this trend. Even global giants like Marriott, which recently acquired City Express and is rapidly expanding across the region, spend millions of dollars on advertising each year. In 2019 alone, Marriott invested nearly $250 million to promote its brand.
Meanwhile, OTA powerhouses like Expedia and Booking.com, the world's largest online travel agencies, individually spent a staggering $6 billion in 2022. These platforms are responsible for up to 75% of online bookings for independent hotels, presenting a significant opportunity for hoteliers. However, the price they pay can be steep.
These online travel agencies charge hotels commissions ranging from 20% to 25%. For hotels that already operate within tight marketing budgets and lack access to cutting-edge technology or business expertise, this burden can feel overwhelming.
GuruHotel, an innovative solution, has emerged to help Mexican hotels regain control over their inventory. By empowering hotels with tools and knowledge, GuruHotel aims to reduce their reliance on third-party platforms while boosting their overall revenue.
The Travel Startup backed by YCombinator, acknowledges the challenges faced by hotels and aims to address them through a comprehensive suite of services. Leveraging advanced technology and industry insights, GuruHotel empowers hotels to optimize their operations and enhance profitability.
One noteworthy phenomenon recognized by GuruHotel is the billboard effect in the hotel industry. This effect refers to the increased number of direct bookings that hotels experience on their own websites after listing on one or multiple online travel agencies (OTA’s). Potential customers typically discover a hotel's listing on an OTA and subsequently visit the hotel's own website to directly book their trip.
With the widespread availability of mobile phones and the internet, potential customers now have the convenience of exploring various hotel options on their preferred OTA platform. However, they often choose to contact the hotel directly through their official website or other distribution channels, such as social media. This not only allows them to find the best-suited hotel for their trip but also provides a seamless booking experience for both the traveler and the hotel.
Recognizing the significance of the billboard effect, GuruHotel equips hotels with the necessary resources to capitalize on this trend and increase their direct bookings. By expanding their reach and minimizing their reliance on OTA’s, hotels can achieve long-term success in the industry.
The GuruHotel Advantage
Typically, independent hotels generate only 5 to 10 percent (market share) of their online bookings directly from their websites, while the majority is sourced from third-party websites. However, GuruHotel empowers these hotels to maximize their online presence with its cutting-edge websites and mobile-first booking experience. GuruHotel takes pride in enabling hoteliers to optimize their "billboard effect" by seamlessly converting more website visitors into prepaying customers. In fact, the data shows that nearly 60 percent of all bookings made through GuruHotel are paid in advance, surpassing traditional pay-at-destination reservations.
Furthermore, GuruHotel's revolutionary cross-border payment solution empowers hoteliers to seamlessly accept payments in multiple currencies and provide diverse payment options that cater to their customers' specific market of origin. This ensures a smooth and convenient booking experience for guests from around the world. With GuruHotel, hoteliers have the opportunity to significantly expand their market share of direct bookings after a brief ramping period, which typically takes 3-4 months following the implementation of GuruHotel's groundbreaking tech-stack, hoteliers can expect to triple their market share.
GuruHotel operates on a simple and transparent model, taking only a 5% commission (plus transaction costs) per booking. This allows independent hoteliers to save up to a remarkable 80% for every successful reservation made through their own website, rather than relying on OTA's. Not only that, but partnering with GuruHotel opens up exciting opportunities for hoteliers to increase their ATS (average ticket size) by effortlessly selling add-ons, all while boosting their market share of direct bookings.
"To drive more direct bookings, hotels must create appealing and frictionless direct booking websites. Partnering with GuruHotel, powered by Stripe’s payment technology, hoteliers can compete with OTAs on high-quality content and seamless payments, including new alternative payment methods like ApplePay & GooglePay, local currencies, and mobile optimization." - James Lemon, Travel & Leisure Global Industry Lead at Stripe
The best part? Hoteliers seeking to join forces with GuruHotel can set their worries aside. No more long-term contracts or burdensome monthly fees. With a straightforward sign-up process, they can sit back and witness their businesses thrive in the company of GuruHotel.