For Episode #5 of the Frictionless Innkeeper podcast series, we speak with Debbi Fotsh, the owner and operator of Woodridge B&B, located outside of Slidell, Louisiana, about the challenges and opportunities she faces in dealing with Online Travel Agencies (OTAs).
You can also listen to the podcast at blogtalkradio.
For many innkeepers, dealing with OTAs can be both a blessing and a curse. While these channels can help provide more booking opportunities, they often come with a price, which includes high commissions, lack of direct access to guest information, a slow payment cycle, and bookings coming from fraudulent credit cards.
On a more positive note, OTAs have the marketing resources and guest search traffic to help enhance overall bookings – especially during slower times of the year. Debbi has a great amount of experience dealing with these issues and opportunities since 2010.
In this podcast, Debbi shares her candid insights on utilizing OTAs to the maximum benefit of innkeepers. Here some highlights from our conversation:
- The background and history of Woodridge B&B. (1:00)
- Debbi’s experiences in working with OTAs. (2:40)
- Debbi’s timeline in working, and not working, with OTAs. (7:35)
- Fraudulent bookings and other OTA issues that Debbie had to manage. (15:23)
- Why innkeepers need to do things on their own behalf when dealing with OTAs. (19:24)
- Debbie’s tips for how innkeepers can improve their interactions with guests while working with OTAs. (27:16)
We would like to thank Debbi for sharing her candid insights about dealing with OTAs. You can learn more about Woodridge B&B by visiting their website.