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Speech bubbles and question marks

June 16, 2022 - 6 min read

Infrequently asked questions: OTAs, it’s time to rethink how you evaluate supply partners

Nick Dauk

Travel Writer

From connecting to any property in less than 48h, to dramatically simplifying operations, Open Distribution finally makes things possible for OTAs that you could only dream of before. We speak to OTAs all over the world on a daily basis, and there are some questions we hear all the time. They’re important questions, but they reflect old assumptions about the hotel industry - and don’t get to the heart of everything Open Distribution can do for you.

We think it’s time to rethink the questions you ask when evaluating who to partner with, to make sure you’re really capturing the benefits of Impala - and staying ahead of the competition. Here’s our guide to the most common questions we hear, and what we’d suggest asking instead.

Don’t Ask: “Which/how many hotels do you have?”
Ask: “How easily can I adapt my supply?”

Our Open Distribution API allows us to add new hotels into the mix within 48 hours

It’s only natural to ask how many hotels a new connection can open up for you, because traditional distributors are typically stuck with static supply. They’re limited in how rapidly they can integrate with new hotels, which means asking about their partnership portfolio is essential if you’re aiming for coverage and maximum revenue. 

How easily can you adapt your supply with Impala? Our Open Distribution API allows us to add new hotels into the mix within 48 hours. Bring your existing hotel partners over and choose new ones to add to your growing list of partnerships. Open Distribution means as many or as few hotels as you choose to partner with, all easy to access through one simple integration. 

Don’t Ask: “How competitive are the rates?”
Ask: “How flexible is the pricing?”

Travellers can compare prices more easily than ever, so pricing plays an important role in conversations with new partners, but don’t get trapped in the rates race. With existing solutions, rates are often set in stone before you’re even at the starting line - and your competitors are likely to have access to the same undifferentiated price. You’re exerting all of your energy with no hope of negotiations to help you reach the finish line.  

Brokering deals and curating custom pricing for your customers should be as easy as logging into an application and clicking send. The moment you partner with Impala, you’ll have access to all of the tools you need to request deals and negotiate with the hotels directly – no exhausting marathon required. 

Don’t Ask: “What’s the commission?”
Ask: “How easily can I negotiate my commission?”

Imagine a world where you’re no longer relying on a third party to broker your commission rate. Why settle for the fixed net rates and commissions that affiliate programs and bed banks deliver when you could cut a better deal yourself? With Open Distribution through Impala, you can set your own commission and negotiate directly with each hotel.

And this isn’t some loyalty program that we only open up to “preferred” clientele. No matter if you’re a new agent willing to offer hotels lower initial commission rates or an industry stalwart ready to request higher commissions for your consistent delivery of high value guests, Impala gives you flexibility.

Don’t Ask: “How hard will it be for my tech team?”
Ask: “How fast is it to integrate?”

The last thing your tech team needs is another headache. And no one knows that better than the engineer who founded Impala. Once upon a time, integrating new inventory through bed banks, affiliate programs, and channel managers took months – which many OTAs will agree equates to ‘forever’. These connections were complex from a technological perspective - and every day of integration represents more potential sales lost.

This frustration is what birthed Impala’s mission to design an API that is incredibly easy and quick to integrate. Overcoming antiquated challenges should be the furthest worry from your tech team’s minds. With Impala, a single API connects you to thousands of opportunities. 

Cost reducing
Cost reducing
Don’t Ask: “How much will it cost?”
Ask: “How much will I save?”

Affiliate programs, bed banks, channel managers and other traditional integration methods come with a price tag: Upfront payments. Maintenance fees. Engineering expenses. Those “costs of doing business” that appear on your invoice out of the blue. And then there are the third parties who help themselves to a cut of every booking.

The costs are mighty; it’s only appropriate you ask to see the savings, too. Ask Impala and we’ll show you how to connect to any hotel in the world with ease. All we ask for in return is a modest percentage from each booking. 

Don’t Ask: “Will I have any guest data?”
Ask: “What tools do you have to help me find loyal guests?”

We offer complete visibility and transparency of data

You should never have to ask your partner if they’ll share guest data with you. But middlemen have a habit of hoarding data, information that could help you truly get to know your clientele. It has become the norm that you’re frozen out of the data you need to grow your business. So much so that it’s a status quo that few feel comfortable challenging. 

But we have nothing to hide. In fact, Impala was built with clarity in mind for all users. We offer complete visibility and transparency of data so that you can learn what’s working for you and engage the guests that value loyalty. 

Don’t Ask: “Will hotels see that the booking was made through me?”
Ask: “How does your platform help me build relationships with hotels?”

Get the answers

Ready to learn more about Open Distribution? Speak with an Impalan today to discover how Open Distribution translates to success.  

Here’s a novel idea: what if hotels received the very same visibility and transparency on their end so that they too could understand where their bookings originate from? This lucidity is commonplace when you work with Impala.

Just as OTAs have full visibility of the data they need, so too do hotels through our Open Distribution API. Unlike other channel managers, Impala hotels are fully aware of every vacancy you’re taking off their books. What you two do with that shared information is up to you – though we do believe that it’s an excellent talking point during negotiations.