What is Trivago Direct Connect?

Trivago Direct Connect is a tool designed to enhance the visibility of small hotels and improve their direct booking channel. It’s a response to the evolving dynamics of the metasearch space with Trivago, a major player in the European hotel industry, leading the charge.

This innovative tool is a game-changer for small accommodation businesses, offering a more streamlined and efficient way to attract and convert potential guests. But how exactly does it work? Let’s delve into the details.

Trivago Direct Connect History and Development

All booking sites, including Trivago, recognise the need to optimise the direct booking channel and are striving to make themselves indispensable to smaller, independent hotels.

Moreover, the role of metasearch itself is changing. Major players like Google, TripAdvisor, and now Trivago, are transforming themselves into booking sites, while booking sites are pivoting into offering booking engines and website assistance.

In addition, the shift towards mobile bookings has significantly changed the way travellers interact with hotel booking platforms. Today’s travellers demand instant access to information, and they don’t want to have to navigate through multiple pages to find the rates for their chosen dates.

Recognising this sea change, Trivago has taken a different approach from other major players like Google or TripAdvisor. Instead of processing bookings on their own site, Trivago has made it easier for travellers to book directly on hotel or OTA websites. They’ve stuck to the Cost-Per-Click (CPC) model, refraining from charging a percentage of booking revenue. This approach makes Trivago Direct Connect a more attractive proposition for small hotels.

But it’s not just the hotels that benefit. Trivago also stands to gain from this offering as it helps them improve conversion rates when referring leads to hotel websites. In Trivago’s case, it seems to be paying off. As Martin Stürzer, General Manager of Hotel Europäischer Hof in Munich, notes, “We have been able to significantly strengthen our direct channel and are currently running our Direct Connect campaign at a distribution cost of less than 15%.”

Why is Trivago Direct Connect important for small hotels?

Trivago Direct Connect is particularly important for small hotels for several reasons:

  • Increased Visibility: Trivago is a popular platform for travellers looking for accommodation. By using Trivago Direct Connect, small hotels can increase their visibility to a large audience of potential guests.
  • Direct Bookings: Trivago Direct Connect allows small hotels to drive more direct bookings. This is beneficial as direct bookings often have lower costs associated with them compared to bookings made through Online Travel Agencies (OTAs) which charge commission fees.
  • Control Over Pricing and Availability: With Trivago Direct Connect, hoteliers have the ability to control and update their pricing and availability in real-time. This ensures that potential guests always see the most accurate and competitive rates.
  • Improved Conversion Rates: Trivago Direct Connect can help improve conversion rates by providing a seamless booking experience. When a potential guest clicks on a hotel’s listing, they are redirected to the hotel’s own booking engine, reducing the chance of losing the booking to another hotel or OTA.
  • Cost-Effective Marketing: Trivago Direct Connect operates on a Cost-Per-Click (CPC) model, which can be more cost-effective than commission-based models. Hoteliers only pay when a potential guest clicks on their listing, rather than paying a commission on the booking value.

How does Trivago Direct Connect work?

Trivago just launched two types of facilitated bookings – Trivago Express Booking for online travel agencies (OTAs), and Trivago Direct Connect for hoteliers.

Here’s a step-by-step breakdown of how Trivago Direct Connect works:

  1. Hotel Data: Trivago receives an inventory feed containing all of your online bookable hotels. This data is used to map your properties to the corresponding Trivago property, ensuring accurate display of prices and correct placement of deep links to your hotel pages. Regular feed updates are necessary to ensure the inventory list is always up-to-date.
  2. Hotel Availability – Price Search Results Page: When users search for hotels on Trivago, they provide specific search criteria such as a destination, travel dates, and the desired room occupancy. These search criteria are then passed via the APIs to each of Trivago’s providers to retrieve the available rates for the hotels that match the request. The lowest rates provided for each hotel are then displayed on the Trivago search results page.
  3. Hotel Availability – Item Details: If users want to see all available rates for a specific hotel and/or more rate information, they can click on “View all deals”. Trivago then sends a further hotel availability API request for that specific property to all listed advertisers. Based on the response, Trivago displays all advertisers’ rates, as well as the rate and room descriptions to the users.
  4. Link to Advertiser Hotel Page: When a user clicks on your deal, a pop-up window appears, showing a transition screen while they are redirected to the hotel website. The user then lands on the hotel detail page with the applicable rate, so they can continue the booking process.

With Trivago Direct Connect, hoteliers can publish their website rates on their Trivago hotel profiles, apply for access to a simple campaign management tool within Trivago Hotel Manager to run the CPC marketing campaign, and integrate Direct Connect with their existing booking engine (or use the simple version offered for free by Trivago themselves).

Do you have to pay a fee to use Trivago Direct Connect?

Trivago Direct Connect operates on a Cost-Per-Click (CPC) model. This means that hoteliers pay a fee each time a potential guest clicks on their listing and is redirected to their hotel’s website or booking engine. The exact cost per click can vary based on several factors, including the competitiveness of the market and the hotel’s specific pricing strategy.

It’s important to note that while there is a cost associated with each click, there are no Trivago commission rates on the booking revenue generated through these clicks. This makes Trivago Direct Connect a potentially cost-effective solution for small hotels looking to increase their visibility and drive more direct bookings.

How Trivago commission rates are determined

While Trivago doesn’t charge a commission on bookings, the cost per click can be influenced by several factors:

  • Hotel Category: The category or star rating of a hotel can influence the cost per click. Luxury or high-star hotels may have a higher cost per click due to the higher average room rates and potentially higher profitability of these clicks.
  • Room Rates: Hotels with higher room rates may choose to bid more for clicks, as the potential return on investment from these clicks is higher. Conversely, hotels with lower room rates may need to be more conservative with their bidding to ensure profitability.
  • Location: The hotel’s location can also influence the cost per click. Hotels in popular or competitive locations may need to bid more to stand out from the competition and attract clicks.
  • Competition: The level of competition in the market can significantly impact the cost per click. In highly competitive markets, hotels may need to bid more to secure visibility and clicks. 
  • Seasonality: The cost per click can also fluctuate based on the season or time of year. During peak travel seasons, there may be more competition for visibility, driving up the cost per click. Conversely, during off-peak seasons, the cost per click may be lower.

By Dean Elphick

Dean is the Senior Content Marketing Specialist of Little Hotelier, the all-in-one software solution purpose-built to make the lives of small accommodation providers easier. Dean has made writing and creating content his passion for the entirety of his professional life, which includes more than six years at Little Hotelier. Through content, Dean aims to provide education, inspiration, assistance, and, ultimately, value for small accommodation businesses looking to improve the way they run their operations (and live their life).