Another bustling year is drawing to a close for the hospitality industry.

So much has happened since the beginning of the year, but one thing has stayed constant: hoteliers are as hungry as ever to seek out new direct booking strategies, new challenges, and new solutions to their most complex problems.

So what were the main topics of 2018? A/B testing, booking engine conversion rates, blockchain, metasearch and wholesalers rates were among the subjects that got hoteliers clicking over the last twelve months. In this post, we round up ten of the most-read articles on the Triptease blog. Check out the list below - how many have you read?

10: Is A/B testing dead?

Beginning the countdown, one of our most popular free reports from 2018. Optimizely’s decision to sunset their free A/B testing tool prompted us to perform a deep-dive into the pros, cons and challenges of A/B testing as an independent hotel. Download it now to find out more about the most common A/B testing mistakes, the big differences between OTAs and hotels when it comes to testing, and how to avoid an invalid test.

9: The country taking control of its direct bookings

An acquisition channel that costs max $395 per year - how often do you hear about one of those? Back in May, we talked to Jordan Mckay of Check In Canada about the white-label software allowing destination marketing organizations to facilitate direct bookings at local hotels. As stated by Jordan, Check In Canada is one of the only examples of a country coming together to work collectively to provide an alternative to OTAs.

8: Triptease is a HotelTechAwards winner!

In February 2018, we topped the ‘Best Direct Booking Platform’ category in the Hotel Tech Awards. Check out what our customers had to say at the time - and take a look at our co-authored Direct Booking Tools Buyer’s Guide: 2019 Edition.

7: How to get your hotel's marketing and revenue teams to collaborate

In this article, we deep dive into the world of marketing and revenue teams and the risk they incur when focussing too much on their own revenue. We invited industry experts to the Direct Booking Summit in Amsterdam to discuss the internal working relationship between Marketing, Digital and Revenue - and how to improve it.

6: Booking engine conversion rates: How do you measure up?

At Triptease, we’re passionate about benchmarking. In this post from January, we aggregated over a million conversion events (i.e. hotel stays booked online) from the last quarter of 2017 to see how well booking engines are converting guests worldwide. Take a look to compare your own performance.

5: Spotlight on... Direct Bookings: Asia-Pacific

After opening our first office in Asia in 2017, we learned how OTAs have pounced on APAC in a major way. They now account for 70% of the online hotel market in the region. In this free report, we broke down parity data by country, looked at the potential causes for Agoda’s ‘changing prices’ and gave our best practice advice for driving direct bookings in Asia.

4: Are TripAdvisor's Sponsored Placements a good idea?

In April, TripAdvisor launched Sponsored Placements, a new form of advertising on the site which will allow paying hotels to appear at the top of a user's search results. But is it a good idea for hotels to take part? Read more about Sponsored Placements (just one of the changes announced by TripAdvisor in a tumultuous year for the metasearch giant).

3: Blockchain for hotels: What you need to know (and what you don't)

Most commonly associated with Bitcoin, blockchain technology has witnessed an explosion of interest and investment recently. Discover the three reasons why we think blockchain should be something that hoteliers have on their radar.

2: OTA association slams direct bookings

In May, the European Technology and Travel Services Association (ETTSA) released a report stating that "the major incentive for hoteliers to push direct sales is to reduce transparency for customers" and that direct bookings "are not cheaper for hotels" and could do real damage to hoteliers trying to maximize revenue for their property. Read our thoughts on these claims and what we think hoteliers should do to protect their parity.

1: Can I stop OTAs from displaying wholesale rates?

In April 2018 Expedia announced they may be introducing 'multi-source channel rates' into their contracts with hotels. Now free to display rates other than those from the hotel, the news hit badly those already struggling with rate parity, and especially those being undercut by unpackaged wholesale rates. Read our reaction to this news on our most-read article of 2018.

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