pondelok, 28. októbra 2013

10 reasons why to drive more direct bookings

 10 reasons why to drive more direct bookings

Few year earlier hotels agreed to pay OTA commissions, usually between 20%-25% of the gross booking value to drive more bookings and to supplement occupancy. Today OTAs no longer supplement occupancy, but they rather compete against a hotel´s own promotion tools.
Here are 10 reasons, why to go direct.
1.       Commission on Online Travel Agencies (OTA) do not have to be „just“ costs of doing busines
Do not let customers to be diverted to OTA´s and online booking sites. With reducing your hotel´s dependence on OTA´s you can limit these expanses. All you need to do is to promote your hotel´s direct contact on listings and directories that works as “yellow pages” for hotels. If your property is not listed customers are less likely to know that you exist.

2.       Travelers often do not book during their first visit to OTA´s
More and more travelers browse a lot of information about a hotel they want to stay in. They would like to learn about the hotel before they book it. Let your customer discover more about your hotel. Get visible on the internet.

3.       More direct access to hotel´s website will lead to more direct reservations
Being listed on different review sites and directories will guide browsing customers not only to your website but also to your social channels where you can communicate with them in unique ways.

4.       Hotels are about seeing, touching and experiencing comfort
Don’t try to be a hotel with lowest rate. Try to offer to your customer quality, service and value.  Focus on benefits of booking directly with you and create promises around this. Guarantee the best rate for example. Use social media to engage with your current and future guests.

5.       Increasing number of online booking
With increasing number of bookings coming via online channels, it becomes an importance for hotels to improve their direct booking and promote their websites. Try to turn your OTA customers into direct bookers. Your reception employee should promote your homepage to all OTA customers and tell them about advantages (better prices) by booking directly through your homepage.

6.       OTAs bring  bookings but at a high cost
By growing your direct bookings you reduce your dependence on OTA´s and lower your costs on commission.

7.       Customers find another way to book
Hotels that do not improve their direct visibility of their websites with effective online marketing tools, they will not be “there” for their potential guest and they find a way to book elsewhere. The high commission invested into third party booking systems should rather go into online marketing tools.

8.       Misleading your potential guests
With OTA´s using their giant Google Adds often leads to transferring customers to their sites and offering them a 50% to 75% off the price, while the prices on hotels websites are the same.
Beneath OTA´s often show prices before taxes and service fees, what again confuses the customer.
If your property is not available on the chosen date, they immediately avert customer´s attention to a competitive accommodation.

9.       Improve your online marketing tools
Make sure that your website is well optimized and has a high conversion.  Find out what sources you can use to improve your online marketing.

10.   Diversify your distribution channels
Create a balance between different OTA´s, travel meta search engines and directories.
Find new channels to expand your reach and help you spread out our hotel.

Lowering OTA dependency is not an overnight issue and these strategies will take some time. However, start now and discover its advantages in few months.

Reduce hotel´s third party distribution costs with Hotelchoosing. Get more traffic to your website and more direct bookings through your homepage.   

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