Online travel agencies or OTAs are quite popular in the online hotel market because travelers are looking for simplicity and convenience when booking. Although OTAs helps hotels to boost occupancy and exposure, the hotel’s bottom line is reduced owing to their high commission fees. This is why hotels need to create effective strategies that will boost direct bookings to eliminate the commission rates and upsurge profit. Here are a few strategies that can bring direct bookings.
Install a User-Friendly Booking Engine
To increase direct bookings, hoteliers must offer a user-friendly booking engine that allows guests to make reservations directly through the hotel’s website. Travelers are looking for simplicity and convenience when booking and your online booking engine should be easily accessible and simple to use. Choose a flexible solution that enables you to provide enticing packages and incentives that are not found on any third-booking platforms. This will persuade your guests that booking directly with your property will give them value for money and the best travel experience.
Drive Direct Bookings Using Data
Creating effective sales and marketing content that will generate direct bookings starts with recognizing your customer base and the reasons why they choose your hotel. You can use the information in your property management system (PMS) to ascertain your customer segments and your property’s unique selling points. This information will effectively guide your future marketing strategies.
This data will pinpoint the types of guests your property attracts and their motivation to stay with you. When hoteliers are knowledgeable about their guests, they can offer personalized and unique packages and services that will inspire new and repeat bookings through their websites.
Offer Value-Added Packages
Providing value-added packages through your hotel website will encourage travelers to book direct. Price is a great factor for many travelers, however, people pay extra when they get value for their money in form of useful services or products. Be sure to provide hotel deals that give value for money while highlighting the features and strengths of your hotel property. Some of the incentives that can encourage direct booking include free breakfast, complimentary Wi-Fi, discounted prices, free parking, loyalty and reward points, and exclusive discounts to local events or attractions.
Leverage User-Generated Content
The success and popularity of platforms that showcase customer reviews proves that user-generated content (UGC) is a trusted and valuable currency that hotels can use to build good reputation and increase direct bookings. Hoteliers should make it easy for people to share and spread positive evaluations of their hotels with different travelers. This can be achieved by incorporating guest reviews on your hotel website and social media profiles. This is an effective way of turning onlookers into direct bookers.
By implementing these strategies, hoteliers can motivate new and repeat travelers to make direct bookings. When more travelers booking through your hotel website, you will increase the exposure of your business, occupancy rates, and profits. To boost direct bookings, hotels must build customer relationships and loyalty by providing unique and personalized services and packages to their guests and rewarding loyalty.