It is important to understand why boosting direct booking is the best option for hoteliers, even though a balance between online distribution channels is also needed to get the most benefits for your business.
Online travel agencies (OTAs) are tools that, with the rise of digital technology, have been very useful for hotels as they generate greater visibility and presence both locally and globally.
However, OTAs charge a percentage of commission for each of the reservations made and, although it is a good investment, the more direct bookings you receive, the better your net income will be.
After several studies carried out in the main hotel chains in different cities of the world, it was discovered that OTAs, on many occasions, managed to offer a lower price for a room than when it was booked directly with the hotel.
This caused the preference of users to use OTAs instead of websites to shift, and therefore some hoteliers redesigned their strategies to attract guests directly.
Offer personalized experiences as an incentive
People enjoy their travel experience more by receiving a personalized service, and if they have it from the moment of reservation they will feel more confident.
It is important to plan and implement offers that are so attractive that they are difficult to refuse. There are improvements or additional services that do not mean a great expense for the hotel and that can be the ideal incentive for guests to make their reservations directly.
Some of the benefits most requested by guests when making a direct reservation They are: get from 20% to 50% a discount on the room, free spa service, discount vouchers at the restaurant, or free airport-hotel-airport transportation service.
On the other hand, you must take into account that tourists are looking for a space to rest and enjoy. So when confirming your reservation you can offer visit itineraries to different sites in the area according to their interests or plan recreation and relaxation activities within the hotel.
By contacting your guests directly you are building a relationship. Maintain good communication and take an interest in their travel plans. With this, you will know what extra services you could offer them and that they will eventually generate profits.
Optimize your website
Your website must offer visitors an attractive design with easy access to current offers, where you can find all the information and read the texts without complications, with simple distribution and preferably without intense colors.
The first thing a user looks for about a hotel on the internet is that it has a comfortable space for their rest, so the main images that we recommend you place on your site are photographs of the rooms and the most attractive spaces in your hotel.
The main objective of your website should be for guests to make a direct reservation, so the "Book Now" button should always stand out, this way there will be no room for confusion.
Keep in mind that the site must also be available and readable to enter from any mobile device, since more than a third of internet traffic uses a Smartphone or Tablet to make their reservations. Don't go to waste these opportunities!
Take advantage of social networks
Millennials are a latent market for hotels, it is estimated that more than 70% are continuous guests. This generation was born and raised with digitization, therefore, their presence on social networks is inherent.
The visibility of your hotel in social networks magnifies your chances of visits. By developing a continuous strategy on the main platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, you will be within reach of your audience and make your establishment easy to find.
In your publications, in addition to links, photographs, videos, offers and sites of interest in your area, include an easy and direct reservation process. Don't forget to update and maintain the information uniformly across all channels, including your website.
Without a doubt, direct booking is the best option for hoteliers independent. But do not rule out the use of OTAs either, remember that they are a great tool that you should not do without as it improves your online presence by promoting yourself globally, which is also reflected in the increase in your income.
In GuruHotel, we offer you the perfect tools for your hotel business and that you manage to convert your website visits into guests, integrating all your distribution channels, but with the possibility of getting more direct bookings from your website.
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