How can increase direct bookings at my hotel?
Recently booking commissions have had a huge impact on the revenue streams of hotels and guest houses. Most booking agents charge commission at around 15% but some can go as high as 30%. Many hotel owners and managers are growing increasingly annoyed about the large commission cheques paid out on a monthly basis and are looking for solutions that help them capture most of their revenue directly on their own website. Listed below are some ideas of what can be done to achieve this:-
Make your site accessible
A good website can be viewed not just on a laptop or desktop, but also on a range of devices such as the iPhone, Android smart phone, iPad and other tablets.
Display great photos and videos of your hotel experience
People like to be able to see pictures of where they will be staying. Ensure that your website has large pictures and if possible videos of the rooms including the bathrooms. Pictures showing people’s experiences of the hotel and surrounding area are also helpful.
Make it easy to book
To increase direct bookings offer availability maps, rate calendars and a simple booking process.
Whether you like it or not over 70% of consumers booking hotels rely on TripAdvisor for independent views about their stay. It is critical to embrace TripAdvisor and work with TripAdvisor comments. You can read more in our separate blog ‘Making the most of TripAdvisor‘.
Offer exclusive deals on your site
Reward guests for booking early or becoming a Facebook fan or Twitter follower. Direct bookings with special offers will increase loyalty and drive referral sales on your hotel’s website.
Keep a database of people who have already stopped at the hotel
You can then inform them about changes at the hotel and special offers that you are running.
In summary, it is important to provide incentives for customers to book directly with your hotel. This can be achieved with a modern e-commerce system: a modern website, great photos, an easy booking engine, good customer reviews and special offers.
However, with the domination of booking.com, Expedia, hotels.com etc it is important to also use these sites carefully and effectively to continue to drive demand.