Top 10 Hotel Direct Booking Strategies for 2021
Direct hotel bookings are essential for any accommodation. Not only do they help hoteliers achieve a healthy distribution mix between OTA and direct bookings and control distribution costs, but they bring in something more valuable than money- Data.
Data is a valuable resource in these highly digitized times. By accessing contact information and other data such as guest preferences, hoteliers can build better customer relationships and improve their service. It boosts the economy of the country. Read more from Statista about travel and tourism industry in India.
As you can see, direct bookings come with many advantages, so it is quite likely that it should be one of the objectives for your establishment.
Here we are going to discuss the top 10 Hotel Direct Bookings Strategies for 2021. They are some of the best strategies with which you can boost your direct bookings.
Hotel Direct Booking Strategies
The first step to receiving more direct bookings is making sure your website is optimized for conversion. When a potential guest comes to your website, you need to offer them a seamless booking process. To do this, the hotel website must be intuitive and visually appealing. Use good quality content and high definition images make it interesting, but also simple; this will help improve the website.
Additionally, a responsive mobile-optimized layout is another way to attract more bookings. According to the report, reservations made on smartphones are increasing significantly. Therefore, we recommend that your website be compatible with mobile devices.
How to get more bookings for my hotel?
From email marketing to social media and from hotel review websites to your own website, the success or failure of your direct booking strategy will largely depend on the effectiveness of your ability to leverage the channels of communication at your disposal.
Your hotel’s marketing strategy and plan may include a focus on advertising your loyalty program on social media and via email with a focus on driving customers directly to your website. You can invest in targeted marketing online, including using paid campaigns on Google and social media. Your email strategy should include an after-sales correspondence campaign to increase guest engagement, generate feedback, and drive future bookings.
Hotel Direct Bookings vs OTAs
OTAs are online travel agencies, also known as reservation websites. They are distribution channels used by practically all types of accommodations to sell more rooms and increase online visibility. Through the OTA channels, it is much easier for the traveler to compare rates, make evaluations and judge the overall hotel score.
A large portion of travelers search and make bookings through OTAs. This can be positive and negative at the same time, as the hotel is receiving a sale that may never reach it, but it pays commissions online that vary between 10% and 15%. For a direct booking strategy to work, you need investment, which could end up being less than the commission of you paying OTA with more profitable results.
Direct Hotel Bookings
Increasing direct bookings would be one of the most rewarding tasks for any hotelier. Given the large size of the market and the proportion of third-party reservation sites, it is increasingly important for hotels to maintain a balance between OTA reservations and direct reservations.
There is no denying the role of OTAs in increasing your bookings. However, increasing direct bookings is better for your hotel business simply because it helps you minimize the cost of brokering with OTAs. After all, 20% saved is 20% earned
How To Get More Direct Bookings?
Getting more direct bookings results in the success of the hotel. How to get more direct bookings is the question asked by every hotelier. Following are some of the tips to get more direct bookings.
- Optimizing the website brings a strong digital identity to attract the maximum number of visitors. Consider using relevant content on your website to drive organic traffic to your website. Most importantly, your hotel website must be mobile-friendly.
- Integrating a web booking engine on your hotel website allows your website visitors to see room availability in real-time.
- Promote positive guest reviews on your website. Because the majority of customers read hotel reviews and consider them extremely important before making the final booking. Good reviews can greatly influence a traveler’s booking decision.
- Attract your website visitors with offers or giveaways. Indicate the type of benefits to which they are entitled if they make direct bookings.
- Handle booking abandonment tactfully, so that the guests would not leave your website before booking or making payment.
- Offer loyalty programs to your guests to book directly with you by providing points that can be easily redeemed by them.
- Enabling the reservation through social media platforms is an easier booking process for travelers. Implement a booking engine that can be integrated with your hotel property’s social media page.
- Increase your presence in metasearch engines. Because more than half of the percentage of online bookers use metasearch to find their ideal hotel. Metasearch engines help travelers make an informed hotel reservation by allowing them to compare hotel prices listed on various OTAs.
- Include a call-to-action button on your hotel website (also known as the CTA button). A well-designed, strategically placed call-to-action button can be decisive. You can use various buttons depending on what your customers are looking for, such as “More information”, “Contact us” or “Book now”.
- Reward the guests with a loyalty program that offers valuable and concrete advantages to these types of customers, such as discounts on future bookings, free nights in a joint reservation, free Wi-Fi access, or a welcome basket or complimentary service. Your program should also be able to attract new customers. Also, have an appreciation program in which reservations are awarded.
We hope you have a great understanding of how direct bookings can help your business grow.