In the last few years, the hotel business is facing off "direct booking war" against online travel agencies (OTAs). Though the OTAs are continuously increasing their business services for hotels, the big to small hotels are also examining different strategies to win back share from OTAs that charge costly commission rates ranging between 10 and 30 per cent.
Direct Booking Wars
Since early 2017, most of the influential hotel brands launched aggressive ad campaigns combined to “book direct” discounts for their loyalty members. And the initial results are positive. Moreover, other cost-effective direct booking strategies have also started to show crucial changes.
In this blog, we will discuss three strategies on how hotels could win the direct booking wars
Strategy 1: Website Optimization & Conversion
The entire planning of travel, stay, fooding & lodging, everything may complete within a dedicated hotel website. The best part is that hotel websites have e-commerce advantages over OTAs.
Another key advantage of operating conversion is revenue management. Effective revenue management can help optimize (and automate) pricing resolutions to maximize conversion on a daily basis.
Strategy 2: Focus on Getting Natural Reviews
Even with optimising your hotel website, every travel decision and planning may not start on here always. When it comes to hotel booking decisions, Google and TripAdvisor are two of the most significant platforms to start the decision making and planning.
Moreover, you can't force everyone staying at your property, to login to Google or TripAdvisor and write an elaborate review. What you can do, is to approach private feedback, and connect it with Google and TripAdvisor review. It helps businesses receive reviews from those who usually not write reviews, and promotes guest engagement through these two platforms.
Strategy 3: Start Macro Targeting for Email Marketing
Furthermore, guest engagement is all about improving the value of the hotel & guest relationship after completion of the initial booking. A lot of emerging actions are being taken in the hospitality sector to meet the changing nature of guest expectations, including email marketing and customer relationship management etc.
A move from the non-targeted flow of emails to uncomplicated macro targeting email marketing approach can be incredibly helpful as it can induce higher guest engagement and a high rate of return on the marketing investment.
In conclusion, we can point out how hotels could win the direct booking wars. A positive drive is growing on the side of hotels in the direct booking war. Even the hotels with less marketing budgets compared to the larger brands are converging on website optimisation, search placement, and macro email targeting. This move can positively start to drive significant share to displace from the OTAs.