A survey conducted by WYSE Travel Confederation of 57,000 travelers under 30 revealed that 47% of this age group used an OTA to book their accommodations! It’s a statistic that is forcing a growing number of hoteliers to take an interest in this issue.
Online Travel Agencies (OTAs) are often criticized for cannibalizing direct sales from independent hotels, brandjacking Google search results (AdWords and SEO), and charging increasingly high commissions for hotel bookings.
The current trends shows that OTAs continue to gain strength and are steadily taking up a larger share of hotel profits.
Offer your rooms at a special rate on your official hotel website
It is important to state on the booking page that guests will get the best price when they book directly on your website. Offering a special rate directly on the website is good. Letting the customer know is even better. Make sure it’s clear to customers that they are getting the lowest price. In this way, they will not be tempted to go on another platform to compare prices. To attract potential customers, it is essential to offer rooms with a lower rate on the official website.
Stand out from the rest with an effective and engaging hotel website
One of the main advantages hoteliers have is the ability to stand out when potential guests visit their official website. Sharing beautiful photos and promoting your direct offers are all strategies that set you apart from the competition.
Give exclusivity to certain products on your official website
Your official website is the heart of your digital distribution channel. It is there to attract your audience, win them over, and convert them into customers. Therefore, it must be user-friendly and visually appealing to make a positive first impression within the first few seconds it is accessed. But that’s not all. To make an even greater impact, giving exclusivity to certain products on the official website can be an extremely effective way to drive more direct bookings.
Have more flexible cancellation policies on your website
Travel restrictions and general uncertainty can make it hard to plan. Consider updating your cancellation policy to help travelers feel more comfortable during the booking process. This will also give them peace of mind. The ability to modify or cancel a reservation may encourage them to book. Flexible cancellation policies may allow travelers to get a full refund, including all fees, if they cancel at least 24 hours before the hotel’s local check-in time.
Communicate with your customer base
For many of us, travel creates lasting memories. The hotel where we stay, its hospitality, its breakfast, and the services it offers are some important elements of a positive customer experience. All these factors will encourage your customers to return to your hotel or recommend it to a friend or an acquaintance in the future.
Your hotel’s digital distribution is not a long quiet river. Many factors come into play when you want to make your website your primary distribution channel for direct online booking. Having a fast and visually appealing website, offering the lowest rates, showcasing your direct offers, and being more flexible
in your cancellation policies are the pillars that will significantly increase your direct bookings.
You now have the key information you need to boost direct bookings on your website. To go even further, find all our tips to reduce the share of OTAs on your turnover.