OTAs are big players in the hospitality industry. Most tourists all around the world trust them. They usually get all the web traffic from search engines, which means that they also obtain the majority of the bookings.
OTAs are great solutions for the guests but not so much for the hotels. They reduce the possibilities of direct bookings and normally charge high commissions, which results in lower hotel revenue. The only solution to fight against it is to implement measures to attract people directly to your website, and once they are there, get them to book directly. Discover 6 ways to get more direct bookings.
- Have a mobile-friendly hotel website
Nowadays, most of your guests book their rooms directly on their phones. If your website is not optimized for smartphones, booking is going to be a complicated task. Customers might have trouble seeing the images correctly or filling in the form. Potential guests will most probably leave your website frustrated and might never try to book again. You have just lost a client.
Having a mobile-friendly website is compulsory if you want to give a first good impression to its users and get direct bookings.
2. Integrate a booking engine to your website
People are used to do everything on their own using the internet. If they like the accommodation you offer and want to book a room, the whole process has to be easy, look safe and be as quick as possible. That is why you have to integrate a booking engine into your website.
This way, users can directly book without having to send you an email or make a call. Do not forget to make sure that your guests receive an instant confirmation from your hotel PMS.
3. Keep CTAs attractive
Even if the users are interested in your hotel and want to book a room, you have to give them a hand and push them a little. Booking a room is an important part of planning a trip and customers do not want to get it wrong. So your website has to be very clear and concise.
Do not forget about CTAs! Calls-to-Action help users make a decision, so it is important to keep them appealing and to strategically place them throughout your website. These CTAs should lead to your booking engine.
4. Run ads to trigger bookings
It is maybe that users have visited your website and left doubting whether or not they should book a room you offer. If you want to convince these hesitant users, remarketing is a very good solution.
You can also run ads on search engines to attract people that are looking for a hotel. This is a great way to increase awareness and generate more direct bookings.
5. Implement a chatbot
Your website may be very attractive and complete, but some users might still have doubts or questions. They can send you an email or call you, but if they have to do so, you will very likely lose a client.
The best solution is to keep them on the page and to implement a chatbot or a live chat to provide them with answers immediately.
6. Think of email marketing
Email marketing is a fantastic tool to keep in touch with former customers and create a long-lasting relationship. Sending newsletters regularly is a strategy to make them think about returning to your hotel.
In case you want to invite them to book directly, you can think of an emailing strategy. You might want to send them special discounts to book online, which will get you more direct bookings.
For hotels, it is very important to get direct bookings to increase hotel revenue. So it might be worth giving some of these ideas a try.