Finally an upswing in travel bookings! How should hotels drive more direct bookings?

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With the world uniting against the COVID-19 pandemic through vaccines and other safety protocols, there is finally an optimistic trend in travel. Despite warnings of an imminent third wave, countries have started opening borders for international travel.

So how should hotels ride on this trend to drive more direct bookings?
 

1. Check your pricing:

According to news reports, the travel space has seen an increase over the past couple of months in terms of flight tickets, hotel bookings etc. Did you know that an average guest browses 37 websites before booking a hotel? Online travel agencies (OTAs) usually win this race because of their competitive pricing. Therefore, hotels need to get their pricing right to drive more direct bookings and save on OTA commissions. Also, as hotels currently forecast demand only for six to eight weeks, it essential to develop a pricing strategy to remain competitive in the market.
 

2. Offer flexibility:

If we put ourselves in customers’ shoes, clicking on the “Book Now” button without any assurance of a purchase is a huge risk.
Human beings are genetically risk-averse. Hotels should offer flexibility and can boost conversions by assuring customers that they can change their travel plans with little or no penalty. Travel vouchers that offer validity for a long period, flexible dates and locations or free cancellations are some of the options that hotels can display on their website to get customers onboard.
 

3. Invest in your website:

Travel trends have changed post-pandemic. People now prefer to do a great deal of research to ensure safety, and an OTA cannot provide as much information about your hotel as your website can. From showcasing the ease of travelling to your hotel, to special facilities and attractions, there is a lot you can highlight on your website!

At present, there is a surge in drivable leisure and highlighting the ease of reaching your property can help drive more bookings. Your hotel can leverage this trend by highlighting distance, safety measures, chauffeur recommendations and also offer packages which provide road transportation (if implementable) on your website. Use your website as a dynamic marketing tool. Therefore, creating a user-friendly and informative website is a definite way to convert your website visitors into customers.
 

4. Highlight your safety protocols:

Safety and privacy are the most coveted things for people at present. A good way to earn the trust of your guests is by highlighting the way you practice safety protocols at your hotel. Displaying videos that showcases aspects like maintenance of the hotel rooms, social distancing measures at restaurants, hygiene standards at the kitchens, lifts and laundry could be assuring. Pointing out important points, such as information about the vaccination of your staff, availability of doctors nearby would be helpful.
 

5. Offer all-inclusive packages:

The trend of buying all inclusive packages while travelling is getting increasingly popular. With safety getting precedence, guests these days may not prefer exploring new places. So, introducing hotel offers and packages that include meal plans or travel options can help drive more conversions! Another space for innovation is your in-room dining. It is preferable to customize the menu with your hotel’s popular dishes based on your customers’ past choices.
 

The Simplotel Advantage:

Simplotel is a hotel technology company offering end-to-end solutions for 99.999% of hotel marketing challenges! Our vision is to be the #1 technology company, powering hotels across the world. We equip hotels with our superior technology and create beautiful websites and seamless booking engines, showcase the hotel brand through proven marketing strategies, offer great guest journeys on the website and booking engine, and drive more direct bookings. When we are given the reins to your hotel’s website, you can be rest assured that the number of direct bookings coming your way will increase manifold.

Winter is over and the travel season has arrived! Is your hotel ready and willing to surf this new wave?