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How do you get more people booking direct?

Last year I booked accommodation overseas and I did it through booking.com ‘gasp!’ (my excuse - the hotel website really needed some love from Pebble, they didn’t have a good booking engine and there was no incentive to book direct). On receiving my booking confirmation from booking.com was the statement ‘Best Rate Guarantee.’

How do you get more people booking direct?

Now I’ve just finished reading an article how booking.com is annoyed by hotels working on direct booking initiatives. My question is how can they be getting their knickers in knot when they do exactly the same thing?

Booking.com plays is an important channel to get bookings coming in from just as your own website. With your own website of course you don’t have to pay any commissions. So it’s important to have both channels working equally well.

It is key to convert as many of your guests to book direct next time.

Also make sure your website has that message on it ‘Best Rate Guarantee’ so before the guest even makes a booking on any site they are already getting that message direct from you. Unless you tell them they don’t know. Get creative too. A lot of hotels offer incentives to book direct. Perhaps book direct and receive a little something special from us on arrival (don’t tell them what it is, keep it a surprise).

The article I read talks about a hotel where the password for the wifi was ‘book direct.’ Now what a great cheeky way to get the message across and was the inspiration behind this blog post.

  • Change your hotel wifi password to be ‘bookdirect’ or ‘bookdirectandsave’

Can you think of any other cheeky, fun or smart ways to get your guests booking direct with you next time?

  • Are your staff trained to do this?
  • What’s the incentive you’re going to offer them?
  • How are you going to communicate that message?
  • Where are you going to communicate that message?
  • How often are you going to communicate that message?

The key I believe is getting creative with a win win attitude between you and your customer. Where you put your energy and the way you take action matters i.e. ‘we are getting lots of bookings through booking.com but what a great opportunity we have to turn many of them into direct bookings.’

Booking.com is a marketing tool to help grow your business but don’t miss the opportunity to get more direct bookings by taking positive action with your website, access to your wifi and having the right communication from your staff and marketing efforts.

Original article - tnooz

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