The big OTA’s certainly do a good job at consolidating travel information with the primary purpose being on just booking rooms, any rooms. Where they fall short is in really ‘pleasing’ customers or speaking to niche markets, it is more a cookie cutter approach of display everyone the same.
The advantage for hoteliers is to personalise their property website and offer generous perks for booking directly, not to mention the warm, genuine hospitality available through phone sales, extra care and going the extra mile to tailor the holiday experience for their guests.
When guests choose to come directly to a hotel’s website to search and book, they are looking for a more personal experience. What an advantage to offer in depth expertise of the property and provide more flexibility in terms of a room choice, reservation changes, and price negotiations. You know the facility inside and out to provide the best recommendations for local restaurants and attractions, and accommodations for the guest. Marketing the perks of booking direct to travellers is not a new concept, but one that many hotels can still continue to build out on their websites.
The key is capturing visitors attention quickly when they hit the website by marketing the perks of booking direct that are most relevant to them. By understanding visitors intent from the first site visit, many marketers have been able to engage visitors to build the value of booking direct versus third parties.
Examples of offers:
- Repeat guests who previously booked through an OTA will receive 15% off their next stay when booking direct.
- Guests who book direct can expect guaranteed cheapest rates, complimentary full breakfast, Hotel loyalty card to collect free night stays, complimentary goody bag, and additional seasonal/holiday offers.
- Booking direct includes flexible change policies, customized reservation services and free cancellation up to 24 hours before your stay.
- Other offers include an additional 10% off their stay and a club Program membership. Exclusive members can expect complimentary water and turndown service, courtesy room upgrades, in room treats, and complimentary dishes at the award winning onsite restaurant.
- Langham guarantees the best rate booking direct; if a guest discovers a rate that is lower than theirs they will honor the rate for the nights plus 25% additional discount.
- Hilton’s exclusive HHonors deals. 10 percent off published rate & members can earn points that will go towards free Wifi, complimentary room nights, digital room keys and the opportunity to select their room ahead of check-in. Members additionally can redeem HHonors points for a chance at exclusive experiences such as concerts and weekend getaways.
- Marriott Rewards. If a member finds a lower rate someplace else, they’ll then match the rate and offer an additional 25 percent discount. Marriott Rewards members benefits include complimentary Wifi, mobile check-in and the opportunity to earn points for free room nights.