Are airlines also jumping on the ‘direct bookings’ bandwagon?

As hotels ramp up their internal strategies to garner more direct sales and bookings, it is no wonder that the airlines are seeing the huge benefit this has in incentivising customers.

Are airlines also jumping on the ‘direct bookings’ bandwagon?

From April Lufthansa fliers will be able to get a discount for direct web bookings. This new fare class will not be available in the GDSs. Just like hotels the direct-booking discount is a new step in Lufthansa's strategy to push a higher portion of ticket sales into its own distribution channels.

We have a simple philosophy on creating more direct bookings for our clients - be devoted to your guests and reward them when they book directly with you. No rocket science needed, just a clear strategy and a few simple tools to help deliver the devotion.

With 72% (Phocuswright) of travel shoppers in the US using Online Travel Agencies (OTAs) to shop for hotels here are 6 essential tactics to convert shoppers into bookers via your own website. I think we all use the OTA sites as a directory of sorts when booking travel and then visit the hotel sites independently. 60% of travel shoppers who book through an OTA will visit your hotel website first, so be sure that you:

  1. Capture their contact information (easily done through our Price Check tool or a pop up discount voucher box.)
  2. Provide Guest Reviews directly on your website - these heavily influence the decision making process (According to TripAdvisor, 96% of travel shoppers consider reviews important when researching a hotel, and 79% will read 6-12 reviews before making a purchase decision.)
  3. Leverage Social Media Content - this is so simple to do by including an Instagram feed on page and we coach our social media clients on how to maximise this through a ‘social media guest engagement’ strategy, also simple to do. Having things like a social media gallery within your website is also a huge plus as visitors can view ‘the tribe’ without losing themselves into their Facebook feed and notifications.
  4. Amplify your local knowledge and the signature experiences you offer at your hotel through your own blog posts and wrap them up into great special offers for your guests. These can be exclusive to your property and offer so much more value in the minds of travellers. It is your local knowledge and the reasons why you love the area you live in that people will connect with. The OTA’s can’t ever match this.
  5. Is it clear and obvious when landing on your website of the ‘Benefits of Booking Directly’ with the hotel? We have many solutions in this area to offer you and when you amplify this message out through your email marketing and social marketing, your direct bookings go up.
  6. We are not anti OTA’s, they are important to your marketing mix just as is Meta Search marketing, Social Media Marketing and Email Marketing. It is important to ensure that you have simple, clear and defined strategies in all the current marketing channels for you to leverage your exposure across all online areas. It sounds daunting but it is not when you can easily work with people who can help you grow your business.

We have 9 essential hotel solutions for more direct bookings, specifically built, tried and tested with proven results. We are also continually innovating to help our clients grow the value of their businesses. Give us a call if you would like some help…

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