It is great to see the tide slowly turning and some inroads being made by hotels worldwide. The charge is definitely being led by the big hotel chains, but all hotels get to benefit.
Here are 10 ideas other hotels are doing and are working on how to get more direct bookings:
Beef up your packages and special offers on your website – offer perks like complimentary breakfast, free wifi, free parking
Offer discounts for longer stays or advanced reservations through your website, email newsletters, return bookings
Educate your audience that you are the best price guaranteed (A new Loyalty Rate Feed from Pebble)
Have a pop up on the home page offering a direct incentive to book direct, free wifi or a discounted rate for joining your guest privileges newsletter
A unique advantage is to talk directly with your guest, customise their stay and package for them, match the perfect room type for their most enjoyable experience
If you have F&B, offer a drink at the bar, an entrée or dessert with a meal or bottle of wine with a meal – a ‘wine down’ special 10% off best available rate and two glasses of wine at the bar
If you have a golf course, a free round of golf
If you have a spa, negotiate with them a free 15 minute neck massage or spa pack of amenity sample products (Gaia Retreat do this well)
Offer a wellness pack to promote a luxurious deep sleep
Free scuba lessons or mini intro tour with an attraction nearby to you
Large hotel chains have also joined the fight to wrestle bookings back from online travel agencies. Hilton Worldwide launched a “Stop Clicking Around” campaign this spring, offering direct booking rates that are 2% to 10% less than online travel site rates, depending on the date requested and how far in advance the reservation is made.
Direct bookers also can choose their floor, room and get free Wi-Fi and digital check-in. To get the discount and perks, guests must join the free HHonors loyalty program.
“Since launching this campaign, we’ve doubled the rate of growth in our direct channel,” said Geraldine Calpin, chief marketing officer of Hilton Worldwide.
“There’s a misconception that the best price is found through online travel agencies. We want customers to know that that’s not true.”
Inspired by – A new app developed by a German company we are in discussions with and an article in the LA Times – here’s the article