Why Should my Clients Book Directly with my Hotel?
17 Sep, 2021
For years now, Online Travel Agencies (OTAs) like Booking.com, TripAdvisor Inc, or Expedia, have been the go-to booking websites for most travelers. Amidst intense competition in the hospitality industry, it is a no-brainer that your hotel should be listed in multiple OTAs. It will increase your brand visibility and help you reach untapped markets. Nonetheless, there is a contentious relationship between OTAs and hotels, with the latter showcasing resentment over high commission fees charged by OTAs. Travelers too are not exempted from the hefty commission fees and ridiculous charges (such as cancellation fees) imposed by OTAs. Gaining independence from OTAs and increasing your direct bookings therefore, seems like the ultimate goal. In this article, we share with you compelling reasons as to why it is better to book directly with a hotel.
Perhaps one of the best advantages that your clients get when they book directly with you, is that you can tailor their stay to their liking. Let them know that they can get room preferences, the kind of view they would prefer, and even room service.
Likewise, they can also highlight major requirements such as food allergies or mobility issues. While third-party booking sites offer the option of including such requirements, such vital information is not always conveyed to the hotel management and staff members. The result? Usually unsatisfied clients.
In stark contrast, you can have staff members responsible for online bookings to be diligent and attentive to such requirements. In turn, guests will find your services to be well-organized and consumer-centric. A positive review and rating will be imminent!
When clients book directly with you, only the business and the clients are involved. In the event that something happens therefore, say a client has been given the wrong room, it is easier for you to be accountable and ensure that both parties reach an amicable solution.
When an OTA is involved however, things can get pretty messy. For instance, when your system cannot process a booking made via an OTA, which is not something unusual, the client has no option but to stay in the wrong room or miss all rooms entirely. At this point, there is barely any hope for a recourse.
There are no unpleasant surprises
Unlike on a third-party booking site, your hotel’s website will always have the latest news about the property and services, up-to-date images, and all the specific details your clients would require before their stay. You work hard to make that right! And why is this important? Because you avoid disappointing clients upon arrival on the property, and they miss some of the services mentioned in the third-party booking site.
Hotels are seemingly fighting back against OTAs by giving special promotions like discount rates to clients who book directly with the hotel, and you should follow suit. Hyatt Hotels for instance, which has 12 different brands under it, recently announced that members of the Hyatt Gold Passport loyalty program, would receive up to 10% discount for direct bookings with either Hyatt’s website or its mobile application. Honestly, who would not fancy a 10% discount?
One of the biggest flexes by third-party booking sites like Travelocity and Kayak, is turning up some of the lowest prices, even just by some few dollars. To most travelers, such prices would be a bargain. But one common practice by hotels that most travelers don’t realize, is that you crave for those direct bookings, and are willing to match any price out there.
What you would only enquire from travelers, is for them to present a cheaper price for a similar stay in a different property. As a hotelier, make it a point to practice rate parity between your hotel and OTAs to increase those direct bookings.
Another advantage of booking directly with a hotel, is that the hotel would be naturally inclined and willing to help their clients if they want to adjust their schedule or even cancel the trip entirely. Let your clients know that in stark contrast, booking with an OTA somewhat locks them in the contract for stay, and will be left with no room for negotiations with your staff members.
As a hotelier, you understand that direct bookings generate more profit than bookings through OTAs and other third-party sites. As such, reward your direct booking clients by affording them special treatment and offering them the best services amongst other perks – be it free breakfast or even food and beverage credits.
Let the batch of clients that booked with OTAs know that they will merely enjoy the basics, which is just the rooms. This clear distinction will push these clients to book directly with the hotel during their next stay, in efforts to enjoy quality services and special treatment.
With all these reasons, you now understand why it is better to book directly with a hotel. When booking your next stay, take all these points into consideration, and make the right decision – booking directly.
17 Sep, 2021
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