If people traditionally stayed in a hotel that they booked directly, without intermediaries, now the times and the different internet platforms have made reservations made through intermediate platforms. Thus, consumers have more and more accommodation options in the cities they visit. Therefore, it is the hotels that should attract the guest to reserve through their direct channel, without intermediaries.
In Spain, the number of direct reservations has increased considerably in recent years, so there is a proactivity on the part of hoteliers in fighting for the traveler to book directly through the hotel. According to Euromonitor International, hotels are gaining ground since in 2019 it is estimated that Direct hotel reservations made through the internet generate more than 2,796 million euros, which is 66% more than in 2014.
In this world, SiteMinder, the world's leading traveler acquisition platform in the hotel industry, has launched six steps that a hotelier must take to take full advantage of this context.
First of all, from this platform they advise to have a good design on the website to be a perfect showcase for accommodation. To do this, they recommend that they have a very high quality of the images, that each room, room, and corner of the hotel has at least four forums that show the space and some of the details that exist and that represent the hotel. In addition, the contact to book, both by e-mail, and by phone must be visible at all times. In the web menu, you have to include room rates so that the guest has an almost exact idea of how your stay will be. Finally, the web must adapt to any device: mobile, tablet or computer.
Subsequently, according to the company, the use of a booking engine is the best way to get guests, both new and those who already know the hotel. Therefore, it is important to have a button on the web that attracts travelers to make the reservation with a simple click. But, the problem in this type of platforms is the amount of steps that guests have to take to make the reservation.
Thus, online travel agencies are great allies for any hotel as they help them to make themselves known and provide them with new guests. However, the best way to compete while maintaining the same room rate is to give offers. Most of them traveled, they point out, before making an online reservation they have visited the website of the accommodation and have read the different comments of other guests- And that is where the hotelier plays an important role. From this platform, they advise the hotelier that when the guest visits the website, he finds the immediate option to book and offer something in return. For example, the offer of the month. «Book now and opt for a free breakfast for two people included in the price of your stay». Thus, they point out, the hotelier will earn the guest and save the commissions.
Another important issue when booking accommodation is whether we are given the possibility to cancel for free or if, on the contrary, we receive a penalty. And this is one of the reasons, according to the platform, why many travelers opt for online travel agencies instead of booking through the hotel directly. Therefore, the option of immediate and easy cancellation should be an imperative factor as it provides security and tranquility to the person making the reservation.
But, and when do the guests leave? It is essential to give visitors a good experience so that, if they repeat their destination, they will stay at your hotel again or recommend it to other visitors. Therefore, they advise that, once the guest has left, the hotel sends them an e-mail thanking them for their trust and proposing that they leave a recommendation on an opinion portal. You can also send, from time to time, some special offer or discount for low season or weekend. Maintaining that slight contact with guests can help you keep them and win many others if you do it right.
Investing in SEO can often be the solution to give more visibility to your accommodation and position it in search engines among the first options. Further, offer the same rates on all booking channels, both on the hotel website and online travel agencies is another good option, according to SiteMinder, for users to book through the hotel's website. In this way, you can compete by offering something extra and special to guests offering the same price.