Today, 93% of the hotel customers use the Internet to compare the prices and book. These platforms are not always honest, according to a record from the General Directorate for Fair Trading, Consumer Affairs and Fraud Control, warning the consumers. For the hoteliers, these platforms have become unmissable to reach customers, but the price remains high — some of these debit to 30% of commissions in the touristic zones, according the Fairbooking association. During the low frequentation periods, in which hoteliers must lower their prices, reaching the visitors generates weak margins.
There are, however, good news — the pricing parity, especially required by Booking.com is prohibited since the 1st of July 2015, by the Competition Authority. This decision gives the hoteliers the opportunity to retake their bookings, by following these 4 tips to boost your hotel bookings and diversify your channels.
Hoteliers: 4 great ideas to boost your hotel bookings!
Tip #1: redesign your hotel’s website
The goal: make it more attractive. The must-haves: a multi-lingual website, appealing, but not misleading photos (beware of the users’ reviews), a regularly updated promotion space, and a friendly and reliable online booking service. The bonus: why not having an attentive chatbot to guide the visitor…
Tip #2: Set up a tip-top call center
This one also has to be multilingual, while remaining welcoming. For hoteliers aspiring to a worldwide clientele, the call center must operate 24/7. Don’t forget that it adds the “human” touch, and therefore has to solve the customers’ problems, and give them reliable information: taxis numbers, buses timetable, etc.
Tip #3: Make intelligent communication actions
Some examples: buy yourself an AdWords campaign on Google — in the event of a major event in your hotel’s city, associate with the event’s communicators and offer sponsoring. Why not also invest in an inflight campaign, it will efficiently boost your hotel bookings!
Tip #4: Work with a travel blogger
Bloggers have been doing promotions for clothing or cosmetic brands for a while now, but travel bloggers are more and more abundant. Associating with a travel blogger allows you to forge bonds with its community, to be recommended, and gain visibility and reputation (since the travel blogger is liked, tweeted and retweeted). Where can you find a travel blogger? Directly at the TBEX, an annual fair dedicated to them, or to public companies specialized in setting partnerships with bloggers.