Established in January 2012, RoomKey.com is designed to give travellers the security of booking their trips directly through a hotel-owned website. The site is a collaborative venture by Hilton, Intercontinental Hotels Group, Choice Hotels, Wyndham, Marriott and Hyatt and aims to remove the need for third party online travel agencies such as Booking.com and Wotif.
Travellers enter their desired destination and stay dates, and Room Key suggests a default list of properties which can then be sorted by price, hotel name, proximity to the city centre and star rating. An overview of each property is provided, as well as photos, maps, room rates and TripAdvisor reviews. Most significantly, some property listings include the hotel’s official logo and a “Book at” button, while others feature a “Book it” button and no logo.
Those that opt for a property with a logo will be taken directly to the hotel’s website to make a booking, dodging unpredictable online travel agency fees and earning valuable reward points in the process. They’ll also be able to call the hotel directly to ask questions and make changes before their arrival. Travellers that book a hotel with no logo and a ‘Book it’ button, however, book through the Travelocity Partner Network and are not guaranteed the benefits of booking directly.
Room Key is good news for customers who want the peace of mind of direct bookings, as well as the ability to make special requests for things such as late check-ins or adjoining rooms. It highlights the need to deal with your customers directly, through your official website, phone and email; after all, as Room Key CEO John Davis notes, “it is the hospitality industry.”
What is your resort doing to drive direct bookings? Have you considered a Boost Direct marketing strategy?