Partnering with OTAs can be pretty addictive. After all, they get your property seen by a wide online audience and can generally be relied on to generate a steady stream of bookings with minimal input on your part. But as all hotel marketers know only too well, these bookings come at a high cost.
And that cost is set to hit thousands of properties even harder with the recent news that wotif.com has increased its commission rates by 25%, following its $703 million takeover by Expedia.
OTAs aren’t just eating into your profit margins; they’re impacting your guest loyalty rates too. That’s because while these sites are driving indirect bookings, they’re also gathering lots of information on your guests. When you rely too heavily on wotif and booking.com to fill your rooms, you accept that these sites will cut short your interactions with your guests by taking over the post-stay marketing process too.
With so much at stake, it has never been more important to redress the balance and drive more direct bookings through your resort’s website.
How To Increase Direct Bookings
Google stats show that as many as 52% of travellers will visit your website after coming across your property on an OTA. Once you’ve got them there, it’s up to you to do everything in your power to get them to book direct.
Research suggests that most online travel planners prefer to book direct with the hotel, providing it is quick and easy to do so, and they can find the same great rates available on the travel meta-search sites.
However, since offering the same rates as the OTAs is not always enough to seal the deal, (and undercutting their rates is a strict no-no) you can incentivise bookings made through your website by throwing in some extras to increase the perceived value of booking direct. This might include such perks as late check-out, inclusive breakfasts, a free bottle of wine or chocolates. You might also choose to create special packages which are available to book only through your website, including exclusive spa deals, tickets to local attractions and more. Over time, and with the help of your digital marketing strategy, your repeat guests will know exactly where to head to take advantage of the very best deals and offers.
Make Your Website Work Harder For You
Despite the large market share enjoyed by OTAs, your website is often your guests’ first point of contact with your brand, and it is this first impression that will win or lose you bookings in the competitive online world.
Our Boost Direct marketing strategy is a comprehensive package designed to maximise your website’s selling potential and increase direct bookings within a year. Encompassing every aspect of a complete web strategy from website design and development, to property photography, social media, email marketing, blogging and much more, we’ll put in place the elements you need to reclaim power over your own bookings and boost your bottom line.
To find out how Boost Direct can help you, contact us today!