Our team had the pleasure of attending the Direct Booking Summit (DBS) in New York this past September. At the summit, various topics were discussed, such as revenue management, strategy and how to power direct bookings.
Here are the 6 main takeaways from the summit:
- Ensure loyalty rewards are in place for hotel direct bookings.
- Have an easy CRS that allows for capturing guest emails and use its retargeting software.
- Get official website listings on Google to drive direct bookings.
- There is lots of buzz around Facebook Dynamic Ads for Travel. Some think they will pressure Google for #1 in bookings within 2 years.
- Don’t waste your money on marketing before optimizing your booking engine. Your website needs a great booking engine, your conversion rate depends on it.
- Organic growth is still possible. It starts from within. Create a flawless guest experience and encourage guests to review their stay online. Customer service is every employee’s job.
Offering loyalty rewards helps your hotel’s value and increases repeat guests which drives net REVPAR. As you offer loyalty rewards, make sure you specify rewards for booking directly with your hotel. Promote these rewards through emails, in-person, online and on social media channels. Learn more about loyalty rewards programs for independent hotels here.
Driving Direct Bookings
Direct bookings make the difference. There are many ways to help drive direct bookings at your hotel. Click on the links below to discover some of our favorite guides and techniques:
- Implement a Loyalty Program
- Utilize Social Media
- Choose a Comprehensive Management System
- Optimize Your Booking Engine
There are many challenges of independent operations for independent hoteliers and properties. That’s why a comprehensive solution with online distribution, integration with CM/PMS/RMS and PMS is important for any boutique hotel. Make sure you optimize from your admin, reporting, and business intelligence dashboards while maximizing RevPAR from Google and metasearch. Ask about retargeting software back to your vanity website. Learn more about IBC CRS solutions here.
Dynamic ads for travel let you automatically show ads across Facebook, Instagram and Audience Network to people who are likely to take a trip. If someone was browsing hotels but didn’t make a reservation, dynamic ads for travel let you target them with relevant ads based on their specific dates, destinations and other trip details. Learn more here. Learn about IBC’s digital marketing solutions here.
The reality is that travelers book online making it imperative that your website contains an intuitive and easy-to-use booking system that guides your guests through the booking process. Otherwise, you face the negative RevPAR impact of losing them to the OTAs. You can turn lookers into bookers by seamlessly embedding IBC’s hospitality booking engine into your existing property website with 2 simple lines of code.
Enhancing the Guest Experience
Enhancing the guest experience is one of the most tried and true ways to increase direct bookings and guest loyalty at your hotel. Always go above and beyond with your service. Try to personalize details of their stay and apply feedback from guests. Learn more ways to enhance the guest experience here.