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It’s All About Your Database…

You’ve heard it many times before… but the best way to increase your Average Achieved Room Rate, which ultimately adds to your bottom line, is to steadily increase direct bookings. Pre-season is the perfect time to prepare your team to capture the optimum amount of usable guest data during season to help you achieve your longer term business goals. The best place to start is with your hotel’s data. Whatever Property Management System (PMS) you use you’ll have some data on your guests. In its most basic sense you’ll know their name and e-mail address. If you delve a bit deeper you can find out how many times each guest has stayed, how much they spent in your restaurant, when they tend to visit, how long they stay for and even what their interests are. In a few simple steps, it’s possible to determine your most profitable guests as well as your USPs in order to encourage loyal guests to re-book and to find more guests just like them. Booking direct, with no third-party commissions. This approach introduces a bit of science to marketing. Working with a marketing partner who is passionate about understanding your hotel’s data structure, ensuring its accuracy, and takes the time to understand your customers is crucial to this process! Our Top Tip: Before your peak season starts again, chat to a marketing partner to help you set up a database structure and plan to capture the maximum amount of guest data to ensure you drive more direct bookings next year.... read more

How To Drive More Direct Bookings For The Smaller, Independent Hotel

Personally, the thing that makes me book directly over making a booking via booking.com or Expedia is my expectation that I will have a more personal experience at the hotel by doing so. Firstly, when I book direct at a small hotel, I expect the hotel to anticipate my arrival without someone at check-in running their fingers down a list trying to find my name. I’m also hoping I might receive some communication prior to my arrival where I am asked about my interests and my favourite pre-dinner drink. I’ll eagerly look forward to how they will use this information to tailor my experience. The very idea of staying in my chosen hotel should excite me just as much as going to the destination itself… There is a different level of passion with independent hoteliers and property owners. Translate that knowledge and passion throughout your business to set you apart…   So How Do I, As The Guest, Get To The Point Of Making This Booking Directly With You, The Hotel, In The First Place? When your website is beautifully created with good quality photos and video, and online booking is easy, I am much more likely to book direct. Trust me, if your website navigation isn’t smart, intuitive and easy to use across devices, your guests will seek out an easier solution elsewhere. Don’t hide important information like room types, amenities, and most importantly, the book now button. It should be painfully obvious how and where to check availability and book a stay. If your website is up to date with informative content, I won’t need to do a whole... read more