What is a hotel direct booking engine?
Hotel booking engine, also known as internet booking engine (IBE), allows users to view real-time availabilty of hotel room inventory, and make direct booking to reserve their stay.
Why do hoteliers need to have direct booking strategy?
There are few good reasons.
1. Pay less comission to OTAs (online travel agents); ultimately, improving your hotel revenue.
2. Own your customer data.You can use it for upselling purpose or reengage them to book again with you.It's always easier again to sell to a satisfied customers!
3. Own the booking relationship with your guest, so that they recognize your hotel brand better.
How can a hotel work on direct booking strategy?
It is best to provide the lowest rate, because hotel guest are usually price-sensitive and able to compare rate easily with OTAs. However, if you're concerned over rate parity, you may still offer the same price and provide extra value to direct booker, such as: early check-in, late check-out, free room upgrade (if available), free snacks and more! You may also offer exclusive promo code for users who book directly with you.
How to increase hotel direct booking?
Other than marketing efforts to push direct booking with your hotel, it is essential for the commission-free booking engine to have certain key features such as: secure online payment, promo code system, variety of payment methods (Paypal, Credit Card, Debit Card, E-Wallet, Online Banking), user-friendly nagivation and mobile responsive.
Why can't I just rely on OTAs?
Undoubtedly, OTAs contributes to high number of bookings. However, hoteliers should also acknowledge that:
• OTA may also contribute to high number of last minute cancellations, which disrupts hotel sales revenue.
• Some users might be looking for your hotel official website for direct booking rate & perks, if they're unable to find what they need, they might return to OTAs to look for other hotels too.