A small 5% commission was the cost to pay Online Travel Agents back when they first started. Today, however, they are taking as much as 30% from reservation fees. Accommodation owners are in pain for the price they have to pay for engaging in business with OTAs who have captured 39% of US online digital bookings. Travel providers are not raising the white flag to OTAs. Today, we’ll show you how we avoid those dreaded monthly commission bills and increase direct bookers.
Get Repeat Customers to Book Direct
When reservations are made through an OTA, you lose the opportunity to gather customer data and look into their preferences. Loyalty programs are an excellent way to obtain data from repeat guests and create customized incentives for them. Loyalty perks are also a great way to encourage customers to book directly.
Offer Upgrades for Booking Direct
Even if you throw in complimentary breakfast, free drinks, and wifi, the cost of upgrades will still be lower than paying high commission fees. This way, you won’t have to price slash room rates while still offering value your guests can’t resist.
Tap into their Psychology
Promotional codes have a psychological appeal on people. There is the desire not to lose the opportunity and win big on savings.
Think: Instead of paying 15% OTA commission, you can offer 10% off on room rates and save 5%.
The next step is to market your promotional rate. Here are cost-efficient ways to offer promos:
- Publish special pricing on your website, and your blog and social media posting.
- Capture guests that already stayed at your property and are planning to come back. Let them know about your special price and give them a link to your website or Facebook page.
- Seasonal Email Marketing Campaign– Peak booking times and holidays are always great timing for launching a promotional campaign. To create a more relevant campaign, target small groups of segmented audience such as interests and demographics. Brief storytelling, a clear call-to-action, and a mobile-optimized email are essential to your campaign success. Always refer to your own website or Facebook page.
- Pay-Per-Click Campaign– Social media is a powerful tool to influence travelers. Facebook is an excellent platform to launch a PPC campaign to your target demographics.
- Reception and Check Out Promos– Advertising to guests during their stay is an advantage you have over OTAs. Put up a sign to remind guests you offer the best rates to those who book direct. Offer current guests a discount on their next visit they can use exclusively through direct booking.
Using Nuevah system you will be able to add a simple widget to your website and Facebook page where your guests can book directly, also on a mobile phone.
No one wants to miss out on a great deal. Redirect the money you spend on online travel agents and offer extra value to guests instead with our tips! Good luck!