Hotel Direct Bookings – A Growing Trend
Now is the time to be a hotelier as hotel direct bookings have never been so popular among guests. The sheer amount of increased direct bookings for hotels continues to strike at an unprecedented scale.
It’s far less appealing for online travel agencies (OTA) during 2021. Not only is a certain OTA being faced with charges of tax evasion in Italy, but both Booking and Expedia are both suffering lower booking rates than pre-Covid levels.
Direct bookings however? Well that’s another story.
How many more hotel direct bookings are we seeing?
Well, according to a study across 2020 from SiteMinder direct bookings have grown as a sales channel up to 300% in certain countries.
This trend has transformed the utility of hotel direct bookings into a serious player when it comes to driving revenue. Direct bookings have even overtaken OTAs as a profitable sales channel in certain geographical locations.
Why are guests more interested in hotel direct bookings?
There are an enormous number of reasons why booking directly has become a growing trend. As you may expect, the pandemic has indeed been a cause for this growing trend. But what you may not realise is that it is not the only driving force behind the boost in direct hotel bookings.
What is there to do when you are stuck in self-isolation?
Aside from eating ice-cream on the sofa, people have been turning to holiday-planning as a form of escapism during the pandemic. Guests are more ready than ever to book themselves that dream holiday, because they have spent so many hours scrolling through feeds, and witnessing hotel marketing efforts online.
More Planning Time
Guests have not only been looking for inspiration through their computer and phone screens, but they have been taking steps towards making those daydreams a reality. More time at home has meant more time planning.
Now guests no longer need to look for help from OTAs and Tourism Agencies. They have their trips planned out to the second.
Accommodation, travel and sightseeing are all written down in itineraries that have been a full year in the making. Dreams ready to be made reality.
End of rate parity
If you haven’t been keeping up with these developments – we suggest that you check out our explanation on the end of rate parity.
Once you’ve read that, you’ll understand why hotels are now being free to compete with OTAs for better business. They now offer incentives to customers for hotel direct bookings, rather than being forced into equal-rate parity, and paying extra commission to the OTAs.
More Local Tourism
Not everyone is flying across the world just yet.
While quarantine restrictions have been lifted across most of the globe, there are still an enormous number of people who are hesitant to fly. When guests could catch Covid on an aeroplane and face isolation during their holiday is the definition of a nightmare to say the least.
That is the reason why many are turning to local tourism.
Shorter distances and safer conditions. Locals are now turning to their own backyards in order to enjoy a well-deserved holiday – but you’ll still need to provide excellent service for them of course.
Bad Pandemic Experiences
Cancelled weddings, failed reservations, restricted travels, who hasn’t heard of a horror story during this pandemic?
When dealing directly with a hotel/venue/supplier, things are incredibly simple to reorganise and refund. However when done via 3rd parties, things became much more complicated.
Now these travel and event horror stories have scarred potential guests, and they are looking for direct contact with their chosen destinations and accommodation. The only way guests can achieve greater control over their holidays – hotel direct bookings of course!
What does this mean for hotels?
Our first recommendation? Revisit your booking engine. As greater numbers of potential guests explore hotel websites and look for direct bookings, your booking engine could be an incredible asset for reservations.
If you haven’t done so already, read up on our article about optimising your hotel’s booking engine.
Other necessities include promoting your Instagram page as a marketing channel, and many other guides that can be found on our blog page.
Whatever redesigns your hotel must do, yesterday was the best time to start them. Today is the second-best time, so get your hotel in order, and start taking advantage over the growing number of direct hotel bookings!