Experts are projecting that 60% of all business will be booked online next year – how are you going to get your fair share?
4 Hoteliers research says there are four tools potential guests use to find their hotels:
They only stay at Hilton’s or Best Westerns and the first place they go is to the brand.com website. If you are a brand affiliated hotel, your franchise fees are paying for your hotel to show up on those searches.
What can you do to make sure you’re getting your fair share? Make sure your brand.com website is up to date with all of your current information about the hotel and things to do in your local area.
There will always be searchers who are looking for a great deal and they are going to third party travel websites such as Priceline.com, Hotwire, etc.
But third party travel sites can be expensive so be sure to figure out how much you are paying per reservation as commission and then decide how much of this business you want.
A small percent, around 3%,
respond to email offers. And generating an email campaign is also an inexpensive way to sell a new offer at your hotel to your past customers – new restaurant, new spa opening, newly renovated rooms. Remember the ABC theory – Always Be Collecting.
Whenever possible, ask your current guests for their email address, and ask for their permission to add them to your emailing list. You can do this on your website during the reservations process, during check in or check out. Permission based email marketing is simple, inexpensive and can be very effective.
The largest percent of online shoppers are using search engines to find a hotel near a certain destination, activity or event. Google is the first choice for 42% , according to ComScore Statistics. 27% use Yahoo, 13.5 use MSNand 8% use AOL.
Once there, your potential guest will type in a keyword phrase, such as, “hotels near XYZ Computer headquarters” or “pet friendly hotels in Your City.”
But here is the good news for hoteliers. Most hotels haven’t figured out how to show up high on searches for activities and destinations around their hotels. Most hotels are focusing on being found when someone types in the name of their hotel for a search. So right now is a great opportunity for you to grab more than your fair share.
Don’t believe it? Make a list of the top five attractions near your hotel – things like a nearby university, an amusement park, or a popular shopping mall. Go to your favorite search engine and start checking. Type in a keyword phrase like “hotels near XYZ University”, or “pet friendly hotels in ABC City”. What results comes up? Your competitors? You? Probably neither. How many more reservations do you think you would get if your hotel were one of the few that appeared?