sign showing rooms available reflecting importance for hotels to develop strategies which attract and manage last minute bookings

Last-minute bookings are bookings that arrive days, hours, or minutes before the guests do. While these bookings can be trickier to handle (no one likes doing things last minute), they are worthwhile to pursue. A full room turns a profit, while an empty one does not. Here is how to land guests in a hurry.

NB: This is an article from WebRezPro

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Identify Your Audience

Do you have a specific guest segment that’s more likely to book last minute? Use your guest data to find out and gear your last-minute offers towards that segment. Maybe your business guests often have emergency meetings.

Have a Mobile-friendly Website

Many last-minute bookers prefer to do so via mobile with 72 percent of mobile bookings arriving within two days of a last-minute Google search. Think about it, if you’re in the airport after a flight cancellation, desperately looking for a hotel, which do you take out? Your sleek mobile phone or your big, clunky laptop (that you—ooh—put in your checked baggage)?

Make sure that your website and booking engine are both mobile-friendly with easy-to-read font and an uncluttered, responsive design. Responsive design allows your website to optimize itself for the device it’s being viewed on.

Integrate Your OTAs With Your PMS

Your PMS (property management system) is the command center of your hotel and handles everything from reservations to accounting to housekeeping. An OTA is an online travel agency like Expedia that sells rooms for you in exchange for commission. Information in both these systems needs to match to prevent overbookings and other errors.

Select a PMS that integrates with your preferred OTAs so that availability automatically updates in both whenever a room is sold. This way, people coming in at the last minute won’t be sold rooms that are already occupied. You won’t have to log into multiple places to check, and they won’t book a room on your website that’s already been snapped up on an OTA.

Hint: There are OTAs specifically geared towards late bookings. WebRezPro integrates with HotelTonight and Hotwire, who offer this kind of service.

Contact Travel Agents

Travel agents get last-minute requests as well—see if they can pass them on to you. Spend the time to develop your network and get to know the providers in this space. The more they know you, the more they trust you and feel good about sending travelers your way.

Read the full article at WebRezPro