A few months after adding the flexible cancellation filter, Google added the “children” concept and their ages to its occupancy filter which, up until now, only referred to “people”.
NB: This is an article from mirai
This substantial improvement enables users to receive the best available rate since they can be much more accurate in their search criteria. It is a very sought-after feature, especially in the more leisure segment, and it opens the possibility for hotels to expose their direct channel hence competing with the leading OTAs in a much higher position in the funnel than the direct channel traditionally holds.
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Main novelties and advantages for your direct sale
- More visibility of rates that before never appeared: Many hotels accept 2 adults + 2 children in the room, but not 4 adults. These hotels couldn’t show this inventory in Hotel Ads since searches were only available for up to 4 people (which didn’t include 2 adults + 2 children parties). From now on, these occupancies will have the visibility they didn’t before.
- More visibility of your direct channel by eliminating competitors: Just like with the rest of filters, the user obtains a reduced amount of options, not all channels have all the hotel’s inventory available or send this information correctly to the metasearcher. By applying this filter, many OTAs will be left out, which improves the possibility of clicks and conversion to the direct channel and metasearch campaigns’ performance.
- More competitiveness of your direct channel vs OTAs: Up until now, Google searched for people without making a difference between adults and children. If you apply special discounts for children to your rates and, as long as your integration with Hotel Ads is adapted to this functionality, you will appear with a much more attractive rate and will be more competitive versus OTAs.
- More visibility of your hotel in the search by destination: At the same time, you will be more competitive in your destination since your rates for children will now be visible and therefore much more attractive. In searches by destination, all hotels would show rates for 3 or 4 people. From now on, all those with specific rates for children will be able to show them and highlight them gaining visibility in these very attractive searches since they are at the top of the funnel (new demand, therefore).
The importance of occupancies with children
Reservations made with occupancies that include children represent 20% of the overall metasearch channel sales. If we analyse only hotels with rates for adults and children, it rises to 28%.
These reservations are highly valuable since their average stay is 33% higher, and their average rate 12% higher.
A 43% higher average sale will have a very positive impact on your campaigns’ performance, which will generate a higher profit than the current, giving you the possibility to bid more aggressively should you wish to do so to gain more visibility.
How can I check whether my direct channel is adapted to children occupancies?
Very simple. Look for your hotel in Google and get into the Hotel Ads module. By default, Google selects 2 guests. Change it to select any occupancy with children.
- You are completely out. This is the worst case scenario as you lose all visibility that the different occupancies would give you. Check with your integration partner that you are sending all occupancies’ rates to Hotel Ads. In this other post we give more information about this case.
- Your direct channel remains but with wrong prices. That happens when you have the different occupancies in Hotel Ads, but your partner has not updated this last feature. The result is worrying in the sense that you appear as the most expensive option (when you are not) as you are showing the price for 3 or 4 adults instead of the prices for children (that OTAs are showing). The outcome is what you expect: fewer visits and sales.
- Your direct channel prevails and shows the correct, and best, price. If this is the case, you are all set and would be benefiting from this new feature and getting more visibility of the most interesting clients (higher occupancy means higher ADR).
What do I have to do to appear in adult and children searches on Hotel Ads?
Verify that your integration partner is sending the information broken down into children occupancy + age of each rate to Hotel Ads and that they have performed any required setups.
The adults and children filter has yet to appear in all pages where Hotel Ads results are shown (for now it appears on Google Travel and Search Experience and not in the traditional Google results search module). It is foreseeable that Google includes it soon. Undoubtedly, it is a significant user experience improvement, especially in leisure hotels, which will surely convey an increase in the quality of the reservations made on this channel.