It is not an astonishing piece of news anymore that online bookings play a key role in the hospitality industry, bypassing the offline channel of bookings tremendously.
The trend has definitely sharpened over the last few years, where 60% of all hotel bookings are now done digitally (failteireland). Having said that, Online Travel Agencies (OTAs) have become a dominant part of the industry now, playing a key role in generating tremendous business for the hotels.
The hotel industry has been quite dependent on OTAs to upsurge their occupancy rates, though a lot of bookings come directly as well, through the hotel website.
Directly booking a hotel online, offers a plethora of benefits to both the parties involved; the traveler and the hotel.
The well-being of a hotel’s website has assumed paramount importance in this huge rush of direct bookings, with hoteliers investing a huge amount in the same to ensure a struggle-free booking process for travelers.
Hotels can easily get more direct bookings by taking care of the following aspects:
- Smart web design, making the user interface, easy and intuitive.
- Flashing details of various deals and packages clearly on the website
- Clear, vibrant images of the hotel rooms, dining area, swimming pool, etc. accelerates the decision-making process of booking.
- The ‘Book Now’ button should be featured bold and big on the website, so that there is no chance of giving it a miss by interested travelers. Giving customers the comfort to book instantaneously is an essential part of any good hotel website.
- A booking engine, integrated well with the website makes it possible for the travel customers to check rates and availability of the rooms for any specific date, and direct them to the booking page with ease.
- Travelers research and look for the best available rates before confirming a booking, and if your hotel website is offering the best deal, their hunt would usually stop there. Normally, hotels are required to maintain consistent rates across all booking platforms, irrespective of the arrangement where commission is paid to OTAs.