In a travel market of different channels, discounts and offers, it can be confusing for consumers when deciding the best way to go about purchasing their next holiday. To help clear through the clutter when booking travel, establishing and highlighting your hotel’s direct booking benefits can help your potential guests choose to book directly through your own website. But what is a direct booking benefit and do they really encourage guests to book directly?
What are direct booking benefits?
Direct booking benefits can generally be split into two categories: price benefits and material benefits. Each of these has their own advantages and disadvantages and are powerful tools used by revenue managers and hotel marketers. By not having to pay commission to OTA’s, direct bookings can give you budget to offer something special that can help seal the deal with your potential guest, as well as give them a memorable experience.
The impact of price
Price benefits are a powerful tool used by revenue managers to help drive bookings and can be used especially to strategically influence occupancy during certain periods or days. Upsells with discounts on multi-night offers, best price guarantees, promo codes with discounts - these are common and effective direct booking benefits. This kind of heavy discounting and membership pricing is also used on OTAs, and often customers are now trained to expect or hunt for discounts, however, they can take a toll on your profit margin and leave you in a race to the bottom.
The power of a non-price offer
Material direct booking benefits can be something really special that also positively impacts the overall guest experience. These are often really effective, as the guest’s value perception of this offer is much higher than the actual cost to the hotel. For example, a spa voucher or food and beverage voucher can not only impact travellers that aren’t as sensitive to price (business travellers) but they can also encourage behaviour like going to your restaurant and ordering dinner and drinks to go along with their free dessert voucher. This drives further revenue for your hotel as guests are likely to enjoy these facilities more. With guest experience being a big focus for most hoteliers, these material direct booking benefits can also help to influence the overall guest satisfaction.
5 top direct booking benefit tips
Stay away from highlighting things you offer to all guests, or that guests would expect you to offer as standard practice for example hot showers or clean beds.
The cost of goods for coffee is about 8% of the total price of a coffee, and in one case, when offered to business guests, helped to recover 125 guests in 5 months. A low cost, but valuable offer.
Similarly, in another example, a free drink voucher rescued 515 bookings for 4 hostels over 3 months.
Even when adding “*if available” for priority room upgrades or priority late check out, one of our clients saw a 10.8% conversion rate increase based on an A/B test with 120,000 visitors.
Using Tiqets or Klook is a great way to offer a zero cost direct booking benefit to your guest while improving their trip experience.
💡 Need more inspiration? Check out our list of direct booking examples here!
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