Boosting your direct bookings and increasing your RevPar does not have to mean alienating OTAs (online travel agents). There is a fine line to walk – and while direct bookings will typically have a lower cost per acquisition, knowing how to leverage that with an effective distribution strategy that harnesses the visibility and traffic levels of online travel agents is key to boosting your rev par in this current quarter.
If you are looking for new ways to increase your revenue per available room this quarter, try these four techniques for an instant lift. Each can be used alone, coupled with your usual distribution and customer acquisition strategies or used collectively to keep your hotel reservation system software whirring with new bookings and reservation enquiries. As with all marketing strategies, remember that measurement is key to success and will allow you to refine your approach for even greater success next quarter.
1. Offer Targeted Discounts
Providing a few discounts targeted directly at valuable market segments can help you boost your revenue per available room without alienating online travel agents with whom you have a pre-existing arrangement. Consider forming select audiences from your contacts via opt in e-mails, social media followers or prior customers. This is a great way to convey to your guests that they are valued as individuals, whilst also giving your RevPar a lift. Loyalty programmes offer the same kind of appeal, as well as rewarding repeat custom and providing a steady stream of income to the hotel from valued and loyal guests.
2. Use Add-On Services to Create Package Deals
Your hotel reservation system software should provide the ability to customize room deals and create packages which will entice visitors to come and stay. Common tactics include adding a free meal, drinks at the hotel bar or discounts at local attractions. This is an area with plenty of scope for creativity, so allow yourself to get imaginative when creating these deals. Not only do they represent great quality for your customers, but adding packages to your room deals allows you to expand the horizons of your offering beyond the room itself and distinguish yourself from the competition.
3. Ensure a Well-Designed Website
User experience is paramount when creating your hotel website and booking engine, ensuring customers can find exactly what they’re looking for through your own site rather than searching for deals elsewhere. Seamless integration from website to booking engine is a cornerstone of good practice and if combined with revenue management software in hotels, you will be able to monitor the results.
4. Encourage Face-to-Face Interaction
In an increasingly automated world, don’t underestimate the enduring appeal of the personal touch. Chatting to your customers about your website and its ease of use from a booking perspective helps boost your direct bookings. Consider throwing in a discount for the same guests should they book with you directly, encouraging trust and helping to secure more RevPar for your hotel.