Simple Rules that can increase your Share of the Sizeable Summer Travel Market

April 7, 2011

School is out for the summer and the search is on! 1000s are online, looking for a perfect vacation spot to spend a week or two. Ensure your hotel is a strong contender in the 100% occupancy race this summer, by following these 4 simple rules:

  1. Always display current rates. Travelers of today primarily use the internet to look and book hotel accommodation, which means the decision to book or not to book hinges on the rates they see on your own hotel website or on a 3rd party intermediary website (travel website). If you do not have current rates displayed, can you imagine the fallout?

    Imagine, a person visits your hotel website, likes what he, and clicks on the ‘Book Now’ button only to see rates for 2010 in 2011. These old rates will annoy him and give him with the impression that your hotel has no vacancies (hopefully), shut down or lackadaisical. These impressions are bad for business for two reasons – the first; displaying old rates limits your own revenue potential and encourages the visitor to book with your competitors. The second, today, visitors are backed by the power of the web and displeasing them can will not only mean lose of the reservation and revenue but also brand name damage i.e. you will have to devote time to counteracting the brand bashing that happens on social media and review websites.

    So, remember to update your rates and packages on both your own hotel website and on third party intermediary websites, regularly.

  2. ‘Competitive rates’ are vital for success. When deciding rates you need to remember that the internet is highly transparent. Visitors can compare rates & packages of multiple hotels across multiple websites easily before booking. This transparency means that to be a contender in the guest ‘capturing’ race, you have to have a solid rate strategy that keeps your rates competitive without offering heavy discounts to attract guests. A good solution to this problem is to enhance your offerings with value additions instead of lowest rates.

  3. Always display the best rate on your own hotel website. Encourage visitors to book directly from you by offering the best rates and packages on your hotel website. By using ‘rate’ to direct traffic, you not only increase your direct-to-consumer online sales but also limit the amount spend on paying commissions to your third party intermediaries.
  4. Remember that 3rd Party Intermediaries are not the enemy. Third party intermediaries – travel websites and travel agents are part of your inventory distribution network. While it makes better business sense to display the best rates on your hotel website, you should keep in mind that not travelers unfamiliar with the region, will probably choose to book hotel accommodation through a third party intermediary that he trusts.
To summarize, displaying old rates of your hotel website or on third party intermediaries encourages travelers to book with your competition. If you want to be considered as the perfect hotel option by travelers and whom doesn’t, you need to display current rates and packages at all times. So, make sure that you display current and competitive rates on both your Hotel Website and Intermediaries Websites. ‘Good Luck’ in the guest ‘capturing’ race.

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