When it comes to hotel stays, the best room rates just might be found on a hotel website. Hotels are battling online travel agencies like Expedia, Hotels.com and Booking.com by offering benefits to travellers who book directly with them, potentially saving hotels the cost of a booking commission to the third-party vendor.
“Online travel agencies drive 20 to 25% of hotel bookings industry-wide, but at a heavy cost of 15 to 25% commission fees,” says Zach Zahran, general manager of the Kitano Hotel New York.
“If we can save the commission, we can give guests more value with reduced room rates and other perks.” About 85% of its reservations are now direct bookings. Guests might get an even better deals by booking directly at the hotel homepage. Depending on availability, guests may get 10% off at the hotel’s restaurant, early check-in and, for repeat customers, complimentary room upgrades, Zahran said.
Hawaii-bound travellers can get extras from Aqua-Aston Hospitality properties by booking directly as well.
“We’ve tweaked our websites to show price comparisons with third-party sites to show that our daily rate is comparable,” said Matt Bailey, president and chief operating officers of Aqua-Aston Hospitality.
Large hotel chains have also joined the fight to wrestle bookings back from online travel agencies. Hilton Worldwide launched a “Stop Clicking Around” campaign this spring, offering direct booking rates that are 2% to 10% less than online travel site rates, depending on the date requested and how far in advance the reservation is made.
“Since launching this campaign, we’ve doubled the rate of growth in our direct channel. There’s a misconception that the best price is found through online travel agencies. We want customers to know that that’s not true,” said Geraldine Calpin, chief marketing officer of Hilton Worldwide.
Help your customers to book directly from your hotel webpage. You should always have the best rate on your webpage! Give something extra to direct bookers – it will be cheaper than booking.com etc commission.
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