Hotels who have a consistent approach with front office personnel encouraging clients to book via the hotel homepage have achieved remarkable results with up to 70% of business booked directly. Additionally to profitability focusing on direct bookings helps to build customer relationships.
The simplest, most effective way to engage and educate guests who initially booked via an online travel agency is to inform them that the lowest rate available will be offered directly on the hotel homepage and increase direct bookings. This is best done at the front desk while customers are checking in or out of the hotel.
Hotels can offer formal recognition to employees, such as Employee of the Month status, in return for being the most successful at generating direct bookings.
If a guest arrives from an online travel agency or even via a global distribution system, hotel staff can gather e-mail addresses for future contacting and talk about a guest loyalty program.
Incentives include cash rewards to front-desk and reservation employees who gather the most e-mail addresses or enrol the most members in the company’s repeat guest program.
After deducting the incentive rewards paid out, the hotel enjoys a significant net revenue gain based on commissions it does not have to pay to the intermediaries such as online travel portals.