I’m sure that there aren’t many people out there that haven’t used a third-party website to book a hotel room or flight before, but there are indications to suggest that there may be a few less people using them post COVID-19 pandemic.
This presents renewed opportunity for businesses to capture direct bookings, capitalising on feelings of dissatisfaction from those booking through online agents, You see, the platform's processes for handling refunds or moving dates was just not as fluid and adaptable as dealing with the business who owns the product. We’ve heard many stories of people spending hours on the phone, wading through copious amounts of terms and conditions, crashing websites only to be told that no refunds were available and that they can only credit the transaction.
There are many people now having had that experience, who would rather book direct with the hotel or airline in question, should anything on this scale ever happen again. So, how do you capitalise?
Now is the time to position yourself for more direct bookings:
Get your team involved and see what other creative ideas that you can come up with. The additional benefit of encouraging direct bookings means that you hold the data in your CMS or PMS, allowing you to review your customers behaviour and what offers and messaging drives additional bookings.
Use the time available now to position your hotel to take more direct bookings and reduce the commission levels that you are paying to OTAs.
apt marketing & pr is a boutique strategic communications agency, with a specialism in tourism, hotel & destination marketing. Contact us on 01242 250692.