5 Best Practice Tips to Increase Direct Bookings

According to BLLA, hoteliers at boutique hotels spend more than half their time on sales and marketing activities.

That’s a LOT of effort, but are you seeing results? And, more specifically, is your hotel website (your most important sales & marketing asset) driving direct bookings? This is a challenge, not only for the boutique sector, but for hotels of all sizes and star ratings.

In this webinar, we discuss 5 best practices for your website to help drive more direct bookings, reduce your dependence on OTAs, and ultimately generate more revenue.

Topics Covered:

  • Hotel Website Fundamentals: The 5 differentiators your hotel website needs to drive bookings
  • Visual Storytelling: What images and types of stories turn “lookers” into “bookers”
  • The Path to Conversion: How to optimize your booking path to decrease abandonment rates
  • Real-Life Examples: How other properties like yours are using our best practices to drive results


Uploaded by Leonardo on 2016-09-22.

Hoteliers should only be paying for that OTA customer ONCE!

Hoteliers should only be paying for that OTA customer ONCE!

It’s time to embrace OTAs as a channel that gets new business in the door. But once that OTA guest checks in, it’s now up to you and your staff to make an extraordinary impression on them to keep them loyal from that stay forward.

10 Ways Your Booking Engine Is Pushing People Out The Door

10 Ways Your Booking Engine Is Pushing People Out The Door

The push to shift from dependency on OTAs and increase direct bookings has inspired hotels of all sizes to spend billions on driving traffic to their own website and call centers. Sadly, its mostly wasted… hotel owners and their marketing teams would be better served by focusing instead on CONVERTING a higher percentage of their existing traffic stream.

And the best way to convert more visitors is to focus on the visitors already entering a date search in your booking engine. According to Econsultancy, the travel industry as a whole suffers from 81% abandoned cart rates, compared to just 68% across other online retail sectors.

Insights that reveals new hotel search and booking trends.

Insights that reveals new hotel search and booking trends.

Author:, source

While booking lead times for hotels continue to shrink, travelers’ path to purchase is lengthening.

Sojern released a new interactive Hotel Insights Report, based on the rigorous analysis of more than a billion traveler intent data points across the globe. As they begin to consider a purchase, today’s consumers have more tools and better technology at their disposal than ever, which is changing how they shop for hotel rooms and flights, alike.

“We found that two major behavior changes are rising in the consumer hotel world,” said Kurt Weinsheimer, Sojern’s SVP of property solutions. “Firstly, travelers are spending more time on the hotel path to purchase than they do when looking to buy an airline ticket – US travelers, for instance, spent nearly 25 percent more time on their hotel path to purchase then when booking flights. Secondly, even as the path to purchase lengthens, last-minute bookers are multiplying.”

Though only 5 percent of all hotel searches by Europeans and Americans are initiated seven or fewer days prior to the stay date, these last-minute shoppers represented 11 percent and 13 percent, respectively, of all hotel bookings in the two regions. Flight search sees a similar phenomenon, with larger proportions of people booking last-minute travel than searching, for both Europeans and Americans.

Guests of Luxury Hotels Most Likely to Book the Same Day they Search, But Make More Searches Before Booking

More than half of all hotel searches are conducted in the two weeks before the booking. The number of searches conducted prior to a booking is directly proportional with the price of the room being booked: the higher the hotel segment eventually booked, the more searches were made. For travelers who start to research hotel options three days before making the booking, the Luxury segment hotel guests make on average 20 searches, while Upper Midscale guests make an average of 12 searches.

Regional Differences in the Relationship Between Flight Class and Hotel Segment

Looking at the global average, guests staying at Luxury segment hotels are more likely to have arrived at their destination on a Business or First class ticket than guests of all other hotel segments: 15 percent flew first class and 4 percent Business class.

Travelers to Asia-Pacific and, to a lesser extent, the Middle East stand out from the rest of the regions studied. In the Asia-Pacific region, Business class flights are significantly more likely for travelers across the Hotel segment spectrum: almost 26 percent of guests staying at Luxury hotels, 23 percent of Upper Upscale and almost 20 percent of Upscale, flew in Business class. In the Middle East, 18 percent of Luxury and 17 percent of Upper Upscale hotel bookers flew in Business class.

Business Travelers More Interested in India and Indonesia than Leisure Travelers

Over the past two quarters, leisure hotel travelers searched for lengthy stays in every region. In the Middle East and Asia-Pacific, destinations like Dubai, Istanbul, and Bangkok propelled their respective countries to the top ten. In the Americas, leisure travelers looked at the US, Mexico, and the Dominican Republic in the Caribbean for getaways, often in parties of two.

Business travelers showed much more interest in Asia-Pacific destinations like India and Indonesia, two popular launchpads for travel in the region. Popular leisure destinations like Mexico and Spain still rank in the top ten of business destinations, but fall to spots nine and ten respectively.

Fall and Winter Hotel Forecast

In the US this fall, with a drop of 50 spots, Myrtle Beach is on track to be demoted from hot summer destination to fastest declining hotel city in Q4 compared to Q3. Austin, Texas takes first place for rising hotel destinations, jumping a full 37 spots from Q3 to Q4, followed by Fort Lauderdale and Phoenix.

With ripple effects from the Chinese stock market crash still taking effect, hotel intent from both Greece and Russia is expected to take a downturn as we close the year. On the flipside, American travelers are beginning to search and book hotels abroad at faster rates, riding the wave of a stronger dollar.

To learn more about how hotel consumer trends are changing, review the interactive Hotel Insights Report and view the Hotel Insights infographic:


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