25 ways for a hotel to increase occupancy

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25 ways for a hotels can increase their occupancy through Hotel website, Facebook, Twitter, Instragram, Pinterest, Flickr, SEO, Google analytics, Four-square, Trip advisor, and OTA's

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25 ways for a hotel to increase occupancy

  1. 1. 25 WAYS FOR A HOTELTO INCREASE OCCUPANCY 1
  2. 2.  This is just information taken from different websites combined to one presentation for hotels to help increase their revenue 2By Joshua Miranda
  3. 3. 3
  4. 4.  Mobile Presence When a shopper conducts a search on their mobile device—often their preferred channel—and finds your hotel‘s website, having a mobile ready site can pay big dividends. A condensed site that is tailor fit for mobile devices—with succinct copy, reduced image size and simpler navigation— is a must. If a shopper lands on a non-mobile friendly site, the margins will be off, they‘ll have to scroll sideways and the entire display will not be user-friendly, leading to fast abandonment and business for your competition. Mobile sites can also include the option to book on every page, directions and maps and make it easier for travelers to ―check in‖ to your property on social sites. 4 1
  5. 5.  Faster LoadTime With advances like HTML5 and CSS3, website designers now have improved, yet subtle design capabilities. But more importantly, less reliance on Flash and older technology means faster load time for websites. And considering that travel shoppers conduct around a dozen different searches and visit over 20 different websites before making a reservation (according to Google), time is valuable. Large, Layered Imagery and Elements Standard rotating header imagery and photo galleries are not necessarily a thing of the past, but they can appear dated today. Taking over, are large, high-resolution professional images that are often layered. The images catch the eye, and if done appropriately, portray the property well— including rooms, amenities and area attractions. The depth looks upscale and allows for better utilization of space. Here‘s an example with large, dim background imagery, separate copy areas and calls to action, all in a layered style: 5
  6. 6. 6 Large, Layered Imagery and Elements
  7. 7.  Emphasis on Scrolling Also allowing for more efficient use of space is scrolling. If properly implemented—with separate, clearly defined content areas that draw visitors down pages—scrolling can put more information on one page and even reduce the number of overall pages. This makes it easy for website visitors to get more information without having to constantly click from page to page 7
  8. 8.  Social Media Hubs Beyond simply adding static Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and TripAdvisor logos in the headers or footers of hotel websites, ―social hubs‖ are becoming increasingly popular. Social hubs basically centralize all of your property‘s social media sites, many times, in the form of a webpage. This way, when a visitor lands on the page, they‘re exposed to your entire social media presence, further immersed in your hotel‘s brand. Instead of simply becoming a fan on Facebook, they can follow you on Twitter, watch a video or two on YouTube and scan yourTripAdvisor reviews.  Here‘s an example a hotel with all social media on their website 8
  9. 9. 9 http://www.sugarbayresortandspa.com Social Media Hubs
  10. 10.  Improved Usability After a visitor has landed on your page, scanned the homepage and perhaps scrolled down, what do they do? Is it easy for them to find the information they need via your navigation? Does your site‘s architecture make for a positive user experience? Straightforward property information, local area and attraction information, intuitive navigation and calls to action to the booking engine from every page (with clear hover states) are items that make it easier for travelers to find the information they need to make informed purchase decisions. Overall, the mindset of the travel shopper matters just as much, if not more, than the mindset of the hotel when designing a website. 10
  11. 11. Social Media  Social Media continues to grow in importance. It has not only become a critical tool to interact with customers, but is also a key element that impacts organic search rankings for your hotel. 11
  12. 12. Facebook  Hotel marketing managers need to look at Facebook as a tool to engage consumers and creating brand ambassadors, and their preferred metric was the number of fans or ―likes‖. 12 2
  13. 13. However, getting users that like your Facebook page is different from getting true fans.True fans are brand ambassadors that will spread good will around your brand 13
  14. 14. One of the big changes with FacebookTimeline has been the ability for businesses to create pages within Facebook that provide web-like experiences. 14
  15. 15. Twitter  140 characters are worth 1000 words.‖ Is that true? Who can write anything meaningful in 140 characters? It sounds impossible. It must be true, though. With 750 million Tweets every second flying between 450 million Twitter users, something good must be happening. Twitter provides quick blasts of information, which are primarily social and used mainly for engagement. 15 3
  16. 16. How to connect with Twitter followers and convert them to guests  Give your followers information that they care about, and keep sales tweets to a minimum while you build trust. Soon your followers come to know you and then you can tweet special deals, create buzz about special events, and tweet information about your property.  For out-of-towners, tweet also about events in your neighbourhood or city. 16
  17. 17. Background Create your own individual background using your company colours and design – you can use a screen shot or a recent photo of your hotel. Keep it simple. Background measures 2048 x 1900 pixels and has a maximum size of 2 megabytes. Place your square logo about 291 pixels from the top and 100 pixels in from the left. 17
  18. 18.  Header  Dimensions are 1252 by 626 pixels with maximum file size of 5 megabytes.  You can include more than one design element in the header, such as your profile image, logo, or call to action.  Profile Image  Change the size and position of the profile image within the header to suit your taste  Remember to keep any text concise and include contact information and Call to Action! 18
  19. 19. Case Study - How Four Seasons Hotel Is UsingTwitter Four Seasons Hotel has showed that businesses should use twitter Make sure your guest know you are on twitter. 19
  20. 20.  Engage Reply to most of the questions or inquiries people send you on twitter account or main account depending on the question or tweet.  Promotion  Like all businesses, it is never going to complete without the promotions.What @fourseasons tweet are promotions of their  Chef/Restaurant  Bar  Spa 20
  21. 21. Welcome Customers  This is why @fourseasons have 50 localized twitter account. They use them to welcome their customers who send a tweet to that account. Below is an example. 21
  22. 22. YouTube  Every small hotel looking to generate more sales and build their brand fast should never ignore the power of YouTube, a video sharing site the doubles as the 2nd most used search engine.  The simplest thing you can do is to create a video series that features the various rooms and amenities in your hotel. Set up an annotation on each video that is either linked to one of the other videos in the series or in your YouTube channel. This way if the viewers like what they see, they just might click on that link. If possible, include a link back to your hotel‘s official website  Example: https://www.youtube.com/user/hilton 22 4
  23. 23. YouTube 23
  24. 24. Instagram  This is a social network and mobile photo app that has literally taken the whole online world by storm – Facebook included, which acquired it for a billion big ones, a couple months ago. Hotels should take advantage of this online marketing tool as this not only allows you to tap into a growing social network but will also bring your hotel  Hotel Indigo encourages guests to tag their stays with #hotelindigo on Instagram. Hotel Indigo shares photos taken by guests to increase engagement, tagging the original photographers, like this photocelebrating a special occasion, and this photo showcasing hotel treats. 24 5
  25. 25. Searching #hotelindigo on Instagram turns up more than 5000 posts from the hotel and its guests, including snaps celebrating birthdays, illustrating room décor, and depicting surprises from the hotel. 25
  26. 26. Pinterest for Hoteliers  Pinterest is basically like a giant digital tack-board / notice-board / scrapbook. It is a social photo sharing website that allows users to create collections (essentially photos and videos) of the things they like. The site‘s mission statement is to ―connect everyone in the world through the ‗things‘ they find interesting.‖ 26 6
  27. 27. Why should hotels take notice of Pinterest?  Show off your design / style / brand credentials: Pinterest is a great visual way to showcase everything that makes your brand, hotel, resort, restaurant, bar or architercture & design unique. If you‘ve invested in great photography and video, this is a great way to put it to use and showcase all the features, design elements and spaces that make up your hotel or brand personality. 27
  28. 28.  Add a visual twist to your Food & Beverage marketing efforts: Think recipes, chef profiles, healthy eating tips, in-house / local sustainability efforts, amazing signature drinks, wine recommendations and more…Pinterest offers a great way to visually market everything that‘s great about your restaurants, bars, culinary talent and the food you serve 28
  29. 29.  Special occasions and events: Pinterest is a natural fit to showcase your facilities and especially tips, layouts and experiential shots of your event, banqueting or wedding facilities. Wedding planning related content is a specific niche to explore if that is an important part of your business. A few choice photos of special events, personalities or setups you‘ve hosted won‘t hurt either…as long as you have permission to use the photos / videos. 29
  30. 30. Tips for Pinterest Search Engine Optimization  Choose an Optimized Company Username Pinterest finally launched Pinterest business accounts, which make registering for a business account (or converting a personal account into a business account) easy and painless. Going the ―business‖ route also makes it easier to verify your website, add links to your Twitter and Facebook accounts, and add Pinterest buttons and widgets to your company site 30
  31. 31.  2) OptimizeYour Page's 'About' Section  The Pinterest 'About' section provides you with 200 characters of prime keyword real estate, so use this space wisely. In addition to being descriptive and keyword-sensitive, your 'About' section should also be simple, succinct, and specific. 31
  32. 32.  3) Include Links Back toYour Website  Always include a reference link back to your website with your pins, and if you re- pin a post that features your content or products, edit the description to include a full link 32
  33. 33.  4) DifferentiateYour Pinboards  For businesses, however, getting more specific and unique in your board descriptions is critical to helping you get found on Pinterest.  Break through the pinboard name clutter and be specific and keyword-conscious in the selection of your board names. 33
  34. 34.  6) UseYour Pins' Descriptions Wisely  The biggest opportunity for text-based content on Pinterest is the description area for each individual pin.  Knowing that, don‘t be shy about describing your pins. Include terms that your users will relate to and use on their own, add links to the original product or content, and consider adding instructions on product usage or care. 34
  35. 35.  7) Make Sure the ImagesYou Pin Have Descriptive File Names & AltText Given that Pinterest is a highly visual platform, using interesting imagery that is formatted and named correctly can have a significant impact on the success of your boards -- and individual pins themselves. Many companies make the mistake of uploading photos using their default names. For example, an image named 1.13.13ShootImage722.jpg doesn‘t help you at all in search, while a clearly named ―Boston-townhouse.jpg‖ can help a search engine decipher what your image is about much more easily. 35
  36. 36. How to Promote your Social Media Efforts Offline: Let Guests know you are Online  Create a QR code  Create a QR Code (Quick Response Code) to connect to the hotel‘s Facebook and Twitter pages and then prompt the guest to become a fan or follow the page. 36 7
  37. 37. Printed Material/Signage in Guest Rooms 37 8
  38. 38. Hotel HashtagsTo Engage Guests And Promote Social Sharing  If you‘re usingTwitter, Pinterest and Instagram to promote your hotel business, you‘re turning your guests into brand ambassadors, and convert fans and followers into direct bookings, it‘s high time you got familiar with hashtags. 38 9
  39. 39. Why Hashtag?  Hashtags are a quick and simple way for users to summarise what their post is about, tag a post as belonging to a particular theme, and make it visible among other posts on a similar subject.  Using hashtags as part of your hotel‘s social media strategy is a great way to engage your guests so you can quickly search and comment on their posts to create conversation. Hashtags are also incredibly valuable in that they promote social sharing – which essentially encourages your guests to act as brand ambassadors, promoting your hotel out to their follows and online networks. 39
  40. 40. HashtagYour Hotel  Hashtagging your brand name is one of the simplest ways to promote engagement and social sharing, and is practically a must-do for all businesses. 40
  41. 41.  Searching @europahotel onTwitter turns up more than 1000 posts from the hotel and its guests, including snaps celebrating birthdays,illustrating room décor, and depicting surprises from the hotel. 41
  42. 42. PromoteYour Hotel with Hotel Search Engines  What are Hotel Search Engines? Honest as how Google and Yahoo search engines are obedient of searching for anything and everything on the face of this earth, Hotel Search Engines are specifically built for the Hotel Industry. By listing your hotel website on any of the popular Hotel Search Engines you can drive ‗qualified traffic‘ and not fair ‗traffic‘ to your website. 42 10
  43. 43.  iXiGo launched a Hotel Search Engine, covering 4500 hotels in 320 Indian cities.  iXiGO‘s hotel search accesses more than 30 leading national and international hotel booking websites, enabling comparisons of room tariffs of the same hotel across multiple sites within a few seconds. iXiGo sorts accommodation by label, star ratings and amenities and also allows detailed views for maps and photos; all in a single web page. 43
  44. 44.  Hotels Combined and its hotel search engine too covers the world. The site says that its Verified Reviews (a trademarked service) accepts and quantifies reviews from verified, paying customers only. The hotel search engine compares prices across a bunch of hotel pricing sites. You can view the list when you search for the best hotel by destination. 44
  45. 45.  The discount travel site negotiates the best hotel deals (along with other travel related ones) and presents them to you as Hotwire Hot Rates.You can also use the site‘s Tripwatcher tool to watch out for price drops.The results are compared with other sites like Expedia, Kayak,Tripadvisor, and Orbitz. Check out the site‘s Planning Tools section for a few more travel aids which help you plan your trip. 45
  46. 46.  Six of the largest hotel companies in the world (Choice Hotels International, Hilton Worldwide, Hyatt Hotels Corporation, InterContinental Hotels Group, Marriott International and Wyndham Hotel Group) collaborated to start up Roomkey. The hotel search engine is specifically tailored for their clientele and aims to – offer travelers direct access to a broad network of hotels around the globe, provide accurate and comprehensive information, make it easy for travelers to discover what‘s right for them.And in one word, the interface is superb. 46
  47. 47. Optimize your Hotel Business with Foursquare  Foursquare, the leading location-based social network which, with a game aspect, encourages people to explore their neighborhoods via their smartphones, share their visits with local attractions, events and businesses and gives them rewards or share them on facebook or Twitter when they do so. 47 11
  48. 48.  Foursquare allows a user to view where their friends have been within several hours of a certain update. This could have huge potential your Hotel if you encourage Foursquare users to check in and put brief thoughts about the service in their tip updated 48
  49. 49. HowTo Be Number One on TripAdvisor It is all about exposing your property; the more people that see you and read all the great reviews about your property the more likely you will convert them into paying guests. For instance: • Break into the Top 30 hotels and your property will be on Page one • Move into the Top 5 hotels and you will be exposed to all customers looking at your city as a destination • Crack the sacredTop 3 hotels and add a special offer and your hotel will be included in a newsletter at no charge to you • Become king of the hill at #1 and just watch the referral traffic and revenue pour in 49 12
  50. 50. Here are a few important factors that determinesTA rankings-  Frequency – of the reviews. This plays a very important role telling how consistently the hotel is delivering a great experience.  Recency - If you got 30 reviews in one month and then nothing for the next 2 months your ranking will drop. It has to be consistent.  Volume - There is no magic number but as the number of reviews increase you will see your ranking improve as well. 50
  51. 51. Important points  Make sure you give FREE WIFI to your guests in the hotel so you can encourage guests to give Trip Advisor reviews from their devices.  Every time you visit a Trip Advisor website, the site logs your IP address (the identity of the computer that you are using at the time) and places HTTP cookies on the computer or other device you‘re using to access the Internet so you cannot keep writing reviews only from one computer. 51
  52. 52. Ways to get reviews on Trip Advisor  Email: As part of your post stay communication with your guests ask them to review the hotel on Trip Advisor. Make it easy; include a link to your property review page. Take one more step; shorten the URL using a service like Bit.ly, so it all becomes track-able.  At the time of checkout or during their stay: Your colleagues have numerous encounters with guests during their stay; the most asked question during these encounters ―How is your stay?‖ What better time to ask for a review. 52
  53. 53.  Having a widget on your website: This serves two purposes, first, if someone wants to read reviews about the hotel then it is right in front of them and if they want to leave a review then the option is there. This is more effective method when a guest is shopping and looking for feedback on the hotel. If a guest makes a booking after reading Trip Advisor review and they have a great experience, then the likely hood of them writing increases when they are asked to leave a review. 53
  54. 54.  Integrating a link to the review page in your Email signature: Whenever communicating with the guest this gives a good spot to plug in the TripAdvisor logo. 54
  55. 55. Trip Connect onTrip Advisor  TripConnect is a new program that allows hotels to drive direct traffic to their own websites and capture more direct bookings. Hoteliers have always preferred direct bookings to business generated via third-party intermediaries that charge high commissions.TripAdvisor already offers hotels Business Listings subscriptions. Note: Recommended Channel manager for this: STAAH www.staah.com 55 13
  56. 56. Ensure that your listing has  A wide-selection of engaging photos. TripAdvisor reported earlier this year that properties with 30 or more photos have over 45% more traveler engagement than those with 10 or less. There‘s no limit to the number of photos you can add to your TripAdvisor property page. Build your listing‘s photo gallery by adding five photos each month.  Management responses to reviews. 78% of TripAdvisor users agree that seeing a hotel management response to reviews ―makes me believe that it cares more about its guests.‖ Moreover, 84% of users agree that an appropriate management response to a bad review ―improves my impression of the hotel. 56
  57. 57.  Lots of recent, positive reviews. The TripAdvisor Popularity Index takes into account three primary factors when measuring a property‘s score: the number of reviews, rating of reviews and freshness of reviews.  In summary, for hotels with stellar online reputations, TripConnect can drive more direct bookings and allow you to effectively compete against OTAs for that crucial first booking. 57
  58. 58. Trip Advisor Review Express If you‘re working with a TripAdvisor-certified hospitality technology provider – like an internet booking engine or property management system – it‘s now easier than ever to collect more reviews. Opt in to automated Review Express and your guests will receive email reminders to write reviews within 72 hours of check out without any additional steps from you. 58 14
  59. 59. What is Review Express?  Review Express is a free, easy-to-use TripAdvisor tool that helps hospitality businesses email past guests and remind them to write reviews.  Once you sign up, your hospitality technology provider will begin providing TripAdvisor with the data to automatically send guests a review request email on your behalf. The email will be sent to guests within 72 hours of check out. A guest can then click the link in the email to complete a review of your property. 59
  60. 60.  What is sent to my guests? A review collection email that includes your property name and image will be sent to your guests within 48 to 72 hours of checkout. If they don‘t click the ―Write a review‖ link in the email within a week, a follow-up email will be sent to them. You can configure the message sent to your guests at tripadvisor.com/ReviewExpress. 60
  61. 61. TripAdvisorWatch  TripAdvisor slaps Red Badge on hotel for writing own reviews 61
  62. 62. Ways to Collect Guest Email Addresses A good way to encourage guests to write reviews is to send follow up emails after a visit with tools like TripAdvisor‘s Review Express. The first step is to collect email addresses from guests – here are six tips to get you started:  Simply ask for the email address at check-in, and again at check-out, if needed.Tell guests that you‘ll be sending an email to get their feedback on their stay.  Contact your internet booking engine or online travel agent partners to see if they can provide an email address for each booking they make. 62
  63. 63.  Provide a guest of 10-20% discount for the guests next stay (which can be transferable) and say you require an email address to send the details.  Offer to email a copy of the final bill for their records or deliver an expedited check-out process via email (e-delivery of bills and e- authorization of charges) to get them on their way faster.  Business travelers: Create a monthly contest where guests are encouraged to drop their business cards in a bowl. Offer a free weekend stay to the owner of the card that‘s selected. 63
  64. 64. SEO For Hotels:What Hoteliers Really NeedTo Know SEO is not a trick 64 15
  65. 65.  The first and most important thing that hotels need to realize is that despite what they may have heard, SEO is not about ―tricking‖ search engines. Rather, it is a series of practices by which websites tell the search engines who they are, what they do, and why they are relevant to searchers.  Performing SEO for hotels, the most important tactics for convincing search engines that a hotel‗s website should be ranked at the top of searches – Optimized local listings and unique, relevant links. 65
  66. 66.  Optimized Local Listings  You need to establish your location on their terms by claiming, optimizing, andmanaging your Google +Local Page, Bing Local Listing, andYahoo Local listing.  Work on getting your site found in search engines such as Google and include your hotel‘s keywords into your website‘s content. 66
  67. 67.  A social media presence is also increasingly important for your website‘s SEO so don‘t be shy and get social on Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus and other social platforms. The hard work will pay off. 67
  68. 68. Rate Parity  Rate parity can be defined as maintaining consistent rates for the same product in all online distribution channels—Expedia, Orbitz, Hotwire, etc.—regardless of what commission the OTA makes.  Rate parity can ensure an even playing field among all channels and protects a hotel‘s relationships with its partners, as no channel is being favored over another one.  A hotels ranking on OTA‘s totally depends on rate parity, Reviews and number of bookings 68 16
  69. 69. Channel manager for Hotels  Channel Manager  A single platform for hotels to manage inventory and pricing with all online travel portals. The Channel Manager for hotels ensures properties of all sizes can maximize their online exposure. The hotel channel management system also increases revenue and reduces the time and cost it takes to update rooms.  Preferable Channel Manager: STAAH for more details log on to staah.com 69 17
  70. 70. Global Distribution System (GDS)  Global Distribution System consists of both the original GDS technology (travel agent data suppliers) and travel websites such as Expedia, Travelocity, and Orbitz, etc. There are also many smaller regional GDS providers and travel website portals in the Global Distribution System makeup.  Preferable GDS : Reconline  Benefits of participating in the GDS network The main benefit of the GDS is that it provides a perfect virtual marketplace for travel inventory sellers such as hotels, airlines, and car rental systems to showcase their wares to a global Internet travel audience.  The GDS is a natural outlet for hotels, resorts, and even smaller inns that want to increase revenue and online marketing exposure. 70 18
  71. 71.  The GDS also allows independent properties a chance to offer special ―dynamic packages‖ (bundled services that include hotel, airfare, special events, etc.) to their customers. With more and more consumers making travel reservations online, dynamic packaging is a growing trend.  Who is the Global Distribution System best suited for? The GDS is ideally suited for larger hotels and resorts located in desirable areas that have standard room types such as single rooms, queen rooms, king rooms, etc. 71
  72. 72.  Conclusion The GDS network offers properties valuable marketing exposure on the various popular online travel websites and to over 600,000 travel agents worldwide. However, the GDS is only the ―icing on the cake.‖ Most properties will still get many more online reservations through their own website than they will from the GDS network. Therefore, make sure you have a well designed website, easy to use navigation, allow potential customers to book online, and that you hire a professional company to market your website. The practice of making travel arrangements online continues to grow. Make sure your property combines GDS exposure with its own website booking engine to maximize online revenue. 72
  73. 73. Google Hotel Finder  First of all, let‘s make one thing clear: with the introduction of the Google Hotel Finder Google is not entering the OTA space and is not becoming an online travel agency. All bookings originating from the Google Hotel Finder take place on the hotel website or OTA website.  Google is displaying Hotel Finder results aggressively in SERPs (search engine result pages), making it important to list your hotel. Google designed GHF to be a one-stop-shop for accommodation planning. It displays information from many hotels that fit your search criteria, and then give you reservation options. 73 19
  74. 74. Creating your page on Hotel Finder  Google takes data for displayed results from Google+ Local and from databases of big OTAs like booking.com or expedia.com.  Logically, it is always better to have information that is being displayed about your facility on the internet in your own hands and for that you need to create your personal profile on Google+ Local.You can do so here:https://plus.google.com/pages/create 74
  75. 75.  Remember, its just for hotels, not for restaurants and cafe. In order to improve your presence on hotel finder, you need to sign for Google Places listings 75
  76. 76. Now that you have your Google Local listing set up and you‘re connected to an OTA or GDS, you need to keep your hotel‘s information updated. If you use a CRS connected to GDSs and OTAs to manage your daily hotel inventory, then GHF will keep your listing‘s availability and rates up-to-date automatically. If not, log into each service‘s extranet to update room listings and rates, which Hotel Finder will eventually display. To edit your listing‘s marketing content, such as hotel descriptions, photos, addresses and so on, log-in to your Google Local page and make any changes you wish. Google hasn‘t released information on how long it takes them to update GHF. It can take a few hours to a few weeks. 76
  77. 77. HotelWebsite Links If the hotel has a website added to Google Local, then GHF may give a link to the website, allowing guests to book directly from the hotel website. For an independent hotel to take over the red booking button and sell rooms directly, the hotel must hire a service to run Hotel Price Ads on their behalf, and win a bidding war between the competing OTAs. 77
  78. 78. The benefits of using OTAs  Many properties think signing up with OTA‘s are more of a burden which is not true. 78 20
  79. 79.  Increasing revenue is but one benefit of using OTAs. Following are five other ways that OTAs positively influence the hotel industry:  Occupancy boost. Obviously, driving occupancy is one key benefit of OTAs.  Introducing new guests. And speaking of guests, OTAs can help diversify a hotel‘s client base by delivering new customers who otherwise might not have considered staying at a particular hotel.  Dynamic packaging. The reason OTAs came about was to present meaningful packages to undecided consumers. When they combine a hotel with air with car rental with some entertainment, that‘s the only benefit that the OTAs bring to the table. 79
  80. 80.  Personal attention  OTA‘s can be of great consultants who understand each local hotel market and can use that knowledge to help hotels efficiently drive bookings.  Direct bookings. There is some evidence that a majority of consumers end up booking on brand websites after comparison shopping with the OTAs. 80 24
  81. 81. Tips to boost Hotel OTA Bookings and Rankings  Online travel agencies or OTA‘s is the second most- used channel in terms of hotel and resort hotel bookings, accounting for almost 20% of all bookings done online. 1. Respond to Reviews in aTimely Fashion Traveler reviews – both in terms of quantity and quality – are extremely important if you want to increase bookings for your hotel via OTA‘s. As a hotel manager, you should be vigilant in monitoring reviews posted on OTA‘s and respond to them in a timely manner, preferably within 24-48 hours after a review is posted. In cases of negative reviews, responding promptly can lessen any damaging effect a negative review might have. For positive reviews, responding within this ideal time frame will give the impression that you indeed value your guests. 81 21
  82. 82.  Use Great-Looking, High-Resolution Photos send High resolution photos to ensure that travellers see your property photos at their best on every device. 82
  83. 83.  Improve and UpdateYour Property and Room Descriptions Providing a full room description and a full property description as opposed to just partial ones can boost your hotel‘s take-up rate by 5% and increase your average daily rate by $5. Your property and room descriptions should be up-to- date, compelling and comprehensive. This is because many OTA‘s apply tags on your property based on these descriptions. 83
  84. 84.  For example, if someone is looking for properties offering free wireless Internet access, OTA‘s will show all properties that have this on their property description. If you did not included this feature in your descriptions, you won‘t show up for this search even if you do offer free Wi-Fi access.  List of OTA‘s a hotel can sign up with http://www.staah.com/channel- manager/staah_channel_partners.htm 84
  85. 85. Competitor Price Monitoring  Competitor price monitoring is very important in the hotel and travel industry. This is because the hotel industry is a highly competitive one and proper pricing is of utmost importance. You need to keep a track of your competitors on regular basis.  Give your guests a reason to choose your hotel over a hotel two blocks or two miles away. You can differentiate your hotel from your competitors on the basis of price, policy and service.  While you do not want to get into a losing battle by dropping your room rates 25 percent below your competitor‘s rates, you can have a policy where you are always at or near the lowest rate in town. 85 22
  86. 86.  When you have satisfied guests, they can be a great source for new customers. Encourage them to refer friends and family to stay at your hotel by giving them various incentives like a room discount on a future stay, free dinner, or perhaps, a gift card.  Some people are flexible with their travel schedule and might want to stay an extra night. If you offer them 50 percent off on the third night when they pay the regular rate for the first two nights, many will take the offer and you will generate incremental revenue. 86
  87. 87. Types of promotions on OTA‘s  Basic Deal Basic deals are easy to create; just decide on the discount and the dates for the rooms you want to create a promotion for and that's it!  Early booker deals Early booker deals are for people booking very early. You can tell us how long in advance they must book - days, weeks, or months! 87 23
  88. 88.  Last minute deals are only available to people booking very late. Restrict it to the last few days or hours before arrival!  24-hour promotions are limited-time offers that can only be booked on one particular day. 88 Types of promotions on OTA‘s
  89. 89. Keeping an eye on your hotel website stats through Google Analytics  Google analytics It records information about the people interacting with your website and how they‘re interacting with it. It will tell you things like number of visitors, demographic information, the type of device they use when visiting your site, how long they stay on your site, etc. 89 24
  90. 90. By understanding and utilizing this information, you can greatly improve your website and double your marketing efforts. 90
  91. 91.  At the core, Google Analytics provides statistical information on:  Site visits – How many visitors came to your site in a specific period of time (defaults to one month).  Page views – How many pages of your site those visitors viewed (also within that time period you specify).  Pages per visit - An average of how many pages were viewed per visit.  Bounce rate –This indicates the percentage of people who comes to your site only to leave again, close the window, etc. In general, you want this number to be lower, but as it relates to hotel websites, a high bounce rate may indicate they‘re going straight to the booking engine. *fingers crossed*  Average time on site – Average amount of time spent on your site by all visitors in a specific period of time.  New visits – Amount of visitors to your site who have never been there before. 91
  92. 92.  Standard Reports are broken into these categories:  Real-time – This shows you how many visitors are on your website in real time, where they are geographically, page views, referral sources (how they came to your site), and percentage of new versus returning visitors.  Audience – This gives you granular stats on your website visitors, such as demographic, interests, behavior, technology used, etc. 92
  93. 93.  Acquisition – This shows you behaviors and conversions across Organic search (coming to your site by typing in a keyword and not clicking on a paid ad), Direct (typing in your website URL), Referral (clicking on a link to your website from another website or ad), Email (clicking on a link to your site from an email sent to them), Social (clicking on a link to your website from a social media platform such as TripAdvisor, Facebook, Twitter, etc.) and Other (a bucket for clicks that can‘t be categorized for many reasons not worth discussing here).  Behavior – The basics that I mentioned above: who is on your site, how long they stayed, what they looked at, and if they are a returning visitor or brand new to you.  Conversions – Perhaps the most fun of all the Standard Reporting features, Conversions tracks your goals, eCommerce (with a simple tracking code set up on your site. More on that later.), multi-channel funnels, and attribution (which channel your website conversions were attributed to, be it organic, direct, social media, etc. Also where you would see feedback on AdWords). 93
  94. 94.  Flickr is a great way to organize and distribute images across the Internet. Don‘t forget to take advantage of this useful tool for promoting your hotel! Flickr offers a few wonderful things:  Photo Storage: It allows you to store a huge amount of photos for FREE.  Photo Sharing: After your images are stored on Flickr you can opt to share the photos with others ( or not ) to use for their blogs and websites. 94 25
  95. 95.  Take advantage of this chance to do some creative marketing, and use your Flickr account to connect with your customers (or potential customers) through imagery.  Social Media Optimization: If you use your Flickr images for your blog posts add the URL to that image in the description field. This allows those that view and or use your images to check out your blog posts as well. Also remember to tag your images properly for effective optimization.  The importance of images are often overlooked when we think about Social Media but think about how many times we search for images then you will realize how important Flickr and photo sharing sites are. 95 How FLICKR can help hotels
  96. 96. Hotel on Flickr 96 https://www.flickr.com/photos/lemeridienhotels
  97. 97.  Tweet your Flickr photostream. As with Facebook, you can automatically Tweet the URL to your new image (in addition to any comment you wish to make) at the same time that you post it on Flickr.  Share your Flickr photostream on Facebook. You can trigger any images that you post on Flickr to simultaneously post onto Facebook.You‘ll reach a new, expansive audience. 97
  98. 98.  Link your Flickr photo stream to your website by creating a badge. You can choose to make an HTML badge or a Flash badge; both show a selection of your photo stream images. In an HTML badge, your images remain static. In a Flash badge, your images continuously fade in and out of the background. 98 Link your Flickr photo stream to your mainWebsite. One way you can do this is by creating a slideshow of your images in Flickr and then uploading the slideshow onto your Website. You‘ll be catching visitors‘ attention and immediately showcasing your work.

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