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Direct Bookings Overtake OTAs With Perks and Clever Incentives!

Debiprasad Sarangi
Debiprasad Sarangi

dbIt is not a strange fact that OTA’s are known to provide 20% of the total room bookings. While your rooms do get filled to its capacity due to the synergistic performance of direct bookings and OTA’s, several hotels are working out on a clever strategy to outsmart OTA’s and rev up their direct booking.

Truth is- though OTA’s provide a considerable boost for booking, hotels tend to lose 10-25% commission fees for their presence in the OTA listing. To take the heat off this inevitable loss of 15-25% in a bargain to fill 20% of the rooms to capacity, hotel managements have resorted to creative incentives to attract guests through direct bookings on their website via distribution system.

The Best Incentives for Convincing Travelers to Book Direct-01An extensive survey conducted by hotel management research firm Software Advice covering over 2,500 guests and consumers of the hospitality industry in the United States of America, reflects the current trend of perks and incentives to give mileage to direct bookings. Let’s know about the exciting results, this innovative survey has pulled out.

The following are the top preferred incentives given on directly booking on the hotel website

The Best Incentives for Convincing Travelers to Book Direct-02Top Most Appreciated Incentive:

The top most preferred incentive is a room upgrade. 48% of the respondents chose a room upgrade among other incentives offered. The widely accepted upgrades were in form of a better room view, suite or room with a balcony.

The Best Incentives for Convincing Travelers to Book Direct-03

Second-Most Favored Incentive:

23% of the respondents favored free room service of various services such as free in-room meal or massage. While free room services topped second on the favorite incentives, there were at least four variables to the same.

Third-Most Favored Incentive:

The Best Incentives for Convincing Travelers to Book Direct-0414% of the guests favored the incentive of free access to on-site amenities. Though free meals are noted as common room incentives globally, free food and drinks does outrank other popular amenities. While most respondents preferred the free food and drinks incentives, another section of the American respondents sounded a vast preferences for other outdoor activities and relaxation as well.

The Best Incentives for Convincing Travelers to Book Direct-05The Least Favored Incentive:

The last but not the least favored incentive for driving direct bookings, is perks in form of gift cards. Gift cards for offsite activities and events were the least preferred incentives, but that don’t stop respondents from picking their most preferred gift cards.

Why you should pay attention to these incentive offers, for direct bookings?

The above research proves that guests tip a room upgrade as the best incentive, among others. Though we leave it to the hoteliers’ wisdom to incorporate these favored incentives into their sales and marketing agenda, the experts give their thumbs up to the same. This survey reiterates on the need to gauge the pulse of the guests to offer them the best services and certain perks, to make them doubly happy guests who would much prefer to visit your hotel again via direct booking than other OTA’s that do not promise the same perks.. Hotels need to strike a need and balance over the 15-20% commission lost to OTA’s and create an equilibrium or gain factor with these incentives raking in direct bookings to their website.

Learn more about driving direct bookings on your hotel’s website through Hotelogix’s distribution systems.