Driving direct bookings via your hotel website? Leverage the power of a booking engine.
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Driving direct bookings via your hotel website? Leverage the power of a booking engine.

Debiprasad Sarangi
Debiprasad Sarangi

In the hospitality industry, driving direct bookings through your hotel's website is crucial to remain competitive. The most important factor in achieving this is having a well-integrated booking engine. This technology can transform your website into a powerful tool to attract bookings. Let's explore how this works.

Just so you know, before we begin, the website conversion rate in the global hospitality industry is between 2% and 3%. It indicates that as a hotelier, you have a lot of room for improvement and should strive to increase this conversion rate.

We know that you know the benefits of generating more direct bookings. However, we would like to reiterate. Here they are - 

Save on commission costs: With direct bookings via your website, you don't have to pay commission for indirect bookings via OTAs. It adds to your increased profit margins. In other words, you can lower your cost of distribution. 

Entice more audience: Since the booking happens on your website, you can roll out special offers and upsell relevant services to attract more guests. 

Gain control over guest data: When guests book directly, you have direct access to valuable guest data. Use this information to offer personalized services and run targeted promotions and loyalty programs. 

Improve your brand's online visibility: It helps you improve your hotel website's search engine ranking by driving more traffic to your website for direct bookings. It leads to greater online visibility, attracting more potential guests to the site.

Let's examine how a web booking engine assists in boosting direct sales through your website.

A booking engine is a software application on your hotel's website that allows guests to check availability and rates and book their stay directly with you. As mentioned above, it is a crucial tool for two primary reasons - it simplifies the booking process for your guests and drives revenue for your hotel by bypassing third-party booking fees.

Features of a booking engine you need to look for 

A robust booking engine is about more than just accepting reservations. It's about enhancing the guest experience and boosting your revenue. Here are some essential features to look for. 

User-friendly interface: Your booking engine should be easy to navigate. A clear, concise, attractive design ensures potential guests can book their stay without confusion or frustration.

Mobile responsiveness: With the rise of mobile bookings, having a mobile-responsive booking engine is non-negotiable. Ensure that guests can easily book on any handheld device. 

Multiple payment options: Flexibility in making the payment is essential for guests. It should help you offer various multi-currency secure payment methods to cater to all guests, whether they prefer credit cards, PayPal, or other digital wallets.

Hotel PMS integration: Guests appreciate up-to-date information. Ensure your booking engine displays real-time availability and pricing via the Hotel PMS to avoid overbookings and guest dissatisfaction. 

Task automation: It should automate all booking-related tasks, including reservations and confirmation emails, so your staff can focus on delivering exceptional guest services.

Hold on! We are not done yet. You also need to work on your website to get more out of your effort. 

Here you go - 

Infuse your brand's essence by incorporating your colors and logo, ensuring a consistent and memorable user experience. Customize essential pages like 'Book Now,' 'Contact Us,' and 'About Us' with detailed information to guide potential guests toward a decision. Highlight the charm of your accommodations and services through vivid descriptions and high-quality images. 

Cater to a global audience by offering multilingual support, improving the booking experience for international visitors. Integrate handy third-party widgets like Google Maps and TripAdvisor, adding layers of functionality and value. 

Once you have completed all the necessary tasks, you can integrate the booking engine.

A booking engine is not just a tool—it's an operationally-imperative asset for your hotel. You can drive direct bookings and enhance overall guest satisfaction by offering a user-friendly, efficient, and personalized booking experience. Invest in a smart booking engine and watch your hotel's direct booking rates soar.

Want to know more about how to drive direct bookings? Join our upcoming webinar on 31 Jan 2024 at 12:00 PM IST and hear it from industry experts.