WordPress anniversary

Go Big!

WordPress

21st Anniversary
Get 25% discount
Icon

Ends
Soon

WordPress anniversary
How to Increase Hotel Bookings- 10 Practical Ways to Follow

How to Increase Hotel Bookings- 10 Practical Ways to Follow

A constant concern of hoteliers all over the world- “How to increase hotel bookings?” “Are the booking strategies right?” or “How to increase hotel occupancy in low season?

Let’s break it down together. The solution involves a few strategic moves:

  • Choosing the right booking channels,
  • Implementing effective tactics to boost bookings,
  • Optimally using these channels for maximum impact.

In an industry flooded with options, it’s not unusual for hotels to miss out on deals, especially during slower periods. If you’re not actively seeking ways to enhance your bookings, you might see a dip in occupancy and revenue.

The secret to standing out? Implementing the right strategies with precision and care.

In this blog, I have shared 10 practical ways of increasing hotel bookings to boost sales like never before.

So, let’s get started!

Why Direct Bookings Are the Real Deal?

Before diving into the main topic – how to increase hotel bookings, let’s first learn about direct bookings. Direct bookings are basically the reservations made directly with your hotel, without using any third-party platforms.

Here’s why embracing direct bookings is beneficial for boosting your profit and sales:

  1. Cut Down Commission Costs: When guests book directly with you, you eliminate the need to pay commission fees to third-party booking platforms. More of the profit stays in your pocket.
  2. Increase Guest Loyalty: Direct interactions pave the way for building stronger relationships with your guests. When they book directly, you have the opportunity to personalize their experience, increasing the likelihood they’ll come back or recommend your hotel to others.
  3. Control Over the Booking Experience: Managing the booking process yourself means you can control guest experiences from the start. You ensure that they get accurate information and a seamless booking process, which can lead to higher satisfaction rates.
  4. Access to More Guest Data: Direct bookings give you valuable insights into your guests’ preferences and behaviors. Use this data to tailor your marketing strategies and improve your services, ultimately leading to more tailored experiences and increased guest satisfaction.
  5. Quicker Adjustments to Offers: With direct control over your bookings, you can quickly implement promotions or adjust pricing based on demand, season, or special events, helping you stay competitive and responsive in the market.

In the next section, I’ll also be discussing ‘how to get direct bookings’ which can really boost your hotel’s profits and sales. It gives you more control and helps you build better relationships with your guests.

How to Increase Hotel Bookings- 10 Proven Ways That Work

Focusing on optimizing direct bookings through your website is a great starting point if you’re looking to increase your hotel bookings. Let’s explore 10 effective strategies that can help your hotel attract more guests directly.

1. Optimizing Your Hotel’s Website for Search Engine

Just the mere presence of a website won’t do much for your sheer ambitions of making more bookings. Your hotel website needs to have good visibility, good user experience, and trustworthiness, which will ultimately drive higher traffic, conversions, and revenue.

Your website has to be seen, liked, and used for the sake of making money for your business.

And there are some ways that you need to believe in religiously.

a) SEO

SEO (search engine optimization) enhances your hotel website’s visibility on search engines like Google. By incorporating relevant keywords, optimizing title tags and meta descriptions, and building backlinks, you improve your site’s ranking. This includes focusing on both regular and local SEO to ensure your hotel appears prominently in search results.

Ultimately, effective SEO strategies make it easier for potential guests to discover and book your hotel online.

Improved Visibility on Search Engines

b) Content Marketing

Having a collection of blogs on your hotel website is crucial for improving SEO, as it educates prospective guests about the area, and showcases your unique guest experience. Regularly updating the blog builds a backlog of posts, keeping visitors engaged and providing content for social media and email marketing.

c) Website’s Ease-of-Use

The ease of use of your hotel’s website directly impacts the user experience. A complicated or frustrating website layout can deter visitors and lead to abandoned bookings. By prioritizing ease of use, you create a positive impression, build trust with potential guests, and increase the likelihood of conversion, ultimately driving more bookings and revenue for your hotel.

d) Mobile-Friendliness

Ensuring your hotel website is mobile-friendly is crucial because over 50% of potential guests browse websites using their mobile devices. A mobile-responsive layout, fonts, and images are essential for a seamless browsing experience. Check your website’s loading time, navigation, call-to-action placement, and content optimization to ensure a smooth mobile experience for guests.

2. Having a Simple & Smooth Booking system

Implementing a simple and smooth booking system on your hotel website is essential for increasing bookings. With an average bounce rate of 47%, a complicated booking process can deter potential guests. Simplify the process to a 2-step action, where users enter check-in/check-out dates, select room type, and make payment.

Collect basic information in Step 1 and redirect to a payment page with multiple options in Step 2. Avoid email verification by allowing sign-ups via Google or Facebook. Immediately confirm booking and payment details to guests.

By streamlining the booking process, your website can convert more browsers into actual guests, which will boost bookings significantly.

3. Virtual Showcase of Your Properties

Virtual showcases of hotel rooms can significantly increase hotel bookings by providing potential guests with a realistic and immersive preview of the accommodations. Through virtual tours, 360-degree photos, or interactive videos, guests can explore rooms, amenities, and facilities from the comfort of their own homes. Having this can naturally enhance the understanding of the space, and build trust in the hotel’s offerings.

But you need to do it right, or else that would be a baseless investment. With the right software and tools, you can easily make a virtual tour or panorama image of your hotel’s rooms.

WPVR is one virtual tour-creating software in WordPress. You simply upload 360 panoramic images, and this plugin will turn it into an exclusive virtual tour. You can trust the creation process while saving your sweat for implementing all the other strategies.

How to Increase Hotel Bookings- 10 Practical Ways to Follow 1
WPVR HomePage

If you’re a hotel business owner, this is a must-read for you How To Create A Hotel Virtual Tour To Increase Online Hotel Booking

4. Run Marketing Campaigns – Seasonal and Off-season

Local events like festivals, concerts, and conferences are drawing travelers, offering accommodation operators opportunities to boost occupancy. Maximize these events by adding them to your marketing calendar, creating special packages, promoting them on your website, and discussing them on social media.

Seasonal marketing campaigns tailored to specific guest segments can effectively increase hotel bookings.

A good example of how this could look like-

Summer Vacation Campaign:

Target Audience: Families with children

Offer: Family-friendly packages with activities such as pool parties, beach outings, and children’s entertainment.

Promotion: Special discounts on extended stays or complimentary meals for kids.

Content: Social media posts featuring fun summer activities and vibrant images of families enjoying their vacation at the hotel.

Also, you can say that effective off-season marketing campaigns are crucial in learning how to increase hotel occupancy in low season.

5. Email Marketing to Outreach & Retarget

Email marketing can be a powerful tool for hotels to channel communication and personalized offers. This is a good way of building relationships with past guests on a regular basis. But you have to put your mind and soul into reaching out, or your emails will be left unopened- meaning no possibility of sales.

To do it right,

  • Segment your email campaigns tailored to your guest’s interests and demographics.
  • Implement pre-arrival communication to promote add-on services, enhance the overall guest experience, and encourage bookings.
  • Reconnect with website visitors who did not book, reminding them of the hotel and enticing them to complete the booking process, which is retargeting.
  • Effectively engage recipients with visually appealing and mobile-optimized emails

6. Expand your Reach Everywhere- Tourism websites, Online Travel Agencies

When it comes to sales, leave no space for your competitors. And the only best way to ensure that is by being present everywhere. To maximize visibility and attract guests, ensure your hotel is listed on multiple online travel agencies. OTAs offer broad reach and high search engine rankings, increasing discovery opportunities for potential guests.

To establish an impressive presence,

  • Provide comprehensive information, including accommodation options, facilities, rates, and contact details
  • Encouraging positive guest reviews to enhance credibility and boost bookings.
  • Capitalize on tourism websites’ traffic by featuring your hotel prominently with compelling photos and unique features.
  • Explore collaboration opportunities with local tourism boards and businesses for cross-promotion, which might further increase bookings for all parties involved.

Here is an example of how Waterfront Hotel did an amazing job at showcasing its properties on TripAdvisor.

Hotel Waterfront listed on TripAdvisor
Hotel Waterfront listed on TripAdvisor

7. Establish a Social Media Presence

Establishing an impressive presence on social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter is essential for increasing hotel bookings, especially considering that almost one-third of travelers seek vacation ideas on social media.

But obviously, any social media marketing won’t work, unless you do it strategically.

  • Share relatable content to humanize your brand
  • Leverage user-generated content, such as photos and reviews from previous guests, to build trust and credibility in your brand.
  • Encourage guests to leave reviews on social media or popular review websites like TripAdvisor to further enhance your hotel’s reputation and attract more bookings.
  • Beyond regular updates and promotions, employ storytelling techniques to engage your target audience by sharing behind-the-scenes stories of hotel management, staff, or amenities

8. Personalize the Customer Experience

Guest satisfaction and loyalty come when they feel cared for, and the only way to do it is by personalizing services. By leveraging guest data and preferences, hotels can offer tailored services, discounts, and offers that enhance guest satisfaction.

There are ways more than one that you can do so-

– For instance, maintaining detailed information such as birthdays, anniversaries, and special preferences in a guest management system enables hotels to send personalized messages and provide unique experiences during guests’ stays. This personalized approach fosters stronger relationships with guests, encouraging repeat bookings and positive word-of-mouth referrals.

– You might as well utilize a concise form to gather guest preferences upon booking. Based on this information, the hotel offers relevant experience packages and complimentary amenities, such as champagne for guests celebrating special occasions.

This personalized touch not only delights guests but also sets the hotel apart, creating memorable experiences that drive customer loyalty and increase direct bookings.

9. Digital Advertising

Digital advertising can be a powerful tool by leveraging social media platforms and creating a sense of urgency for travelers. Firstly, utilizing social media advertising allows hotels to dominate search results and drive traffic to their websites. But these platforms can do a lot more than that. Like-

  • Integrating a booking engine with social media pages enables fans to book directly, streamlining the booking process and encouraging conversions.
  • Employing messaging on the hotel website that creates a sense of urgency can further boost bookings.
  • Strategies such as flash sales or limited-time offers can be effective in driving traffic and increasing conversion rates. These promotions can be promoted via email campaigns or prominently displayed on the website with a unique discount code.

By leveraging digital advertising tactics that create a sense of urgency, hotels can effectively fill occupancy quickly and drive direct bookings.

10. Incorporate CTAs and Pop-ups

A lot of visitors explore hotel websites to browse through images, learn about amenities, and understand policies. But sometimes they are not consciously browsing, and they lose directions. This is when leveraging compelling CTAs (Call-to-Actions) and strategically timed pop-ups on your website can be highly effective. But some key ideas to note when putting your CTAs-

  • Utilizing attention-grabbing CTAs and pop-ups that can alert them to special offers or lower rates, encouraging direct bookings.
Discount pop-ups
  • By making your homepage pop-up noticeable and providing incentives for direct bookings, you can significantly boost your conversion rates. However, it’s crucial to ensure that these CTAs and pop-ups are not intrusive and don’t disrupt the booking process. Visitors should have the option to easily skip or close them if they choose.

While it can be challenging to alter traveler behavior, implementing well-designed CTAs and pop-ups can effectively encourage visitors to return to your website and consider booking directly.

Final Remarks

Lastly, don’t just go for shiny objects, have patience with whatever strategies you come up with, refine, and then optimize. Always keep measuring. Measure the open rates of emails, and subscription rates, if the CTAs are really working. Keep learning and try different options. The results will often surprise you. When it comes to getting direct bookings, don’t follow your instincts, they don’t always work. Analyze the data you get and base your decisions on it.

As hotel managers, keeping up with travelers’ modern needs and coming up with strategies to meet those should be your top priority. When you meet their needs, sales will follow you through anyway.

And if you are looking for software that can help you create virtual tours for your hotel website, WPVR can do beyond magic.

For any software advice or strategies, you are always free to ask for help through comments or our support system.

Because asking for help is smart!

FAQs

1. What Are Some Direct Booking Examples?

Direct booking examples include guests making reservations directly through a hotel’s website, contacting the hotel via phone, or sending booking inquiries through email. These methods allow guests to interact directly with the hotel without involving third-party platforms like online travel agencies (OTAs) such as Booking.com or Expedia.

2. How Can WPVR Help in Increasing Hotel Bookings?

WPVR, a virtual reality plugin for WordPress, can enhance hotel bookings by offering immersive experiences to potential guests. Through virtual tours, guests can explore hotel facilities and rooms in detail, increasing their confidence in booking. This technology provides a more engaging and realistic preview, effectively showcasing the hotel’s offerings and encouraging guests to make reservations.

3. What are the Drawbacks of Online Travel Agencies?

Online travel agencies (OTAs) offer convenience but come with notable drawbacks for hotels. High commission rates eat into profit margins, while limited control over branding and customer data poses challenges. Managing inventory across multiple platforms can lead to overbookings or underbookings. Overall, these do not guarantee your business profit and more bookings.

Stay updated with new releases

By entering your email, you agree to our Privacy Policy.

You might also like

Written by

Srabonti Barua

Srabonti Barua

Srabonti Barua is a curious observer but never an absorber. Unless and until she chooses to become the human SpongeBob.

2 Comments

  • Love this guide. It has some real researched data that can really help out hotel businesses.

    Also, I’ve been using ChannelRush, a top hotel software company, for my hotel bookings and it’s fantastic! The site is incredibly user-friendly and I always find great deals quickly. Their real-time updates ensure I get the best rates available, making it my go-to choice for hassle-free reservations. Highly recommend it!

    • Hi,

      Thanks for the comment and the recommendation. We really appreciate your input.

      Cheers.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *