Sometimes we come accros a camp or retreat that receives well over half of their reservations via a single reseller. It can be convenient but there is also a risk of relying your business on a single third party business. What if that business goes bankrupt, change from owner and increases its commission or starts reselling other packages in your area that result in a decrease of bookings?
Of course it is a good thing to use the popularity of booking platforms to let potential clients know you exist, but you should still consider offering direct bookings on your own website to avoid rising commissions at least partially. Lastly, about half of the people using an OTA to find accommodation rentals are also looking at the supplier’s website before making a booking. Here’s your chance! Why don’t you let them book directly on your website next time they check it out? Although your potential clients may put more trust with a well-known agency, they are still aware of that fact that they have to pay a certain agency fee one way or another as well.
Have a nice and easy to understand website
Give your potential clients a good overview of what you are offering without overloading them with information. Pictures of your rooms, apartments or facilities are always a good point to start and keep people interested. Of course you should provide them with all the information they need, such as locations, rates and descriptions, just remember to keep it visually attractive and clear.
Offer loyalty programs and other discounts
Now that you’ve decided to spend less money on commissions, offer your guests lower rates by creating discounts and other attractive offers such as loyalty programs or secret deals. This way a leisure traveler is more likely to come back to you next year.
Work with local partners to offer more services
Another reason why many people choose to book with an agency is the fact that they can basically configure their whole vacation on just one platform. But you could offer that too. Speak to local businesses and partner with them.
Include reviews and user generated content
Speaking of experiences and loyalty. By including both reviews and user generated content such as pictures or comments, you can increase your credibility amongst potential clients. TripAdvisor states that 83% of their clients read reviews before making a booking and 76% consider other guest’s pictures when choosing a supplier to book from.
There is no doubt that the industry of accommodation is both growing and changing at a fast pace within our globalised and digitalised world. The good news is, that, not only big agencies can make use of this changing circumstances, but everyone can. Nowadays camps, retreats and resorts have a great range of software tools to help them autonomously manage their reservations and workflow.