The MOST IMPORTANT thing a resort Manager needs to KNOW
how to get MORE BOOKINGS from OTA’s and their own website.
You would be forgiven for thinking that OTA’s (Online Travel Agents) like Booking.com,
Expedia and Agoda automatically put the Largest Resorts and Hotels on their front pages.
In fact all OTA’s use algorithms (fancy name for maths software)
it is the algorithm which determines where your resort is found on OTA’s, page 1 or 100
Keeping in mind, the more you are seen, the better the chance of more bookings
Can a manager influence an algorithm… ABSOULUTELY!…
What’s more… it’s SIMPLE…
Most major OTA’s algorithms work on the 7 C’s philosophy
all you have to do is… Just give the OTA’s algorithm what it wants
CONTENT… make sure your content score is at 100%… you’re competing with others who are at 100%
HINT: just because content was at 100% last week does not mean it is this week.
Things fall off OTA’s (photo’s descriptions etc.) must be floating out in cyberspace somewhere.
Last week we checked our Managers content scores to find Booking.com fell to around 90% on all our resorts simply because booking.com had added another feature “distance” which naturally left blank.
DID YOU KNOW: Expedia is marking Photo’s down now that are not High Rez 2000 x 3000, other OTA’s will follow.
We look at these as great opportunities to get a Jump on other slower to respond resorts… and you can too.
CONVERSION… probably the strongest of the 7 C’s
Conversion is simply which resort coverts lookers to bookers best… so, “GOOD” content is King
HINT: Sharp pictures… a bit better description (you can ask for a description change) shine over your competitors.
Pictures of your target market… if your resort suits couples… use pictures of couples on the beach, in the pool etc.
DID YOU KNOW: You can use Promo’s to increase your overall conversion rate!
If on the retail shopfront, 100 lookers click on your resort but only 1 books then you have a 1% conversion rate.
if you do a member promo, with say 10 other resort offers on it and they take your offer 1 in 10, you have a 10% conversion rate… add the 2 together 110 looks for 2 books and you have a 5.5% conversion rate.
Most resorts convert at less than 1% the top Gold Coast resort converts on average at 7%, the 2nd top at 5%.
COMMISION… Pay on time.
OTA’s will mark you down and even take you off their site if commission is not paid on time.
As you may be aware most OTA’s have Direct Debt, while this is a bit scary, it does assure they get paid on time.
In the 8 years that we have experienced Booking.com direct debt I have never heard of a mishap with payment.
CANCELLATION… Industry standards Agoda 4%, Expedia 5%, Booking.com 35%
The reason for this is Booking.com’s selling philosophy…
grab a looker and entice them to book, with free cancellation book now pay later,
some lookers will even book a few resorts and decide later who is going to be “THE” resort that they will stay with.
A lot of work for the manager with cancellations, especially if you have to return deposits.
The stronger your Cancellation policies however the less bookings… so experiment what works for you.
DID YOU KNOW: Major OTA’s allow at least 2 cancellations polices.
With the resorts we look after we have a very strong High and Mid season, Pay 100% on Booking – Non Refundable…
then another policy on for Low Season…. getting the best of both worlds.
COMMENTS… Guest Comments and Reviews on OTA’s
No doubt review scores help lookers to book… we say over 8.2 is ok, some of our resorts are over 9…
HINT… If you are low with say Expedia… when a good guest comes to stay… look up in your PMS how they booked if it was Expedia, just ask them if they will do a favourable review for you, you could do that with all your good guests.
DID YOU KNOW: Using Mail Chimp or similar it’s possible to send an email to a recent past guest…
saying we hope you enjoyed your stay… if so, do a review click here… (sends to Trip Advisor or whoever you want) and if you didn’t enjoy your stay… click here and tell us how we can do a better job (goes to you),
this helps us take the steam out of disgruntled guests, and build repour with Good Guests to come back and stay.