Spread your booking sources

Online Travel Agents

Big sources of bookings

Increasing direct bookings is the priority and we certainly help thousands of businesses grow theirs. The next priority is to ensure you have a good mix of other booking sources so you don’t have all your eggs in one basket. Too many bookings from one source creates a risk to your business.

If almost all your bookings come in from Bookingcom or Expedia there’s a danger of a single source being too dominant and any business knows that securing future success requires a healthy spread of bookings.

What if you were to fall out with your single biggest source of bookings, do you have any alternatives? Perhaps they decide to implement something you disagree with, do you have another source as back-up?  These are valid questions that could affect the sustainability of your business.

You also need to consider that each agent has their very own customer database and by working with a variety of them you maximise your exposure to potential new customers. If for example you only work with Expedia, you’ll only get Expedia customers and that will limit your business.

bestPriceA good healthy business mix includes plenty of direct bookings alongside a diversified strategy with Bookingcom and Expedia, but make sure you have a plan to increase direct bookings.

 

Secure your future bookings with a two priorities

1) Don’t rely on just one big source of bookings

Easy to use channel manager can help manage multiple sources of bookings without double entry or double bookings.

2) Invest in growing your direct bookings

Direct booking tips and blog articles to help grow your direct bookings

 

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12 Responses to Spread your booking sources

  1. Dear Craig,
    Thanks for that. What always puzzles me though is no matter even when we say to our regulars as they leave you can also book direct on line on our own website for your next visit and give them the business card with our own website details they still book via an on line agent next time! When you chat to them they tell you “That’s what came up”. It happened to me when I booked a place in Milan. I went on their site and booked a week there. When I got the confirmation it was from “Booking.com”. I couldn’t believe it. So now I understand what customers are talking about. But how does that happen?
    Patrick

    • It’s no accident that sites like booking.com are coming higher than you in the search results. The big OTAs channel lots of the commission we pay them into adwords and SEO – so they completely dominate the search results. In addition, booking.com would also like hotels to personalise their profiles on their site so it looks even more like the customer is booking with the hotel direct.

  2. Mark Wilson says:

    I suspect that they are googling your establishment or just accommodation in an area and because booking.com has such a powerful presence their site comes up top (it certainly is for us) the only way they’ll get you rather than an ota is actually typing your website address into the search bar.
    Mark

  3. Pingback: Spread your Booking Sources – Bridgend Tourism Association

  4. My thoughts entirely. Owners Direct have just introduced fees which travelers must pay, namely a “service fee”. WE pay THEM for advertising, which isn’t cheap (10% of our business) so they have no right to charge travelers as well for transactions garnered from our paid for advertising. We’ve now ceased our advertising with them completely. Their loss.

  5. Sue Burrell says:

    When are you planning to go with the new low commission web site provider?

  6. Erawan says:

    Dear Craig,

    One of the things the OTA’s do really well is the ease within their check-out process. I would like to opt for the possibility to turn on or off the information fields you need to capture as a business in order to accept a booking.

    In our case we put no value in capturing:
    Address / City / Postcode / Phone number

    Its just a thought but perhaps it is not all too difficult to let each FTB customer select the information fields they need to capture from their Guest in the check-out field?

    • craig says:

      You have a good point and we have a work queue which includes some customisation for you on the booking process. It’s in the wish list.

  7. Douglas H. says:

    Hello, I would like to add a comment that there are quite a few Scottish based tour operators who have exposure to world wide markets (direct sell and wholesaling via overseas agents/operators) that a single accommodation might find difficult to gain access to.

    Scottish tour operators exhibit with VS/VB, conduct sales visits, attend workshops and can combine a number of items to provide a package/tour that overseas agents might find easier to sell than a single accommodation.

    And of course you don’t “pay” for this marketing service (in the form a commission) unless you actually get a booking. Commission need not be seen as an evil if it helps to generate business and reduce other marketing costs, including over-reliance on OTAs as outlined in the article.

  8. Simon says:

    Hello,

    do you also offer a channel connection for Hotels.com?

    Best,
    Simon

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