Best described as the life force of any small-scale hotel and B&B (also known as bed and breakfast), direct bookings have become an essential asset for establishments with a tight budget and a limited, yet promising avenue for revenue. Often, establishments struggle with increasing the number of direct bookings. Instead, they rely on travel agents to drive traffic. However, paying agent commissions can represent significant losses in profit for smaller establishments.
Despite the cut in their profits, many small-scale hotels and B&Bs rely on online travel agents (OTAs) and booking websites to sustain satisfactory occupancy levels. Aside from commissions, small-scale hotels and B&Bs also struggle with the competition brought about by larger brands and hotel chains in their area. That said, if you’re a small-scale hotel or B&B that wants to increase their revenue by a significant margin, we have good news for you: you can increase your direct booking count with a proper direct booking plan.
4 Steps to Generating More Direct Bookings For Your B&B
Below, we will be going over four steps that you can use to drive more direct bookings and cut out commission fees entirely:
STEP #1: Start things off with an online booking engine
In order to drive your direct booking rates, begin by establishing an online booking engine that can facilitate reservations and schedule bookings for your customers. The average traveler will have a greater inclination towards booking their accommodations online instead of walking in. You’ll have to cater to this demand by providing them with an online booking engine. Besides, online booking engines help by providing you with the opportunity to offer incentives, promotions, and extras that you can use to attract more guests and increase your overall number of bookings.
STEP #2: Take things up a notch by optimizing your website with responsive web design
If you’re looking to drive a greater number of direct bookings for your small-scale hotel or B&B website, then having a user-friendly site is a no-brainer. Since most travelers rely on their smartphones to book rooms, having a website that can provide a great user experience regardless of the device, is a must. Nothing discourages a customer and direct booking opportunity more than a website that doesn’t look the part. Make sure that your website makes a good first impression by optimizing it for mobile access.
STEP #3: Increase intrigue and appeal with high-quality photos
One important thing that you have to know about your customers is that many of them are likely visual learners. Since photos play a significant role in their buying decisions, you need to respond with professional-quality photos of your establishment. Aside from showing customers that you are devoted to meeting their needs, photos are a great way to showcase the best things about your establishment.
STEP #4: Use the power of feedback to your advantage
With even more consumers and travelers depending on the web to make their plans, it should come as no surprise that higher success rates come with even more reviews. More often than not, people rely on the reviews of their peers to gain a certain level of assurance before they make a booking. By incentivizing the act of giving feedback and reviews, your small-scale hotel or B&B website can be optimized for gaining even more real-life reviews. With an increase in reviews and feedback, it will be much easier to gain even more direct bookings through the power of documented customer satisfaction.
When used properly, digital media and technology can yield maximum results for your small-scale hotel or B&B’s direct bookings. Thankfully, gaining more direct bookings and reducing costly commission fees won’t be too hard when you follow the four previously mentioned steps.
If you’re looking for a digital agency to help implement a great direct booking plan, Web Connection is your best option. Get in touch with us today to see how we can help.≪ Back to Blog