Is 2016 the year for Direct Bookings?
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There’s no doubt that the hospitality industry has seen a shift in the last couple of years around how people book online. Over the past decade, hotels have become more dependent on OTAs as they aim to heighten exposure, but change is happening - and it’s happening now. An increasing amount of hotel groups everywhere are committed to putting direct business at the forefront of their agenda with a view to growing their revenue.
Over time, certain OTAs have increased their commission fees, which have negatively impacted some hotels financially, especially smaller hotel chains and independent properties. By driving direct business hotels can lower these fees and lead to better hotel profitability. That said, it is important for hotels to strike a balance between both direct and indirect business for the optimum level of performance.
2016 has seen a growing number of big brand hotels lead by example when it comes to promoting book direct benefits. Upgrading membership programmes in a bid for increased loyalty, hotels are really making a conscious effort to prioritise direct business and avoid high commission costs. The biggest names in the industry that have moved to rebalance their bookings are Hilton, Marriott, Hyatt, Accor, Choice and Wyndham - and it certainly looks like direct is taking off this year. Back in February, Hilton launched its “Stop Clicking Around” ad campaign, Marriott had its “Marriott Rewards Member Rates” go live in March and Hyatt upgraded its “Gold Passport” to name a few major initiatives toward direct bookings.
With headlines in hospitality reading everything from “direct booking wars” to “boost in loyalty”, 2016 really is a true game-changer for the hotel booking eco-system. Choice Hotels plans to pack its Privileges programme with membership discounts come the end of the summer, and with these huge hotel names continuing to drive direct bookings, we’re sure there’ll be more to join the movement as the year ensues.
Speaking of direct bookings, Triptease is organising the first ever Direct Booking Summit on 30th June and Avvio is a sponsor! Showcasing expert speakers from the likes of Google, TripAdvisor, CitizenM and more, the agenda is packed full of useful talks, and is attracting a wealth of senior delegates from IHG to Four Seasons. Hosted at the Renaissance Hotel St Pancras in King’s Cross London, it comes at no better time when direct bookings really are the talk of the town.
To find out more visit www.directbookingsummit.eu