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Friday Freebie: Create the Ultimate Hotel Team With Praise and Applause

March 24, 2017 • By

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Welcome to the Friday Freebie!

Each week we share one impactful hotel marketing tactic that you can implement immediately to drive more conversions and more revenue. 

This Week’s Freebie: Applaud and acknowledge your hotel staff often to amplify the guest experience.

It’s easy to forget to acknowledge your team, but the effects are far-reaching and can be a pretty powerful tool in raising guest review scores and boosting future bookings.

Consider this:

Genuine praise = Happier and empowered hotel employees = An awesome guest experience = Glowing guest reviews

A study by Globoforce in 2013 found that 89% of people felt more inspired when they were told what they did right, versus what they did wrong. For your hotel to crush its revenue goals every employee should be working at their highest potential. So, dish up some praise and thanks to your colleagues often. In return, you’ll get more innovation, enhanced job performance and delighted guests.

Besides buying rewards, here are some quick and easy ways to celebrate and champion your hotel staff:

  • Be quick to praise and acknowledge (both publicly and privately) a staff member’s contribution to the hotel’s success.
  • Be the best listener. Don’t brush off your hotel's employees. Ask thoughtful questions, carefully listen to their responses and show an authentic interest in them.
  • Be generous with your time. Make the effort to go to their department, spend time with them and keep an open door policy.

Get more: Hotel Marketing – 10 Things That Worked in 2016


About Tambourine

Tambourine uses technology and creativity to increase revenue for hotels and destinations worldwide. The firm, now in its 33rd year, is located in New York City and Fort Lauderdale. Please visit: www.Tambourine.com

Friday Freebie: Why You Should Treat Every Guest Like a “Foodie”

March 17, 2017 • By

Welcome to the Friday Freebie!

Each week we share one FREE impactful hotel marketing tactic that you can implement immediately to drive more conversions and more revenue. 

This Week’s Freebie: Convey a richer experience by celebrating your remarkable and locally inspired F&B. After the financial recessions in the early 2000s and again in 2008, American consumer behavior shifted from consumption of expensive goods to an emphasis on enjoying life’s little experiences. People started seeking and coveting moments of joy instead of souvenirs.

So it should be no surprise that food and drinks play such a pivotal role in today’s guest experience. Today’s travelers are obsessed with localized culinary experiences. 

No longer is your hotel restaurant and room service merely a convenient way for guests to ‘grab a meal.’ Smart hoteliers are now positioning their restaurants, bars and lounges as loved-by-locals hangouts and exemplary purveyors of the destination’s tastes and textures. 

Luxury hotels have taken travelers’ love for creative and local eats and responded with brilliant marketing tactics that feed into every foodies’ desire.

Here are some tips to borrow:

  • Showcase the local growers, organic markets and sustainable ingredients that travelers can discover on your menus.
  • Tell your chef’s story, their culinary inspirations and how they are using their own backgrounds and local ingredients to create a unique culinary adventure not found anywhere else.
  • Celebrate your destination’s authentic food finds BEYOND YOUR OWN F&B OUTLETS, including nearby mom-and-pop owned ethnic eateries, must-try local dishes, farmers markets, food tours, etc.

While your property may not be a true luxury hotel, you can infuse the feeling of luxury by brilliantly converting your F&B offerings and local food scene into a coveted, memorable experience.

Get more: 10 Secrets of Luxury Hotel Websites


About Tambourine

Tambourine uses technology and creativity to increase revenue for hotels and destinations worldwide. The firm, now in its 33rd year, is located in New York City and Fort Lauderdale. Please visit: www.Tambourine.com

Friday Freebie: Are You in the Hotel Business… Or the Experience Business?

February 24, 2017 • By

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Welcome to the Friday Freebie!

Each week we share one impactful hotel marketing tactic that you can implement immediately to drive more conversions and more revenue. 

This Week’s Freebie: Realize that you are not in the hotel business, you’re in the experience business. 

Here’s a credo hotel marketers need to be reminded of every once in a while:

It’s not about you.

Oftentimes, hotel marketers lose sight of who their target audience is and instead produce self-serving marketing assets that simply tout the hotel’s amenities.

But, let’s be honest: Guests aren’t driven to book your hotel based on the thread count of your bed sheets, your premium TV channels or 24-hour room service.

The world’s greatest marketers realize that they have to touch emotions to tap wallets.  Nike doesn’t talk much about its advanced shoe materials, instead they celebrate the triumph of the athletic EXPERIENCE!  And Revlon famously said: “We make cosmetics… but we sell hope.”

Similarly, today’s hotel guests are also interested in experiences.

So, focus all of your hotel marketing strategies – from your website, to your hotel social media, to your hotel PPC ads – to showcase how your guests can uniquely experience the destination and how a stay at your property is more remarkable than they could experience anywhere else locally.

Look closely at your hotel's website: Does it promise the viewer an experience that will change their perspective on (insert your city here)? How have you integrated the culture, food, history and nature of your surroundings INTO your story?

Stop shilling the mundane of your property and start crafting a story about the guest experience that will forever change the way they perceive (insert your city here again).

Get more: The Top Five Myths in Hotel Marketing Right Now


About Tambourine

Tambourine uses technology and creativity to increase revenue for hotels and destinations worldwide. The firm, now in its 33rd year, is located in New York City and Fort Lauderdale. Please visit: www.Tambourine.com

Is the iPhone Killing Your Hotel Revenue?

February 21, 2017 • By

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Here’s what we all know by now:

The explosion of smartphone usage over the past few years has been staggering. And not just iPhones, but smartphones of other brands as well…

The Pew Research Center reports that 75% of Americans now own a smartphone and half the population own a tablet. Not only is usage increasing and technology getting more sophisticated, consumers are more reliant on their mobile devices. In fact, 9 out of 10 American consumers keep their smartphones within reach 24 hours a day.

This round-the-clock usage has also redefined the way people book travel. A recent Google report revealed that 77% of luxury travelers turn to their mobile devices for trip inspiration. And a whopping 55% then use their smartphones to book their stay!

As mobile usage propels forward, so should your response as a hotel marketer. Mobile updates, and the world’s response to them, mean that you can’t simply recycle and reuse last year’s mobile strategy. 2017 is a clean slate to keep pace with mobile’s rapid growth.

Here are 5 things you need to know to ride the mobile wave and amplify your mobile revenue this year:

1. Your Search Engine Results Depend on Mobile

For the first time ever, Google is now using your hotel’s mobile site as the primary source to rank your hotel’s website content and user experience, with your desktop version as a secondary site. This means your mobile hotel site is the first factor that goes into determining how well you rank in search engines. While you may have regarded your mobile experience as important in 2016, hotel search engine marketing via mobile is now downright vital to your hotel’s presence and profitability. Plus, as mobile search rises, so does the use of local search terms. This places more emphasis on local SEO and the need for your marketing team to create optimized content with tailored metadata that includes location.

2. Use Mobile PPC to Fill Last Minute Rooms

On-the-go travelers rely on their mobile devices to book last-minute hotel reservations (especially at urban/city hotels). Studies show that 58% of last-minute bookings were made from tablets and smartphones. In fact, the less time a traveler has to book a room, the more likely the reservation will be made on a smartphone. Capture this audience with targeted mobile PPC ad campaigns that tout promos and deals for last-minute travelers or those who are already on the road. Create enticing weekend offers targeting spontaneous travelers from your drive markets. Are you located near the airport? Then, create ads that promote specials for travelers stranded by cancelled or delayed flights. image23. It’s Still a Phone… It’s surprising how many businesses neglect to publish a phone number on their mobile sites, essentially blocking smartphone users from clicking to call and losing out on potential revenue. The first proof of your hotel’s guest service is being available and accessible when guests need you. Take a hint from the few successful travel apps out there, including Expedia and Hilton, and make it easy for smartphone users to find and utilize your phone number.  Even better, craft your hotel’s mobile experience to be more app-like, with a one-touch ‘click to call’ button – both on your mobile website and mobile booking engine. Just as with your desktop hotel website, there are potential hurdles and friction that could easily derail a direct booking in progress via a mobile device. If a guest has a question (which they all do), make it simple for them to reach out to your staff. If not, the visitor may lose patience and seek a room someplace else. 

4. Your Mobile Booking Engine is as Important as Your Mobile Website There is a dangerous “chasm” between your hotel’s mobile website and your booking engine, where potential guests can likely ‘fall off” if you’re not cautious. Slow load times and inconsistent colors/layouts between the mobile website and your mobile booking engine will increase abandonment. Worse yet, if your mobile booking engine fails to recognize the inherent limitations of small screens (and short attention spans) and fails to shorten and simplify the mobile booking process, attrition will surely grow.

5. Optimize for Various Screen Resolution Sizes 

Today, there are seemingly endless smartphone choices, with different designs, features and vitally important (but less obvious) to marketers – different screen resolutions. An iPhone 7 user will have a different experience than the Samsung Galaxy user.

If you notice high traffic to your mobile site, but low conversions and a high number of bounces, consider using a browser tool, such as Chrome’s INSPECT feature that allows you to preview how your hotel’s website appears using various screen resolutions sizes and multiple devices.

 About Tambourine

Tambourine uses technology and creativity to increase revenue for hotels and destinations worldwide. The firm, now in its 33rd year, is located in New York City and Fort Lauderdale. Please visit: www.Tambourine.com

5 Things Hotel Marketers Are Loving This Valentine’s Day

February 14, 2017 • By

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There is so much to love about the lodging industry.

Meeting people from around the world. Creating remarkable experiences for our guests. And, using our creativity to grow brand awareness, engage guests and grow our properties’ revenue.

This year, we asked our clients what was making them warm and fuzzy on Valentine’s Day and here’s what they had to say:

1) A Robust Economy RevPar and ADR are still running at a healthy pace, despite growing hotel supply and Airbnb’s rapid growth in driving leisure and corporate travel. STR predicts demand to stay strong throughout 2017, based on a solid labor market, stronger consumer spending and low inflation rates. Corporate travel also appears to be on the rebound, following a rocky 2016 when corporations tightened their travel budgets in response to a high-profile election, massive corporate mergers, and international issues such as Brexit and the spread of the Zika virus. It appears that corporate travel is poised for its comeback in 2017, with all-time high stock market rates and President Trump’s commitment to slashing corporate tax rates, loosening up regulations, and building more transportation infrastructure. 2) Robust Career Opportunities The industry is ripe for innovation and continuous improvement. That’s why, with new hotel openings and the growth of new hospitality start-ups, we’re seeing more opportunities for marketers in the lodging industry than in many other sectors. This growth has drawn in a lot of millennial talent, bringing in even more fresh ideas and perspectives.  The excitement of the industry and the fast-tracked promotional opportunities make hotel/technology/digital jobs some of the most coveted in the country.

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3) Elevated Consumer Awareness of Direct Booking Benefits Thanks to the massive media outreach by Hilton and Marriott’s direct booking campaigns, we’re seeing heightened public recognition of the benefits of booking direct. The idea is to educate travelers and chip away at the myth that OTAs save guests money. With the stage set, more and more hotels are following in Hilton and Marriott’s footsteps with their own hotel marketing campaigns enticing audiences to book direct.

Plus, hotel marketers at properties of all sizes are now armed with new digital hotel marketing tools and previously unaffordable technology that can help them drive direct room revenue, instead of settling for costly OTA bookings. The momentum of the “book direct movement” is growing and we’re excited to see where this is headed. 4) The Free Evangelist Army of Social Media Advocates Here’s a not-so-secret secret: You have thousands of unpaid hotel social media and marketing staff. They are your guests who Tweet from their hotel balcony, Instagram their room service breakfast, and Facebook Live their rides on the hotel’s complimentary bikes. Then, even after checking out, they post photo albums of their dream vacation online. When guests gush about their travel adventures, they’re taking you along for the ride. This user-generated content is pure gold for a hotel marketer. Now, smart hotels can even seamlessly collect these authentic photos and videos and leverage them as marketing assets using affordable social capture tools.

5) New Simplified Analytics Tools As you know, even small hotels can be buried in a mountain of customer data and need the right tools to help make sense of it all, make better financial decisions for the future and reshape or pivot their hotel marketing strategies. Now, simple analytics tools, like cloud-based SnapShot allows you to see exactly how your hotel is running, aggregating data from your PMS system, TripAdvisor, Google Analytics and social media. This type of data puts you in the best position to craft hotel marketing campaigns tailored with the right message, for the right audience at the right time.


 About Tambourine

Tambourine uses technology and creativity to increase revenue for hotels and destinations worldwide. The firm, now in its 33rd year, is located in New York City and Fort Lauderdale. Please visit: www.Tambourine.com

Friday Freebie: Stop Being a Groundhog: Get Out From Under Your Desk

February 3, 2017 • By

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Welcome to the Friday Freebie!

Each week we share one impactful hotel marketing tactic that you can implement immediately to drive more conversions and more revenue. 

This Week’s Freebie: Stop being a hotel marketing groundhog … Rekindle your hotel marketing creativity by getting out of the office to talk to guests.

It’s easy to get lost in the minutiae of hotel marketing.

Tasks like creating marketing assets, engaging with your audience on social media and analyzing data pretty much guarantees that you’ll be fixated on your computer screen for most of the day.

However, marketing that has the most impact and produces the highest amount of conversion requires creativity and knowing your audience. The easiest way to achieve both is to step out of your office everyday and speak directly to members of your marketing audience. They’re lingering in the lobby, enjoying lunch in the restaurant and reading books on the terrace. Your current guests are your best springboards for brilliant marketing ideas.

Start a conversation and ask how their stay is going, what surprised them about the property, what they’re enjoying the most and what they would miss if your hotel closed? Making it a habit to speak directly with your marketing audience will uncover what your hotel experience lacks, trigger creative solutions and inspire fresh approaches to marketing campaigns – all benefits you could never achieve by hunkering down in your office.   

Get More: Are You a Hotel Marketing Groundhog?


About Tambourine

Tambourine uses technology and creativity to increase revenue for hotels and destinations worldwide. The firm, now in its 33rd year, is located in New York City and Fort Lauderdale. Please visit: www.Tambourine.com

10 Secrets of Luxury Hotel Websites (Part 2)

January 31, 2017 • By

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Last week we covered the first five secrets of luxury hotel websites … Here’s Part 2 and the final five tips for luxury hotels and resorts:

6) Luxury Hotel Websites Synthesize Design and E-Commerce

Clearly, luxury hotels need to be vigilant about their online presentation and perception, but the savviest upscale properties understand that e-commerce tactics and visually arresting design CAN coexist beautifully … and profitably.

A few elements to keep in mind:

• There is nothing inelegant about a clear and consistent call to action. A “Check Availability” button in a prominent location at all times can be designed in an understated manner and regardless of your booking engine partner, the front end booking widget experience can be custom designed in a refined manner rather than using the standard default widget.

• Templates and do-it-yourself content management systems can hinder your ability to extend your brand tone into the e-commerce realm. Make sure your website developer has the ability to implement all aspects of your branding including colors, patterns, textures, fonts and photographic and copywriting tone.

• Mapping the location of the hotel and its surrounding attractions are critical to e-commerce conversions. However, you don’t have to use canned/default map features and colors. Google Maps can be customized to display only the information relevant to your brand, as well as its brand colors and tones.

• The mantra of luxury branding is: “Less is more.” A more understated, “clean” layout not only harkens backs to luxury print design and branding campaigns of the past, but it also leads to faster page load speeds and better SEO results. Google is now indexing mobile site structures first. This means, fewer mobile pages and more succinct and efficient websites.

• With increases in Internet speeds and pervasive wifi, video (the ultimate branding and storytelling medium) has become a powerful inspirational tool for luxury hotel websites. A good inspirational video extends user engagement and increases entrances into the booking engine.

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7) Luxury Hotel Websites Welcome Global Visitors

Just within the past decade, the U.S. hotel industry has seen a significant uplift in wealthy international travelers. This growth in global guests and the ease of digital marketing across borders has given luxury hotels massive opportunities to expand into new markets and succeed internationally.

However, when it comes to your hotel going global, it doesn’t make sense to stick with a one-size-fits-all hotel web design or booking engine. Every culture has its own assumptions, ideals and values. What works in one country may flop in another. Here’s a few things to keep in mind:

• Get a Real Translation

If international visitors go to your hotel’s website and just see English, it sends a message that their business isn’t important or that you don’t care to make their online experience an inviting one. And don’t make the lazy mistake of Google translating all of your website copy, then calling it a day. Reaching international travelers will take much more than a lazy word-for-word replacement. It requires taking into account the nuances, the cliché phrases and the style of language of your specific target.

Currency and Payment Options

Once you have overseas visitors hooked with a successfully localized hotel website, don’t lose them to an all-American, all-English booking engine that displays room rates only in U.S. dollars. The same principle goes for guest room and suite measurements. Most of the world uses the metric system, so don’t describe rooms with feet and inches.

  Dates and Times

Avoid confusion by displaying the times and dates in the preferred local format. This also guarantees a seamless user experience for international guests who are accustomed to different formats than what your American guests are acquainted with. Surprisingly, the format of MM/DD/YY is unique to the U.S. (and oftentimes used in Canada too, adding to the confusion). While Japan uses YY/MM/DD and most of Europe uses DD/MM/YY.

  Enable Language Toggle

We can’t always assume a guest’s native language based on where they live. So, it makes sense to enable guests to specify and easily toggle the language that suits them best. 

8) Luxury Hotel Websites Convey a Luxury Service Culture

Wealthy travelers expect VIP treatment and the highest caliber of hospitality from start to finish. Not only do luxury hotel brands invest heavily in service training and empowering their staff, they showcase that dedication to service and genuine hospitality directly on their website itself. Ritz Carlton's staff lives by their Gold Standard credo to “fulfill even the unexpressed wishes and needs of our guests.”

This commitment must extend to the first touch many potential guests have with your hotel, through the phone and chat agents made available via your website. These operators must understand the details of your luxury service experience and be able to convey it via chat and phone.

9) Luxury Hotel Websites Enable Personalization

Shoppers who visit luxury stores expect and appreciate a personalized experience. Luxury hotel e-commerce is no different. Smart hoteliers in the upscale and luxury categories have built-in personalization features in their e-commerce experiences, including:

Detection of the website user’s search engine query or location and instant presentation of dynamic content (or offers) that match the user’s interest (ex: “adjoining rooms on the beach”).

• Smarter presentation of room categories that enables guests to select rooms based on their personal preferences (ex: “quiet, away from elevators, low-floor or ocean-view).

• Digital tracking of loyal past guests (and their past booking behavior) and instant dynamic presentation of offers, content and images that match their profile (ex: past guests can instantly be recognized and offered a “loyal guest” discount which creates kinship and reduces potential abandonment to OTAs).

10) Luxury Hotel Websites Respect Users’ Time

High-end guests often have more money than time … So they seek amenities and services that reduce friction and allow them to get what they want quickly. Smart luxury properties feature these capabilities right on their website, such as mobile check-in, 24/7 service butlers, on-site activities and rentals, service requests by SMS, children programs, or airport transfers. Further, high-end customers want to know they can reach a real person at any time. So, luxury properties lower the barriers to staff by making it simple to chat, call or email directly from their property's website and by promising quick response times (some even offer a convenient “call-back service”). The idea is to make their affluent customers feel like a part of an exclusive community and to give them multiple direct lines of communication to your staff.

About Tambourine

Tambourine uses technology and creativity to increase revenue for hotels and destinations worldwide. The firm, now in its 33rd year, is located in New York City and Fort Lauderdale. Please visit: www.Tambourine.com

Friday Freebie: Build Product Experiences for Each Key Segment

January 13, 2017 • By

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Welcome to the Friday Freebie!

Each week we share one impactful hotel marketing tactic that you can implement immediately to drive more conversions and more revenue. 

This week’s freebie: Once you know exactly who your guests are, create experiences specifically for each segment.

Last week, we showed you how to get clear on who your guests are to make your marketing more impactful. Here, we’ll talk about the next step:

Create specific packages, promos, and experiences for each of those target audiences. A common mistake hotels make is creating packages they hope will have universal appeal, then promoting them to all audiences.

Instead, think deeply about the needs and wants of each specific guest segment and build compelling product experiences (remember: product = physical + experiential) that truly differentiates your property. For example: Couples Resorts in Jamaica has built a package that appeals to adventurous couples, one of their key segments. The package includes a trip to Jamaica’s famous luminous lagoon with a magical evening boat excursion.

Then, narrowcast your marketing campaigns to specific niche audiences and build campaigns that are relevant to them and their needs. In other words, don’t send wedding promos to corporate planners, or family packages to couples looking to get away for a romantic weekend.

Get More: Three ways hoteliers can tap into the authenticity trend


About Tambourine

Tambourine uses technology and creativity to increase revenue for hotels and destinations worldwide. The firm, now in its 33rd year, is located in New York City and Fort Lauderdale. Please visit: www.Tambourine.com

5 Hotel Sales Tactics to Jumpstart 2017

January 10, 2017 • By

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A fresh New Year brings a new opportunity to delight ownership with big results in group/event sales…but only if you start off with velocity.

Here are five proven tactics for jumpstarting your hotel sales performance in 2017 and establishing momentum for the next 12 months:

1. Have a Kick-Ass Kick-Off! Seize this moment to fire up your group sales team and send them off hustling, motivated and inspired to hit their revenue goals each month. An epic sales kick-off is your one chance to launch with real velocity and energize your team on a grand scale. The key is to get your team pumped and primed to kill it in the year ahead. So, avoid a boring presentation of last year’s numbers (snore). Book an exciting outside speaker, hold interactive education sessions addressing the challenges they faced last year, get the team up and moving during breakouts, and sprinkle in some high-energy team building activities. And remember, all of this initial enthusiasm and education can wear off by the following month, so reinforce the main ideas throughout the year in your regular weekly meetings. 2. Have a Simple Roadmap. Booking group business without a sensible business plan is like playing darts with a blindfold on and crossing your fingers that you’ll hit the bullseye.                                                                                                     image2 3. Hope is Not a Strategy. Don’t leave your revenues to chance or expect your sales team to make up for your lack of organization. You should map out the primary underlying drivers that justify the sales targets you are projecting for ownership. How many trade shows, sales visits, planner events, marketing and sales campaigns are required? What are the main threats to achieving your sales goals? Your plan doesn’t need to be long and formal, but it should convey all the main waypoints on your road to sales success. It should also be a living tool, so don’t stick it up on a shelf to gather dust. Instead, review it every month to make sure you’re on track. And allow yourself the flexibility to adjust throughout the year if something isn’t working or if you want to try a clever new tactic. 4. Who’s Driving Leads? This is one of the most significant components of your sales plan. It’s vital that your sales team sprints out in Q1 and pounds the pavement to build their sales pipeline, as that will set the pace for the rest of the year. Outline specific prospecting activities and lead generation quotas for each sales person. Make sure the proper folks have access to your prospecting tools, or invest in tools such as Knowland or Groups360 to capture business intelligence and identify new prospects. 5. Go Big…Early! Shore up your pipeline and boost the year with a strong foundation by taking inventory of key group accounts. Which accounts brought in the most business last year? Which planners have the potential to add incremental business and multi-year contracts? Call on these planners early on, remind them of the benefits of partnering with your hotel as their venue and offer even more value by incentivizing them to book early. Creating this foundation leaves room for better forecasting and revenue management yield strategies. Then, continue to nurture these existing clients throughout the year, recognize them for their loyalty and show a genuine interest in their success to strengthen the relationship. 6. Rethink Your Sales Materials. The needs of modern meeting planners are constantly changing. Review your sales and marketing materials to make sure they are speaking to the concerns of today’s planners, not just generically touting your venue space. Meeting planners have challenges…so make sure you're marketing messages crafted to offer event “solutions.” Do you need separate materials and messaging for corporate planners vs associations? Does your value proposition resonate with current customers? (You might be surprised if you simply ask a few of your best customers their opinion of what makes your property unique.)When meeting planners source venues, they often collect sales and marketing collateral from several venues, then review later. Make sure your marketing materials stand out from your comp set.A lot can happen in a year. So, if you are re-using sales materials from last year, it’s already time for a second look. Planners today appreciate authenticity, so update your materials with guest-sourced photos, videos and testimonials. No matter how inspiring or charismatic your sales team is, they must be armed with stunning sales materials to make an impression on planners and to help differentiate your property.

About Tambourine

Tambourine uses technology and creativity to increase revenue for hotels and destinations worldwide. The firm, now in its 33rd year, is located in New York City and Fort Lauderdale. Please visit: www.Tambourine.com

3 Ways To Overcome The Perception That OTAs Are Cheaper

August 2, 2016 • By

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It’s all too easy to blame OTAs for your hotel’s shrinking profits by pointing fingers at their costly commissions and frustrating policy of withholding customer contact information. But, in reality, the biggest battle you face isn’t so much against the OTAs, but rather the mindset of OTA customers.

The truth is, your profit margins are being squeezed because of the general public’s assumption that OTAs offer the cheapest rates! According to a Tnooz survey, 75 percent of travelers between the ages of 18-64 believe that they can find the best hotel prices on an OTA. It’s time to poke holes through this OTA myth and sway customer perception with the truth.

Here are 3 tips on how to convince your audience that booking direct is best:

1. Reinforce Best Price Guarantee

Consumers usually aren’t aware that your hotel offers the exact same price as OTAs for the same rooms. So, it’s up to you to continuously reinforce the message that booking direct is in their best interest. You’d be amazed how much your conversion rate can go up by simply placing a prominent reminder to consumers on your booking widgets that booking direct is better!

Unfortunately, it isn’t enough to simply have a Best Rate Guarantee on your website. That has very little impact on the average consumer (and often requires them to go through the hassle of completing a form just to take advantage of it). Today’s guests are all about convenience, so the smartest tactic is to build your BRG into your booking engine itself, where OTA rates are displayed next to your own rate, proving to the visitor that only booking direct gets them the best prices. This type of feature will also automatically match the OTA’s cheaper rate if they are out of parity.

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2. Simpler Design and Booking Process

Because OTAs cover so many aspects of the travel experience – hotels, airfare, car rentals, activities, cruises and bundle packages – their websites are naturally complicated, cluttered and overrun with content. You can use that to your advantage by ensuring that your hotel website design is  easy on the eyes and simple to navigate. Create a visually arresting story. Select only your most stunning images, cut down on unnecessary text and reformat current text so it is easier to digest.

Most importantly, don’t make it complicated to book a room with you. There are plenty of antiquated booking engines that are littered with small text, redundant buttons, complicated design and too many fields to fill out. All of these elements can frustrate a traveler and irritate them enough to give up, abandon their reservation and find a better hotel that is easier to book with.

3. Highlight Direct Booking Benefits

Go beyond the standard Best Rate Guarantee and showcase the perks that only guests who book direct can enjoy. Is it complimentary WiFi? A complimentary upgrade (if available)? More loyalty points? Free daily breakfast? It’s about highlighting the value of booking direct and getting that message across in as many channels as needed. The first place a traveler goes after seeing a hotel that interests them on an OTA site is to the hotel’s website itself. So, publish your direct booking benefits visibly and prominently on your homepage, add it to your retargeting ad copy, include it in every post-stay email and remind your followers of it occasionally on social media.


 About Tambourine

Tambourine uses technology and creativity to increase revenue for hotels and destinations worldwide. The firm, now in its 33rd year, is located in New York City and Fort Lauderdale. Please visit: www.Tambourine.com