The European hospitality industry has launched an exciting new campaign: starting in December, hoteliers and guesthouse owners across the EU have been invited to participate in the BOOK DIRECT campaign. This campaign encourages guests to book their stay directly through the hotel’s own channels, rather than via an OTA or another third party.
At Net Affinity, our goal is to drive more direct bookings for hotels. Booking direct, at the end of the day, saves hotels money. As such, we’re delighted to hear that HOTREC has launched this campaign for 2016.
Direct bookings can come in several ways: via the hotel website, over the phone, email, or face to face. The BOOK DIRECT campaign highlights the advantages of direct bookings for both guests and hoteliers. It taps in to our collective desire to cut out the middle man.
For guests, booking direct means that they have instant, direct contact with the hotel. This in turn allows them to get their questions answered easily and lets them feel closer to the hotel, with any special requests easily answered without the risk of miscommunication.
For hotels, BOOK DIRECT means lower fees per booking than is typically paid to a third party (even with marketing campaign costs accounted for!), and a better chance to earn guest loyalty. When you can contact your guests directly, you have a better chance of persuading them to avail of your offers and come back for a second visit. Essentially, a direct booking can lead to a better guest relationship in the long term.
The BOOK DIRECT campaign is supported by HOTREC and its member associations. HOTREC represents the hospitality industry at the European level, which includes 1.8 million businesses, 99% of which are small and medium sized. This campaign is, in many ways, designed for the independent hotelier to take advantage.
The campaign has a logo, as seen above. Any hotel that wishes to can download the campaign logo for use on its website and other marketing materials here. There are also flags, stickers, and other excellent display options for purchase for hotels that want to take the extra step.
Net Affinity strongly supports the BOOK DIRECT campaign. Booking direct lets hotels take control of their product, be protective of it, and be selective about who and when they sell it to. Most importantly, booking direct is a major cost saving measure. There are many ways to drive direct bookings: for just a few, take a look at our own Book Direct series.
Let’s make 2016 the year of direct bookings!