Best of both worlds: Booking Direct – the benefits of a booking engine and an OTA
In many ways, it’s very much in the interests of a hotelier to shift away from relying on online travel agents (OTAs) for the booking of their hotel rooms. Not only does dependency on such third-parties ensure you lack control over bookings, but inevitably it also means you have to share the profits – OTAs will always require a cut of the revenue generated from bookings.
It also means a hotelier lacks full flexibility over booking practices; putting in place seasonal promotions, special offers and the lIn many ways, it’s very much in the interests of a hotelier to shift away from relying on online travel agents (OTAs) for the booking of their hotel rooms.ike are more restricted – such deals always have to be arranged with the third-party in mind, often via pre-existing agreements. In short, unless you deploy a reliable, bespoke booking engine that users can click-through to from your website, as a hotelier you’re not free to make your property’s rooms available to guests exactly as you might want; you’re not free to set your room rates in the genuine best interests of your business.
And yet, there are nonetheless some benefits to using OTAs as booking vendors for your business. Traditionally, there hasn’t been a way to combine and harness both these benefits and the many generated by using a booking engine… until now. With the example of such reservation systems for hotels that’s Booking Direct, the highly flexible hotel website booking engine built and delivered by Digital Hotelier, that prospect is now a reality. But, in these terms, just what does it deliver a hotelier…?
One area that OTAs have a particular track record for successfully delivering on for hoteliers is in the multiple-booking field of corporate reservations. Taking the example set by OTAs and very much running with it then, Booking Direct is so designed that, should a hotelier require it, the provision of effectively and efficiently handling multiple bookings for corporate clients direct (and through an agent) can be built-in. How so? Well, unique log-ins enable not just the display of personalised welcome messages, but also specific searches that automatically return pre-negotiated corporate/ agent rates.
Additionally, Booking Direct’s advanced invoicing functionality can enable both corporate clients and agents, should they desire it, to make reservations and/ or purchase inventory on credit (which will then be automatically invoiced for the hotelier), as well as edit/ cancel bookings according to policy agreements and deliver other functions too, such as the ability to share reviews.
Should a hotelier be using a bespoke room reservation system but still engaging the services of an OTA, another area in which they’ll require flexibility is brand definition – at least, as far as the purchaser (the accommodation guest) is concerned. If they’ve booked through an agent, it must appear as such in terms of the communications they receive. To that end, Booking Direct enables the viewing and downloading of a confirmation voucher – from the OTA to the end client – specifically comprising details of the OTA as the sender. Should the brand definition break down at any step of the customer journey, it could leave the customer questioning their trust in the booking process and, thus, jeopardise the journey’s completion.
When you’re running a number of different hotels and/ or apartments, communication is absolutely key. Not just (as noted) with your paying guests, but all interested parties – and that includes agents you may be involved with in the reservation process. As before, Booking Direct comes into its own here; the reservation engine ensuring that, should a hotelier wish the flexibility of still working with an OTA, particular functionality ensures agents can simply, swiftly and without fuss liaise and remain in good communication with properties at every step of the booking process – and beyond.
So, should you wish to deploy a booking engine to liberate your business’s reservation process, but also wish to retain the advantages of OTA-associated bookings, the solution has to be seeking out a flexible enough reservation system to deliver a bespoke service. In fact, you may come to the conclusion that your business need look no further than Booking Direct.