Brands Prepare for More Direct Bookings in 2015
Amid an increasingly fragmented distribution landscape, direct bookings have become hoteliers' Holy Grail.
A guest who books directly on brand.com, through a brand app or by dialing a good-ol'-fashioned call center is a more profitable guest at the time of booking and a more valuable guest in the long run. (Hoteliers can extract valuable data from direct bookings they can use for targeting marketing efforts to drive repeat visitation.)
Hoteliers have known all this for a long time. The problem, however, is they weren't doing anything about it, spending more time whining about intermediaries than offering guests reasons to book direct.
I'm happy to see that's beginning to change.
The past two weeks have seen as many global chains announce key incentives to drive more direct bookings.
Marriott International kicked things off on 30 October with news it would provide free base Wi-Fi to all 47 million members of Marriott Rewards who book directly on Marriott.com, Marriott's mobile app, 1-800-MARRIOTT or through a Marriott hotel. The change goes into effect January 2015.
(Read more at HotelNewsNow.com)