When it comes to leisure travelers, booking a hotel is the very first step in their travel experience. It’s such an important and time consuming task for so many travelers as they ensure they make a decision that not only makes sense financially, but also provides the resources and accessibility needed to have a successful trip.
That is why it is so surprising that offers and packages are downplayed by hotels. Providing packages that are truly relevant to guests will not only guarantee an increase in direct bookings, but also ensure that guests are having a memorable experience.
We took a look at a few key stats that may convince some properties to take a second a look at their offers.
1. Offers are important to guests… more important than we think
A recent study compared the importance of special offers to both guests and hotels by region. The results, reported by Statista, showed that special offers held significance across cultures. However, with the exception of Europe, hoteliers did not think that offers were as important in booking decisions as customers did. (Find out more at Statista)
This data sheds light on an opportunity missed by many hoteliers when it comes to offering better and more relevant deals and packages for their potential guests.
It should also be noted the difference in importance across different regions. South American and Asian guests believe offers hold the most value with over 60% of the data set making booking decision based on offer availability.
2. Experience is the number one driver of travel for millennial guests
Travelers are looking for more than just a fun time, they’re looking for a memorable (and shareable) experience. A 2016 study of millennials reported that experiencing a new culture (86%) and eating local cuisine (69%) were the top two reasons people 18-24 years old want to travel. (Forbes)
Offers and packages offered by properties shouldn’t be generic (ie “breakfast package” or “couples retreat”), they should give guest a one of a kind, insider’s experience of the city. Offering accommodations such as tastings/ drinks from local restaurants, providing rentable bikes with area maps and guides, or including tickets to a popular attraction can allow guests to easily experience the way they want to.
3. Ease of Travels means better reviews
Traveler reviews should be incorporated in all aspects of packages and promotions offered by a property. Are there certain features that guests are recommending? Or inconveniences they’re experiencing that could be easily resolved by offering an extra incentive?
By taking reviews into consideration, hotels can combat bad reviews while also creating an easier experience for travelers. A study conducted by Orbitz, revealed that the word “location” was the third (relevant) keyword most used in hotel reviews (Tnooz/ Revinate). While many times, a hotel’s location isn’t thought of as a changeable aspect, hotels can use packages or special offers to still give visitors the experience they want despite location. For example, a property sitting on the outskirts of a city should provide complimentary and easy transportation to their guests.
In addition to the value personalized offers can bring to the guest experience, they have the opportunity to increase direct bookings for a property (taking revenue away from third parties). On average, a property is spending about 20-30% of their total booking value on an OTA listing, so why are the majority of packages and promotions offered to direct bookings so much lower?
By providing personalized and valuable offers and campaigns to guests, hotels give guest a better experience, decrease negative reviews, and keep revenue where it belongs.