Happy #bookdirect day!
For those of you who want to learn more about the movement, this article walks through the idea! In summary:
“The Book Direct Day is an online movement focusing on educating short-term rental or hotel guests about the benefits of booking directly over using a third-party platform or OTA (online travel agency).
The initiative was created by VRM Intel in 2017 upon the introduction of traveller booking fees on major websites like VRBO, HomeAway and TripAdvisor.”
We’ve seen some great information coming out today about direct bookings, and we want to join the conversation to support the efforts behind driving more bookings without relying on OTAs.
In fact, this LinkedIn post just launched and is generating some interesting comments and conversation. I recommend taking a look – you can see a screenshot below of the stats mentioned.
It goes without saying: major OTA players have given the world – both consumers and professional VRMs – a great channel to connect effectively. And in many ways there are mutual benefits.
But there are also costs – and for some businesses they can be major costs that make running a business pretty difficult.
Direct bookings not only skip fees, but they support a longer term, self-reliant business model. We call it “controlling your destiny” – and while that may be a bit of an overstated phrase, the real weight behind it is controlling your customer data and experience in order to make sure that your guests stay your guests.
Your guests are currently customers of Airbnb, Vrbo, Booking.com, and the other OTAs. Those travelers are part of their marketing databases and therefore they reap the rewards of that large audience.
When guests book direct, they are a meaningful part of your customer database – providing not only basic contact information, but also information about preferences, filters, “source” attribution information, website browsing behavior, and other demographics. This helps you not only re-market to that individual, but also to others who may be lookalikes.
There is a lot of power in owning that data – the question is just how to go about it!
In honor of #bookdirect day, I’ll share our guide called: “10 Tactics to Drive Direct Bookings and Take Power Back from OTAs”
Hopefully it provides some tid bits that help to take control of your guest experience and business profitability.