Increase direct bookings online with these three expert tips

Hotel operators are in a tricky situation when it comes to online travel agencies (OTAs) like Hotwire, Book.com and Orbitz. While these websites bring in a major source of revenue for many properties, they can also cannibalize business that might have booked through the hotel in the first place, saving the hotel from paying OTA commissions.

The plot thickens when you consider that most OTA agreements require rate parity. These rules forbid hotels from advertising rates for less than what’s on the deals site. This makes it difficult for operators to compete for business. But you also don’t want to “bite the hand that feeds you.”

Thankfully, hotel operators have a number of tricks they can use to increase direct bookings without breaking OTA agreements. Here’s a few our hotel technology experts devised.

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Can housekeeping standards make your hotel more competitive?

Extreme housekeepingI’m sure that at the regular team meetings of hotel management the question of how to make the hotel more competitive and profitable is probably discussed at every meeting. Hours will be spent discussing new sales & marketing initiatives, yield management programmes, renovation schemes, HR scheduling issues and expense reductions. Of course all of these are vital management issues for any hotelier but why do we not spend hours discussing the softer issues of employee customer service standards and housekeeping standards?

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Success at the Best Western Hotels 2013 annual conference

best-western2January is a dull month in the hotel business; the weather is awful, business in our hotels is challenging after the excesses of Christmas and New Year and everyone is feeling just that little bit flat as we refocus for the year ahead. The bright spot of every January is the Best Western Hotels annual conference when the independent Best Western hoteliers of Great Britain get together for two days of both business and social events. This year we met in Bristol.

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My New Year resolutions for hotel digital marketing

It’s January and everyone makes New Year resolutions, right? My New Year resolutions have nothing to do with personal lifestyle changes, diets or fitness regimes which tend to last until mid February at the latest so I will not be making any personal resolutions. However business resolutions have more chance of success so my New Year business resolutions are to make our hotel digital marketing more successful and profitable. Digital marketing is where the concentration needs to be in 2013 so here are my own hotel digital marketing resolutions.

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#Blogmanay for Hogmanay in Edinburgh

BlogmanayHogmanay is the Scottish festival for New Year celebrations and there is no better place to celebrate Hogmanay than in Edinburgh. With spectacular events, incredible bands and amazing crowds from every corner of the globe, Edinburgh shows the world how to party. The festivities start with a torch light procession on Sunday 30th December and reach their height on Hogmanay (31st December) with the famous street party on Princes Street with live bands and of course the midnight fireworks display from Edinburgh Castle.

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