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, 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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The importance of great hotel photography

How many hoteliers realise that high quality, up to date, professionally taken photography gives their hotel an advantage which will result in it being selected over a competitor hotel? Just have a casual browse on the web and view some hotel websites and you’ll see that it is probably less than you would think. More than ever, it is vital for a hotel to have the very best imagery it can afford.

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A “Quick Response” to hotel Room Service

How many times have you been tempted to order room service when staying in an hotel and then waited and waited and waited for the phone to be answered and then waited patiently for your order to be delivered and are still waiting after an hour. It’s hardly an incentive for growing room service revenue and for customer satisfaction. Our two hotels have, in conjunction with food & beverage technology company QikServe, developed an innovative solution to both improve ease of ordering and to maximise revenue with a guarantee of service quality.

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