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How to increase Hotel’s bookings from Booking.com

Booking.com, a well renowned name in Online Travels Agencies for quick and convenient bookings across the globe. Let us share with you some quick points to go through and have a better understanding regarding booking.com reservations and growing your bookings and revenue on booking.com.

Booking.com is an online travel portal established in 1996 in Amsterdam,Netherlands and has grown from a small Dutch startup to one of the largest travel e-commerce companies in the world. The Booking.com website and mobile apps are available in over 40 languages, offering 29,032,313 total reported listings, and covering 1,44,530 destinations in 229 countries and territories worldwide. Booking.com is owned and operated by a United States-based comapany called ”Booking Holdings”. Booking.com has it’s sister concern companies known as Agoda.com, Kayak.com, Priceline.com, Momondo Group, OpenTable and Rentalcars.com.

Booking.com has 2 types of reservations:
1. Reservations with Prepayment.
2. PAH bookings – Pay At Hotel bookings.

1. Reservations with Prepayment: Reservation with Prepayment is when you charge a guest for their reservation in advance. Hotel can charge a prepayment by pre-authorizing the Credit/Debit card from which the guest booked. Hotel can charge the full booking amount or a partial amount as per their reservation confirmation policy. However, the final amount should be the same as the one listed on the booking confirmation. In case, you are unable to pre-authorize guest’s Debit/Credit card, you can contact the guest and request them for an advance payment by facilitating them with required payment options and confirm their reservation.

The prepayment option can used following below steps:

1. Click the Property tab, then Policies.

2.Under Cancellation & Prepayment Policies, click Edit to update an existing policy or select Create a new cancellation policy.

2. PAH bookings – Pay At Hotel bookings: The word ‘Pay At Hotel’, defines itself. The guest reserves in advance and then pays directly at the hotel at the time of check-in. Hotel can take an Credit card pre-authorization to confirm the booking (Subject to the terms and conditions accepted for PAH bookings).

Some tips to increase conversions from booking.com :

Booking.com bookings are not 100% confirmed and need some pro-activeness from Hotelier’s side to convert them into business. Let’s understand how we can make it better. Mainly, it has 3 aspects to cover.

1. Communication with Guests: A prompt and accurate response with required details to a query/reservation is your first step towards attending the guest. This will also help you to build a rapport with the guest and understand their requirements and serve them better.

2. Facilitate Guest With Payment Convenience: Facilitating guests with various options of making a payment, makes it a easy for them to make a reservation as per their convenience and available options for making a payment. For example If you have an online payment option, then you can simply ask the guest to transfer booking amount directly to your account rather than asking them to share their card details with you. OR, you can accept card payments, incase the guest is unable to pay in cash.

3. Re-confirm Reservation Details and Provide Assurance: Keep in touch with guest about their requirements and your arrangements. Make a check-list and pro-actively re-confirm the reservation details with the guest before their check-in. This will certainly help you in enhancing your service standards and will help the guest to have an assurance about their booking confirmation.

Boost Your Business on Booking.com – Get more bookings:

Here are some easy tips to follow which can help you in boosting your bookings on booking.com.

1. Complete Listing and Listing Score: Your listings speaks about your hotel. Make sure all details about hotel areas, relevant images and information about nearby places are updated in your listing. This will help the guest to know details about the hotel and make a reservation accordingly. Also, a complete listing, will help you with your listing score and boost visibility on the website. Keep changing images, content and relevant details about hotel to keep your hotel details up-to date.

2. Strategic Rate Planning: Plan your rates according to the upcoming events, long-weekends, weekends and local festival dates well in advance. This will help you to plan your revenue and create rates according to the occupancy for the peak periods of your hotel location. Also, know your competition. Make sure that your rates and availability are compatible with competitor hotels.

3. Know Your Source Market: Study your location, source of bookings, guest’s location, upcoming season, region from which guests visits your location and long-weekends according to the guest flow. This will help you promote your property and plan your rates well in advance and increasing your visibility on website.

4. Participate In Activities from Opportunity Centre: Booking.com keeps the hoteliers updated about upcoming campaigns through ‘Opportunity Centre’ tab in extranet and helps them to promote their property across the globe through booking.com by participating in different campaigns and increasing visibility and bookings.

5. Keep Applying Promotions: The more you promote your property, more visible it will be on website. Keep applying different promotions such as advance purchase, secret deals, last minute discounts on different days of week, during festival season, long-weekends, etc. This will help you to have your property in top searches as a good discount is being offered and you being active about promoting your property.

6. Get your Hotel enrolled in ‘Preferred Partner’ Programme: Enroll your hotel into ‘Preferred Partner’ programme on booking.com. This will help you to get into booking.com recommendations and have better visibility in searches. You can enroll your hotel by fulfilling 3 simple criteria mentioned below.

a. Pricing score: Have better rates then your competitors.
b. Performance score: Get more bookings, participate in campaigns/Opportunity Centre.
c. Review Score: Maintain review scores.

7. Visibility Booster: Boost your hotel’s visibility and maximise the chances of getting booked. You can use ‘Visibility booster’ through extranet from Opportunity tab and choose your hotel to get more visible in searches for a particular duration.

The above will surely help you to get through a good conversion of bookings. However, the key point will always remain in delighting customer service and excellent reviews by your guests for the hotel. A word spread by a happy guest will attract 10 more! Reviews are the most important factor affecting the business. Make sure, you have a feedback received from all your guest to know your excellence in your service.

We have seen a considerable increase in bookings from booking.com and the strategy adopted by MarketMyHotel.in as mentioned above do help in increasing the conversion – Amar Singh, MD at Hotel Rajasthan Palace, Jaipur.

We, at MarketMyHotel make sure of each factor affecting the business right from rates planning to promotions to reviews is taken care of leading to increased bookings from booking.com. For details write to contact@marketmyhotel.in

Written by Ms. Gazala of MarketMyHotel’s hotel revenue management team.

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