Published on February 18, 2014
The Best Incentives for Convincing Travelers to Book Direct
An Effective Way to Drive Direct Bookings at Your Hotel Hotels are grasping for any way to drive more direct booking traffic to their hotel website to avoid the fees required by online travel agencies (OTAs) to be listed on their websites. But what can hotels offer to convince potential customers to book directly instead of choosing a discounted price from an OTA? We conducted a Google Consumer Survey of more than 2,500 consumers to find out what incentives a hotel could offer to forego a discounted price and book directly. • A free room upgrade is the top incentive that will convince customers to book directly; • This room upgrade can be as simple as offering a balcony or better view; • Free food and drinks (e.g. at on-site restaurant) are the second most effective incentive.
Add-On Preference by Type 11% 14% 3% 48% Room upgrade Room service On-site amenities (e.g. spa) Gift cards Other 23% The majority of respondents (48 percent) say that a room upgrade offer could convince them to book directly over booking with a discount online travel agency.
Room Upgrade Preference by Type 2% 20% 29% Suite with living room Better view Balcony Kitchenette Other 22% 27% The kind of room upgrade that could convince a consumer to book directly is split among a living room suite, a better view, a balcony room or a room with a kitchen.
Room Service Preference by Type 3% 16% 43% 19% Free meal In-room massage Minibar/snacks Movies on demand Other 19% Free meals are clearly the most effective room service incentives to convince a consumer to book directly, with 43 percent of the responses.
Amenity Preference by Type 7% 4% 11% 55% 23% Food/drinks at hotel Spa package Fitness class Golf/tennis reservation Other Again, for amenities, respondents say that free food and drinks are incentives that could convince them to skip the OTA and book directly.
Gift Card Preference by Type 11% 4% 45% 19% Popular restaurant Popular event Amusement/water park Transportation service Other 22% A gift card to a popular restaurant was voted as a motivating incentive to book directly on a hotel website. A gift card to a popular event came in a distant second.
Gift Card Preference By Percentage of Each Age Group 18-24 25-34 35-44 45-54 55-64 65+ 0 20 40 Restaurant gift cards Amusement/waterpark gift card Other 60 80 100 Popular event gift card Transportation gift card Older age groups chose restaurant gift cards as strong incentives to book directly, while younger groups preferred event and amusement park gift cards.
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