Booking.com – should I or should I not!
Booing.com has revolutionised the way people book their hotel rooms throghout the world.
Studies have show that over 50% of all bed nights in European hotels are booked through booking.com
The main question now is will it and does it work for the Tanzania tourism and safari industry.
Benefits of using Booking.com
Why is Booking.com so good for the end user:
- 1000’s of hotels to offer a full choice
- a free app
- a no-charge cancellation policy.
Booking.com has one aim for it’s customers and that is to provide them with the best possible price for a hotel room – more people book with Booking.com and the company has the highest customer satisfaction rates of independent travel websites, mainly due to competitiveness of pricing.
Booking.com Price Obsession – great for the client but not for you!
So as a hotel owner Booking.com is great – it brings you in reservations but you are always selling at your lowest price and often competing with rivals on price point alone.
Basic commission is 15% if you want to be a preferred member and thus have a better position on the first page of a destination then you need to pay 20%, or more depending on location (and competition nearby!)
This 20% can be over-ridden and some hotels are known to pay over 40% commission to be top of the rankings.
As a hotel owner you must realise that you may make revenue from reservations but these will not necessarily be at the best rates and you will have no bargaining power.
Booking.com protecting themself
Booking.com are always introducing new policy which further makes the relationship uneven
Recent examples include:
1) Booking.com can now automatically resell a room cancelled by one of their guest.
2) Booking.com keeps all the contact details for the customer to themselves – no sharing for future marketing.
While these may have valid reasons to Booking.com
1) Booking.com resell to protect their commission
2) Booking.com prevents direct contact between hotels and customers.
It still seems a little unfair.
What to do
Booking.com is great and has its uses; just remember to balance your Booking.com presence through hotel digital marketing
You need understand how to use Booking.com for their benefit, but not be overly dependent on it and increase bookings through a hotel digital marketing strategy.
It’s important to have a multi-channel digital marketing strategy that gives hotels digital presence.
This could include:
- High converting, great looking website
- Using multi channels to sell
- Mobile optimisation and an app
- Harvesting and analysing past guest data
- Social networks to increase exposure
For more on digital marketing in Tanzania see Travel E-Marketing