On the 6th February 2019, hospitality owners from all over the world come together to promote why people should book directly with the property and not via a Third Party websites such as the Booking Holidays, Expedia Group or Airbnb.
The day is called #Bookdirect Day.
How can you get involved?
Note: Scroll to the bottom of this blog to get access to four free videos that you can use on your social media channels right now to spread the word.
Alan Egan from Vacation Soup joined me on a live video in the Hospitality Community to discuss the day in more detail
I loved this advice from VRmintel.com
* Use the hashtag #bookdirect on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn to bring attention to the many advantages of booking vacation rentals directly with the manager or homeowner instead of on third-party channels.
* Send out an email campaign to their past and prospective guests with a message about the value of booking direct, booking local, and booking smart.
* Work with local and feeder-market media sources to educate consumers about the best ways to book a vacation rental.
* Encourage local destination marketing organisations (i.e. CVBs, chambers, state tourism organisations) to join in promoting their direct connections to lodging providers.
Vacation Rental Owners shared their email examples via VRMintel’s website here
And over at TripTease, they put together a perfect piece with some stats about why it is essential to #BookDirect
Here’s a snippet
* Two online travel giants (Booking Holidays Group and Expedia) dominate the marketplace with an estimated combined market share of 95%. Hoteliers cannot compete with their advertising scale and are locked into costly distribution agreements, with a commission on bookings sometimes reaching 25% (or even higher).
* Further to this, price parity agreements imposed by OTAs restrict hotels from providing their guests with the best online price. Despite this, OTAs frequently undercut direct rates, costing the hotel industry millions of dollars every year in lost bookings.
* Most importantly, the guest is likelier to have a better experience if they book direct. Not only should the best price be guaranteed, but guests are also expected to find the best offers, the most flexibility, and the most simple pre- and post-stay communication if they book directly with the hotel.
Finally, the powerhouse that is Lodgify got involved by sharing seven bits of quality advice on how to get ready to spread the word of #BookDirect day
1. BOOK DIRECT TO SAVE MONEY
Big sites such as Airbnb, HomeAway, VRBO and TripAdvisor add a high percentage of booking fees to the reservation total. Booking directly with the owner or manager cuts out any middle-man or commissions.
2. BOOK DIRECT FOR DIRECT CONTACT WITH THE MANAGER OR OWNER
Only when booking directly are guests guaranteed direct contact with the person responsible for the property. This means they can get in touch – without obligation – to inquire about services and amenities before committing.
3. THE BEST PRICE ISN’T ON THE OTAS
Contrary to popular belief, OTAs and aggregator sites (such as Airbnb, Booking.com, Expedia etc.) don’t actually provide the best price for travellers. Guests can save hundreds on commissions by booking direct and booking locally.
4. LOTS OF THE BEST VACATION RENTALS AREN’T LISTED ON THE MAJOR SITES
Due to the high costs associated with using big sites, some of the best homes with the highest demand aren’t even listed. Take popular beach resorts in North Carolina as an example – only 30% of homes available for rent can be found on these websites. Guests shouldn’t limit their search to OTAs and aggregators, or they could be missing out on the best properties.
5. MANAGERS AND OWNERS HAVE IN-DEPTH KNOWLEDGE OF THE DESTINATION
When booking direct, managers and owners can become a kind of free destination guide. They know the best activities, restaurants and service, providers. They may even have local partnerships or discount deals which can save travellers more money.
6. IF GUESTS HAVE SPECIAL REQUIREMENTS, A MANAGER OR OWNER CAN HELP
Whether the family needs an accessible vacation rental or a pet-friendly option, a manager or owner will work with the guest directly to meet all their needs before they commit to a booking.
7. OWNERS AND MANAGERS WILL HAVE MORE SPECIAL OFFERS DURING NON-PEAK TRAVEL TIMES
When travellers communicate directly with the owner or manager, they will be the first to find out about special offers, discounts or exclusive deals.
I wanted to add my contribution to help spread the word about a compelling message.
That is why I went away and created FOUR powerful videos that you can use for your social media channels at NO charge.
Simply Click on one the links below
To access your videos, click on a link above and click on the download box – Direct download.
Then you will be able to upload directly to your social media channel of choice.
All I ask is that you tag in @boostlyuk and use the hashtag #BookDirect when you do so I can see these videos In action, then email firstname.lastname@example.org when you have any direct bookings as a result.