WHICH ONLINE BOOKING PLATFORM IS THE BEST? WHAT TO EXPECT FROM AN ONLINE BOOKING PLATFORM?
Marketing is the most difficult part of any business. Whatever product or service you have, you MUST have good marketing. Simply you can't say “my product or service is good, there is no need for its marketing”.
Especially when it comes to tourism, marketing is even more important. Because the competition in tourism is very tough. Everybody likes tourists. Everybody knows the value of tourism. Everybody knows that Tourists bring money and create jobs for people.
SALE AGENTS UNIQUE ROLE
The marketing of touristic services (hotel, excursion, cruise journey or shopping) must be to Sale Agents of the country where the tourists come from. Every Sale Agent meets hundreds of clients. There is no other way to approach that many clients.
Every tourist, asks at least one Sale Agents for an offer/suggestion before they make their holiday's final decision. Even if your Hotel works with a Tour Operator, the clients coming for holiday are from different parts of the country, where the Tour Operator operates.
Most of the time, the tour operator doesn't have offices or staff across the country (in every district, village or even cities). They collect clients via Sale Agents.
The client is not a one-time client for Sale Agent. They are a client for every holiday season and everywhere. Sale Agent needs them for summer, winter holidays. Sale Agent should keep tied with his clients and must be trustful. This is why the Hotel should conduct marketing to Sale Agents, if possible to as many as possible.
HOW TO CHOOSE THE RIGHT ONLINE BOOKING PLATFORM?
The hotel should be registered on as many online booking platforms as possible. No Hotelier can afford to skip the power of online booking platforms and the internet for finding clients. There are hundreds of online booking platforms such as www.booking.com, www.expedia.com, www.heberi.com, www.trivago.com, etc.
To be honest, the Tour Operators are the true player in tourism. They bring clients for holiday. More than 90% of tourists travel with tour operators for holiday and it's likely will be the same for a long time. But one important point should be kept in mind: The Tour Operators don’t conduct marketing for any individual Hotel. They need the client to take one of their products only. It doesn’t matter for them where (country, destination) the client will go on holiday or to which particular Hotel.
In that case, hotel marketing shall not be for direct bookings only. The marketing should be pointing through which tour operator clients can find.
Signing up on an online booking platform is not enough for hotels. He should find the correct platform that will enable him to make his hotel's marketing easier, cheaper when needed. The online booking platform must have some tools such as marketing tools -like what www.heberi.com has- that hotelier can use for marketing to find clients if necessary. Otherwise, he needs to wait and pray for clients to find his.
Another important point is, the online booking platform should agree that the hotel presents its direct contact details such as phone, email on its intro text. So that Sale Agent or client can contact the hotel directly to verify if the booking is seen, approved, etc. to avoid surprises at the arrival.
FIVE SUGGESTIONS FOR RIGHT BOOKING PLATFORM:
1. The hotel should be registered on as many online booking platforms as possible. You never know through which platform the client will search and will conduct booking. In the event of receiving a booking, the hotel must respond as fast as possible to assure the client for fast and good service.
2. The Online Booking Platform should have a user (like www.heberi.com ) on the other side so that it will supply clients. They both can have direct contact and marketing. If users are not integrated into the system, there is no guarantee of marketing being delivered.
3. The online booking platform should give Hotel the option of making its marketing for direct bookings or to conduct marketing for collecting clients to his Hotel via the tour operator that is working with. Because not every client travels alone, most of them prefer traveling with Tour Operator. The marketing preparation must be easy to use so that the hotelier will be able to prepare it without third party help requirements. It is not logical if you need to spend a large amount on its preparation only.
4. The platform should have an option that, the hotelier can provide some advantages such as offering an extra commission to the tourist supplier when a booking is made. this is to attract his Hotel among others. So that the tourist supplier will consider recommending and conduct bookings. Otherwise, you can`t expect the tourist supplier to select your hotel among many alternatives.
5. The platform should have compatibility that Sale Agent can organize additional activities for his clients during the holiday at the destination such as excursion, shopping bookings. Sale Agent will consider destinations where his client will have additional activities such as archeological sightseeing, rafting, aquapark, safaris, etc. He will earn from additional bookings too
If the online platform doesn’t provide some tools that help hotelier to find clients when needed, its waste of time to register simply. Every hotel has its website and booking on his website is already available. Every hotel and its website is already listed on google, google maps, etc.