A rapidly increasing 66%* of New Zealanders and 70%* of Australians book and research their holiday accommodation online. These two countries bring the most guests to the South Pacific, so it's important to be available online to capture their attention.
Even better still, you should allow these potential guests to check what rooms are available and when, and then enable them to book and pay for their room online, all while they are viewing your website.
It's very common for properties in remote areas to ask their potential customers to phone or email them to make a reservation versus being able to look and book online; this can be inconvenient for the customer and time consuming for you.
In some cases it's because the internet on the island or region may be weak or non existent; but this doesn't change the demands of potential guests who have great internet connection and really want to book and pay online.
Another common scenario is for properties to send potential guests away from their own website to a third party booking engine, like Booking.com, which is a supermarket of other properties in your area for guests to choose from instead of yours.
A recent study by Nomura Group revealed Booking.com and Expedia.com (Hotels.com) control more than 65%** of the European indirect online hotel sales. It’s surprising how many property owners accept paying sometimes 15% commission to online travel agents (OTAs), yet don't want to spend money on improving their own website for potential customers.
A smart website and integrated booking engine are the most effective way to truly engage your guests online, and when done well, it will increase your revenue and reduce your commission costs.
Booking engines make your life easier in 5 simple ways:
- You are paid in advance - Generate bookings in real time and get the money deposited directly in your bank account
- You don't need to wait by the phone - Enable clients to see rates and what rooms are available and when, without needing to call or email you
- You can plan ahead - Direct bookings makes it easier for you to plan your property availability, and determine future income and costs
- You will save time - Clients, just like you, may not have the time to send and receive multiple emails and want the ease of just booking immediately online
- You can measure performance - Having an online booking engine can provide valuable information about when and where your bookings are coming from; including your most popular rooms and typical guest profile