Direct phone calls, emails and walk-ins account for one in every three reservations made within the small accommodation industry, Little Hotelier has found. The finding is part of the research undertaken into the reservations made by Little Hotelier’s customers globally throughout 2015.
Bronwyn Karaoglu, Head of Marketing at Little Hotelier, says, “What today’s finding shows is the importance for small accommodation providers to sell the personalized experience and have the right technology in place to support all their guests, whether those guests have pre-booked their room through the phone or Internet, or come without warning through the property’s front door.
“For hoteliers at small lodgings, it means owning the guest relationship across all channels, and extending their hospitality from online all the way through to their property destination to create a smooth booking process.”
Little Hotelier comprises an integrated channel manager, booking engine and front desk system for time-poor hoteliers to manage the day-to-day operations of their small accommodation business using a single piece of technology hosted in the cloud.
With online travel agencies and direct hotel websites accounting for two-thirds of all bookings within the under-40-room lodging segment, the research released today highlights the growing trend among small accommodation providers of diversifying their distribution to broaden their reach. For these hoteliers, Ms Karaoglu says there is a unique opportunity to establish the guest relationship early and follow through with a superior guest experience that makes those guests want to return.
“Guests who book direct to property typically want more; they want to know about the local area and how to get about – before they’ve even made their room purchase – and that’s the type of hospitality that small hoteliers must continue to excel in providing.
“Last year, 75 percent of travelers said B&Bs offered better amenities than comparable hotels* showing there is a unique opportunity for the small hotel segment to facilitate superior guest relationships, experiences and, importantly, repeat guests. Word-of-mouth is still key, as is visibility online, to encourage direct transactions.”
*Hotels vs. bed and breakfasts, BedandBreakfast.com, 2015