Independent hoteliers failing to take control of their online presence and bookings this summer are missing a massive opportunity, according to John Jones, MD of Welcome Systems Ltd.
“For many, staying in a hotel is no longer an extravagance,” he explains. “It is much more affordable and frequent, meaning there is huge potential for hoteliers to capitalise on the summer period.”
However, despite the latest stats indicating that 16 million more nights were spent in European hotels than the previous year, the UK has seen the biggest fall in bookings with a drop of -15.4%.
While the growth of ‘industry disruptors’ like Airbnb may bear some responsibility for these figures, Jones believes that it is up to hoteliers to raise their game in an increasingly competitive market.
He continues: “This isn’t about just competing on price, but also on services and experience. Our research shows that booking a hotel room is often viewed as the least enjoyable part of a holiday.
“We’ve found there are hundreds of online booking systems on the market, all with one common problem – confusing web layouts, a mass of options and text-heavy pages.”
As a result Welcome Systems Ltd has launched its new ‘Book Yourself Full 2017’ summer campaign, designed to help hoteliers achieve maximum occupancy with the least amount of work and stress.
“By signing up for our weekly newsletter, hoteliers will gain exclusive access to a wealth of top tips and hacks on achieving the ultimate booking simplicity and efficiency,” adds Jones.
“We’ll be covering everything from developing social media campaigns, improving in-room experiences and accepting contactless payments, through to mastering hotel websites and dealing with negative reviews, plus webinars and podcasts with key industry players and special guests.
“If that’s not enough we’re also offering the first new 100 hotels to register for Welcome Systems’ newsletter, a free two-month trial of our Welcome Anywhere PMS, the zero-commission booking system for hotels, featuring seamless integration with RateManager by BookingSuite.
“Additionally all clients committing to a full 12-months of Welcome Anywhere will also benefit from fully integrated TrustYou Stars Lite, an advanced software solution designed to collect, analyse and market guest reviews.”