Ask the experts – How to drive more direct hotel bookings and sales online

It’s around this time of year I get a little excited as it means it’s not that long till my favourite show starts up again  and to quote The House of Stark ‘winter is coming’. The meaning behind these words is one of warning and constant vigilance, something travel agents, airlines and hoteliers should now follow. It’s time to take stock and address what can be improved for the coming year.

We asked leading ecommerce, data and travel marketing experts what areas they thought the holiday industry should focus in order to enjoy a successful travel season.



Keep it simple

“The needs of mobile users are often quite distinct to desktop and tablet. On-the-go users generally have a sub-set of actions they want to complete and need (expect) a streamlined site that helps them achieve this with minimal effort. The key to achieving this is a simple menu with clear options to choose from”.



Stay front of mind and proactively promote your content

“Encouraging customers or potential customers, to follow you on social media is a great way to stay front of mind and proactively promote your content, rather than hoping they’ll return to your website next time they are searching for a holiday or short break. Plus, unless you pay to promote your content, it’s a free marketing channel!”



Make sure you are set up for one finger, one thumb

“Website browsers using a mobile device want the same thing as browsers using a desktop computer – they want to find your website, get the information they need, make a decision, take action and leave, all as quickly and with as little hassle as possible. The only difference is, they’re likely to be using one finger and one thumb to do it. And possibly only one eye, as they’re probably doing something else at the same time – a mobile friendly site with mobile friendly forms is essential”.



Increase your data quality for future marketing

“Using auto-complete or other address validation software at the data entry stage is the best way of collecting correct data as you are interacting with the source – your customer. Reducing the distance between your customer and their data increases data quality”.


Always track your results

“Knowledge is power and good analytics software gives you the knowledge to power strategic marketing actions. Analytics allows you to measure both the effectiveness of each marketing activity and the performance of your website. This gives you a clear picture of what is working and what is not”. 



The journey starts the moment the travel search starts

“People are typically visiting between 10-20 travel websites, searching on smartphones, tablets (iPads etc) and desktop PCs. Standing out and offering the best possible online experience from the get-go will increase bookings”.




Give plenty of options

“No travel related website should be without a search option and filters.  Give your customers plenty of options, and in the case that they don’t know where or when they want to go, plenty of choice.”

Do you agree or have any of your own tips? Please share them below…

  • a good and brief summary of how a mobile friendly website for bookings should look like