Book Direct Day is almost here! Now would be a great time to remind your guests about the advantages of booking directly to your website. This is a great topic for an email marketing campaign as well.
If you don’t have an email marketing strategy yet, be sure to check our page , get some ideas, and even reach out to the team for further information and inspiration! Having a dedicated page to Book Direct is also a great way to get more traffic to your website.
When a guest uses an Online Travel Agency – OTA, they are missing out on the booking experience and they end up paying more than if they booking directly with the property manager and the local vacation rental company. In this blog post, we will provide information about booking direct versus using an OTA.
What is Book Direct Day?
The initiative was created by VRMIntel back in 2018. #BookDirect Day is an annual event, which takes place on the first Wednesday in February – this year February 7th. and brings together many independently owned vacation rental companies.
The goal of Book Direct Day is to raise awareness about the benefits of booking directly with the local vacation rental company and to help vacation rental managers reduce their reliance on OTAs, which often charge commissions that can cut into the property’s profits.
In terms of customers, they are missing out when using an OTA either by the overall booking experience, or by paying a significantly higher rate for processing services, which otherwise are avoidable.
Top Advantages of Booking Direct over booking with online travel agency
No Hidden Fees & Best Price Guarantee
Many vacation rental companies offer a best price guarantee when you book directly through their website. This means you are more likely to get the lowest available rate without having to pay any additional fees or commissions. Some companies often provide special promotions, discounts, and package deals exclusively for direct bookings. In addition, booking directly ensures transparency in pricing and no hidden fees that are not immediately apparent during the booking process.
Personalized Service and Direct Communication
Booking directly allows you to communicate your specific preferences and requests directly to the vacation rental staff. This can lead to a more personalized and tailored experience during your stay. Moreover if you have questions or need assistance, you can contact the accommodation provider directly which ensures quicker and more efficient communication compared to going through an intermediary. Many of the OTA agents are located all over and they have never even been at the location you are booking.
Less stress on resolving issues while on the property
Let’s admit it, we have all been there. You are at the property and something is wrong. You talk with the service team on-site and end up having to jump through hoops because you’ve booked with an OTA. If you have booked directly any issues could be resolved almost immediately rather than waiting on the phone with a sub-par customer service representative.
Accurate Information and Data Security
Vacation Rental Companies typically provide the most up-to-date and accurate information about property availability, amenities, and policies on their direct website. Many companies also have loyalty programs that reward guests for booking directly. These programs may offer points, discounts, or other benefits that accumulate with each stay.
When you book directly, your personal and payment information goes through the vacation rental company’s secure booking system, reducing the risk of data breaches associated with third-party websites.
Support for Local Businesses
Last but not least, booking directly supports the local vacation rental company and helps them retain a larger share of their revenue, which can benefit the local economy and community.
How to help spread the word
Use the hashtag #BookDirect on social media in your posts and start an email campaign with a message about the value of booking directly. Provide your guests with tangible reasons to book direct #BookDirect day is a great opportunity to surface those benefits you might already have on offer, or to even set up a special rate just for direct bookers.
Having an optimized and modern website is a must not only during #BookDirect Day. It is the most powerful tool that gets you in front of current and potential customers 24/7. Be sure to check our options and connect with our team for any additonal questions.