The Impact of Technology Direct Booking on the Hospitality Industry
Updated: Dec 20, 2019
I’m going to say something you may not know. Hotels want you to direct bookly with them. Now I’m going to say something unpopular. You should be booking directly with hotels.
This may sound crazy to you, but it’s true. Over the past decade, the amount of booking sites that popped up promising discount rates is staggering. They grew in popularity rapidly and for good reason. They made rates and reputation public information and brought power back to the traveler.
Since then, the hotel and hospitality industry has become more accountable and has become far more focused on the user’s experience. And guess what, most hotels will match the online rate if you book directly and their charge isn’t non-refundable.
Why You Should Book Directly with the Hotel
Let’s just have an honest conversation here. Hotels do not treat everyone equally and to think otherwise is just foolish. A discount third-party guest will not seem the same level of service as a regular or as a loyalty member. It’s a repeat business game, and that’s the clientele they need to serve. The cheap, one-night stay guest just doesn’t measure up.
The best thing to do here is to become a loyalty member with the chain and book directly through them. They will price match and you will be eligible for complimentary room upgrades if they are availability. Depending on the chain and your status level, you will be offered amenities when you check-in. Maybe you have a problem with your stay. That’s okay, the hotel will just add rewards points to your account to make up for the trouble. The stay is so much better when you show loyalty to the brand.
How Hotels are Improving the Direct Booking Process
Okay, so we now understand that you should be booking directly through the hotel. But, outside of the service during your stay, are hotels doing anything to entice you to book directly through their site? Yes, yes, they are.
Review sites became all the rage by allowing travelers to tell their stories and experiences and by allowing them to upload photos to show that experience. Transparency became the name of the game, and hotels knew it was now vital that they step up their efforts.
They have done just that with the help of technology.
One such technology that has really improved the direct booking process and helped hoteliers understand what they were booking is the use of 3D interactive apps.
Through these maps and tools to offer a 3D concierge experience, potential customers now get a lot more than just pictures. They can see full properties come to life right on their computer screens. They can get a better and more full understanding of the layout, where amenities are located, what is on the menu in what restaurant and more. These hotels are now providing customers with the ability to tour the property right through their computers. Once they are done, they can just book directly on the site. It is a true win-win for everyone.
I understand that hearing someone advocate for direct booking may fly in the face of everything you’ve been told over the last decade. Be that as it may, it doesn’t make the sentiment any less true. And the best news of all, the website experience on these hotel sites has never been better.
More and more hotels and hotel chains are teaming up with companies like Arion Digital. Arion is a provider of 3D interactive maps and concierge services which is helping revolutionize the hotel booking experience.
Knowledge is power, and potential hotel guests want to see, feel, and know as much as possible about a place before they make a decision to book. Tools like this give them the ability to see as much as possible without physically being there. It is now the responsibility of hotels and resorts to be as transparent and informative as possible to drive more bookings.
The travel industry continues to be adaptive to new technologies and improve their customer experience from booking through to check out. 3D interactive maps are just another step in their evolution and march or progress.
For More information about 3D interactive maps, and 3D Concierge please visit www.ArionDigital.com