Tuesday, 5 January 2010

2010 Online Bookings up for Scottish Hotels

The New Year has started positively for Bookassist powered properties throughout Scotland according to Ian McCaig from the Ayrshire office.
"The first few days in January are showing fantastic growth on the beginning of last year and we're hopeful that this is a pattern that can be continued throughout the remainder of the month.Hotels are understanding much more clearly the need to grow their direct online sales and for the more proactive amongst them this is producing clear results."
He continued, "As well as providing a highly specified booking engine to the guests which makes it easy to book, hoteliers are beginning to recognise the need to support the reservations engine with marketing activity. A booking engine on its own is no longer enough. A site needs to portray their product graphically and attractively, it must ensure that the site is being found for the appropriate search terms by the appropriate markets and then Bookassist will convert and we believe convert more highly than any other online reservations system."
To achieve the above, Bookassist in Scotland don't only provide the online booking system but also the knowledge and marketing support to help secure the increase in direct sales that is required.
"Of course we understand why hotels have been looking to Online Travel Agents over the past year. The market for some areas in Scotland has been flat and reservations from any source are welcome but we don't beleive that this should be at any cost.
It's a simple question that we ask of our prospective clients; "Do you think the demand for booking direct through your own website is going to increase or decrease over the coming decade?" It may almost be a rhetorical question for sure but it focusses the mind on the need to take the provision of the online reservations service more seriously and actually plan strategically in order to speed up the growth."
Businesses who are looking at their online booking options are being encouraged to look at their whole online marketing strategy by the Scottish Bookassist team - search engine optimisation, paid advertising, e-marketing, social media (with purpose), guaranteed best rates, merchandising of rooms and add on products, online agency and corporate relationships and even best practice in designing a new website.
"All of these areas require not only consideration but action. We see examples of hotels plowing hours of time and hundreds of pounds a week into their local newspaper advertising and radio schedules and then skimming over their online marketing programmes and website content. It is our resolution in 2010 to work even more closely through our account management structure to build the understanding of how integral to all areas of their business an online strategy must be - even to the smallest of operators"
If you wish more information on building your direct online reservations contact scotland@bookassist.com or telephone +44 (0)1292 521404.
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