January and February are traditionally quiet months for luxury hotels in Ireland and the UK.
After the excitement of Christmas and New Year, hotels expect a quieter period during which they take stock and start booking ahead for Easter and the summer season.
The last two years have been anything but traditional and normal booking patterns no longer apply.
For example in Ireland, this would be when US tours are booking their summer stays in the tourist hotspots of Kerry, Dublin and Connemara.
We haven’t yet seen that level of overseas consumer confidence return however our data indicates that bookings from the home market are exceptionally strong.
That means that we are not content to sit back and let market forces dictate our hotel clients’ online business. We are using our best-in-class Internet booking engine (IBE)
and unique data-driven insights to ensure that their book direct performance remains strong throughout quarter one.
There are several critical advantages to an IBE:
• Capture new bookings without high commission from OTAs
• Retain control of your guests
• Upsell or cross sell to bookers
• Available 24 hours per day, every day
• Lowest cost of acquisition
In addition, our research indicates that direct bookers deliver up to 100% more discretionary spend once they are in the hotel.
Your booking engine is only one element of a comprehensive direct booking strategy. Comprehensive organic and paid digital marketing and a well-designed, engaging website which authentically reflects your hotel’s personality are also essential.
Alongside this it is essential that the hotel’s booking channels are optimised to prioritise direct bookings over other more expensive customer segments.
So what can our clients expect when all these strands are aligned? That they can take full advantage of the strong in-country demand.
Our booking engine data is only triggered once a booked stay has taken place (i.e. checked out business – cancelled stays do not contribute to the data).
Our January performance was exceptional – in fact our best ever with booking revenues nearly 500% better than January 2021.
The message is clear.
For now, the normal rules of shoulder season no longer apply.
To take full advantage, you need a great booking engine coupled with a book direct agency who can analyse your data and provide a bespoke strategy.
Here at Aró Digital we are five star by every measure.
to find out how we can partner with you to boost your direct bookings.