AIO Hospitality Partners With Google To Offer Direct Bookings for Hotels

Users can now search and book hotels without leaving Google. People will be able to search for hotels in more than 100 countries, directly from Google and Google Maps, as well as book hotel rooms without leaving the Google platform.

Great Opportunity to Increase Exposure To Your Property
This provides a huge and exciting opportunity for hotels. Google is the largest search engine of the world and millions of people worldwide use this search engine to search for information, products, services, etc. Millions of these daily searches are also about hotels – with travelers seeking good hotels to stay while on a trip. Imagine what you can gain by getting your hotel listed on the Google direct hotel search.

Users will be able to view prices, photos, reviews of a hotel along with street views. However for a hotel to show up on the Google hotel search, it needs to partner up with the above mentioned Google program.

The requirements to get accepted in this program can be somewhat difficult. Hotels will need the following:

  • Googles ads account – running Hotel Ads, with campaigns, points of sale (PoS), and Price Feed configured
  • Proof that they can safely customer’s sensitive payment data
  • Ability to maintain up-to-date and accurate pricing
  • Localized service or phone support to users

And there are other such requirements, which you may check at the following Google page:

AIO Hospitality Makes It Easy
However you do not have to worry. If your hotel cannot meet all these stringent requirements and still wants to benefit from your property being listed on Google and getting bookings through their platform, AIO Hospitality solutions can help you out.

We have partnered with Google and can provide Google listings for your hotel. See your hotel’s inventory being displayed directly on Google. Get more coverage as millions of travelers everyday search Google for hotels.

Do not miss this amazing opportunity! Get in touch with us at the earliest to start getting direct bookings from Google. Boost your occupancy rates while saving ton of money on OTA fees.

Hotels – Maintain Rate Parity With Ease With AIO CRS & PMS

Rate parity refers to the practice of maintaining consistent and same rates for the same room types across all the distribution channels platforms whether it is the hotel’s own website or OTAs, irrespective of the commission percentages being charged by an OTA. Hotels and OTAs both have to agree to rate parity norms while signing up with an OTA.

The practice of rate parity is there to safeguard the interests of the OTAs. If rate parity did not exist, hotels could keep very low prices on their websites and thus more and more people would start booking from the hotel website, effectively cutting out OTAs from business.

Challenges Relating to Rate Parity
Rate parity can pose several challenges for small and new hotels. In small hotels, the profit margins are usually thin and it can become difficult to pay hefty commission fees to OTAs on the room bookings.

If hotels do not want to associate with OTAs and want to do direct bookings, they would need to do lot of promotions in order to bring in more customers. Moreover competing with OTAs for prices can be super-difficult for any hotel since OTAs have been known to sometimes reduce prices below the agreed-upon amount by reducing their commissions. This can pose a big problem for the hotels as people would hesitate to book directly from the hotel website and would prefer to book through the OTA channel due to the price difference and also for other reasons and benefits.

So hotels are not left with much choice but to try their best to maintain rate parity across all the channels, otherwise they may stand to lose more than they can gain in the short run. However this again poses potential challenges.

Maintaining rate parity across multitude of platforms is usually not easy. In order to overcome the problems of constantly checking, updating and maintaining same rates across multiple platforms and systems, hotels need to invest in reliable PMS and CRS systems.

Check out our amazing range of reasonably priced and highly powerful software solutions including hotel PMS and CRS.

Different Kinds of Emails Hotels Should Send To Guests

Email marketing is one of the best ways to keep in touch with your hotel guests. But how do you do it properly? There has to be some reason to send an email to your guests. If you just send emails without rhyme or reason, it will look odd and eventually the guests may lose interest and may not check out your mails.

In this article let us give some ideas of what kinds of emails you should be sending your guests at different stages. If you employ this strategy you can establish a strong communication with the guests and open the pathways for long term relationship.

Pre-Stay Emails:

1. Reservation Confirmation: This is an automated email that should be sent as soon as someone books a room at your hotel. The purpose of this emal is to confirm and reassure the guest that the reservation was successful. This is a kind of acknowledgement from the hotel which can provide the guest with a peace of mind that the booking has been done and their credit card information is safe with the hotel management.

2. Thank You: This is a personalized message which should have a friendly, warm tone. In this email you thank the guest for booking room with you and giving you chance to serve them. You should mention that you look forward to hosting them and providing them a pleasant and memorable stay.

This email should ideally be sent a day after the confirmation email. This email creates a warm feeling in the guests and can make them excited.

3. Preparation, Preference & Reminder: As the guest stay draws near, you send them an email to make sure everything is in order. In this email you can remind them of their check-in and check-out times, inform them of all the documents they need to carry with them, and any other terms and conditions that you want them to be aware of.

Use this email to learn more about the guest – their preferences, if they have any allergies, etc. There is an excellent opportunity to upsell or cross-sell them in this email. You can upsell your extra products or services.

Post Stay Emails:

1. Feedback Request: After the stay is over, you should always ask your guest for feedback and suggestions. Whether the guest had a pleasant or an unpleasant stay, don’t miss the feedback request. Even if you know the feedback is not going to be good, you will at least have information of what the guest felt like and what changes or improvements you can make to improve your hotel service.

If they leave a positive review, kindly ask them if you can use their review for marketing purpose. Usually they will say yes. You could even forward them links to popular online hotel review sites and ask them to kindly leave a short review at all or some of these websites.

If they leave a negative review, still thank them and assure them that you will take necessary steps so that such a problem does not happen again in future.

2. Promotions and Offers: Hotels should try to drive repeat bookings. An excellent way to do this is to stay in periodic touch with previous guests who have stayed at your hotel. You can send them promotional and discount offers from time to time. These offers will serve as a reminder of your hotel and could also entice them to book with you again in order to avail the discounted rates.

You could send them seasonal promotions or special offers that are only for selected people who have stayed at your hotel earlier.

Why Hotels Should Capture Their Guests Emails

Emails can be a powerful marketing and revenue-boosting tool for hotels. Capturing guest data including their email addresses and phone numbers has become critical part of hotel marketing strategy. Email is one of the most important communication channels with the hotel guests.

Even with the growing usage of smartphones and messaging apps like Whatsapp, Telegram, etc, email still remains number one chanel for engaging with users. In fact the popularity and usage of email communication has shown a steady increase year by year.

Some of the reasons for the popularity of email communication are:

– People can check their emails and reply at their own convenience. When they get a phone call they have to receive it then and there whereas in case of email they can choose to reply at a later time that is convenient for them.

– Many of the hotel guests may be from different countries and different time zones. So email is the preferred mode of communication with such people.

– Email communication is free whereas phone calls can cost money. As a major portion of a hotel’s guests are likely to be from a foreign country, it is not economically feasible for the hotel to keep making phone calls to these guests as the costs can add up to substantial figures.

– Emails are a form of non-pressure communication. The guests don’t feel as big a pressure when they receive an email as they feel when they get a phone call. The guests do not have to reply immediately to emails which is not the case with phone calls.

Due to the above mentioned reasons, emails form a big part of business communication with customers. This is true with most businesses, but more so in the hospitality and travel industries.

So hotels should not be neglectful of capturing email addresses of their guests for future communications. Email marketing is one of the most popular and highly effective mediums of marketing. It is a great way to stay in touch with your guests in a non-intrusive way.

You can send periodic emails to the customers; you can send reminders or promotional offers, discount coupons, etc; Effective email marketing starts the moment a person books room at your hotel. You should look forward to building and nurturing a long term relationship with each of your guests, long after their stay has ended.

An award winning hotelier has revealed that pre-arrival emails are very effective at cross-selling addon services. Pre-arrival emails are those which you send before the guest comes to stay at your hotel.

Guests emails can be a goldmine for your business if you know how to harness maximum benefit out of them. However capturing email addresses is just the first step and there are lot more things to do. You need a good PMS and other software applications in order to store those emails and contact the guests at regular intervals. A good PMS or CRS application will keep track of all the email communication. You can check AIO’s feature-rich and affordable PMS which could help boost your business substantially.

How to Capture Maximum Emails: 

Train the Staff – You need to educate the staff on the importance of capturing emails. Ask them to recheck emails by repeating them to customers.

Ask for Limited Information – Don’t give out long forms to guests to fill out as that can make them frustrated. Nobody likes filling out long forms. Try to ask for information that is relevant and important, like the email address and other critical data.

Confirm Reservation By Email – Whenever guests register a room online or on phone, send confirmation through email. This way you can ensure that the guests are providing you a valid and working email id.