Your greatest asset outside of your resort property is your online presence. After your customers find you online through your strong SEO presence and great website, they're ready to visit your hotel booking site. Direct booking with your resort earns you 15 – 35% more profit than if your guests book through a third party booking site such as Expedia or Travelocity. Click here to read more about the pit falls of online travel agents. Having an easy to find, streamlined booking system is a win-win: you can ensure that you're getting the most profit from the booking process, and your customers feel more connected to your resort.
American customers have expectations of what online reservation systems should and should not have. First, the process should be streamlined. No confusing navigating or pop ups. Next, your booking site must accept all major credit cards (Visa, MasterCard, Discover, American Express). Finally, and perhaps most importantly, customers want to feel like their information is secure on your site. If your site is protected by a third party security program, wear their logo like a badge of honor.
It is vital that your booking site be in completely bug free. When customers who failed to book were polled, it was found that 36% did not complete the booking process because of some sort of website issue, with 18% of those customers having issues with the booking process specifically. The investment of hiring a professional programming team to build your resort page and booking system will save you many a headache and many a lost customer.
Have any insider tips on building a better booking site? Great resort marketing advice? Share below!