How to increase your hotel’s direct bookings

Comment augmenter les réservations directes de votre hôtel?

Optimize your website

First, start by optimizing your website. 

Your website being the online storefront of your hotel, it must be appealing to attract potential customers and make them want to stay with you.

By taking care of the visuals, the room descriptions and the information about your packages and promotions, you optimize your SEO and while being more likely to appear in the top results of search engines such as Google. You should also make sure that navigating your website is easy and intuitive and most importantly can be done quickly if you want to convert visitors into potential customers.

Moreover, it could be helpful to install a live or automated chatbot on your website in order for visitors with questions to be able to get immediate answers.

Choose an efficient booking engine

Integrating a booking engine on your website will allow your customers to book directly, without having to call or send an email. This is a way to shorten the booking process while giving you an additional chance to convert your visitors into customers. 

Therefore, your booking engine should be secure and accessible on all mobile devices. Make sure to showcase your brand image with your logo and your colors, to choose high quality pictures and to take care of your offers’ descriptions so that they are visible, readable and easily understandable.

Invest in remarketing 

Your website’s visitors often start making a reservation via your booking engine but do not validate it due to either a suboptimal navigation, incomplete/unclear information or unattractive/uncompetitive prices.

With remarketing, you can target these unconverted visitors by sending them promotional newsletters if they have registered their email address or by setting up remarketing campaigns via your social media.

Watch your online reputation

Your hotel’s online reputation is a key factor in your potential customers’ final decision. Online reviews, ratings and comments about your hotel can indeed positively or negatively influence their choice. You may want to highlight positive customer testimonials on your website and social media to let potential clients know more about your previous customers’ experience. This is turn will encourage them to book in your hotel while consolidating your online reputation.

Increasing direct bookings is paramount to ensure your hotel’s profitability. There are several ways to increase your hotel’s online bookings, including optimizing your website and choosing an efficient booking engine. Investing in remarketing actions and taking care of your online reputation will also encourage customers to stay with you.

Why customer reviews matter

Why customer reviews matter
Why customer reviews matter

Why should you have customer reviews?

A customer review represents a positive or negative testimony. In general, a review summarizes how the customer viewed their stay, by giving their opinion on the check-in process, the services offered and their room.

Customer reviews are important as they are read by many potential guests. They allow customers to gather information, reassure them about potential questions and convince them of their hotel choice. All of this influences their final decision. In fact, 80% of travelers use the Internet to gather information on brands and hotels and 70% of them consult customer reviews to make a decision. This is therefore an excellent way to reinforce your credibility and boost your sales as potential customers will be more likely to book their stay at your hotel.

Customer reviews can also help you to better understand your clientele and their interests. You can analyse how the experience you offer is viewed by your customers, and use this analysis to improve your services, helping you build loyalty. By making sure to respond to each review and thanking your guests, you enhance your relationship with them and show them that their opinion is taken into consideration.
In addition, customer reviews increase your online visibility and your SEO (Search Engine Optimization). This in turn increases your likelihood of appearing in the first pages of a search engine, giving you the opportunity to boost your online reservations.

How to collect customer reviews?

There are several ways to collect customer reviews. You can program a post-stay automatic email in your Property Management System to thank your customers for staying with you and ask them to share their experience on Google My Business or TripAdvisor. You can also send a personalized message to customers who have positively responded to your satisfaction survey, asking them to leave a review on your customer review website of choice. To thank your customer for leaving a review, you can offer them compensation such as a discount on their next stay, loyalty points or invitations to special events as ambassadors of your brand. 

You can also organize a contest on social media to encourage them to write a customer review and possibly win a stay at your hotel.

How to handle negative reviews?

Negative customer reviews have always been present on various online review platforms. In fact, travellers are more likely to write reviews to complain than to share their satisfaction, so do not panic!

Dealing with negative customer reviews is not an easy task, so you should take the time to read the review and understand it. Once that is done, take a step back and think of a courteous, professional and empathetic response. You do not need to go into detail, just show that you and your team listen to your customers and that you are open to making improvements where they have to be made. 

You should also do your own research on the author of a negative review. Indeed, more often than not, some malicious and ill-intentioned people will write negative reviews when they have not even stayed with you. Are they a real client? When did they stay with you? Are there any specific notes related to their reservation? Did they answer your customer satisfaction survey?

Customer reviews should not be underestimated or neglected, as they have a strong influence on your potential customers’ final decision. They can either increase or decrease the interest and trust they have for your hotel and even improve or tarnish your online reputation.Nevertheless, customer reviews allow you to get feedback on your customers’ experience and therefore to get suggestions and ideas that will help you improve your services to convince your potential customers, build customer loyalty and distinguish yourself from your competitors.

Marketing to build customer loyalty in the hotel industry

Marketing to build customer loyalty in the hotel industry

Before the stay

Before your guest’s stay, it is important to initiate communication, especially with the help of booking confirmation emails and personalized stay reminders sent by your hotel management software. These emails will add value to your hotel due to their content and your guests will see it as an effort on your end to make their stay a success.

Regarding these emails, personalization is key if you want to attract the attention and curiosity of your customers. For example, you can promote your various offers and services, including activities, spa packages and restaurants. Increasingly, properties are communicating with their customers by text. To do so, you can take this as an opportunity to ask them if they require assistance to organize their stay while showing them that you are available if needed.

During the stay

Your customers’ arrival is a key point of contact that should not be neglected. Indeed, your customers’ first impression is crucial as it directly influences their overall satisfaction.

A kiosk becomes essential if you want to offer a modern and personalized welcome to your guests. You can speed up their check-in and avoid queues that are harmful to their satisfaction. You can also have a concierge at their disposal to give them information regarding what they can do during their stay and to better advise them. For guests who are used to staying with you, you can offer them a special welcome, such as an upgrade or personalized welcome gifts in their room, which they will greatly appreciate.

Throughout their stay, it is essential to make your customers feel special and pay attention to them. They must feel listened to, taken into consideration and made to feel at home. Do not hesitate to communicate with them by email or text to make sure they do not miss anything and that their stay goes well.

After the stay

Once your guests have left your hotel, customer loyalty can continue to be built. It is highly recommended to send them a thank you email to thank them for their trust and to learn more about their stay through a customer satisfaction survey. This is important because it will help you know if your customers are satisfied or not, what they liked and disliked and what could be improved.

Overall, this satisfaction survey will help you improve the guest experience you offer. You can also encourage your customers to leave online reviews on your social media platforms or on the most popular platforms such as Google,, Expedia. Your goal should be to turn your guests into true ambassadors of your hotel. If they are satisfied with their experience and loyal to your hotel, they will not hesitate to refer you to their friends and family. Do not underestimate the power of word of mouth, especially digital word of mouth!

Also, email marketing is a great way to communicate if you want to stay in touch with your guests. By sending personalized and targeted newsletters, not only do you showcase your offers and services at a lower cost, but you also ensure your customers keep you in mind.

Finally, it is important to be active on social media to build your community while running campaigns to increase the visibility of your offers and services in order to increase your bookings.

Offering an outstanding experience to your guests is an essential factor to build loyalty. Indeed, it’s proven that a guest is more likely to pay more for a better experience. Marketing plays an important and useful role since it promotes customer loyalty by creating a lasting and trusting relationship with your guests. In addition to retaining your guests, you also increase your income and your notoriety in the long term.

5 sustainable practices to stand out in the hotel industry

5 pratiques de développement durable pour se démarquer en hôtellerie

Eliminate the use of plastic

There are many sustainable practices to implement in a hotel, but eliminating single-use plastic remains one of the most important ones. An eco-friendly hotel should no longer offer single-use plastic bags and plastic water bottles. They can offer several alternatives to their guests such as recyclable paper bags and have water fountains at their disposal.

Minimize resource consumption

Sustainable tourism also means minimizing the consumption and the waste of food, water and energy resources.

Regarding the reduction of food waste, it is preferable to first measure the food waste of your hotel before reviewing the management of your inventory and your deliveries. If you notice stock accumulation, it is possible to recycle food, transform products and even redistribute and donate food to associations. Do you not know what to do with your food waste? Some products can be used to produce your own natural compost. Depending on the season, you can also grow fresh organic vegetables and herbs and use them to invent and/or add to your signature dishes with your own vegetable garden.

In the hotel industry, water consumption is considerable. On average, a guest consumes close to 300 liters of water a night, so you should first check that there are no water leaks in your hotel. Moreover, you should raise your guests’ awareness on conscious water usage. For example, you can leave informative posters in their rooms highlighting the amount of water needed to fill a bath versus the amount of water needed for a 10-minute shower. Moreover, you can inform them of the amount of water needed to wash linens such as sheets and towels.

Electricity consumption should also be closely monitored, and there are several alternatives available to you if you wish to reduce your electricity consumption. Using low energy light bulbs, having the lights automatically turn off when the client leaves a room or lowering the heating automatically according to the temperature of the room could be solutions to consider.

Prioritize digital over paper

Equipping yourself with an excellent PMS cloud will allow you to stop printing your reservation list or your room report. Moreover, your hotel management software automatically sends confirmation and reminder emails, so take advantage of this to encourage your customers not to print their reservation documents and to prefer online check-in or check-out at the kiosks. In addition to doing a good deed for the environment, you save time and increase your daily performance!

Promote local and ethical purchasing

Promoting local businesses and farmers in your region will allow you to distinguish yourself with your clientele who are foodies and enjoy cultural discoveries. Using and purchasing local products in an ethical manner also means preferring short-distance purchasing and seasonal products which often translates to better quality.

Equipping yourself to promote sustainable tourism

In addition to all the eco-friendly practices mentioned above, you should equip your hotel in a way to promote sustainable tourism as much as possible. Have you ever thought of installing solar panels on your hotel’s roof to use your own renewable energy? Do you use low energy and connected lights? Do you offer products such as shampoos and soaps in dispensers rather than individual single-use containers? Do you prefer the use of biodegradable and non-polluting household products? All these sustainable practices could help you stand out from the crowd.

Nowadays, travelers are increasingly more sensitive to the eco-friendly and sustainable aspect of a hotel. By definition, an eco-friendly hotel is a hotel that does everything in their power to minimize their environmental impact by transforming its services. This sustainable approach trivially begins with raising the staff and clients’ awareness.

Many hotels are undertaking sustainable practices to reduce their ecological footprint combining conviviality and new technologies. By doing so, they are also reducing their spending. Thus, in addition to being environmentally friendly, you will make a good impression on your clientele and stand out from your competitors!

Anticipating the recovery of the hospitality industry using marketing emails


Why use newsletters as method of communication?

Emails are undoubtedly the simplest and least expensive marketing strategy and method of communication. Indeed, newsletters sent via email are an easy way to reach a large audience while having the possibility to target a specific reader profile.

If these people are on the mailing lists, it is because they have interacted with the brand. This may be either during their stay at the property or when they visited the website and signed up for the newsletter. Thus, customer lists are an effective way to distribute information, news and marketing messages to past customers who may potentially book a future stay. In most cases, the cost of distributing this newsletter is very low. Indeed, platforms usually charge by the number of people you wish to send it to or by the size of the database. Compared to any other marketing methods, a newsletter remains very affordable for any property owner, especially since the cost is related to the size of the clientele and therefore to the financial capacity of the company.

When to use newsletters?

Newsletters can be used for many different reasons: whether it’s to announce a new package, a last minute promotion or a property’s new feature. In fact, any occasion is an opportunity to communicate to the audience about the brand. The importance lies in the email marketing strategy but also in the frequency with which the audience receives information from the hotel in which they have an interest. Indeed, a punctual action will not have all the positive effects that can be obtained from prolonged campaigns. It is the rigor and the frequency of these actions that will ensure that the hotel manager benefits from their investment in this method of communication.

Who to send newsletters to?

Defining your target audience is crucial when sending newsletters. Indeed, as soon as the target audience is well defined, the marketing actions will be significantly more effective. For example, if the property owner wants to promote a family relaxation package, it is obviously not relevant to promote it to their business clientele. Guests will be more inclined to read and act on information if they feel concerned and interested by the information highlighted in the newsletter. Therefore, the frequency of sending does not matter if the message conveyed in the newsletter is of interest to the audience. 

The hotel owner who has a customer list has a lot of information about his guests, such as the date of stay in addition to the season, the type of package bought, the way of booking (by phone or online), the number of nights and the type of stay (business or leisure). All of these information are essentials for efficient communication as each element will allow the hotel manager to undertake specific actions. For example, it is not relevant to put an online booking button in a newsletter intended for customers who prefer to book by phone. It would be wiser to invite them to contact the hotel by adding the front desk’s phone number.

Newsletters are an excellent way to build customer loyalty. Indeed those on the mailing list know the property that is sending them information because they have already stayed there or have voluntarily subscribed to it. Therefore, the goal is to remain active with this clientele so that they renew their experience within the property and avoid being tempted by the competitors’ offers.

The storytelling concept in the hospitality industry


What is storytelling?

By definition, storytelling is a marketing strategy designed to engage your clients through communications based on the telling of an authentic and realistic story. Moreover, storytelling communications allows you to attract attention, seduce and convince through emotion.

Rather than solely using advertising arguments, many properties use storytelling to tell a story and even their own story. Some of them do not hesitate to tell the stories of their own customers by highlighting theirs memories of their stay at the hotel. Like many other marketing strategies, storytelling can be promoted through creating videos, using your social networks and even via the “About” page of your website.

The importance of storytelling in the hospitality industry

As a result of the growing thirst for new experiences and discoveries, travelers are more interested in the story of your hotel and the way you tell it. Therefore, using storytelling to convince your future customers using emotions can only be beneficial for your hotel since the emphasis on the human dimension allows you to create a much stronger connection between travelers and your hotel. Moreover, they will be more enthusiastic about visiting your hotel and meeting your team. 

Narrative communication is also a great way to show your authenticity to your customers. Beyond the transactional relationship, this marketing technique allows you to build a long-lasting relationship with your customers and to establish loyalty.

How to use the storytelling concept to promote my property ?

First, think about the content you want to put forward, including the relevant and interesting elements of your story. It is important not to invent or make your own a story which is not yours. You want to remain as transparent as possible. In addition, there are several key elements to successful storytelling, such as incorporating emotions, being personal and engaging, and keeping the story short enough to keep your clients’ attention and interest throughout. The goal is not to tell a perfect story but a real one. While your customers will appreciate knowing more about your greatest successes, they will also be interested in your most difficult moments and how you overcame them. Also, don’t forget to pick a narrative which is adequate for your customers so that they can identify with your storytelling.

In conclusion, you can use a few tricks to perfect your storytelling, such as a timeline to facilitate reading and help your audience see the evolution of your activities. A video can also be adequate, as a picture is worth a thousand words. Moreover, you can interact with your subscribers by adding a question at the end of a storytelling publication. For example, you could ask them to talk about their experience at your hotel and then share their answers.

Don’t wait any longer to express your creativity and be a source of real, touching and inspiring stories for your community!

3 best SEO practices to increase your property’s visibility


Moreover, keep in mind that your website’s position takes into consideration several criterias,  defined by the algorithm and filters of the search engine. It also varies depending on the context and the nature of the search. For example, search engines will rate the accessibility of your site, if your website’s map is simple and clear and if the navigation is fast and logical. Furthermore, it will take into consideration the relevance of the information by measuring the user’s experience, especially if your website’s pages provide answers to searches made by Internet users. Finally, the loading speed of your website’s pages and its responsiveness are two elements to consider to improve your user experience.


Optimize your website

The first good SEO practice is to optimize your property’s website in order to make it more responsive. In other words, its design must support different mobile devices such as computers, phones and tablets, whether it’s an Apple or Android, as well as different web browsers. Being web responsive means ensuring that texts and images resize and adapt to the device used and that call to actions buttons are easily clickable. Thus, the more responsive your website is, the more it will facilitate the booking experience for travelers and will encourage them to finalize their online reservation.

Moreover, make sure your website pages load quickly to avoid Internet users leaving your website and that your bounce rate becomes too high. Bounce rate is an important marketing metric to analyze as it represents the percentage of visitors who arrive on your website and immediately leave it, without visiting another page. On average, the bounce rate is about 50%, but it depends on the analyzed sector.

We also advise you to keep URLs and HTML elements short and straight to the point to increase your website traffic. Thus, be sure to give a descriptive name to images and a description similar to the text alternative. In addition, keep in mind that updating titles, descriptions and meta descriptions of your pages, while integrating keywords, will increase the click rate of your results on Google and improve your SEO. These are elements that Googlebots read first and it helps them to better understand your website’s content.

It would be relevant to add internal links that would redirect visitors to other pages as well as external links that would take them to other websites. This will help increase your presence on search engines. Therefore, make sure not to redirect users to a 404 error page or to broken links as it could impact your user experience, cause you to lose potential bookings and affect your ranking on various search engines.

Improve your content

To improve your SEO and increase your visibility on search engines, you must offer attractive and unique content that meets Internet users’ expectations. Your content should be kept simple, clear and understandable if you want to catch the attention of visitors and keep them on your website as long as possible. For example, you can use good quality photos and videos that might answer travelers’ expectations. You can also write relevant and informative blog posts about what’s new at your hotel, current hospitality trends, travel tips and events related to your property. You can even write about your industry and your geographic area. Furthermore, it could be beneficial to optimize your content but remember that over-optimization can be penalized by Google.

Thus, it’s inevitable to focus on keywords. Try to put yourself in your potential customers’ shoes who search on Google. Target keywords or sentences associated and produce content related to those keywords. Moreover, take into account the search volume of your geographic area. This could help you know how many times a sentence is searched per month.

Using social media to share your website or blog’s content and promote your customer reviews will also be useful to improve your SEO. Google will evaluate your presence on these social platforms. Highlighting your customers’ opinions is an excellent way for you to gain Internet users’ trust, but also guarantee the quality of your services. Therefore, keep in mind that your average rating is not enough to appear at the top of organic results. You should also take into consideration several criteria such as the quantity of reviews, their publication date as well as the quality of your answers.

Use Google My Business

Having a Google My Business profile is essential if you want to increase your visibility on Google, boost your property’s SEO and work on your brand image. This is why it’s important to check the consistency of the information provided on Google My Business account. Make sure of the accuracy of your property’s name, its geographical location area, prices, contacts, the link to your website, services offered (free wifi, access for people with reduced mobility, vegetarian menu, valet service, pets friendly. ) make sure to include your property’s photos, which have to be classified by specific albums. Moreover, don’t forget to add your property’s description with the maximum number of relevant keywords in order to encourage potential customers to click on the call-to-action button “Visit the website”, “Call” or “Book now”. To increase your visibility, you can also create posts on Google My Business to inform travelers about various events, promotions, packages and activities related to your property and of course, respond to reviews left by customers whether they are positive or negative.

In conclusion, having a strong SEO or natural referencing strategy is beneficial for any property wishing to improve its visibility on search engines. Furthermore, having good SEO practices will also increase traffic to your website and will sometimes convert it into direct bookings.

Why does a housekeeping app represent an advantage for a property?


Improve communication between teams

Most importantly, the housekeeping application allows property’s departments to communicate with each other in a simple and efficient way, especially between the housekeeping and front desk team. By working with an application, it is possible to modify the status of the rooms, which allows the reception to see in real time which rooms are clean, dirty, being cleaned and ready for inspection.

Moreover, you will no longer need to use paper reports to assign different tasks and use walkie-talkies to communicate with your employees.

Increase housekeepers’ efficiency

Using a housekeeping app also simplifies the daily work of your housekeeping team. They will be able to see the status change of a room in real time and look at the notes mentioning guests’ special requests. Furthermore, the housekeeping manager will be able to organize and prioritize tasks more easily. Thus, your teams will be more organized and will gain considerable time.

Have an overview of tasks

Moreover, an app will help your teams visualize the rooms’ status quickly and the different tasks in progress. It will provide detailed information about each room, such as the number of occupants, the length of stay and the cleaning type required. In addition to having an overview of the tasks to accomplish, your housekeeping manager will be able to better manage rooms and distribute remaining tasks among the team.

To conclude, using a housekeeping mobile app is an undeniable advantage for your property as it will help your staff to be more efficient and productive in their daily tasks.

How to practice social distancing in a property?

How to practice social distancing in a property?

Online check-in

First of all, online check-in allows your guests to complete the process from a mobile device before arriving at your property. Moreover, they will have the possibility to complete their check-in and validate their payment information in only a few clicks. This tool will help you reduce contact with your guests upon arrival and minimize waiting time at your front desk, since your guests will only have to collect their room key at the reception or directly at your welcome kiosk.


Pre-registration is a new feature which allows your guests to confirm  their personal information online in an easy, fast and independent way. After receiving an email from your property, they will confirm their contact information and accept the stay’s conditions on a web form, using their personal mobile device. Also, pre-registration allows your guest to accept a credit card pre-authorization in order to guarantee its stay. Once at your property, all he has to do is to collect its room key at the front desk.

Welcome kiosks

Nowadays, some properties are providing welcome kiosks that give the opportunity to their guests to self check-in. Thanks to this 100% contactless and secure solution, your customers will be completely independent, since they will be able to collect their room keys without even going to the property’s reception.

Integrated payment

The connectivity between your payment terminals and your property management software (PMS) facilitates deposits and pre-authorizations. Operations are entered by the employees in the software so they don’t have to handle payment terminals. Integrated payment can be virtualized, in addition to being secure. It will speed up the check-in process at your property and will increase customers’ satisfaction. Since operations are done directly from the PMS, customers don’t have to take out their payment card upon departure.

The hospitality industry has always been focused on customer service, so hoteliers must find alternative ways to continue delivering memorable experiences while opting for solutions that prioritize social distancing. To do so, it is important to reassure and restore travelers’ trust by communicating all the safety and health measures of your property in a clear and effective way, as well as providing them innovative solutions to help them respect social distancing.

Is your property eco-responsible?


Moreover, studies show that an eco-responsible property would incite easily travelers to book their stay at its place. Indeed, 66% of travelers would be willing to pay more to stay in an eco-responsible and friendly property and 2 out of 3 travelers would compromise their comfort in favor of the environment. To do so, think about highlighting your environmental practices on your website but also on your online booking engine, which is sometimes the last place where travelers make their final decision for their stay. You can also promote your practices on distribution platforms in order to stand out from your competitors.

Is your property eco-responsible?

What is an eco-responsible property?

As you may know, the hospitality industry is constantly evolving and must always be renewed in order to better meet the needs of an increasingly demanding clientele. This clientele is looking for more modern, more luxurious and greener establishments.

To do so, an eco-responsible establishment is a property which attempts to minimize its environmental impact by transforming itself first and then its services. In order to ensure the well-being of its customers and employees, eco-responsible properties have several goals such as saving energies and resources, reducing pollution, decreasing waste and encouraging responsible purchasing. They set up sustainable environmental practices such as the use of recycled materials, natural insulator, low consumption lights, non-toxic products, bulk organic soaps, water saving devices and recycling bins.

Furthermore, eco-responsible properties have eco-tourism labels or awarded certifications by an independent third party or by the State. In the hospitality industry, there are many types of certifications such as Green Key, Green Tourism, EcoRoom, EarthCheck, RéserVert.

You can also link your environmental practices with your commercial ones. For example, by having a vegetable garden to produce vegetables that can be used by the chef, you can also use this to highlight your restaurant and to make some activities and workshops with the chef or the gardener.

Eco-responsible property’s benefits

Although it can be expensive, becoming an eco-responsible property is a win-win strategy for you and for your guests. By opting for a greener and more environmentally friendly practices, you can decrease your energy costs and improve your services while being innovative and all without compromising your services’ quality and guests’ comfort. Moreover, new technology often helps for the implementation of reduction energy measures. For example, if your hotel management software (PMS) is connected to the room lighting system, lights can turn off automatically if there is no one inside the room. Also, the heating and the air conditioning can be turn on standby.

This approach can also go as far as the choice of technological suppliers since it’s everyone’s action that will have a global impact. At the Hotello company, environmental practices are very important either with simple actions made by each employee such as recycling at the office, the choice of ecological maintenance products or promoting home office work and avoiding cars’ use.

Becoming an eco-responsible property is an excellent business strategy for hoteliers wishing to reduce their costs, decrease their ecological footprint and contribute to their guests and employees’ satisfaction. However, going green requires a lot of determination and attendance. As said by Dr Legrand “The sustainable hospitality sector is a sector which takes up environmental and societal challenges by using new ideas, solutions and strategies which allow to develop tomorrow’s properties and to manage their operations in a sustainable way”. Moreover, future’s properties will reconcile ecology, new technologies, conviviality but also economy.

Thus, keep in mind that the green marketing is a great way to promote your environmental practices and it will help you to strengthen your brand image on your communication channels (website, booking enginesocial media, blog and newsletters) but also on external channels. Indeed, nearly 64% of the companies now use green marketing to sell their products and services.