As travel booms, five suggestions for hoteliers to grow their business
Krishna Rathi, Agoda Country Director, India, Sri Lanka and Maldives feels India drawing visitors from across the world augurs well for the industry but it comes with its set of unique challenges
In 2023 so far, tourism hasn’t only rebound to pre-covid levels, but is witnessing growth. In fact, as per Union Civil Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia, domestic air traffic touched an all-time high recently. And a report from leading research authority Phocuswright shows more and more travel reservations are being made online in India. This surge can be attributed to a multitude of factors, including but not limited to high smartphone penetration in the country, affordable mobile data packages and easier payment, thanks to UPI.
While we see an uptick in domestic tourism, India is also increasingly drawing visitors from across the globe, especially from the United States, Southeast Asia, Middle East and Australia. This offers more opportunities to Indian hoteliers to attract international tourists, however it comes with its unique challenges.
How can hoteliers capitalise on the travel boom and grow their business?
Here are five ways hoteliers can grow their business:
- Identify the opportunity
When targetting customers, it is crucial to reach them when they want to travel. Having clear insights into who is searching for travel and for what booking period means hoteliers can maximise their marketing spends, reaching those who are ready to travel. Some digital travel platforms or Online Travel Agencies (OTAs), including Agoda, offer tools and products to help accommodation providers get to know more about potential target groups and utilise their marketing spends more effectively.
- Build a value proposition
After having identified opportunities, concentrate on why visitors should pick your hotel over the competition. Is it the pricing? The location? Flexible booking and payment options? At Agoda, we see that offering simple conveniences like flexible check-in times or free cancellation can influence travellers’ choices. Decide what unique packages can be offered to the traveller to stand out from the competition.
- Pricing as a differentiator
It’s no surprise that affordability is one of the most crucial factors in attracting guests. But it can be challenging as a standalone property to maximise marketing performance across many different channels. This is where OTAs come into play as they offer capabilities to target particular markets, regions and channels. A hotelier can concentrate on the following categories to broaden and expand their reach:
a) The type of product and how its packaged - whether it is secret deals for registered users or offers on package deals
b) Loyalty - discounts for returning guests
c) Geography - depending upon the demand from various regions
d) Lead time - early bird or last-minute discounts for users
e) Platform - where hoteliers would like to push these offers, like app or website
- Leverage Marketing and Promotions
Next up is getting people to know about your offerings and promotions. While hoteliers may be familiar with popular platforms in India, capitalising on reaching in-bound travellers is a whole different ball game.
To get ahead, it’s often not enough to rely solely on organic searches. OTAs, display ads and Meta Search Engines (MSEs) significantly aid in visibility. The right mix of channels can make a huge difference. As a hotelier, one can leverage OTA capabilities to ensure visibility of where your potential guests are.
- Implement and measure to gauge success
Use the data and insights shared by OTAs to deep-dive, and review which products and platforms gave the best returns and use all these insights to optimise the next campaign.
These are just a few of the levers hoteliers and accommodation providers can experiment with to fully utilise inventory. At Agoda, we’re all about insights, data and knowledge sharing. Through our partner platform, growth programmes and the strong relationships that Agoda’s partnership managers foster with hoteliers, we aim to collectively boost business and co-create meaningful travel experiences.
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