Big events are a boon for the hospitality industry. As a hotelier, you have an opportunity to provide an unforgettable experience for these adventure seekers. So, how do you prepare your Online Travel Agency (OTA) listing to attract eager attendees? Let’s dive in.
1. Update your availability and boost your listing
The first step to catching event-driven traffic is to confirm your hotel’s availability. A quick peek at your calendar can reveal any existing overlaps during the event period. Once you’ve ensured you have adequate capacity, immediately update your OTA listing.
Most OTAs will offer ways to boost your hotel’s listing, likely through Sponsored / Paid options. Pay to have your listing shown to potential customers higher on the search page, or through sponsored banners and advertisements from the OTA’s digital marketing provisions. Hotels may choose to boost their listing in the timeframe leading up to the event. Learn about the ways Agoda provides their hotel partners with Sponsored Listing opportunities here.
2. Check Your Rates
Demand rises with an influx of visitors, and smart pricing is essential. Regularly updating your rates on the OTA can make a world of difference. Also, consider offering timely “event specials” or “weekend hotel deals” to attract more bookings. However, ensure your rates remain competitive to secure your share of bookings from travelers looking for “[Event Name] accommodation.”
Consider offering special savings for International Customers, who may be looking to offset the cost of travel for the event, or for Domestic Customers, who may find the cost of particular events much higher than normal due to their wide appeal. Some OTAs, like Agoda, also offer customers the ability to book a flight through the platform, opening up the option to bundle your hotel bookings with international and/or domestic flights.
3. Offer Enhanced Amenities
A memorable stay is not just about a comfortable room. It’s the little things that count. Additional amenities such as shuttle services to the event, late check-out, or early check-ins can seriously boost your attractiveness.
Be sure to promote your hotel’s enhanced amenities through digital marketing opportunities as offered by your OTA. Such marketing is often specifically targeted and can even be narrowed down to reach customers who have searched for information or accommodation related to the upcoming event. For example, Agoda provides its hotel partners with an opportunity to participate in In App & Email Marketing, catching potential customers’ attention directly within the booking channel.
4. Update Hotel Description and Photos
A picture is worth a thousand words, and when preparing for an event, your OTA listing should speak volumes. You can even tag it in your description as “the best hotel for [event name] attendees,” further aiding in improved SEO rankings.
Your OTA may offer specific Display Advertising, providing an attractive visual element to increase potential bookings. Banners and social media extensions that mirror the event’s theme are a guaranteed way to ensure that customers recognize your hotel as a viable accommodation option for the event. Agoda has found that Display Advertising provides significant engagement and increases in booking numbers through our recent case studies.
For more tips & tricks on how to improve your content score, check out a preview of our exclusive Partner Hub article, here.
5. Optimize for Mobile Users
Lastly, ensure your OTA listing is mobile-optimized as many festival-goers make their bookings through their phones. As they say, the best way to a customer’s heart is to meet them where they are. And in this day and age, that place is on their mobile devices. So, make sure you offer the ‘Mobile rate channel’ to appeal to tech-savvy travelers.
As with any business venture, preparing your hotel for an event requires a blend of strategy and creativity. By implementing these tactics, you’ll not only make your hotel more appealing to event attendees, but you’ll also give your OTA listing a hearty boost in visibility.
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