Ideally all hotels would receive 100% of their bookings directly, receiving a higher margin, and there would be no need for 3rd party referral bookings that are subject to a commission, which eats into a Hotel’s margin. Unfortunately, we don not live in an ideal world, and rather than have empty rooms, a Hotel will decide to increase their occupancy rates by using OTA’s and other 3rd party bookings systems. Yes, their margins are reduced, but the alternative is an empty room in many cases.
A Hotel’s website is one tool that can help increase direct bookings, and thus maintain higher margins. Whilst many Hotels have started to acknowledge the potency their website can have, many Hotels still have static websites that have not been updated for years. The content of the site is stagnant, and therefore has not been updated to reflect changes in the market place.
A blog hosted on a Hotel’s website can help produce topical content that keeps the website up to date and boosts the likelihood of increased direct bookings, by attracting more site visits to the Hotel’s website.
Search engines place a certain value on fresh and up to date content; a blog provides this fresh content, which can help the Hotel’s search engine results, and thus help increase direct bookings.
The hospitality, tourism and travel industries have numerous updates and developments on an almost daily basis. It should not be a particularly difficult task for a Hotel to find relevant and up to date topics to discuss on their blog or homepage discussion board for example.
Blogs allow a Hotel to maintain their spontaneity, their knowledge of the local area, their connection to the local community, and their connection to their current and (potentially) future guests. This will require a continued effort, but rather than letting your website remain static and under used, maintaining a blog will help to boost site traffic, and by extension direct bookings.
There is little point in spending a large amount on a hotel website, and not updating it with fresh content that both informs and helps your guests.
Any social media channels that a Hotel has can also be updated with fresh blog content, and will therefore help the Hotel’s overall search engine traffic.
There should be no shortage of topics that a Hotel blog could cover, from industry issues, to local and regional issues, to local bar and restaurant recommendations and so on.
Allowing your Hotel staff members to contribute to the Hotels’ blog will help to portray different viewpoints of your Hotel, and increase camaraderie amongst the Hotel staff team.
Ideally, you want to convey what your Hotel is like in blog form; the atmosphere, the energy, the various characteristics that make your Hotel stand out from the rest. The personality of your Hotel should shine through your Blog.
Blogging is a simple task, but it requires consistency of effort, and it will help your Hotel to grow; both online and in time through direct sales.
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