Hotelier Insight – The Right Channel Manager for Your Hotel

At the end of 2022, we asked some of our long-term villa management companies, hotel owners, and managers who had been with us for at least five years about their consideration of using our hotel channel manager. They share honest points of view about why they think Bookandlink is the right software for their hotel.

Local Support

Our partners say they chose BookandLink because the is available between GMT +7 and +8. Local support helps many Indonesian hoteliers continuously throughout the week.

 

According to one of the Portuguese hotel owners:
“It’s my team in Bali that operates the Bookandlink system; I think it will be great if there’s a channel manager with Indonesian support who can communicate in Indonesian and make my team understand the system very well.”

One of our Australian hotel managers said:
“It’s straightforward to understand because the support staff can speak English and Indonesian. They can also come to your property if needed. I’m using the channel managers from my country, but the support doesn’t help.”

Bookandlink has a rich tech partner network and integrations.

We visited two of our most prominent clients’ offices in Jakarta. They are using Bookandlink because of the rich two-way connection with the property management system that they are using. Especially for ChannelKu, the managers loved it because it was significant for handling multiple properties. They discovered that ChannelKu could work with different local property management software.

Our chain hotel clients said:
“We are using different property management software for 32 of our hotels. However, using ChannelKu from Bookandlink helped us integrate them into one single platform. Previously, we were using channel managers from India, which was a hassle because they were not fully connected to the systems management or hotel owners use.”

Cost-efficient and value for money

Bookandlink’s team visited one of Bali’s largest villa management companies during the awarding event. They take care of more than 50 private villas in Bali and are challenging Bookandlink to connect platforms for vacation rentals. They chose Bookandlink for the onboarding and offboarding process after giving it a lot of thought and comparing it to other service providers. After all, vacation rentals require business flexibility.

 

The directors said to us:
“We choose Bookandlink because of their flexibility about pricing, which helps the management and vacation rental owners join with many online travel agents and vacation rental platforms.”

Robust reporting module.

The services provided by Bookandlink are not limited to the property. Several independent hotel revenue management companies choose to use Bookandlink. They rely on Bookandlink’s reporting to decide whether to change the rates. They love our “Dynamic Pricing” and “Rate Shopper,” which can reduce time and make yield management more efficient.

What did they say about Bookandlink?
We use Bookandlink because it has a robust reporting module for us to make decisions about when to change price and able to see the surrounding market condition.

 

 

The Advantages of Hotel Direct Booking Introduction

Nowadays, most hotels have websites, social media accounts, and online booking systems. These have given hotels the self-assurance they require to market to clients and even offer clients incentives to book directly through the hotel’s website. When trying to fill empty rooms in your hotel, having guests book directly with you can be better than using OTAs.

The following are some benefits of making direct hotel reservations:

The hotel can manage room allocation and provide better room rates.

By putting together and , hotels can quickly tell the difference between the rates for direct bookings and those for OTAs. You have plenty of leeway as a hotelier to experiment with different pricing strategies and room rates. For example, you could only offer a discount on the price of a room to people who book directly with you.

When the demand in the area is high, hotels can control their room allocation can stop selling on OTA when a certain number of rooms is reached. On the other hand, hotels can make the most money by combining dynamic pricing with a rate multiplier.

Incentives for direct bookers

When your customers book their rooms directly with you, you and the rest of your hotel team are responsible for ensuring they have a good time, starting with the booking site and going through the hotel. These responsibilities are no longer the job of online travel agencies (OTAs) or other sales channels. Additionally, guests who book their accommodations directly through you are more likely to provide feedback and reviews regarding their stay. You will be able to better control the experience of your guests with the help of these reviews.

For example, if the hotel sells the rooms at parity rates between OTAs and IBE, the hotel can add other perks as incentives to the guests. Most favorite perks are massage, airport transfers, and F&B credit.

Eliminating OTA commissions can boost hotel profits.

Some hotels need a booking engine on their website or social media pages. Instead, these hotels rely entirely on online travel agencies (OTAs) to fill their empty rooms and profit from their business. When this happens, hotel owners have to pay commissions to OTAs for the services they provide. When hoteliers integrate booking systems on their website and social media pages and encourage their guests to book directly from their website, they can save more money and increase their revenue because they won’t be paying OTA commissions anymore. Direct booking gives hotels more freedom to add more ways to book on their website and social media pages.

 

 

 

 

 

Hotelier Insight: How Hotel Can Generate Extras Revenue

The holiday season is the most critical time of year for tourism in Indonesia. Most domestic travellers take advantage of religious vacations to carry out their travel plans. Simply put, we went to a few hotels and asked them how they were getting ready for the holidays.

 

Package

The majority of hotels believe that the holiday season is a time best spent with family. Through BookingKu, they are increasing their revenue to its full potential by developing “Family Packages.” Additionally, long weekends are a popular time to book this package.

Most hoteliers intend to raise their “Average Daily Rate” by expanding their selection of vacation packages. The package is not just an increase in the number of occupants but a price increase simultaneously. Some hotel owners go above and beyond by including perks like meals and drinks in their rates.

 

Extras

Hotels, whether they cater to business travellers or vacationers, sell more than just rooms. Utilizing the hotel’s outlets or facilities, such as restaurants, spas, transportation, or coffee shops, can generate ancillary revenue. This type of revenue can be used for a variety of purposes.

Hotels close to an airport, bus station, or train station may offer pick-up services for an extra fee. One of our employees is taking a business trip. He arrives in the early morning at the destination. Thankfully, as an additional complimentary service, the hotel provides pick-up options for its guests. Because he wanted to arrive without complications, he made the reservation in advance.

Since he was staying with one of our hotel partners, he helped the hotel set up the pickup service in BookingKu. Now the hotel generates additional revenue and combines the pickup services with the packages.

From today onward, people are familiar with the internet and booking engines. That’s why most hoteliers suggest to other hoteliers to increase their awareness of direct booking and how to maximise their revenue.

Don’t hesitate to click the button below to connect with our support team if you have difficulties to set your BookingKu.

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If you want more information about Bookandlink, please do not hesitate to contact our sales team.

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Google Travel Insight and how Bookandlink can help your hotel

Google came to the help of the struggling travel industry near the end of 2020 with valuable insights that reveal the riddles of travel demand. Google Travel Insights has been a go-to resource for intelligent hotel marketers looking to study guest behaviour patterns and trends to inform their strategy since its beginnings. We will share what’s new on Google and how it can improve your hotel business.

Components of Google Travel Insights
Google Travel Insights offers a variety of tools, data sets, and insights for individuals working in the travel and tourism business. Currently, these services are separated into three major components, which are as follows:

Google Travel Hotel Insights
The Google Travel component Hotel Insights focuses solely on accommodation. It uses data acquired from hotel queries that Google users input to deliver critical information to hotels.

Hotel owners and marketing specialists, in particular, can find more about the travellers who conduct searches suggesting an interest in a specific travel industry. This insight enables hotels to optimise their marketing approach and direct their spending and efforts toward the travellers most likely to stay with them.

This type of hotel insight will primarily appeal to hotel proprietors. The information and tools offered are also valuable for people in other areas of the travel or hospitality industry.

 

Google Travel’s Destination Insights
The Destination Insights by Google Travel component, as the name suggests, focuses on global destinations. On the most basic level, this refers to many countries worldwide. However, inside each country, the service provides a breakdown of the specific towns, cities, and areas visitors are most interested in visiting.

This component provides essential data on current and historical demand levels for travel to specific destinations worldwide and information on where that demand originates. To give this, Google considers domestic and international travel and information on flights, hotel bookings, and searches.

As a result, this component benefits any travel company with connections to a specific destination. It also enables people and businesses to compare demand for their local destinations to previous years.

Google Analytics for Travel
Finally, unlike the other two components, the Google Travel Analytics Center is only accessible to Google business travel partners such as Bookandlink. This tool covers Enterprise partners and other comparable organisations.

The essential advantage of the Analytics Center is the ability to input your data and then mix it with Google’s unique insights. The application lets you quickly compare your performance across the numerous Google travel platforms.

As a result, it’s an excellent service for tracking your marketing effectiveness, understanding how that performance relates to broader industry trends, and then using that information to make more strategic business decisions.

Want to know what Bookandlink and Google can do with your hotel? Contact our sales team now.

 

Contact Sales Team

 

Bookandlink and Google will host a webinar in early 2023 to socialize these tools. We also share tips and tricks on how the hotel can increase its online presence and generate more revenue with Bookandlink. Please subscribe to our newsletter for more information.

 

 

Direct Booking Series: Free Digital Marketing Tools

Digital marketing is one of the most important aspects of a successful hotel operation. It allows hotels to leverage the power of digital channels and data-driven insights to reach their target audience and convert them into guests.

In essence, digital marketing allows a hotel to quickly identify who they need to reach, what messaging works best, and how they can engage these prospects on their desired channels in an effective manner. By utilizing advanced analytics, hotels can better track results and make informed decisions on future strategies, ensuring that their guests enjoy an optimized online experience at every step of their journey.

 

We will share one of the kind free digital marketing efforts that hotels can do easily. What kind of activity for through-the-line marketing is helpful to the hotel?

 

Google Hotel Ads

Google Hotel Ads now allows hotels to run campaigns. There are two methods that they offer: paid and non-paid ads. 

Paid ads make hotels fight OTAs with a big budget to override competitors, including the hotel itself. In brief, non-paid ads themselves can help hotels increase direct bookings.

 

Non-paid ads have a two-way method: commission-based and fixed fees. Bookandlink, the fixed costs help hotels much more than the commission-based model. Our hotel partner says they bring in more money instead of relying on a commission-based model. They also said fixed fees are the best because they can focus on attracting new potential customers and booking them directly.

 

Hotels can sign up for Bookandlink’s “Google Hotel Ads” feature to show their prices on the Google Hotel Ads platform. You can click the button below to contact our support and join Google Hotel Ads.

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A hotel should consider how it sets its prices for Google Hotel Ads. Based on our survey, hotels can get more bookings from Google Hotel Ads if they have slightly lower prices than other third parties (OTAs).

 

 

Remarketing

Remarketing is when a hotel tries to get in touch with guests who have shown interest in its services. It lets ads for a particular hotel appear on other websites a guest visits. For example, if a guest visits a hotel’s website but doesn’t book a room, they might see ads for that hotel on other websites they visit. They intend to return to their initial interest and complete the reservation. And it is effective. Retargeted website visitors have a 70% higher chance of making a purchase.

One of the best things about remarketing is that you can surround potential customers with commission-based ads to remind them of your hotel’s brand. Why is remarketing based on commission and not fixed fees? This method needs more effort to display the ads across all channels. If hotels use a fixed cost model, the probability of going over budget is higher, and the hotel may not be able to attract guests who cancel their reservations.

 

💡 Bookandlink has a new ” Retargeting ” feature that works with multiple ad agencies that can show your hotels on many channels on the internet. It will also provide analytic data to see how your brand engages with your guests. Furthermore, you can see data on the country, region, devices and many more from the individual interested in your hotel.

 

Want to join our “Through the Line” feature? Call our sales team here.

Contact Sales Team

 

Are you a Bookandlink client who needs more information on how it works? Contact our partnership team here.

Contact Partnership Team

How can my hotel charge credit card via online? – Introducing PayKu v2

A credit card is a standard payment method for OTAs (Booking.com, Expedia, Agoda, and many more) and internet booking engines. The hotel should be able to receive the credit card through online booking. The challenge is that online booking with credit card details is a “card-not-present” situation, which in the financial industry, is a big no.

 

Especially in Indonesia, most of the bank’s physical EDC (electronic data capture) machines can’t accept “card-not-present.” Therefore, we would like to introduce v2. In this post, we’ll talk about credit cards and online payments. We will show you how PayKu v2 can charge VCC as quickly as clicking one button.

For the first introduction, we want to share knowledge of two types of credit cards used for online hotel bookings. The first is a virtual credit card, and the second is a regular credit card. We’ll go into quick detail about these two cards and what PayKu v2 can do.

 

A virtual credit card is a non-physical card already topped off with a fixed amount and will be activated on a specific date. In terms of the hospitality business, OTA receives payment from the guest. Then OTA will issue the virtual credit card to the hotel. In most cases, VCC activates on the check-in date.

 

With v2, when a booking comes from the OTA and uses VCC for the payment, ChannelKu will capture the card details and put them in the reservation details. To process the payment, the hotel only needs to click the “Charge” button on the check-in date.

What about the regular credit card? FYI, some OTAs forward their guests’ credit cards to the hotel. This is a challenging situation. If a hotel charges a guest’s credit card for a non-refundable booking, the guest can refuse and dispute the charge. This process is called a chargeback. Chargebacks usually affect the hotel account’s credibility in financial transactions.

 

PayKu v2 is providing a solution for this matter. PayKu’s “Payment Link” can be sent to the guest. Then the guests need to complete the payment. Then, with the newest technology, PayKu will “tokenize” the credit card information so the hotel can charge the card upon check-in and during their stay. The hotel can also pre-authorize the credit card to verify the card. Subscribe and get our latest information directly to your inbox.

If you are using BookingKu as the internet booking engine at your hotel, it’ll be more convenient to use PayKu v2. All card details will be automatically registered and charged upon booking confirmation. BookingKu is not only designed for credit cards but also to fit the Indonesian market. In Indonesia itself, credit cards are a bit rare to use. Of all global payments in Indonesia, credit cards account for only 3%. Bank transfers dominate the online payment methods in Indonesia; bank transfers are usually done via virtual accounts. Other popular online payment channels in Indonesia are e-wallets and debit cards.

Don’t hesitate to click the button below to connect with our support team if you have difficulties activating your PayKu v2 account within a minute.

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If you want more information about PayKu, please do not hesitate to contact our sales team.

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Hotelier Insight – General Understanding of Guests Behavioral

Hotelier Insight is a compilation of team notes while meeting and brainstorming with their clients. In this first serial, we discuss what hoteliers think about guests’ behavioural psychology that influences their booking decisions. 

 

Discounted Room Rates

We met several hoteliers that put in discounted room rates for all years. They offer discounts ranging from 20% to 40%. There is no successful formula for the amount of the percentage. However, most of them agree that if the room rates are discounted by more than 40%, the prospecting guests could be more engaged because of the doubt about the quality. Except there are seasonal promotion campaigns such as Black Friday, 11.11, and many more.


Limit the guest’s choice

Try to limit the number of rate plans and offers on the . For promotion strategies, see our for references.

 

Always Aim for Round Numbers

We know some prices, such as IDR 888,888, look excellent. But not for your visitor. Using the old-style three zeroes is always the best bet. Most of the guests only see the first digit of the prices, which indicates their budget.

Content is the king

An updated hotel picture with the latest picture can give confidence to the guests to book the room. They know what they’re expecting during their stay. Try to hire a professional to take the images with a professional camera. Do not forget to update new features or highlight new services in your hotel on the .


It’s Better to be a Little Bit Different than to be a Little Bit Better

Several of hotel partners are selling slightly different room types in their booking engine. The hotel partners say that’s their other strategy to beat OTA. They are combining two different rooms and selling them as a “family room”, which is very popular among family travellers.

 

Needs more insight and information? , and let’s go from there.

Overbooking – A simple guide for preventing the hotelier nightmare

Travel technology pushes the utmost service level and intelligence boundaries. As a hotelier, the “overbooking” situation is a total nightmare. The team of will share with you the quickest ways to avoid overbooking using a .

 

Using , you can manage all your inventory in one place and distribute it to all your OTA partners. But there’s always the catch; overbooking may happen even if you’ve already used channel manager. Below are several cases that happen of overbooking case.

 

Two-way Interface Hotel Property Management System

The two-way interface is a “must have” if you manage a hotel using PMS software. PMS Software is a centralized inter-departmental system within the hotel. You can see your hotel’s business conditions as a hotel manager from PMS.

A two-way interface between PMS and ChannelKu is the best way to avoid overbooking. A two-way interface is a must if you manage more than two OTAs and hundreds of rooms with multiple sales channels (offline retail, corporate, government, and many more).

 

See Bookandlink’s PMS partner list from HERE.

 

Need new PMS to be connected with Bookandlink? Contact us HERE.

 

Last Room Available

Last Room Available is a great challenge, even using a channel manager. Primarily if you work with more than 5 OTAs, many things can lead to an overbooked scenario. From technology infrastructure, payment process, internet speed, and many more.

The suggested action is to sell your last room available via BookingKu, a booking engine by Bookandlink. You can limit the number of rooms that need to be sold in OTA via ChannelKu and let the exclusivity in your booking engine.

Contracted Agreement

Some hotels, the OTA, and wholesalers agreed to put down deposits for a guaranteed allotment. The agreement may stack up to 3, 6, or even 12 months ahead.

Because the market is constantly changing, OTAs and wholesalers always push the limits to reach the agreement already made, even if that means lowering their commission to beat the competition. If you are already on this agreement, please keep the spare room for this scenario.

 

Check our Wholesale and OTA partners; our ChannelKu can help you to set up room distribution restrictions to meet your contracted agreement needs.

 

Auto Replenish Feature

As of April 2020, Booking.com’s hotel partners will have the Auto-Replenish feature turned on by default. By reasonable means, when a reservation gets cancelled, Booking.com refills the inventory automatically to be able to sell the room again.

Using the “Last Room Available” scenario could cause the hotel to have too many guests. It is better to turn it off on Booking.com and let the hotel take control of the inventory. Please refer to this post to turn off your Auto Replenish feature on Booking.com.

 

Connect with us to get information on how Bookandlink can help your hotel with overbooking.

Direct Booking Series: Online Pricing Strategy

The direct booking movement started several years ago with the rise of many hotel software technologies. It’s to retaliate against the fighting between OTA and wholesalers for online distribution. As the service owner, the hotel was hurt by the aggressive business model for online travel.

This blog post series will discuss the best ways to get direct bookings. Most of the Bookandlink team comes from hotels. They have worked in sales, revenue, and e-commerce before. Here are some tips that they share with the clients.

A pricing strategy is the starting point for direct bookings. A good pricing strategy can help hotels generate revenue. 

 

OTA Pricing Strategies

Hotels can use two types of common online pricing strategies to beat OTAs. Hotels can hit the parity rate or reduce the rate slightly below the OTA. Or, hotels can sell something special that is not available in the OTA. 

Lowering the rates in your direct channel may help the hotel to generate more direct bookings. We find that many hotels reduce their direct booking rates by 5%. The price match policy also allows hotels to create direct bookings. Several hotel partners offer up to 10% off if guests find any rates from a third party lower than the hotel’s direct rate. Several terms and conditions may apply. They said it works very well for walk-in guests and also to check their disparity rates between OTA.

Some of our hotel partners are selling packages in their booking engines for direct booking only. These packages are not available in OTA. The most common package is an all-inclusive stay offer. They also offer family room package bundling. We will take a look at this more deeply in our upcoming series.

💡: Hotels can use the “Rate Multiplier” feature in ChannelKu to modify the rate automatically before pushing the speed to the OTA. This feature is entirely free to our hotel partners.

How much do the differences matter between hotels’ and OTAs’ rates? No success formula says this number is better than that number. However, on average, we found a 5% difference is capable of generating direct bookings.


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Competitive Pricing Strategies

Like a human, each hotel is always different from the others. However, hotels must look at the surrounding area for business to keep guests coming to their hotel. Hotels need to consider how their competitors’ facilities, room sizes, room types, and many other things are similar. 


💡 Hotels can subscribe to the “Rate Shopper” feature in Bookandlink to check the surrounding competitors’ online rates in OTA.

How far does the radius need to be reviewed? We found that it is essential for hotels need to look at their competitor within a 5 to 10-km radius.

How does the hotel determine its competitors by pricing? Hotels need to consider their position in the middle, where they fit in with competitors whose prices are slightly higher or lower than theirs.

How about the facilities comparison? We found out facilities comparison is necessary but not a priority compared with location and pricing.

 

Occupancy Pricing Strategies

In hotels, occupancy-based pricing responds to fluctuations in demand by adjusting room rates accordingly. Hotel room rates determined by occupancy tend to go up as demand increases. You can split it out using global occupancy or room type occupancy model as the template to increase the price.

💡 Hotels can use Bookandlink’sDynamic Pricing” feature to change the rates automatically based on occupancy levels.

How to determine the pricing increment? We believe that each hotel has its policy about rate increments. The safest way is to adjust it to meet your seasonal rate. You can also group the room based on the category to maximize your revenue instead of using global occupancy as the main template.

 

Promotion Pricing Strategies

Some hotels lower their prices during the off-season to attract more people. This method is prevalent in OTAs. Hotels can do it if they have an internet booking engine like BookingKu.

The standard promotion practices are: Early Bird, Basic Deal, Last Minute, and Stay Pay. Each of these promotion practices has a different purpose.

Early Bird: Hotels can grab bookings in advance.

Basic Deal: This can be used as a real or decoy promotion.

Last minute: to attract a last-minute reservation

Stay Pay: To aim for guests to extend their stay in the hotel.

 

💡 BookingKu, an internet booking engine from Bookandlink. The deals can be created, combined with extras, and sold as a package.

How can a hotel create an effective promotion? As far as we can tell, hotels always place the highest discount on Early Bird, followed by Last Minute Booking, Stay Pay, and Basic Deal. It is essential to combine all of these promotions and calculate them to meet the booking pace.

 

Need more information about direct booking? Contact our sales team.  

Are you Bookandlink’s clients looking for assistance in applying the above tutorial? Connect with our support team. 

Are you Bookandlink’s hotel partner and looking for other ideas? Connect with our partnership team.

Complete Guide For Booking.Com Auto Replenish Feature

Some might have an overbooked case from Booking.com if you are a hotelier. This blog will give you a complete guide about the Auto-Replenish feature on Booking.com.

Effective April 2020, Booking.com introduced an auto-replenishment feature. It immediately puts cancelled spaces back up for sale on Booking.com without waiting for an inventory update from

Booking.com has made this feature a default function to increase bookings and revenue, as you pay a commission on each of their reservations. All Connectivity Partners of Booking.com (including Channelku) cannot disable this from the channel manager’s system side. It’s stated on Booking.com’s official connectivity partners support page here.

Our team found several cases where hotels didn’t become aware of this feature, leading to an overbooking situation in their hotels. This guide will help you how to turn off the Auto-Replenish feature.

To understand there are two types of auto-replenishment features. Please check which auto-replenishment part applies to your hotel with your Market Manager or Booking.com Partner Support. We share the details about the Auto-Replenish definition below:

  • The general auto-replenishment feature is enabled by default for all Booking.com properties and cannot be disabled. When a cancellation occurs through Booking.com, the room is automatically resold to give the property another chance to resell it.
  • The auto-replenishment on closed rooms is a property-level function that can be turned off; however, the overall auto-replenishment for Booking.com cancellations will remain active. Deactivating this feature implies that even if there are cancellations, the room/date will not be auto-replenished if it is closed in red (stop sell).

How to check and turn off your hotel Auto-Replenishment Feature:

  • Go to Rates & Availability and select Calendar.

  • Click the three vertical dots on your right screen calendar and click “Auto-replenishment.”

 

  • Select “No” to turn off your Auto-Replenishment feature.

What is the solution for Auto-Replenishment?

As we quote from the Booking.com Portal Connectivity pages:

Unfortunately, there’s no clear way of identifying this. However, you can get a good idea by looking at recently modified and cancelled reservations.

If a property suspects that an overbooking has occurred, we recommend checking if a modification or cancellation was made between the moment the booking was made and the previous availability update. If there was a change in that middle period, it’s probable that the overbooking was caused by auto-replenishment.

Rooms are not auto-replenished if they’re cancelled because of an overbooking. For an overbooking to be registered in the system – and auto-replenishment to be temporarily suspended – the property needs to notify Booking.com’s Customer Service department.

 

 

Need more explanation about this? Please do not hesitate to contact us HERE.