Avoiding bookings outside mandated policies is a key concern for hotel bookers in 2013/14Improving adherence to travel policy is the second highest priority for travel managers worldwide in 2013-14*, an issue which has been addressed in the first of a series of white papers by HRS, the hotel solutions provider. The paper ‘Content is King’ addresses the key priorities of travel bookers as well as travel and procurement managers, finding that, for 80% of procurement and travel managers, reducing booking leakage is a key objective
The paper highlights that optimising compliance reduces leakage. In fact, the importance of content is vital, as the breadth and depth of information provided by hotels can have a major impact on the conversion of searches to bookings in both online and offline environments.
Ensuring that the right content is available radically reduces the issue of travellers booking outside policy – HRS research shows that doubling the number of photographs can increase a hotel’s conversion several times over and even a full, rather than partial, property description can increase conversion significantly. Up to half of all corporate hotel bookings are made outside policy and this equated to £3.3bn in un-leveraged hotel spend in the UK during 2012 (source: GTMC).
HRS has compiled its content best practice guidelines in the white paper – what to focus on in order to best present content to boost booking ratios:
1. Professional photography should reflect the personality and features of a hotel and its different room types
2. Multi-language descriptions should be translated professionally
3. Detailed information about facilities, services and location
4. Room and advance booking availability
5. Bookings can be cancelled at least up to 6pm on the day of arrival or midnight if possible
6. Guests’ comments and reviews
Jon West, Managing Director of HRS UK and Ireland says, “After extensive research, we have found that leakage from travel policies is a huge issue for travel bookers – it is important that hotels not only provide the most effective information to display to those booking but that they also choose the right distribution channel to place their content. It is now estimated that 42% of the overall managed travel market in Europe is made of online bookings, so correct content on the right channel can have a major effect.
“The ‘Content is King’ white paper, which is available on our corporate website and is freely accessible to anyone, takes an in-depth look at content and will provide hotels and travel managers valuable insights into this critical issue for business travel moving forward.”
*According to Carlson Wagonlit Travel