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gillumhouse

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I post on the BedPosts FB page when I share a UK post - Book Direct for best rates. IF they have online reservations they can book direct. It is to try to counter b.con.
 

Kirstybu

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Welcome. Nice website. But you may want to have your best rates on your website instead of "call". Since some of us... won't call. One is that we pay for International calls, and of course, the hours are different. but also it's a lot less work to take a reservation online than on the phone... plus you have proof that they agreed to your terms if your booking engine has it part of the process, which protects you from a chargeback.
Good point however the OTAs conditions (‘price and policy parity’) prevent us from putting cheaper rates online. Their online algorithm bots are constantly checking the internet for examples. If we cut our price below what we offer to them, they auto reduce their price to match. :( the only get out clause is if we offer cheaper rates verbally ie over the phone or in person. And as the majority of our UK bookings (which make up 88% of our revenue) are through booking.com our hands are tied. I wish we could sack off OTAs completely. The sad thing is they slash their commission to pass on as discount, and actually under-cut us so everyone is disincentivised from going direct.
 

gillumhouse

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Try weaning from them by giving them one room less. Cut back 1 room at a time to see what happens to your occupancy. Use Social Media posts (NOT ads) about what you do and what is happening in your area to stir up interest and get yourself out there. BedPosts is a Forum in the UK and they have THOR a free reservation system - it works. BedPosts is also free to join - it is a closed - vetted accommodation providers only - forum. The OTAs have providers thinking they HAVE to use them and swallow their dictates. Truth is, the OTAs are nothing without the providers.
 

Generic

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Good point however the OTAs conditions (‘price and policy parity’) prevent us from putting cheaper rates online. Their online algorithm bots are constantly checking the internet for examples. If we cut our price below what we offer to them, they auto reduce their price to match. :( the only get out clause is if we offer cheaper rates verbally ie over the phone or in person. And as the majority of our UK bookings (which make up 88% of our revenue) are through booking.com our hands are tied. I wish we could sack off OTAs completely. The sad thing is they slash their commission to pass on as discount, and actually under-cut us so everyone is disincentivised from going direct.
Ah... but their BOTS don't read. So if you have a Discount Code box, write on that page... Enter the code "BOOKDIRECT" for 10% off. The bot... can't do that :)

There is also the parity rule that says that it has to be the exact same thing. So if you offer a different package, they can't compare. For example, a bottle of wine in the room when they book direct... well, it's not the same anymore.... so they aren't comparable.

And of course, you could offer your rooms online as Run of House, versus allowing people to book specific rooms directly. So if they want a specific room, they have to book direct... if they book online, you can choose which room... move them around, etc. I get emails from them asking if they can specify a room and I reply that they are only finally assigned on the day of arrival.
 

Kirstybu

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Try weaning from them by giving them one room less. Cut back 1 room at a time to see what happens to your occupancy. Use Social Media posts (NOT ads) about what you do and what is happening in your area to stir up interest and get yourself out there. BedPosts is a Forum in the UK and they have THOR a free reservation system - it works. BedPosts is also free to join - it is a closed - vetted accommodation providers only - forum. The OTAs have providers thinking they HAVE to use them and swallow their dictates. Truth is, the OTAs are nothing without the providers.
this is great! thanks for the tips. I was starting to get pretty despondent about it all, what with the cost of literally everything going up and feeling increasingly squeezed by the OTAs to give more. thanks for the tip on bedposts, brilliant!
 

Kirstybu

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Ah... but their BOTS don't read. So if you have a Discount Code box, write on that page... Enter the code "BOOKDIRECT" for 10% off. The bot... can't do that :)

There is also the parity rule that says that it has to be the exact same thing. So if you offer a different package, they can't compare. For example, a bottle of wine in the room when they book direct... well, it's not the same anymore.... so they aren't comparable.

And of course, you could offer your rooms online as Run of House, versus allowing people to book specific rooms directly. So if they want a specific room, they have to book direct... if they book online, you can choose which room... move them around, etc. I get emails from them asking if they can specify a room and I reply that they are only finally assigned on the day of arrival.
this is all great stuff. I'm going to have a look at how to add a discount box. and i really like your run of house idea. superb. :D <3
 

KenW

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Welcome! Not knowing your area it may be some trial and error. Use all the platforms you can to build your reviews then focus on direct bookings. Have a great site and easy to use. Through the last 6 years we continue to tweek how we operate. Yes add a direct booking discount to your site web page. You may even do a little ppc through Google to generate traffic. Every year our direct bookings grow.
 

royden

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this is great! thanks for the tips. I was starting to get pretty despondent about it all, what with the cost of literally everything going up and feeling increasingly squeezed by the OTAs to give more. thanks for the tip on bedposts, brilliant!
Hi from (old) York. We'd love to see you on BedPosts over here. It is a free closed forum so you have to get your membership approved, basically it means checking that you're a legit small business. Go to www.bedposts.org.uk, there's a free advertising site at www. bedposts.uk and if needed I can answer any queries sent to [email protected] or the site's owner John Gooding at [email protected].
 

Kirstybu

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Hi from (old) York. We'd love to see you on BedPosts over here. It is a free closed forum so you have to get your membership approved, basically it means checking that you're a legit small business. Go to www.bedposts.org.uk, there's a free advertising site at www. bedposts.uk and if needed I can answer any queries sent to [email protected] or the site's owner John Gooding at [email protected].
Thanks Roy! I submitted my request yesterday, looking forward to joining the group!
 

Kirstybu

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you guys are all awesome. I've reached out to our booking platform provider and had a separate toggle added for discounts. So the dreaded 'please call us' has been removed!! hopefully a bot wont understand the relevance of a toggle option.
Oh also - I found that if I 'turn off' virtual card in booking(dot)com - they dont apply discounts as the hotel collects all monies. so double win. Just need to work out how to do the same with expedia
 

gillumhouse

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Do not hesitate to contact royden. I know him personally even though I AM in the States. I have been on BedPosts since about 2013.
 

Arks

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And as the majority of our UK bookings (which make up 88% of our revenue) are through booking.com our hands are tied.
I'm surprised EU doesn't crack down on a near monopoly like that. I know they're certainly put limits, and huge fines, on companies like Google and Facebook and Microsoft over the years, for similar practices.
 

gillumhouse

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I'm surprised EU doesn't crack down on a near monopoly like that. I know they're certainly put limits, and huge fines, on companies like Google and Facebook and Microsoft over the years, for similar practices.
They slapped b.com a bit - around the wrist. I believe they slapped the rate parity part.
 
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