EASING TRAVEL RESTRICTIONS: HOW TO PREPARE YOUR ONLINE PRESENCE FOR INCREASING INTERSTATE ARRIVALS
WEDNESDAY 11 NOVEMBER 2020 | 4 min read
A guide to help your property prepare for increasing hospitality demand due to the easing of Australia-wide travel restrictions
Prepare for more change
After months of travel restrictions, lockdown and uncertainty, many Australians are eager to cross state borders to reunite with family, celebrate the upcoming holidays and return to business-related travel activities. As hard borders and travel restrictions begin to ease, interstate arrivals can be expected to increase and bring some much-needed relief to the tourism and hospitality sector around the country.
Optimise for conversion
Ensure your website is fresh, easy-to-navigate and provides a seamless guest experience. Increase the appeal of booking direct by offering website-exclusive specials, packages and extras not available through online travel agents. Be sure to include relevant, useful information guests need to know and encourage upselling with direct bookings.
Manage your distribution
As interstate arrivals resume and hospitality demand begins to increase, manage your inventory distribution to boost direct sales and avoid paying high commission fees. Adjusting your inventory levels to maximise availability direct through your website is an effective way to increase direct bookings at times when you know demand in your region is high. Simple and functional channel management that allows your property to adjust distribution during peak times is an excellent way to secure more direct revenue.
Ensuring your cheapest price and best offerings are only available direct will encourage comparison shoppers to book direct after finding a great deal on your website, even if they began their accommodation search with an online travel agent.
Whilst commission-free direct bookings are ideal, as many as 76% of all online bookings globally occur through online travel agents. With so many guests accessing OTAs, ensure your images, content and pricing is kept sharp and up-to-date on all OTA platforms distributing your inventory. In this way, potential guests who are interested in your property will be more likely to check your website for availability and cheaper rates after finding your listing through an online travel agent, especially if your property is fully booked through an OTA.
Keep your online presence current and informed
Utilise your email marketing and social media platforms to keep guests in the know. Maintaining an updated online presence and engaging with local industry groups can help build awareness for your property and eliminate much of the uncertainty about the current situation from guests.
Adhere to government, health authority and state tourism advice
Contact your local government and regulatory organisations for further advice relating to the evolving COVID-19 environment and how it affects your business. Federal government information resources can be found here.