July 09, 2018

Booking Summit recap: How to drive more direct business


This year’s Direct Booking Summit Europe, held in Amsterdam at the end of June, delivered productive debate on how to drive more direct business and retain the customer.

Joe Pettigrew, director of revenue maximisation for Europe Hotels at Starwood Capital Group, delivered an inspiring presentation on how to “Unlock the potential of every acquisition channel – including the OTAs”. He highlighted the need for a central revenue strategist within each organisation who can build a testing culture to experiment with various technologies and techniques to identify what works best for each consumer segment and focus on customer retention. Sentiment analysis by channel, including capturing the data consumers are looking for on the branded website and tracking it, alignment of revenue strategies and continuous experimentation all resonated with the audience.

One strategy to encourage more bookings on your direct channel is to slow demand down on other channels by pricing rooms independently and having the controls sit with the hotel. It’s important to pick the one metric that matters: revenue per guest, speakers agreed.

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