Flexibility has been a hot topic for the travel industry since the pandemic. As uncertainty resulted in the cancellation of many trips, the travel industry had to adapt to the new travel climate. As a result, hoteliers started offering flexibility for guests anxious to miss out on their travels. Fortunately, the travel industry has been steadily recovering since 2020 and uncertainty is now less of an issue than before. However, flexibility remains one of the biggest travel trends of 2022 with 87% of travellers still valuing travel flexibility.
On top of that, the transition from the peak travel season did not seem to dampen travellers’ desire to travel. With newfound work flexibility, 76% of hybrid or fully remote workers said they are planning a trip this autumn. In addition, autumn brings increased spontaneity with almost a quarter of all travellers expecting to book a last-minute trip. And as spontaneity increases for autumn, so does the need for booking flexibility. We look at how Future Inns Hotels communicated their highly flexible offer across 3 of their properties, generating outstanding results for their campaign.
What challenge were Future Inns Hotels facing?
Flexibility is a topic that is here to stay—and hoteliers need to show guests that they can cater for their needs and wants. This means that they have to both offer booking flexibility and effectively communicate it to encourage direct bookings. On top of that, guests feel more anxious about booking after the pandemic. To ease their concerns, hoteliers have to ensure their website answers guests’ questions, leaving no room for confusion.
Aware of trending topics for the future of hotel eCommerce and wanting to cater for changing guest behaviour and last-minute travels, Future Inns Hotels were looking for a way to communicate in detail their flexible offer and encourage guests to book direct.
How did Hotelchamp help?
Using Hotelchamp Convert, Future Inns Hotels created a welcome website message that displays their flexible offer. Appearing at the centre of the page upon loading, this message is perfect for grabbing visitors’ focus and attention.
Titled “Super Flexible Offer”, the message highlighted the offer’s relevant details, such as the fact that guests could change their stay dates at any time and cancel shortly before arrival without additional charges. It also featured a “Book Now” call-to-action (CTA) button which led visitors to the booking engine to complete their booking. This straightforward and detailed offer reduces the need for additional support, further diminishing guests’ anxiety to book and easing them into a carefree booking experience.
Using Hotelchamp’s audience targeting, this message was geo-targeted for the United Kingdom market. With properties in Bristol, Cardiff and Plymouth, this geo-targeting was perfect for spontaneous, last-minute domestic trips.
What results did Future Inns Hotels see?
Over the three autumn months, this offer was seen over 16,000 times across all 3 Future Inns Hotels properties. Acting as proof of the changing guest preference towards more flexible stays, the campaign resulted in a very high click-through rate of over 12.5%. It also proved to be a great incentive to book direct for their website visitors. Out of all the visitors clicking the message, nearly 8.3% were converted into paying guests.
As a result of this campaign, Future Inns Hotels achieved their goal of communicating their flexible offer to guests needing increased flexibility as a result of the pandemic. They also attracted guests booking domestic and last-minute trips, and gained the trust of those searching for more security when booking their trips.
Even with changing guest behaviour, you can still improve your percentage of direct bookings. Staying informed about traveller trends and creating offers accordingly can help you keep guests nurtured. As such, you can help them trust you so that they can become repeat guests.
If you want to learn more about how you can get more direct bookings, contact us through live chat or send us a message at firstname.lastname@example.org.