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How to Distribute your Hotel Online to Capture Groups

Online_Hotel_Distribution_for_GroupsWe should not stop at building our group demand calendar and pricing strategy. Nor should we depend on our conventional sales manager to fill our meeting space and bring groups to fully fill the hotel at all times. Hotel revenue managers should embrace online distribution and hotel internet marketing beyond transient room sales. There are a lot of online travel agencies that target groups ....



Over the year we talked a few times about niche marketing and how to target specific unique mini segments. We can do the same when it comes to groups. Going onto the search engines and typing in keywords like ‘group travel’, ‘group hotel rates’, ‘group hotel booking’, ‘group accommodation’ we run into a great variety of websites that can help us distribute our rooms to groups.

The group segment is a growing part of the online travel ecommerce. Below a few examples of websites we have encountered:

There are even group itinerary planning sites like www.triporama.com.
 
Another way is to list your hotel on the GDS and so you will be findable to travel agents via the Global Distribution Systems.

This growing segment can no longer be ignored by revenue managers. We must fight to gain market share across the board. By the way did you notice Booking.com has launched group bookings in their website? See below how they combine you inventory to book a group:

group_hotel_bookings_online

Besides room only sales, there are also websites dedicated to distribution meeting space online. A few examples are:
 
We could on and on with these list, but I think the point is clear. We need to do more to penetrate segments, like groups, meetings, incentives, celebrations, etc.

Surprisingly enough it seems the hostel world is doing a better a job at this than then the hotels. In all the searched we have done, hostel websites come up more that online travel agencies and hotel websites.

Two hotel chains that did have their SEO for groups in order were Marriott and Choice. They returned for various searches related to this segment on Google. We particularly liked the page below by Choice Hotels targeting sports travel.

Online_Hotel_Distribution_and_Marketing_for_Sport_Groups_and_Teams

Have you thought about targeting sub-segments and niche markets of groups on your hotel website? Are you attracting them through effective SEO? Remember the SEO long tail of niche marketing is very effective!

 

Cheers,

Patrick Landman @ Xotels

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