Source of Business is a term used to determine how a guest heard about the hotel in order to further expand marketing and promotion efforts to maximise profitability. Simply speaking, a Source of Business provides a hotel with a breakdown of how or through which channel the business arrived to the hotel.
The business can typically come from the following sources:
Travel agents and tour operators, OTA and other 3rd party booking websites, airlines and other transportation companies, NGOs, embassies and consulates, private companies (for business travel), educational institutions, FITs, chain hotels and referrals from their houses.. Reservations can come through CRS or GDS and can be generated by a specific call to action, a marketing campaign, online marketing, ads, social media, promotions, blogs, Tripadvisor, word of mouth and more.
Determining the main source of business allows hotels to cater their marketing and promotion efforts to the various streams and to develop them for increased future revenue.
To determine where the source of business lies, many hotels will have an option for guests to provide them with the answer. This can be a simple question (usually at the time of booking), a survey or a complete page-dedicated questionnaire. Through this, accurate data can be collected for future marketing campaigns to specific target groups.
Example: If you know that your business comes mainly from recommendations you can develop strategies to encourage guests to recommend your property to their friends and family. This can be in form of discounts or vouchers in exchange for referrals, a specific campaign to incentify your guests to share your hotel experience with others, to write a review, a hotel-related social media post etc.