When Covid-19 dealt its deadly blow to the industry, the team at The Galmont Hotel & Spa in Galway turned to a Bookassist booking engine feature, Intelligent Room Substitution, to help them reduce barriers to direct booking – with great success.
Intelligent Room Substitution
Intelligent Room Substitution (IRS) enables The Galmont to automatically substitute sold-out room types with available room types for both predefined lengths of stay and predefined periods. With IRS enabled in the booking engine, direct bookers are never presented with a sold-out message on their website when availability exists for other room types.
As a direct result of implementing IRS over the last few difficult trading months, The Galmont has generated over €17,000 in additional direct booking revenue, revenue which would otherwise have been lost. Given the success of IRS at The Galmont, MHL hotels have now implemented the feature across all of their other hotels.
“During Covid-19 our hotel experienced increased demand as did many other rural hotels. Intelligent Room Substitution made sure we did not lose any bookings simply because one room type was sold out. It also helped us to capture the increased demand for longer stays. In the past, without IRS in place we would have lost these direct bookings”Karen Jones (The Galmont Hotel & Spa)
You’re never sold out until your last room is sold
Picture this: You have a booking request for a double room and a 4-night stay. There is no standard double room availability on the 3rd night. What happens next?
IRS disabled – The booking engine informs the booker that there is no availability. The 4 night booking is lost.
IRS enabled – The booking engine checks for availability across other room types and allocates this room to the booker for the 3rd night. The 4-night booking is won generating revenue for the hotel that might otherwise be lost.
Convert longer Length of Stay Bookings
The obvious use of IRS is in managing bookings during times of higher demand but IRS also assists direct bookings in other circumstances: it assists in the conversion of longer length of stay bookings by making sure these high value bookings are not lost just because a certain room type is not available on one or more of the nights. Consumer behavior has changed during the pandemic and one of the areas impacted is length of stay (LOS) which has increased since hotels reopened their doors. With the average length of stay lengthening, IRS is an invaluable tool for hotels to sell and convert these longer-stay bookings.
Every single booking counts in times of low demand
The less obvious, and yet also relevant use case for IRS is during times of low demand for a lot of hotels. For these hotels converting potentially lost bookings could be the difference between surviving or not.
The fact is, all barriers to booking should be removed in all circumstances. Every booking that IRS saves is an opportunity for that hotel to grow stronger.
Make sure you are not missing conversion opportunities. Plug the gap on booking leakage. Contact your OBM to implement IRS today.