By Editor | On Mon, January 30, 2017
Paris, January 26
Bookassist held its annual seminar for the French market at the Irish Embassy on Avenue Foch on January 26th followed by a client reception. The seminar was introduced by Her Excellency Ambassador Geraldine Byrne Nason and featured presenters from Bookassist and from Google.
France has seen tumultuous times recently, with 2015 and 2016 very challenging years for the accommodation sector. In recent months there are signs that visitor numbers are returning, though average daily rate (ADR) remains low and will take some time to recover. Against this backdrop, Bookassist focused on showing hotels how to make the most of traffic generation and conversion on their own websites and mobile platforms, so that direct bookings could generate higher profit and release much needed capital.
“Customers that do arrive on a hotel’s website need to be treated like gold dust”, said Dr Des O’Mahony, CEO & Founder at Bookassist. “Hotels must do absolutely everything in their power to ensure that those hard-won visitors to their sites convert at as high a rate as possible. Websites are not a hobby, and need far more attention from hotels.”
The seminar outlined the steps in successful customer acquisition, starting with rate and availability strategy, following on with practical examples in on-site conversion strategy and finishing with traffic capture strategies.
Bookassist also showcased its new booking engine technology designed to convert at higher rates.
A significant debate between hoteliers focused on the growing threat from online travel agents and the need for hotels to educate the traveling public that booking direct with hotels was really in the traveler’s best interest.
According to Dr O’Mahony, “Clearly there’s nothing wrong with the hotel product itself, people really want to stay. The issue for hotels is how those guests are purchasing the product, and why it happens through online travel agents rather than directly. The message that hotels send the public needs to be upped significantly in this regard.”