The secret to more bookings

Published on August 3rd 2017

The secret revealed: how to increase bookings for your tourism business

For owners of surf and yoga retreats, the question of increasing occupancy and receiving more bookings, is always topical. There are many answers to this question but one of the most straightforward, easy and immediate way to increase reservations is to start recording customer data. That simply means, to get email addresses! And phone number, address, age, shoe size and favourite cuisine type, if possible. Is it really that important to get the email address or age of every customer?It seems like such a laborious task. The answer is simple: YES! Here’s why:

  • A deeper understanding

Guest data is essential for providing an optimum service. If it is understood that more females make reservations at a certain time of year, or there are more French customers than German, services and your inventory can be managed and adjusted accordingly; add a lighter meal as a breakfast service or create a French translation on a booking form. These small details give customers a full experience and show an understanding on a personal level.

  • Intelligent advertising

Nowadays there are so many channels to advertise and market from, it’s easy to get lost in a world of options. Customer data will make it easier to understand what marketing channels are most effective for a surf camp or yoga retreat. It can also give you a better idea for which channels to use for travel agents. Information such as addresses, phone numbers, and even the skill level of the customer in a given activity, paints a clearer picture of who needs to be advertised to and where they are looking.

  • Planning and forecasting

Customer data provides statistical trends over a period of time. This can help with understanding which months of the year are more popular for reservations from certain nationalities, as an example. In which case it is easier to plan marketing campaigns or internal processes to prepare for those reservations. Trends are important in the tourism industry because it is a market with many variables and external influences that affect consumer behavior, and this can apply at the operational level as well. The surf and yoga industry’s are very popular at the moment for young and middle-age travelers, they are ‘on trend’, so taking advantage of internal customer data can highlight some interesting and important trends that will affect future bookings.

  • Inventory Management

Customer data can guide a surf camp or yoga retreat to offer alternative products or additional products. For example a “surf guiding” package may be offered, but the customer data may reflect that most of the guests are beginner surfers, and need lessons instead of guiding. Therefore it would be smart to remove that package or add a more appropriate package to business inventory for the target market. When products are more applicable to the customers, it is more likely the experience will be better enjoyed and return customers will be more frequent.

OK — customer data is important! But how do you get it? Reservation system, booking system, management system — whatever the terminology be — as long as it is an online system that manages bookings and customer data! A reservation system is the necessary tool for more bookings. Bookinglayer has an optimised Frontoffice for quick aquisition of the most important customer data — the guest’s email address, phone number, gender, address and level (if applicable). The email address is always a mandatory field, the rest can be set as mandatory or optional. To obtain the rest of the information you can easily use the Customer Portal with Automated Emails to obtain extra information. The customer data is then presented in a visually effective dashboard of reporting charts and statistical graphs.

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