The majority of your potential guests do not realize that when they click the BLUE "Book a Room" in Google that they are not booking direct with you -- And we have proof.
Recently, Acorn Internet Services, Inc. in conjunction with PAII (Professional Association of Innkeepers International) and AIHP (Association of Independent Hospitality Professionals) conducted a survey of 1,000 Google Users, in the United States, both men and women, from the ages of 18 to 65+ who were asked if they thought clicking the BLUE "Book a Room" button would allow them to book direct at the property's website. Here are the results:
This is proof that the general public does not understand how to Book Direct, and that Google and their OTA (Online Travel Agencies) partners are diverting your customers away from your website and your reducing your opportunity for direct bookings.
As you can see from the info-graphic, people of all ages and locations didn't realize they were being taken somewhere other than the property website when they clicked the BLUE "Book a Room" button.
Our industry MUST come together to educate consumers about how to Book Direct. If we don't, Innkeepers will continue to lose commission fees to the OTAs and guests will continue to experience the frustrations associated with dealing with a middle man.
This blog post is a followup to our recent post, "Diminishing Direct Bookings? What you SHOULD do in 7 Steps!".