February 6, 2019
#BookDirect - Reap the benefits of booking direct during your next Bed and Breakfast stay
Posted by: Kim Hanlin
Today is #BookDirect Day! What does Book Direct mean? Many of you have taken to booking through Online Travel Agencies or OTA's as we call them rather than booking directly an Inn, B&B or hotel. Sure, those website have their advantages- easy to use Apps, hotel points, best rates on the internet etc. But are you really reaping the benefits using these sites?
When you book through one of those OTA's you are often paying a fee to use the site. Additionally, they are showing you only a portion or often just one room that is available rather than our full inventory. So, while you may want a room with a fireplace, you might only be shown one of the less expensive rooms without, never knowing what else is available. You won't learn of the specials the Inn is running. For example, we participated in January Cabin Fever- All guests who booked direct received second night half off on the weekends, and second night free midweek. Guests who utilized the OTA sites were not made aware of this special and hence paid the full rate for their stay.
Maybe you don't even realize you are booking through an OTA! When googling lodging for an area the BOOK IT! button will take you to one of the OTA's rather than to the Inn's website. I learned this recently when querying a repeat guest about why they chose to book through Expedia rather than our site directly. They thought they had! They acknowledged that it felt different but didn't think much of it until they were charged the full amount of their stay upfront which most B&B's will never do.
When you #BookDirect at Fallen Tree Farm you are guaranteed the room you choose will be ready and waiting for you with the lights on when you arrive. And, contrary to popular belief you can check in at your leisure with prior arrangements. We are generally happy to allow an early check in and will gladly accomodate a late self check in with a little coordination.
We'll match any rate you find on the internet plus 10% and if you are a repeat traveler we'll give you your 10th night free. We'll never charge more than a one night's deposit and often if your stay is coming in the next month, we won't even charge that and will hold the room with a valid credit card so you keep your money until you arrive.
Additionally, you'll have access to the Innkeepers for questions, planning and reservation assistance, the ability to let us know your dietary restrictions, add or change your reservation without having to cancel and start over, not to mention experience Direct Booking perks, late checkout, last minute getaway specials and complimentary early check in, circumstances permitting. And BONUS, your email will never get added to a huge data mining machine that puts you in spam hell. We won't even add you to our newsletter service unless you specifically ask us too!
LIke the anonymity of the app? Our repeat guests shoot us an email to let us know when they'd like to book and what room and we respond with the details of their upcoming stay. Even faster than an OTA. We might need to trouble you with a brief phone call for a valid credit card but we'll do so at your leisure.
And here's the reality.. Most small Inns must list on these sites in order to pay the bills and its no hidden secret that they charge a huge commission on every room- 18-25%. So as a small business owner we simply can't give the free perks to our OTA guests that we do our #BookDirect guests- free late checkout, free early check in, extra guests at breakfast, a little anniversary or birthday surprise, etc. While Fallen Tree is grateful for EVERY guest that walks across our threshold, we are deeply thankful for those that #BookDirect.
Join the movement! #BookDirect