Bookable websites for tourism

Are no shows killing your Tourism Business? Why you need a bookable Website

Every tourism and hospitality business suffers from no shows and cancellations but there are ways you can protect yourself as a tourism business owner and protect your income. Having a Bookable website is one way to ensure your business is not left with a reduction in the daily revenue.

Doing so is not just something to consider, it is something you need to change and implement in your business for continued growth and to thrive. No business owner needs the stress of whether customers are going to all turn up, only to have projected revenue for the day reduced by 25-30% or higher through no shows.

From my own experience. the hospitality trade sees cancellations on third party sites as high as up to 30%. On their own website it is not nearly as high as direct bookings are more reliable. On 3rd parties, the constant advertising of cheaper deals can sway a booker to change for something cheaper. This highlights the importance of ensuring your business has a unique selling point to ensure they are booking with you for more reasons than price alone. Such as a solid reputation for excellent customer service, unique facilities or amazing food.

For tourism businesses that are operating without a bookable system in place, maybe they take bookings by Messenger on social media or by email/ calls, they are putting themselves at risk as these customers are not committed. If they don’t show up, you are at a loss of income for that day.

So how can a Tourism Business work to improve their no show rate?

  1. Ensure you have a cancellation or no show policy in place and have it included as part of the booking process. By simply highlighting your cancellation policy you will educate your new customers on what’s expected and most will adhere to it out of politeness. Decide how strict you want to be with this policy or how flexible and communicate it to staff and state a cut of time.
  2. Send out reminders to guests the week of the tour or day before to simply remind them. This is becoming expected of a lot of businesses and it should be a simple process for staff to implement such as taking 1 hour on a monday and calling, emailing or sending a text or whatsup.
  3. Overbook – this is not something to take on lightly but many hotels do this to ensure all rooms are sold and will outbook the overflow (average % to overbook is up to 5% of room capacity). If you can overbook by 2-3 customers for in demand dates then it will allow for the drop down of numbers on the day if you know people will just not show up.
  4. Set up a bookable website that allows customers to plan ahead and book with you and pay in advance. You can decide to take full payment or a deposit to secure their booking. If you do not have a website this is easy to set up and install a bookable system that also manages your bookings into a calendar and easy to use app for staff to access.

While we cannot always control every customers actions, it is important for a tourism business to prepare for the future and set up systems and procedures that protect it long term. Since 2020 the expectation of having to pay when booking, even a deposit to secure, has increased. Our economy is changing and you should be benefiting from this change to customer behavior. People expect to have to at least pay a deposit to secure their plans, avail of this.

Think of it this way. How many no shows are you having per day? Let’s say its 10% of bookings that don’t show. For every 30 bookings that’s 3 that are not showing up. 3 per day at €20 is €60 lost per day and every day of the week that’s €420. Over 26 weeks that’s €11k in lost revenue. Now compare that against the cost of setting up your own bookable website. Within your first year you will have recouped the cost of the website to set up and also reduced your no shows so overall its a win win. This comparison is done against my fees, other website developers may be much higher.

For any tourism business looking to create a bookable website AND have their social media managed whilst we build and promote your website, get in touch with me for a quotation.

Until next time x

Joleene

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