How to offer a shuttle service, even though you don’t have one

Offering a shuttle service is a one-of-a-kind service. In most cases hotels offer a shuttle bus in which more or less 10-20 people can fit. Ordinary hotel shuttle buses often take the guests to the city centre, a specific mall and to the airport.  

Having a shuttle service of any kind is quite expensive. You have the cost of the driver, the car itself, the gasoline, the car insurance, the time to clean the car, the maintenance of the car and maybe even the cost of an accident; perhaps there are some other small pieces that you would like to invest in your car too. 

However, if you want to grab your guests’ attention and excite them about a shuttle service, you do not necessarily need your own shuttle service. Let’s imagine you have a great relationship with an outstanding restaurant in your town. How about you convince the owner of the restaurant to provide a shuttle service that picks your guests up and brings them to the restaurant to enjoy their lunch or...

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One of the breakfast highlight

Certainly you are more than willing to impress your guests day in and day out. One of the moments guests enjoy the most is breakfast time. All around the world guests love to spend hours enjoying their breakfast at a hotel. They go one, two, three, even five times to the breakfast buffet, from early in the morning right until to the end of the breakfast service. Why do they do that? There are many obvious reasons. In general, the breakfast at a hotel is just wonderful, with many different and delicious bits and bobs sitting around. Sometimes there is so much that one cannot decide what to put on their plate first. Everything looks so tasty, and that is the reason why people go to the buffet more than once.  

In general the breakfast can be seen as a standalone event. Knowing that fact is crucial and an opportunity for you to obtain staggering feedback and great online ratings. If you do everything that stands in your power to make your breakfast spectacular, you can be sure...

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How to lure guests to make a booking on your website instead on an OTA

I believe this is one of the most asked questions in the accommodation business. Daily, hotel owners and hotel managers ask themselves what they have to do to obtain many more direct bookings.

Of course, there are great solutions to this issue which are simple to integrate in your current business. First of all you need to do the math. Calculate the commission you pay to OTAs each time they provide you with a booking. To make it clearer, let’s say you pay 10€ every single time to an OTA for a reservation. If you receive a direct booking you save this 10€. In fact, you have a margin of 10€. That implies that you can decrease your room per night / per person up to 9€. Offering a lower price on your own website is already a huge enticement for many potential guests. 

To increase the direct bookings we add some more juice to it and make it more interesting. Have a banner on your website close to your booking button that says, for instance, “book...

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Saying your hotel is too small is not an excuse

To start an accommodation business you only need to have one nice apartment available that you are allowed to offer on Airbnb. One apartment is enough to start your business story. Saying that you do not have enough rooms available to expand is an excuse for perhaps giving up a dream you have, for not giving your best, for limiting yourself to reach more or some other objectives that you face. 

Even though you just have one apartment available you should offer the best service to your guests. Provide a clean, cosy, attractive, and adorable apartment that makes your guests feel at home. Your guests should not be missing anything that belongs to an apartment. If you can and if you are willing then provide even more than guests expect from you. Add value to your apartment. Provide surprises so that you receive the best rating possible. Offer an apartment that is booked throughout the year. 

If you set yourself precepts to offer the best apartment in your town and you are...

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What are the must haves on your website

Go through the must haves on your website to build trust and curiosity.

To build trust and curiosity through your website you need have the following elements available:

- Logo

- Email address

- Telephone number

- Address

- Pictures

- List of amenities

- List of services

- A couple of feedback videos

- Testimonials

- Pictures of gadgets

- Picture of your Hotel-Info-Map

- Google Maps

- Your USPs

- Picture of your staff or the person in charge

All these elements build up the trust your visitors are looking for. They want to stay in a place that fits them and where they do not feel like complete strangers. People do not tend to like change much, therefore the more information you offer on your website, the more they will get to know your place and the more familiar they will be. Make your website as beautiful and informative as possible so that your visitors feel like they are welcome as soon as they encounter your services. 

Have in mind that simplicity wins in the long run. I do...

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Increase direct bookings by bundling products and more

Your website is your digital business card and it should be one of your best-converting access points as well. There are various questions you need to ask yourself to find out why you receive more reservations through online travel agencies instead of your website. 

1. What is the difference between an OTA and your website?

2. Why do people not book directly? Does my website transmit enough trust?

3. Are my offered prices on OTAs and my website the same?

4. Is my website up to date?

5. Is my website attractive?

6. Do my website buttons work smoothly?

7. Did I list all of my USPs?

8. Do I need better pictures?

Let’s start with these questions to obtain an overview of where improvements can be made.

1. An online travel agency platform lists thousands of different hotels on its website. All of the hotels have ratings. The list can be filtered for the lowest price, amenities, free Wi-Fi, free parking, welcome drink, one free water, and much more. The OTAs make it very...

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How to provide advanced "Give-Aways" 3D printer

Give-aways are a must for your business. They are made to be useful and to stick in the back of your guests’ mind even though they left your property. A cleaning pad for a smartphone is a nice and useful give-away for your guests. Many guests do not have a cleaning pad and often they have not seen one before. Although there are thousands of different give-aways you can find online, ordinary give-aways are not unique anymore and almost every business does this. 

Nevertheless, there is always a way to stand out from the crowd. If you want to provide your guests with give-aways that rock, think about using a 3D-printer. Creating objects with a 3D-printer is easy and cheap. You have to make an investment to purchase the 3D-printer, but after that you just need to buy the material. 

Imagine how amazed your guests will be if they receive a personalized object from you as a give-away. Have you ever experienced that yourself? There are no limitations on creating a...

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How LED lights turn your hotel into an attraction

LED is sunshine at night! 

LEDs are not only energy-efficient and save a lot of money, but they have attractive effects too. At night you can make your accommodation building look like a shining star. The implementation is simple - you just look for the right company and ask for their recommendations. The goal is to make your building look special and pretentious without disturbing your guests. If you place LEDs in front of your building you have to be cautious that no LED beam shines directly into a room. Your guests want to sleep at night and there are many people that cannot fall asleep if light is shining through their window. Many guests even write on their booking requests that they would like to have a room that has no illuminating advertising in front of their windows. As a result, having illuminating advertising in front of windows will garner bad reviews. 

LEDs are usable in many different ways to upvalue your building from the entry to the last parking spot. For...

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How to make your hotel smell nice and look fresh

Guests’ experiences start when you give them a call before their check-in, read an email from you or as soon as they enter your hotel. To make sure that your guests enjoy their stay right at the beginning, you need to be certain that you are prepared for a great check-in and that your hotel smells nice. The smell of your hotel is crucial. A nice smell makes guests feel comfortable, relaxed, pleasant and provokes a feeling of being at home. Moreover, it provides a sense of being at the right place where security and pleasure are given. 

To ensure that your entrance / lobby / reception area smells nice you can use some room scent products. There are a hundred different room scent products out there to purchase; just make sure that the product you use is not too strong, as you do not want to overwhelm your new guests with a cloud of smell. The smell should be decent and welcoming. Your guests should feel relaxed and calmed down from a perhaps stressful day. 

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Aim for the best ratings, look at the worst ratings

Reviews on online travel agencies are responsible for millions of reservations during a year. Before people make a decision of where to stay for their next trip they read reviews. It is obvious that people who stayed in a specific accommodation and left feedback on an OTA are providing their own opinion and experience. It is quite interesting to read through them to make up your own picture. Reviews have an extraordinary power to convince potential new guests to make a reservation in your accommodation or not. Thus, it is crucial to aim for the best reviews you can obtain for your business. 

However, reviews have much more potential. They not only support people who are looking for a great place to stay in making the right decision, but also support accommodation businesses as well. Despite the fact that a great rating will catapult an accommodation to the top of an OTA, there is more that you can do to benefit from reviews of other hotels. 

To improve your reviews and to...

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