How to Build a Successful Hotel Website

Doing business in the 21st century will eventually require every hotel or bed and breakfast to have a website in one form or another. Whether your site is interactive or simply informational, there are steps you can take to ensure you’re on the right track to creating a successful web presence.

1. Perform a Business Analysis

What is a business analysis? Simply put, review your business requirements and your objectives. What do you want to accomplish? How does your website fit into your overall business plan?

2. Perform some research.

Research your competition and other hotel websites. See what kind of competition is out there. What kind of marketing does your competition engage in? Take a look at how the current market works; develop a list of pros and cons about your competition and then make your web presence work better.

3. Develop a concept and a design.

Finally time for the creative stuff! This involves the selection of specific content, the layout of the site structure and navigation and the overall “look and feel” of your website. Remember to pay special attention to your navigational structure. If visitors can’t navigate your website or feel lost when doing so, your “pretty” site will have been a waste of time; don’t go there, keep the navigation simple and for SEO purposes, make sure your navigation is text based. Many hotel websites today feature Flash-driven introductions. Don’t use these unless you fell it’s absolutely necessary. These flash introductions usually take some time to load in browsers. Guests will quickly become bored with this, and simply bypass your site.

4. Develop your website.

When considering which technology to develop your website, think cutting edge technology, not bleeding edge. Make sure the technology you use, such as ASP, PHP, HTML, CSS, will be useful for the next three to five years. An SEO friendly CMS will utilize real URLs, not strange looking query strings with lots of strange characters and question marks. Search engines despise query strings and rank these site accordingly.

5. Choose a host provider and implement your website.

When deciding on a host provider, make sure the host is not only reputable, but has been in business long enough that you can be sure they will be in business next year. Also, ask about site uptime. If your site is down for any reason, this will not only affect your potential and current customers, but the search engines as well. If the search engines decide on a given day to spider your site and it is unavailable, it could cost you your rank.

6. Promote and market your website.

Register your site with the major search engines such as Google and Yahoo. Initiate other marketing activities such as an email blasts to prospective customers. Consider “Pay per Click” advertising with the major search engines and don’t forget about a long term SEO campaign to drive targeted traffic to your site.

7. Finally, maintain your website.

Probably the most important long term step is continuing to provide current and relevant information on your website. Keep your site content current to encourage return visitors and give them something to return for! Related to SEO, search engines just LOVE sites which provide new content on a regular basis and rank such websites accordingly.

Overall, remember, your website is not just a marketing tool, it’s a business tool, and it should be generating a constant flow of reservations from guests, and therefore a revenue stream for your business.


New Feature – Add As Many Photos as you Want on the Web

Instant World Booking is working hard to continue to innovate and lead online booking technology around the globe. Our latest innovation is a simple one, but unmatched elsewhere for online reservation services.

Hotels and hostels who advertise on our network can now upload an unlimited number of photos to their listing. You heard right — Unlimited! This feature is free, and as always, maintaining a listing with the Instant World Booking is free.

So what does this mean exactly. We have a again pushed above the service level of competing booking services. Look at typical hotel pages on most services. You’ll see maybe 6 or 7 of a property’s best photos, in a small image barely larger than a thumbnail. This does very little to sell your rooms and beds.

If you’ve been advertising your hotel, hostel, or bed and breakfast on the web for a while, you know that photos sell rooms! And, the more photos you have the better. Don’t include just photos of your guestrooms, but of all areas of your property. Give a real sense of what it’s like to stay in your hotel. And what about your environment? Include photos of the surrounding neighborhood and views from your property. This really sells rooms.

To add your photos, simply sign in to your listing at Instant World Booking, and proceed to the MANAGE PHOTOS page. You can upload an unlimited number of images. And, you can submit images as large as 8MB! No more re-sizing and touching up your photos. Our enhanced system will handle that for you. As a bonus, don’t worry about the format of your pictures, you can now submit JPEG/JPG, PNG, and GIF images.

So get online today, and add your photos. Remember, good photos increase reservations. If it’s been awhile since you’ve refreshed your pics, get your camera out, and start taking new photos.

As always, Instant World Booking looks forward to seeing you on the web. To get listed with our network, simply go to:

http://www.instantworldbooking.com/listings/add_listing.php


How To Increase Bookings with Online Advertising

If you list your hotel, hostel, or bed and breakfast with Instant World Booking, or other online booking agencies, here is some advice for maximizing your reservation potential:

1) Ensure your listing is up to date and accurate. Include as much information as possible, not only about your property, but also about local attractions, restaurants, etc.

2) Make sure to spell-check your listing. Incorrect spelling signals to guests that the property is not professionally maintained.

3) Add photos. Listings with photos gain at least 4x more traffic than those without photos. Make sure your photos are large and complement your property and location.

4) Add a complete calendar of availability. Your calendar is important, since guests prefer instant booking over online requests. Make sure you have complete availability online, and at least 6-9 months of availability.

5) Include an accurate street address on your listing, as well as local directions. Guests will not book properties that they can’t easily find.

6) Use Instant World Booking’s low-cost options for accepting reservations on YOUR OWN website.

Remember, it can take several weeks to several months for Google and other leading search engines to effectively index your page on our network of sites. Instant World Booking has proven to be very successful in gaining top search engine rankings for its listed lodging partners. One last reason it is very important to use the instant booking method is that we use pay-per-click (PPC) advertising to market your property on Google and other sites. Effectively use of a PPC campaign can cost you hundreds of US dollars. However, for our partners who use instant booking, we advertise your property in PPC campaigns for free.

One last note, persistence and patience is the key to success. Online marketing is “collective”. This means it is more effective to advertise your property on 2 services than 1. Persistent online presence is necessary to achieve online name (brand) recognition, and to gain higher search rankings for pages containing your property’s name. Advertising with Instant World Booking is an extremely valuable, and free, method of increasing your online presence.


Hotel Website SEO (Search Engine Optimization) For Beginners

At Instant World Booking, our goal is to enhance the business and profitability of our hotel and hostel lodging partners. There’s no question a hotel’s website is at the core of any marketing strategy in tourism.

As a small hotel or hostel owner, SEO, or search engine optimization, is the most important element in building a successful online presence. Most people online have heard the term SEO, but it remains a mysterious process to many. One of the reasons SEO is so mysterious is that it can be a complicated process and search engines are constantly changing the way they rank websites.

If you have limited time and resources to devote to marketing your website, you should at minimum concentrate on Google. Google has set the standard for technology in search engine algorithms that can track the relevancy of a website to its content and SEO efforts.

For beginners to SEO, many think the only SEO tool they need is keyword density. While keywords are important, they are not the only means to an end. Back linking is another important component. While back linking remains one of the most successful ways to get your site to rank high on the search engines, it also has evolved. The type of link is important, so that search engines do not penalize a site for bad incoming links.

The term “back link” refers to an external link on another site that points to yours. In the past any link from another site would have a positive impact on your site by the search engines. Because there were so many gimmicks developed in the last few years to aggregate large numbers of back links, such as link farms, and irrelevant reciprocal linking, Google began to develop a way to weed out links that were purchased, or had little meaning or relevancy.

Even though back linking is used to manipulate search engine popularity there are many very legitimate reasons for using the system of back linking. Finding web sites that have a common interest to your own who are willing to place your link on their site can get you extra exposure. So, look for websites of local tour operators, transportation companies, restaurants, tourist attractions, etc., and see if they will place a link to your website on their own. When their visitors come to their site they will see your link and likely visit your site as well. Search engines work in somewhat the same manner.

Google works so hard to be sure that back links are really quality links, and not manufactured links. Your hotel or hostel website will get higher ranking on a search engine for a number of truly appropriate back linking partnerships. However, if the sites linking to you do not share any common information services Google will penalize you for the link. Google may even devalue your website if the site that links to you is considered of bad quality. Bottom line, it is important who you choose to link to, and also who links to you.

Probably the best way to obtain a back link to your site is through anchor text. That is when you have another website with content that is relevant to your own including your site in the actual content of their site with a hyperlink inside the text. These back links are valued much higher than a simple banner link as long as they appear in the text in a way that has a meaningful association with the content of the article. There are several ways to get such back links.

Providing articles about your location, city, or area tourist attractions to content sites with your link built into the article is one method. Also, if you write compelling content on your website, there is a good chance someone else with a similar site may wish to point it out on their own. They may put a link on their site back to yours. You may not even realize they are doing it unless they tell you about it. This is one of the main reasons it is important to keep an eye on who is back linking to you. While the majority of those types of links are wonderful and you should thank the site owner for their inclusion, if you feel the site that is linking to you does not meet your standards, have similar information, or the content is not relevant to your site you should definitely ask them to remove your link.

Back linking is an extremely important aspect of SEO development, which in turn is very important to marketing your hotel or hostel on the internet. It is therefore something you need to understand well in order to implement properly. There are many secrets and mysteries in the SEO world that diligent study can clear up. Keeping your hotel website in a good position with the search engines will ensure a vital and profitable future for your hotel’s online business.


How to Avoid Email Internet Scams Targeting Small Businesses

Scams abound on the internet, and scammers usually send email to small hotels, bed and breakfasts, and other small businesses

The scammer’s goal is to get the hotel owner to send money to the scammer. Scammers will make a reservation, and request to overpay it with either a credit card or forged check. They’ll claim that the check was already made out by a vendor or partner of theirs, and they don’t wish to cancel it. The scammer will request the balance sent somewhere, usually by Western Union. Scammers are very creative and there can be many variations to this scam.

How does it work?

The scammer will book a room and claim to have no credit card. They will ask to send a bank draft, certified check, or money order to pay for the room in advance. When the check arrives it will be for an amount greater than the value of the stay. The scammer will then request the balance sent to a third party (i.e. a car rental agency) or returned to the scammer.

Since the funds are drawn on a foreign bank it may take up to three months to learn that it is fraudulent. The B&B or hotel owner is now short the amount of the check or wire they sent to the scammer. They probably also lost bookings since they held a room for a guest that was never to arrive. If the scammer paid by a credit card it is surely to be disputed by the actual card owner.

Signs of a Scammer

Overseas/International: Typically the scammer will be overseas or out of country. They know authorities rarely pursue this kind of international crime.

Urgent: Often the scammer will be acting in an urgent manner and making bookings with short notice.

Long stays or lots of rooms: They will also want long stays and a lot of rooms, in order to make the booking charge very high. The scammer will also be very vague about the actual number of guest.

No rate resistance: Scammers will not care about the rate offered.

No interest in location: They don’t care about your location, they will express little or no interest in area attractions, etc. In fact, it may often be questionable why a traveler from their origin or country will want to travel to a location like yours.

Will not address your property by name in the first e-mail: The first e-mail you receive will likely not address you specifically. This is because it will be a general email sent in mass to many properties including yours.

Strange grammar, spelling, and choice of words: The scammer’s grammar, spelling and use of punctuation will be unusual. Often the scammer will present themselves as a doctor. Another frequent ploy is that they indicate they are from a religious organization, are holding meetings in your country, and make specific reference to their “delegates” or “delegation” coming to your country.

Free e-mail account: Often the e-mail will come from a free email service like Yahoo or Hotmail. Legitimate travel agents or businesses rarely use free email accounts.

Send money: They want you to send them cash, usually by wire, and quick.

Advice:
If you get one of these emails or letters, remember that if it is too good to be true, it probably is. If you feel the booking is legitimate, insist on a deposit by bank transfer or credit card and insist that the balance be paid in person. Whatever happens, do not send them any funds, regardless of what form.


How Much Deposit Should You Collect from Guests for Online Bookings

Everyone knows how online booking works these days. A small deposit is collected from the guest at the time of confirmation. If you use one of the services that requires you to manually confirm bookings, contact your guests, and get deposit monies yourself, then your booking method is still in the stone ages. And believe me, there are still quite a few of this type of reservation service that claims “instant booking”, but cannot deliver. Furthermore, if your online booking method involves a Paypal interface, know that this method still does not work for guests in many regions around the world. You might also have heard that a Paypal payment interface instantly signals to many that your website is amateur and unprofessional. This is not exactly the reputation you want to develop for your website.

First, let me tell you that you absolutely need a professional third party service that is able to collect more than just Visa and Mastercard. You need a service that is able to collect at least 4 major global card types. If you feature online booking on your own website, know that almost all booking services are able to collect 5-10% deposit for your bookings. But is this enough? No. You should be collecting from 30% to 75% deposit for every booking taken on your website. This is for 2 reasons. One, guests who have found your website, and are interested in booking with you are serious about staying with you. They know that if they’re paying on your website, they’re going to have some personal interaction with you, and their reputation is on the line. Fraud transactions on a hotel’s own website is low. Second, since you know the guest is serious, you want to collect a reasonably high deposit to secure their booking, and eliminate any possibility of problems in the event of a cancellation or no-show. Instant World Booking recommends collecting either 35% or 50% as the optimal deposit for most hotels, hostels, and bed & breakfasts.

Instant World Booking is one of the only services that enables you to collect more than 10% deposit at time of booking. In fact, they can enable collection of up to 100% of your bookings at reservation time, effectively enabling you to collect credit cards right online from your own website. Instant World Booking takes this service one step further, offering full no-show and cancellation protection. With this service, Instant World Booking guarantees you receive your deposits, even in the event that a guest cancels late or does not show up.

We’ve been giving the latest on some controversial topics about marketing your hotel or hostel online. We uncover the world of online booking and marketing in a way that hasn’t been done before. Check out more advice at our blog. We’ll lead you to the most effective and low-cost solutions for marketing your property.


How Much is Your Hotel or Bed & Breakfast Worth? Part 1

This is the first in a series of articles which will enable you to answer the most fundamental of questions: How much is your hotel or bed and breakfast worth?

Protecting the value of your small hotel or bed and breakfast is a primary goal of your business. But, whether you’re new to the lodging business, an experienced innkeeper, or just looking to buy or sell your property, one key piece of information remains critical. How much is your hotel or B&B worth?

Whether your property is located in North America, Europe, South America, or anywhere in the world, the basic factors to consider are largely the same. But how do you begin to calculate the value of a tourism or lodging business? This is the first in a series of articles we will publish, giving you some new and leading edge techniques on how to value a lodging business. In this and our future articles, we will reveal some unique methods to determining the value of your business. Better yet, these methods can also be applied to most small businesses. If you need to articulate the value of your business in purchase or sale negotiations, we will provide some excellent methodologies to quantify the true market value of your property.

If you’ve looked for advice on calculating a price or value for your small hotel or bed & breakfast, there is only sparse information on the internet. Some resources deal only with the value of your real estate. One so-called “Inn Sales Specialist” advocates a method of determining an inn’s market value by dividing last year’s net operating income by a “cap rate” of 9% – 12%. These are extremely short-sighted methods of estimating value. Another highly simplistic method would be to take your net annual profit, and multiply by 14, which is the average price-earnings ratio of publicly traded companies over the last century.

These simplistic methodologies are not without value, however. There is no single way which will lead you to one absolutely correct theoretical value. What you do want to do, however, is try several conceptually sound methods, and then examine the range of results for consistency. Don’t ignore qualitative objective measures either. For example, consider prevailing real estate values in your region, condition and quality, and potential for growth. If you recently purchased your property, consider the price you paid (the presumed market value at the time) plus or minus value-changing modifications that you will implement with your business plan.

So how do we measure the market value of your business? We look to sources that traditional real estate professionals and B&B sales specialists ignore, or don’t understand. We utilize corporate finance techniques, taught at top business schools, but almost never applied to hotel, hostel, or bed & breakfast businesses in the classroom or in practice. These are the same techniques use by stock market analysts to value Fortune 500 companies. In fact these techniques were adapted from advanced shareholder value studies originally developed by an expert while working at JP Morgan Chase, and now is a leading specialist in online hotel marketing. Combining these traditional corporate finance concepts with some new arithmetic, we will show you how to easily compute an estimated market value for your hotel, inn, or bed & breakfast.

The basic formula underpinning our market value computation is:

Market Value = (NI – BV*Ke) / (Ke-G) + BV

Where NI=net income, BV=book value, Ke=cost of equity, and G=growth rate.

We will show you how to use this simple formula to calculate the estimated value of your lodging business. We won’t get bogged down with complicated mathematical proofs. The formula above is rooted in very sound financial theory, which we won’t waste your time by explaining. What we will do is show you how to move quickly past the complicated financial theory, and use simple math in calculating a very useful number: the value of your hotel or B&B.

One quick homework assignment before proceeding to our next article. There are two values you need to come prepared with, net income (NI) and book value (BV). Net income is the annual after tax profit of your business, after considering all relevant business expenses and income taxes. Make sure you adjust your net income figure for any one-time or unusual expenses you may have had during the most recent year. Secondly, book value is the book equity, or invested capital, in your business. How much cash capital do you have invested in your lodging. This includes any original equity investment you have in your property, but does not include capital that you borrowed to invest or purchase assets. Another way to think of book value is to construct a simple balance sheet. Add up the total value of all your assets, then subtract any borrowings or debt used to acquire those assets. What remains is the book equity, or book value, of your business.

Once you have these figures, please look for our next article, where we will explain how to use the formula to compute the value of your business.

For more information on promoting your hotel, hostel, or bed & breakfast, visit Instant World Booking


Top 10 Reasons InstantWorldBooking.com Outperforms other Online Booking Engines

Why is InstantWorldBooking.com better for online booking and marketing your property? The answer is simple. We bring more features, better technology, and lower costs than any competing provider.

It is widely known that a correctly executed online booking and marketing strategy can increase a lodging’s profit margin by at least 20% in the first year. Here are the top ways Instant World Booking helps you achieve your income goals.

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1) Lowest Cost

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Cost is always the primary concern when selecting online marketing services. You already know some of the big names in online booking for B&B’s, hostels, and hotels. One of the biggest online providers for budget properties charges 10% commission. Others charge even more. For example, in the bed and breakfast market one big provider charges 25% commission, plus an annual fee ranging from $99 up to over $500 annually. Stop overpaying for online booking and marketing.

Instant World Booking commissions start at only 8%. There are no membership fees.

What about costs for a booking engine on your website? Again, one of the biggest budget providers charges you 10% for one booking each day, and 2.5% thereafter. Your cost is therefore between 2.5% – 10%. Two other major players in this market charge 5% and 9% respectively. In the bed and breakfast market, the biggest provider charges as much as 30% commission, arguing that 70% of any booking is better than no booking at all. You already know who these players are. Stop overpaying for booking engines on your website.

Instant World Booking commissions start at only 1.9% for a fully integrated booking engine on your website.

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2) Accept Credit Cards Online

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Here’s a little know fact about online booking services. Of all the providers mentioned, only Instant World Booking can set you up to accept credit cards from your own website. Of course, we’re not naming names. If you think you have a better arrangement at a better price from another provider, just call us. We’ll be happy to discuss how our integrated booking and credit card collection service is not available anywhere else. And, our integrated booking engine will cost you less than if you try to acquire credit card services yourself. No matter what region or country your property is in, you can accept credit cards and online bookings from your own website today.

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3) Cancellation & No-show Protection for your Booking Engine

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In combination with a customized booking engine on you own website, Instant World Booking offers full no-show and cancellation protection for your reservations. This means, if a guest cancels or fails to arrive, you still receive payments according to a cancellation policy that you specify. This service is so advanced that no other provider dares to offer it. No more worries about no-shows or late cancellations.

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4) Pay-per-Click Advertising

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We understand that getting your property to the top of search engine rankings is a priority. Organic search rankings are not enough any more. You need pay-per-click advertising to really bring in guests on the internet. When you use our instant booking service, Instant World Booking advertises your specific property name in Google pay-per-click campaigns. To set up a Google pay-per-click campaign can cost you hundreds and even thousands of dollars each year.

This is a value that cannot be matched elsewhere. You pay nothing to list with Instant World Booking. Instant World Booking then develops and maintains a Google pay-per-click advertising campaign for your property that would cost you hundreds if not thousands of dollars. Even if you never received a booking, the public relations value of having your property advertised at the top of Google search pages has an intrinsic value that you could never achieve on your own without paying large sums. Again, no other competing provider offers this service.

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5) Affiliate Programs

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Instant World Booking offers a varied array of affiliate programs, arguably the most diverse set of affiliate options available today. For example, we offer affiliate programs for online booking directories, individual hotels, and other tourism websites. Our affiliate programs are fully customizable and can be fine-tuned to any online offering.

We lead in online innovation. We recently introduced our Auto-Affiliate Program, the first program capable of being automatically set up in seconds on your website, with virtually no requirement for sign-ups or registrations.

As an added benefit, our Auto-Affiliate Program pays an unprecedented 25% of earnings to the affiliate partner.

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6) Traveler Reviews

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InstantWorldBooking.com features one of the newest and most intuitive online review systems for guest travelers. Our ratings system includes a proprietary algorithm for weighting review components whether it be for location, guest services, dining options, etc. This results in a fairer basis for ranking properties based on guest satisfaction.

As an added bonus, if you use Instant World Booking as your booking engine for your website, you can also feature your guest reviews on your own website.

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7) Exposure and Traffic

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When you list your property for free with Instant World Booking, you get the benefit of simultaneously advertising on several of our highly targeted web portals. For hostels and budget lodging, HostelTraveler.com is a leading brand recognized worldwide. Similarly, for bed and breakfasts and inns, BedBreakfastTraveler.com is our premier B&B brand. We also include regional, country, and city sites in 6 continents, which span over 3 dozen web portals. We’re adding new websites every year.

Our unique blend of regional and global internet branding is a strategy which you cannot attain individually with you own website, or with any competing online provider.

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8 ) Customer Service

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Internet firms offer varying degrees of customer service for their hotel partners. At InstantWorldBooking.com, we support our partners through the listing process. Regardless of what assistance you need in getting set up, we can assist you through the whole process. For example, if you’ve never used instant booking before or worked with an online availability calendar, we’ll help you every step of the way in getting it set up. Other services leave you to contend with online help screens.

Another service we provide which no other online booking engine provides are periodic notifications that help you keep your calendar up to date. We even let you know what types of accommodation guests are looking for, so you may best customize your availability calendar to match guests’ needs.

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9) 2 Great Methods for Online Booking

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Instant World Booking has published a lot of information about the benefits of using true instant booking on your website or on marketing sites. In fact, instant booking is a must if you wish to maximize your online capability to attract guests. Nevertheless, there are properties who for various reasons wish to use “request-basis” reservations. For those who require online requests, and not instant confirmation, we offer one of the most efficient and automated processes for accepting request-basis reservations.

No competing service offers a highly automated process for offering both instant bookings and request-basis bookings.

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10) Free Online Marketing Strategy Consultation

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A well-executed online marketing strategy, including online booking capability, is now known to be able to increase a tourist accommodation’s profits by at least 20% in the first year. Instant World Booking is a recognized leader in online technology and strategy. Whether you are a novice just new to the internet, or you currently use a variety of online services to publicize your property, we can help you develop the right strategy. The correct approach for your accommodation can be a low cost, yet high impact strategy, carefully implemented.

We offer any tourist accommodation that is new to our services a free consultation by telephone to help you develop the right online marketing strategy for your property. If you’re considering switching from another service, or looking to try online marketing for the first time, a one-half hour consultation, without cost or obligation, can change the way you think about marketing permanently.

For your free strategy consultation, please call 1.941.866.0010 today, or send an email to info@instantworldbooking.com.

Even if you have no intention of changing your current provider or approach, why not call us to find out how we can beat your current economics.

Click Here to add your listing today.


Demonstrate Special Care for your Guests’ Safety and Security

One way to gain respect and attention among your guests (and peers) is to display special concern for the safety and security of your guests. On everyone’s mind these days is safety, especially while travelling. Global terrorism threats and international tensions are heightened. We all know about increased security at airports and rail terminals.

While the topic may not be relevant for all locations, be prepared to answer guest questions about security in your locality. Provide direct responses, and don’t avoid communicating about direct threats that may be present for travelers. Be sensitive to your international travelers. Know that foreign guests may be concerned about safety even if your location has no safety concerns. Provide recommendations and tips on areas to avoid, and how to stay safe while sightseeing. Provide a business card with your contact information, as well as emergency and police contacts. Offer to safeguard your guests’ personal property within your property.

Acknowledging and being sensitive to your guest’s security will be appreciated, and interpreted by my most guests as a sign of intelligent and thoughtful management.

One way to enhance your reputation among guests is to post some safety and security tips on your website. Make your guests aware of various online resources regarding the latest travel advisories. Here are some official government resources sites:

http://travel.state.gov/

http://www.fco.gov.uk/en/travelling-and-living-overseas/travel-advice-by-country/

http://www.smartraveller.gov.au//

http://www.voyage.gc.ca/consular_home-en.asp

Better yet, post a link to our Pocket Tips – How to Travel Safely Abroad, and share with your friends and guests many valuable tips on international travel security. To quickly post a link to this unique page, insert the following code into your site HTML:

Link to this page from your website. Copy the following html code:
<a href=”http://www.instantworldbooking.com/communications/articles/how_to_travel_safely_abroad.php” title=”How To Travel Safely and Securely with InstantWorldBooking.com”>
How to Travel Safely Abroad
</a>

Remember, when marketing your hotel or hostel (or your small business) online, adding services and useful content to your website is key. Follow this advice, and you will be going a long way to enhancing your online marketing efforts, as well as improving guest relations.


Top 6 Questions to Ask Before Installing a Booking Engine on Your Website

1) Can you collect more than 10% deposit online, or as much as 100% of the entire reservation?

2) Are bookings confirmed automatically online, or is manual review or intervention required?

3) Do you have no-show and cancellation protection?

4) Can you avoid having to obtain your own costly merchant account, and having to contend with chargebacks?

5) Do you have free setup, no support costs, no monthly fees, and no software upgrades?

6) If yes for all the above, is your total cost no higher than 5% of total reservation value?

The answer to each of these questions should be YES.

There is a wide array of booking engines and online marketing tools available today for hotels and hostels. Educate yourself first, and be smart with your questions, and smart with your decisions. Remember that any service looking to install software on your desktop computers are vestiges of 1980’s-style travel industry technology. To succeed in the competitive tourism industry of the new millenium, you need to purchase 21st century technology, and make sure you’re only paying 21st century costs. Remember that there’s more to taking bookings online than making the sale. You need to be able to accept credit cards online, and also ward off fraudulent activity with no-show and cancellation protection.

Read more about the latest booking engines for your hotel or hostel website.