MORE travel experts are now offering a greater variety of add-on options during hotel bookings in order to attract and retain customers, with airport transfers and sightseeing tours representing the biggest cross-selling opportunities.
According to Amadeus’ second Asia-Pacific hotel distribution survey, travel consultants were also increasingly rolling out assistance for car rentals, concert ticket purchases, dinner reservations and even metro passes.
Kartikeya Tripathi, regional director, hotel distribution, Amadeus Asia-Pacific, said: “Travel consultants today need to respond to changing consumer preferences by providing a one-stop service to travellers, particularly given the rising demand for ancillary options when travellers book their hotels.”
The study found that travel consultants now consider ease of booking and commission guarantees as the most important criteria when choosing a channel to make hotel reservations. Results mark a shift in priorities from 2010, when the amount of commission was the foremost concern.
The trade also listed hotel reviews as among the top five must-have features in a hotel booking solution, with findings indicating that some 70 per cent of travellers check user reviews before booking.
Meanwhile, those polled indicate that they have less influence over a traveller’s final choice of hotel, with only 32 per cent noting that customers accepted their hotel recommendations without question. The same figure was 51 per cent in 2010.
Furthermore, 62 per cent of travel consultants said travellers now compare their offers against consumer website prices, up from 48 per cent in 2010. The study suggested that travel consultants could influence travellers’ choice of hotels by offering a better deal and prepaid vouchers.
Over 1,047 travel consultants in Australia, China, India, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand, Philippines, Taiwan and Thailand were surveyed.