The Digital Tourism Initiative by Pacific Trade Invest Australia helps tourism operators improve their digital footprint by providing support and access to a suite of digital marketing tools from Hotel Link and Connect Tours.
In this portal, you can learn about the suite of digital marketing tools, plus get tips and tricks on how to improve your online presence to help increase your presence and to help get you more bookings.
Booking Engines make it easier for hotels and accommodation providers to manage their room rates and inventory. Stay with us and learn about: What makes a good Booking Engine; How To Set It Up; Updating Rates & Availability and Adding Promotional Offers or Specials.
What is a Booking Engine?
A Booking Engine is a piece of software that allows you to update your room inventory, rates, stop sales, promotions, offers, and more. You load all of your property into one place, then the Booking Engine helps make it easy for potential guests to book your property both directly or via a third-party distributor like an OTA.
What does a Booking Engine do?
With a Booking Engine, you can easily and instantly make updates to your accommodation room information. With just a few clicks you can make updates to your room types, images, descriptions, bed configurations, rate plans, and much more.
A Booking Engine also provides all the management tools for hotels to optimise occupancy and revenue levels.
From a potential guest’s point of view, your Booking Engine should make it easy for them to securely book the room and extras that they want to be included for their stay. It should also have clear booking conditions and cancellation policies.
What are the main features of a good Booking Engine?
A good booking engine is essential. It must:
- Be mobile & Facebook friendly
- Support specials, promo codes, booking extras & best price guarantees
- Have multi-room booking capability, on-request bookings, and booking prompts
- Have all critical info (room info, booking policies, specials, cancellation policies, booking conditions etc) right at the point of booking
- Allow you to load inventory up to 2 years in advance
- Allow you to tell potential guests what you are doing to make them feel safe and comfortable
Want to learn more?
Setting Up the Booking Engine
Let’s firstly show you around the Hotel Link dashboard:
Now let’s set up your rooms and rates:
Now let’s set up your booking conditions:
Updating Rates and Availability
So now let’s continue with your Booking Engine set up and look at how to update your room details, your rates and your availability:
Adding Promotional Offers
Promotions and specials are a great way to help boost bookings, particularly when you have extra inventory to sell. There are many different promotions that you may like to offer, but here we will focus on two kinds: Stay and Pay (eg Stay for 7 nights, pay for 5); and Fixed Value Discounts (eg 20% off room rates).
Firstly let’s look at adding Fixed Value Discounts:
Now, let’s look at how to add Stay and Pay deals:
If you would like to add another promotion type or you need a little extra help reach out to us today and we’d be happy to help guide you through the process.
A Channel Manager makes it easy for hotels and accommodation providers to centrally manage their room inventory across multiple third-party distributors like OTA's, wholesalers and more.
What is a Channel Manager?
A Channel Manager is an online system that helps hotels and accommodation providers manage their rates and availability across multiple channels, OTA’s or third party distribution partners. It makes it easy for a hotel or accommodation provider to manage their room inventory online, avoiding overbooking and rate parity issues.
What does a Channel Manager do?
A Channel Manager allows you to link your OTA’s into one single, easy to manage dashboard. For example, if you are on Booking.com you can use your account number/ ID input this into your Channel Manager, then it will seamlessly manage your bookings from that channel.
Why is a Channel Manager important?
Now more than ever, it’s become essential to have the right partners to help expand your distribution and reach. Third-party distributors like Booking.com, Agoda, Expedia, CTrip, etc can help you attract more guests and get more bookings.
It’s good practice to have multiple distribution partners, but this can create more administration- so that’s where a Channel Manager can help. You simply sign up with the OTA or third-party distributor, then you input your account number/ID into your Channel Manager. It then manages all of your bookings across all channels.
Want to learn more?
Linking in New Channel Connections / OTAs
Linking in new channels is easy, simply sign up with the OTA or third-party distributor, then get your unique account number or ID and reach out to us and we will help link your account into your Channel Manager.
A website is a great way to showcase what kind of accommodation or tours that your business offers. They help you provide information, get bookings, and also take feedback from your guests. In this digital age, a website is an essential business tool for all hotels, accommodation providers or tour operators.
What makes a good website?
In the digital world in which we now live, a good website is essential for any business- and is particularly important for hotels, accommodation providers, and tour operators. Your website should cover the basics:
- It must be mobile-friendly
- It must load quickly
- It must be secure
- It must make booking easy
- It must look great (great images, clear navigation, all the essential information)
- It must be easy (for you) to update regularly and to add photos and videos
Let’s take a look at the core features of a good website:
What are the options when it comes to websites?
You can choose from a custom website or a customisable theme-based website. Hotel Link and Connect Tours offer a wide variety of theme-based websites for your hotel or tour operation. With Hotel Link there are over 40 themes to choose from, here are some of our favourites.
Changing Information on Your Theme Based Website
Your theme-based website was designed to make it easy for you or your team to update.
Here we will show you how to update your website content and how to upload new images to your gallery.
Firstly, let’s look at how to update your website content or copy:
Now let’s look at how to add extra images to your website’s gallery:
Uploading a New Banner
You can showcase your hotel’s features, activities or rooms on your homepage banner. Some websites also allow a video to be used as a homepage banner. Make sure the images or video that you choose to showcase on your banner area are of high quality, as you want to make a great first impression when prospective guests land on your website.
Here’s how to update your homepage banner:
Changing the Theme on your Website
Your theme-based website is easy to update. In just a few clicks you can change your theme or template and totally refresh it. Just make sure that you check the look of your website, as you may need to modify banners, images or some content to suit your new theme.
Advanced digital marketing can cover many different topics, but we are going to focus on a few of the most popular digital marketing tools and tactics. This includes: Search Engine Optimisation; Search Engine Marketing; Content Marketing; and Social Media.
What is Digital Marketing?
Digital Marketing is the use of digital technologies, devices or the internet to reach your potential guests.
What are the core components of Digital Marketing?
- Website: A website is your very own space on the internet to tell the story of your hotel, accommodations or tours. It should be the centrepiece of your digital marketing activities. Your website should show off your brand and your offerings in a clear and interesting way. Functionally, your website should be fast, mobile-friendly, and easy to use.
- Social Media: Essentially social media is a website or application that allows users to create, share, and interact with content from others. There are more and more forms of social media popping up each year. Social media marketing can be free, or you also paid. Paid social marketing means that you can pay to place your content in front of a targetted audience. Here are some of the most popular social media sites:
- Social networking (Facebook, LinkedIn, Google).
- Microblogging (Twitter, Tumblr).
- Photo sharing (Instagram, Snapchat, Pinterest).
- Video sharing (YouTube, Facebook Live, Periscope, Vimeo, TikTok).
- Content Marketing: Content marketing uses images, videos and text or copy to attract potential guests to your website. It’s good practice to publish your content on your website, then share it on your social media channels, via email marketing, through SEO or even through SEM.
- Search Engine Marketing: Search Engine Marketing (SEM) or Pay-per-Click advertising allows you to target potential guests by paying to be returned in their search results. Google Ads and Bing are popular platforms for Search Engine Marketing. With SEM you pay for the clicks that you generate.
- Search Engine Optimisation: Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is a method of generating more good quality traffic to your website via organic search (unlike SEM which is paid for). It includes indexing, backlinking, meta-tagging, blogging, keyword tagging, and other tactics.
Want to know more? Read on, or reach out to us today.
What is content marketing?
Content marketing is the creation and sharing of online material like images, blogs, social media posts, videos, or articles. The content usually does not mention a brand but is created to generate interest in the topic, product or service. For example, you may wish to create a blog that talks about the top 10 dive sites in your country, this blog may be published on your website so that when a potential guest is looking for where to go for great diving in your country they land back on your site. Content can also be shared on your social media pages or even on that of a third party that has some relevance to your brand.
Why content marketing is beneficial
- It helps increase the visibility of your brand
- It helps create links to people with similar interests to the content you are sharing
- It improves brand awareness
- It can help create loyalty and trust
- It helps you to build credibility
- It helps create relevant traffic to your site
How do you create content?
Here’s a simple guide to help you.
What is SEO or Search Engine Optimisation?
SEO is a way of optimising your website content to help make it easier for search engines to find you. The ultimate goal of SEO is to attract more organic (free) and high-quality traffic to your website.
How does this happen? Well, search engines like Google scour the web to help match a searcher with the most relevant content. For example, if I am looking on Google for the ‘best beaches in Fiji’ Google will look through the web and will return the most relevant websites that have the content to match that search.
If your hotel has built a page with information on ‘the top 5 beaches in Fiji’ then Google is more likely to return the link to your website for that users search. Of course, your site must also be well-indexed, considered reputable and is trusted, and your content should have all the keywords in the right places.
Content or articles can also be back linked from other pages, to help get more traffic back to your site.
What are the main benefits of SEO?
The core benefits are that you get free, passive traffic to your website, month after month. But SEO doesn’t simply happen overnight, most SEO projects take roughly 6 months for your site to really start ranking.
Want to learn more?
Reach out to us today and we can help you with your SEO needs.
What is Search Engine Marketing?
Search Engine Marketing (SEM) also known as Pay-Per-Click (PPC) marketing, is paid advertising which targets internet searching. It may target a specific keyword, market, location term or other feature of the demographic.
Why use SEM?
- Google Ads is the most widely used SEM platform.
- Bing Ads is also quite popular.
Want to learn more?
Reach out to us today and we can help you with your SEO needs.