Now more than ever, the business and leisure traveller is going online to make his/her travel plans. From finding the next destination to getting reviews and making bookings, it’s all gone digital.
To keep up with this new developments, it’s imperative that today’s hotels adapt and engage with their potential visitors online and make their user journey as simple as possible. This includes ensuring they can conveniently and securely make and pay for their hotel and safari bookings.
Today’s post explores not only why you should set up an online payment function for your hotel business but also shows you just how to do it.
The internet has changed how people travel. They can look up hotels, find reviews and recommendations, make comparisons and make flight and accommodation bookings without ever leaving their seat. This is increasingly being done on mobile devices with trends predicting that soon up to 85% of bookings will involve mobile devices.
The rise of home sharing and subletting platforms such as AirBnB means hotels are facing stiffer competition than before. They therefore must evolve and rethink their strategies. In Kenya for example, there has been a notable increase in local tourism.
Hotels targeting this segment must then adapt to mobile payment solutions such as M-Pesa and Airtel Money. There has also been an increase in card payments online too. This too must be considered.
Now that you understand why, here’s how to go about setting up an online presence and how to receive your first online booking.
- Build & Manage an Online profile – This involves the implementation of a world class website and the creation of pages on various social media sites. Creation is one thing, however proper management of these platforms is a must, if their full potential is to be harnessed.
- Provide Secure Online Booking – Direct bookings mean that you will not incur the high costs of commissions experienced with travel agents and enables real-time room booking. You must also ensure that you can accept various payment methods to cater to all your visitors. Payment providers such as PesaPal provide hassle free platforms that integrate various payment options into one neat dashboard.
- Invest in Digital Marketing – Whether paid or in the form of content marketing, digital marketing ensures that your brand gets noticed within your target audience. There are various options available based on your budget and overall objectives.
- Provide good Customer Service – Regardless of all the technological advancements made over the last decade, word of mouth still remains the most effective and inexpensive way to advertise. Go out of your way to ensure that your visitors are treated well and that their stay is memorable for all the right reasons. Great customer service can make up a lot other shortcomings in your offerings, so do not compromise on it.
At Pesapal, we provide technology that allows hotels to accept a wide variety of online payments including card payments and mobile money. Over the years, we have partnered with hotels chains around Africa to bring convenience to their guests and help grow the hospitality industry.
Present in Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Malawi and Zambia, we offer a fast, seamless and hassle free set up. Talk to us today on email firstname.lastname@example.org or call us on +254 (0) 706 191 729 or +254 ( 0) 202 124 722 and we’ll give your business an unbeatable competitive edge.