TTE2018: ‘Hotels missing chance to boost revenues by selling attractions on websites’

TTE2018: ‘Hotels missing chance to boost revenues by selling attractions on websites’

Hotels are missing a chance to boost incremental revenues by integrating with tours and activities providers, say experts at Travel Technology Europe.

Forward-thinking properties are allowing providers of museums, city passes and other attractions to advertise on their websites in return for a commission on the price of a ticket, suppliers say.

Hjalti Baldursson, chief executive of Icelandic aggregator Bokum said some hotels in his homeland were making an average of €11,000 per month by selling such tickets.

And the amount of cash the cross-selling technique is generating was a surprise, he added.

“It started not to gain more money,” he told delegates. “But to get more traffic to hotel websites and to encourage hotel customers to stay loyal.

“Then they also saw it was generating a lot of money.”

Bokum allows hotels, and other tours and activities companies, to sell other firms’ product on their websites. And even though they are rivals, Baldursson says this in a “win-win” situation.

His business, which is big in Iceland, Ireland and Sweden, is mainly tours and attractions companies cross selling each other, but Baldursson says hotels selling the products is a growing area.

“It’s super successful,” he added. “But its under-developed. Hotels have been selling tours and activities for a long time but it’s not very structured.”

He said his London hotel this week offered six attractions – and five of them were hop-on, hop-off bus tours so gave little choice.

“The product is already there,” he added.

Amanda Truman, of Leisure Pass Group, agreed that hotels could sell more attractions.

She added: “We don’t use hotels as much as we’d like. We find it a challenge because it’s quite fragmented; you don’t know whether it’s the manager or the group that makes the call.

“We can bundle up tours and activities for them, which is a strategy that has worked well with deals publishers. We are yet to crack the hotel market.”

Baldursson said that data from Bokum showed the typical traveller now buys tickets for attractions within 48 hours of going on the trip.

He admitted this posed some challenges for operators of the attractions but said it also paved the way for technology to improve sales, with hotels just one of the potential channels.

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