Find out why this 200-hotel group chose Triptease as their partner - and the results we're driving on their direct website.
The Hotel at UMD: "Triptease has been an essential tool for us throughout the pandemic."
Find out why Triptease is key to the Hotel at the University of Maryland's COVID-19 recovery strategy.
Lily is Lead Product Marketing Manager at Triptease. When she's not investigating the industry or spreading the word that #DirectIsBest, she enjoys music, cycling, and obscure radio quiz shows.
The Hotel at the University of Maryland is a luxury hotel and conference center with a prime location in the suburban Washington DC metro region. The team behind the hotel has been using Triptease's market-leading Convert platform to drive direct bookings since 2018 - but when the COVID-19 pandemic hit, the platform became more useful than ever.
We caught up with Lana Nasyrov, Area Director of Revenue Management for The Hotel at UMD and its sister hotels, about how the team navigated the pandemic and the offers they used to encourage travelers to book direct.
The Triptease Platform has helped us to generate $180k of direct bookings in the last six months. It has been an essential tool throughout the pandemic.
- Lana Nasyrov, Area Director of Revenue Management
How do you use the Triptease Platform as part of your online marketing strategy?
Triptease plays a big part in our marketing strategy. We use Targeted Messages across our website and booking engine, from when the user arrives on the site to when they might be close to abandoning their booking.
The flexibility of the platform allows us to quickly change the offers we're showing to guests on our website, and that's been essential for us in our efforts to keep up with the fast-changing dynamic of our business throughout the pandemic.
Triptease's in-page Price Check is a seamless way to highlight your competitive rates.
The platform has delivered tremendous results for us - it has helped us to generate $180k in direct bookings over the last six months by influencing our website visitors with full-screen messages and our in-page Price Check. It has been an essential tool for us throughout this period.
How have you adapted your marketing strategy since the pandemic hit?
Early on in the pandemic, we proactively launched a comprehensive cleaning and sanitization program called 'Ever Strong'. We kept guests fully aware and updated of everything we were doing to keep them safe. We made use of all our channels for this: the GDS, our website, regular emails, social media campaigns, etc.
We've also been consistently focused on understanding our buyer personas and how they've been changing. That has allowed us to build targeted strategies based on each persona's behaviors. We were quick to create a 'First Responder' promotion and have added other 'value-add' offers too, including long-term stay rates for students and medical providers.
In the early stages of our recovery, we focused on drive markets in particular (i.e. on guests visiting by car). We had weekday and weekend promotions under an 'Escape Lockdown' message, offering parent and family getaways with additional incentives like free parking and flexible check-in / check-out times. Since then we've also launched our 'Stay More, Save More' campaign to start encouraging longer stays.
A full-screen Exit Message can be used to highlight compelling offers to guests about to leave your booking engine.
We've made use of every tool and channel available to us to advertise our special rates, including PPC, display advertising, metasearch, and retargeting campaigns. And most importantly, we've made sure that all our decisions are based on using data to target the right customers at the right stage of recovery.
What are your priorities for the second half of 2021, as the industry continues to recover?
Right now we're in the process of launching a GDS campaign to capture early-returning IBT (independent business traveler) business. We're continuing to use Triptease across all of our properties to promote our value-add and stay-based promotions. In addition, we have a targeted email campaign running which is aimed at repeat guests, encouraging them to book with action-based offers.
The Hotel at UMD is making use of an array of value-based offers to convert direct business.
Finally, we're starting to target group business again with the announcement of our EVENT Strong program. We're offering meeting planners and attendees the confidence and reassurance they need while also providing hybrid event options that add flexibility and affordability to our offering.
What advice would you give to other hoteliers who are trying to drive direct bookings now that travel demand is returning?
Use strong selling points to promote your hotel: value-based vs. rate based.
Maximize your hotel's visibility across multiple channels.
Make sure your revenue and marketing teams are working closely together on any direct booking strategies.
Focus on strong internal communication and be ready to change direction quickly.
Don't just look online for data about recovery in your area - connect with your OTA market manager monthly to understand what is happening in the market from their perspective too.
Would you like to find out more about Triptease's industry-leading Direct Booking platform? Get in touch with our team below!