Driving direct bookings via mobile apps

Driving direct bookings via mobile apps

hotel bookings via mobile app

Increasingly, mobile apps are driving hotel bookings around the world. Michael Donald, co-founder of Halo Business Consulting, explores their significance and how the hospitality industry can reap the benefits.

The global hospitality industry is continuously adapting to meet the demands of an ever-evolving market. Consequently, digital technology, and mobile apps in particular, have become key areas of focus. While Booking.com continues to lead the market for hotel reservations, its high commission rates has prompted operators to explore alternatives. Bespoke platforms offer travelers not only a convenient platform but also a powerful means to drive direct bookings. Moreover, they captivate guests with enticing deals and up-to-the-minute preferential pricing.

The significance of mobile apps in the global hospitality industry

Mobile apps have revolutionized the way travelers discover, book and experience hotels. Before the pandemic, mobile transactions accounted for less than a quarter of all hotel transactions. However, they now account for more than a third thanks to the development of technologies like the rollout of 5G networks and the new Apple Vision. Additionally, with strategies like discounted prices for bookings via apps, we anticipate mobile transactions will soon outstrip desktop hotel transactions. Notably, they can provide unparalleled convenience, personalized experiences and real-time information, making them invaluable tools for both guests and hotels.

Direct bookings

Maximizing direct bookings is crucial for hoteliers who aim to safeguard profits. While mobile technology has surpassed desktop in inspiring trips, users still favor desktops for bookings. Nevertheless, this preference is evolving, and hotel operators must provide a competitive mobile experience. Particularly, as Booking.com and other OTAs advance, optimizing the mobile experience will place operators in a strong position. Ultimately, this investment will yield dividends, as hotel bookings increasingly migrate to mobile platforms.


Mobile apps empower hotels to gather valuable data about guest preferences and behavior. Thus, enabling highly tailored personalized offers and recommendations. Moreover, this personal touch can significantly enhance the guest experience by building more meaningful connections to foster loyalty.

Preferential pricing

Moreover, with advancements in security, such as fingerprint and face recognition, mobile apps are often much easier for users to access gated content. Hotels streamline tailored deals, exclusive rates to app users without impacting public pricing, enhancing personalized offers and user engagement. In addition, depending on the user’s settings, apps can also offer instantaneous updates and notifications, thus boosting direct booking capabilities.

Enhanced communication

Many hotels are now using mobile apps to facilitate seamless communication with customers. Through the app, guests can make special requests, seek assistance or provide feedback, creating a smoother and more efficient experience. Additionally, mobile apps can be downloaded to personal devices. Thus, saving hotels money on hardware and potentially eliminating the need for traditional telephone systems and operators.

Fostering loyalty

Global hotel groups now offer their loyalty programs through mobile apps, rewarding repeat customers with exclusive perks and discounts. This encourages guests to book directly and remain loyal to a particular brand.

Global success stories of mobile apps in the hospitality industry

Leading hotels and accommodations leveraging mobile apps for seamless guest experiences and increased direct bookings include:

Marriott Bonvoy: Marriott Bonvoy app spans 8,000 hotels globally, offering seamless booking, check-in/out, room service and keyless entry. Members enjoy exclusive rates and rewards.

Airbnb: Airbnb’s app, renowned for vacation rentals, empowers travelers to book stays, explore local activities and communicate seamlessly with hosts, fostering a thriving community.

Smaller hotel groups and independent hotels

Numerous white-label solutions offer cost-effective 360-degree guest experiences, covering discovery, booking, upselling, contactless check-in, in-house mobile ordering and reputation management.

Embracing the mobile app revolution globally

By embracing the mobile app revolution, the global hospitality industry gains substantial benefits. With transactions increasingly through mobile devices, apps offer dynamic ways to drive direct bookings. Moreover, they engage customers in personalized experiences. Furthermore, they provide preferential real-time pricing updates. Leading hospitality brands recognize their potential, thus creating more opportunities for smaller groups and independent hotels. Leveraging mobile apps yields increased direct bookings and enhanced loyalty. In conclusion, fully embracing this revolution ensures a prosperous future, meeting the ever-growing demands of today’s travelers.

Michael Donald,
co-founder of Halo Business Consulting
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