As of this month, Priceline’s Booking.com has implemented rather drastic changes in the way hotel guest data is handled. Booking.com has made guest email addresses anonymous and therewith unavailable to Hotels. This is, according to the Online Travel Agent, to provide an extra level of security for both hotels and guests. As stated in an email, sent to their customers, Booking.com sees the biggest current challenge in protecting the personal data of individuals and companies from the evolving threat through cyber attacks, and that it would be essential to take actions now to find appropriate solutions, both for hotels and their customers.
Hotels can continue communicating with their guest, through the booking.com Extranet. The difference is that their identity, as well as the identity of their guests, will be hidden. The bottom line is simple: Booking.com takes the ownership of guest data away from the hotels, strengthens their Extranet as “the most secure environment” for hotels “to communicate directly with guests”, and creates even further dependencies.
While nobody will deny that it is important to increase online security, there is also no doubt that owning guest data is of fundamental value for hotels, and that giving up ownership will require additional efforts from the hotels to make sure they capture their guests data.
It will become more important than ever, that hotels regain their independence from external booking portals like booking.com. Why should you give up on your guest data on top of paying commission? Instead it’s all about encouraging direct commission-free bookings, by keeping the attention where it belongs: on your own website!
With that in mind, Customer Alliance is launching Booked – our very own booking engine, designed to be simple and responsive for both hotels and their customers. The ultimate goal is to convert website visits into commission-free direct bookings more easily with the integrated Booking Widget. Get a first insight yourself and sign up here for our exclusive Booked Beta-Test
Another powerful tool, which helps hotels to increase direct bookings, is our Review Analytics. It supports hotels to manage their online reputation by facilitating the analysis of online reviews and by collecting more guest reviews through a personalized automatic guest survey. It further increases the hotels visibility by embedding the reviews on the hotels own website and is also ensuring that reviews are collected across the web on all important hotel-search-websites. The increased visibility then leads to higher conversion rates through more direct bookings. Learn more about it and sign up for a Free Demo here: