Property staff can encourage direct bookings
by John Buchanan, HotelNewsNow.com
GLOBAL REPORT — As hoteliers increase their sales focus on direct bookings, many are relying on rank-and-file employees, such as front-desk staff and reservations agents, to accomplish that goal.
"We have always encouraged our employees, and especially front-desk people, to motivate customers to book directly with us," said Joseph Smith, executive VP of Greenbelt, Maryland-based Chesapeake Hospitality, which manages 21 U.S. properties.
One key reason: Direct bookings help build genuine customer relationships as opposed to simply logging a booking. A consequence of the Internet age, Smith said, is that traditional hospitality relationships have been reduced to mere transactions. ...