Wondering what it is? Maybe your hotel participates or participated in this program? Do you know what it is all about and what benefits it gives to hoteliers and their guests? Maybe it’s not just about benefits?
What is Booking Genius?
According to the descriptions, which can be found in the help panel of this OTA, it is a loyalty program, which rewards frequently booking clients. The guest receives 10% discount in facilities participating in that program in exchange for his activity. This is a kind of reward for the repeated use of reservations through the website.
How does participation in the program look from the perspective of a hotel guest? According to the data, in order to start participating in Genius, a minimum of five reservations must be made during the twelve months. The condition is to make reservations from the same account, using the same e-mail address for each of them.
The next condition is, of course, the arrival at the hotel after booking. Any attempt to circumvent the guidelines by some „smart and thrifty guests” is in vain. On forums you can read information about how someone tried to earn participation by booking and then not arriving at the place.
While earlier such practices might have been effective, now it is seems unfeasible due to the continuous development of the program, also in terms of security.
The problem is that actually the benefits are not so obvious.
In most cases, a well-made one page website and a professional hotel website audit on booking portals can give more benefits than a loyalty program. This will be discussed in a moment.
What does Genius give hotel guests?
Genius is a 10% discount on accommodation. Needless to say, this does not apply to all hotels on the portal. I am talking about selected facilities, also participating in this program. In practice, it also offers check-out and check-in conditions different than those for „standard” guests choosing a given accommodation.
Many people, who often look for accommodation in various places, pay attention to different conditions of checking-in, which may be the stimulus to choose just this, not another offer. Even if it is similarly priced.
Certainly, in your hotel guests often also ask for an extension of the hotel day for various reasons. Participation gives them such an opportunity. In some cases, this has also been connected with welcome gifts, such as a free drink.
Hotels participating in the program are marked in a special way, so guests using this opportunity immediately have an idea which offer to choose because it will bring them the expected benefits.
What does this program give hotels? And does it really give anything?
You already know what the situation looks like from the guest’s point of view, while both you and me we will analyze what the hotel gains and what to do to make it even better. Well, we’ll also see why is not it as rosy as you think.
In order to join the program (according to the booking service) the average hotel rating on the portal should be at least 7.5. However, I will point out what the hotel receives in exchange for participation, hence:
- higher position in search results,
- marking with the appropriate icon, thanks to which the person looking for accommodation immediately sees who participates in the program,
- dedicated contact of hoteliers with the portal,
- access to „distinguished portal users”, i.e. those who make frequent reservations,
- smaller problem with the low season, because the hotel attracts more guests.
Sounds great? Exactly, because that’s how it should sound. However, analyzing the whole situation deeper, you must remember that the hotel joining the program simply takes on its shoulders the obligation to pay another commission, which is fancifully called the loyalty program.
Naturally, I do not deny that hoteliers benefit from it. However, one has to answer the question whether the benefits are big enough to make them deliberately reduce their profit in favor of external entities.
Let’s not keep it secret, it’s an extra cost, because that’s the way you should understand it. Thus, not only do you pay the commission you paid earlier, but you also lose your money because you offer an additional 10% discount.
Is it not better, then, to examine your strategy and instead of imposing further charges on yourself, invest in the development of the hotel? Improving your website in the right way will help you lower the commission for booking.com and your position in the search engine will be higher.