Driving Bookings with Amenities

We are always looking for the best ways to improve our clients’ metasearch performance. With a growing number of properties participating, it can be difficult to stand out. While price, reviews, location and convenience remain the most important considerations for travelers, a study recently conducted by TripAdvisor identified that 77% of consumer booking decisions are influenced by the available amenities. Amenities serve as a value add for customers. The more discerning travelers will not even consider a property if the right amenities are not available.

Think of it this way, participating in metasearch is a lot like competing on The Bachelor. One customer has the choice of dozens of beautiful properties vying for their attention. All of them hoping to earn that coveted rose (in this case booking) and save themselves from elimination. So how do you stand out? Is it by being the easiest or cheapest option? This will definitely earn you a lot of attention, but it doesn’t often lead to a long term relationship. Everyone knows that the winner will be the one that “gets” the bachelor on a deeper level and can satisfy all of their needs. So how can your hotel win the rose? Attractive amenities may be the answer.

What are the Most Influential Amenities?

Your hotel no doubt has a lot to offer. It’s not a bad idea to advertise every positive aspect of your property; however, every customer has a limit to the amount of information they can retain. So it is important to prioritize how you present your message and (when possible) augment your message to hit the highlights. After all, this is the first date- they may not want to hear your life story.

Now according to the TripAdvisor study, some amenities are considerably more influential than others. Below is a list from the study showing the percentage of customers who indicated that the availability of a specific amenity would influence whether or not they booked.

  1. Free in-room Wi-Fi – 74%
  2. Free Breakfast – 60%
  3. In-room amenities – 58%
  4. Free shuttle service – 35%
  5. Staff who speaks the traveler’s language – 35%

Clearly, access to the internet is important. Given the manner by which these customers are finding your hotel, this should not come as a shock. While this serves as a great starting point, think about ways in which you can identify the amenities that speak to your target customer. So now that you know what is important to your customer, how do you drive bookings?

Make sure Amenities are visible

Your first priority is to make sure your amenities are actually being listed across publishers. Hotel amenities show up in lots of different places and the placement varies from site to site. For the most part, publishers like Kayak, TripAdvisor, and Trivago feature the information in two major places.

  • Search Filters – Many sites allow users to filter their searches based off of amenities. This means if you are not advertising all of your amenities, you may be losing qualified traffic. As a quick exercise, attempt to find your properties using the various amenity filters. If you fail to show up for an amenity you have, you may have a problem. If you are looking at properties in Texas, try the air-conditioned filter. Running a hotel in Texas without AC is probably a crime.



  • Hotel Info – Most sites also provide expanded hotel details. These details can be visible on the main meta placement or after the customer clicks on a specific property.


How the amenities are displayed will vary from site to site. In some cases amenities are not highly visible, but they still effect how you are positioned. For example, on Google you are not able to filter by amenity type, but you will receive different results when you search for “hotels in Dallas” versus “hotels in Dallas with indoor pool”. In this instance, even though the amenity is not highly visible it still serves as a search qualifier.

Many major publishers enable you to actively manage your properties information- take advantage of this capability. Proactively scanning and updating your listings will ensure your property is accurately represented and will help drive bookings.  Now that you are wearing your best dress you are ready to look for new opportunities.

Look for New Opportunities

There is a lot that can be learned about your customer by observing your metasearch campaign. For example, few people are probably surprised that customers using a metasearch site would consider Wi-Fi availability an important amenity. It may surprise you that the TripAdvisor study also pointed out that “nearly 30% (of consumers) would be willing to pay extra for a super-fast connection.”  This kind of understanding helps to set up an easy upsell.

By observing what is important to the discerning customer, you can look for chances to build upsell opportunities. The internet is a great place to test the effectiveness of new offers. The ease in which data can be collected makes for the perfect A/B Testing ground. Understanding what your client’s value will lead to incremental revenue. Trying to attract more executive travel? Try promoting private black car transport to the airport. Looking for more business travelers?  There may be an opportunity to promote and sell laundry services. You don’t close big deals wearing a dirty dress shirt.

Final Rose Ceremony

Amenities win the rose (bookings for those of you who forgot about the Bachelor reference).  They serve as a differentiator and a value add for your customers. Ensure that your properties are accurately advertised. Observe your customers booking habits and prioritize your offering based off of their feedback. Always look for new opportunities to upsell and meet customer needs. Following these actions will lead to happier customers, increased bookings and healthier margins.