Ranch Bookings Blog

Online Booking: How to Put Your Ranch Ahead in 2019

Jan 18, 2019 2:26:31 PM / by Matthieu Corrand

Use Current Trends to Drive Your Ranch Forward

If you want to push your guest ranch to succeed in the new year, the best thing you can do is learn from how people planned and booked vacations in 2018 and take that information with you as you plan for the upcoming busy season. With personalization and online trends taking the front seat, ranches should look for ways that they can fulfill the modern traveler’s desires.

As a whole in 2018, travel trends shifted toward more personalized experiences. 90 percent of people say that the standard method of travel is no longer enough, and they’re looking for a vacation or trip — for business or pleasure — that feels like it was created just for them. This is where guest and dude ranches have an edge because the core of your offering is customized packages to experience everything your ranch offers from the scenery, cuisine, activities, and more. Whether it’s a casual horseback ride to scenic vistas or learning how to lasso a steer, ranches offer personalized experiences at every level and their guests just might feel like a true cowboy or cowgirl. In 2019, personalization is where many ranches can hang their hat, but first, you have to rein in the reservation.

As adventure travel grows more popular and the older generation that many guest and dude ranches once relied on for consistent bookings ages out of the market, ranches are going to have to pay attention to where travel trends are headed to attract the younger demographic.

One of the things guests are looking for when they’re planning their vacations is online booking. You may have been thinking about how your ranch can use online booking, and in 2019, it’s more important than ever. More than half of all reservations in the travel world are now made online. This trend continues to grow — especially as couples in their 30s and 40s are beginning to take on experiential vacations.

The new year is a great opportunity for ranches everywhere to get a jump on their competition by offering seamless online solutions for taking reservations. With younger generations, the decision on where they stay can often come down to how easy the process of making a reservation is. With a well-designed website that offers instant gratification by showing up-to-date availability and rates, you’re going to have more success securing new guests over a website that requires a user to work on their schedule to learn about availability and rates.

Of course, stepping away from what’s working can be hard, especially if the process that you’re using to gain and book reservations isn’t necessarily broken. 2019 is the year to ask, how can your processes be better? What can your ranch be doing to attract more guests?

Take Advantage of Online Booking to Gain More Reservations in 2019

Another trend that was recognized in 2018 was the way that people were choosing to interact with the businesses with whom they booked their stays. Guests are more comfortable now completing the entire booking process online, meaning they’re going to be looking at your website to get more information about who you are and what they can do while they’re visiting — rather than picking up the phone. On one hand, this is helpful because you won’t have to worry that people won’t understand what they’re getting into before they arrive.

But on the other hand, it also means that your website needs to have all the right information on it so people can learn enough about you to make an informed decision. If you don’t, you can’t expect people to leave you a voicemail. Instead, they’re going to head to the next website that does have the information they need, and you’re going to lose guests.

So, what can you do to attract these younger, savvier guests? Take advantage of an online booking platform! This is one of the best ways to check off all the boxes that modern travelers are searching for that also allows you to showcase how you personalize your guest’s experience.

Many online booking software platforms, like Ranch Bookings, can integrate directly with your website to offer a seamless transition from reading about daily activities to viewing your current availability. These platforms can also integrate with the CRM that you’re already using to store contacts and guest information in one accessible location. Plus, with Ranch Bookings, you can collect more than just the basic demographic information on your guests. You’ll also be able to gather their preferences on activities, their experience level, and any dietary needs. This will help your guests feel like all their needs are being attended to, and you’ll be able to give them the best stay possible.

If you want to determine what your ranch can do better, consider an online booking platform that was built by ranchers, for ranchers. Ranch Bookings can help set your ranch apart from the rest, and we’d love to show you how. Set up a free demo with today.

Matthieu Corrand

Written by Matthieu Corrand

Matthieu Corrand is the founder of RanchBookings.com. A second generation guest rancher, Matt built the platform to help save his father time and energy, as well as increase annual rates and reservations.

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