What is Booking.com?
Booking.com is an online travel website where holidaymakers can book accommodation, such as hotels, hostels and homes, and also transportation, including flights, car rentals, and airport taxis. Booking.com is available in over 40 languages and used in 228 countries worldwide. Every day more than 1.5 million room nights are reserved, and on average Booking.com receives 4.5 million reserved per week.
The site also provides a section on top travel destinations such as Rome, Amsterdam and Paris, and includes tours and activities in each city. Visitors can browse the must-sees and most visited places and read reviews written by previous travelers. They can filter by family and general activities, museums, food and drinks, local culture and nightlife, popular points of interest and have fast track tickets to museums. Guests can book things to do and receive tickets sent to their mobile immediately.
There are a variety of vacation rental properties for guests to choose from: villas, houses, apartments, cabins, cottages, family-run bed and breakfasts, glamping, tree houses, and igloos. Vacation rentals appeal to travelers as the whole party can stay in one place, have a communal area and at the same time be apart in separate bedrooms. Unlike hotels, providing access to a kitchen means avoiding spending money at restaurants. Overall, it is also seen as more cost-effective than booking individual rooms.
Booking.com features “some of our favorite homes” which promotes a vacation rental in different countries, optimizing the property for the host. It also highlights “most booked homes” where visitors can see the most popular accommodation. Guests can read reviews of each vacation rental written by previous travelers who have booked through Expedia. Likewise, they can rate the accommodation out of 10 after their stay.
How does booking.com work
Signing-up and listing a property on Booking.com is straight forward. Once an account has been created, Booking.com will verify all the details and send a unique code via post to the vacation rental address. As soon as the code has been received, and all the essential details about the property have been completed (property type, location, how many rooms etc) the listing is then live and ready to receive bookings.
Booking.com only allows listings with instant bookings, as some guests prefer having the freedom and flexibility which enables them to book travel the moment they decide – without having to wait for approval of an inquiry. The site is optimized for mobile bookings and puts the listing on Google, Bing, and Yahoo.
24-hour support is included for both the guest and homeowner. Hosts are required to have prior communication with the guests, for information and instructions such as arrival and departure times, whether to receive the key in person or through a lockbox, etc.
Booking.com Extranet is the vacation rental owner’s account and portal where they can manage everything related to their listing. With a dashboard for the property, hosts can access, manage and update rooms, rates, photos, descriptions, payments, and reviews. In addition, hosts have a record of past and future bookings, reservation system and availability calendar.
On the Extranet page hosts can communicate with their future guests. They can set up their own message templates and even schedule emails to be sent automatically. Users can open and close the property at any time. Booking.com can be used with a Channel Manager and alongside other platforms. Having a vacation rental website on Lodgify allows integrating external listings to Booking.com and other sites.
Booking.com does not charge guests any additional costs such as reservation fees. Hosts pay commission on a per-booking basis, which range between 10% and 25% depending on property location. The commission calculator enables hosts to work out how much they can earn per night. The final amount is invoiced and paid monthly. Signing up and creating a listing is free, and owners only need to pay for commission when they receive a booking. Property owners also have the option of requesting a security deposit from the guests.
There are no subscription fees meaning there is no long-term or lock-in contract. If the homeowner decides to stop using the service, the listing will no longer be on the website. Unlike other online travel agencies that charge travelers additional fees, the rate set on Booking.com is the price that guests will see.
Some tips to get started with listing on Booking.com: as Booking.com only allows instant booking, homeowners must be prepared for direct reservations and have the vacation rental home ready at all times. Booking.com is another way of marketing and promoting the vacation rental, therefore it is a good idea to have a detailed description on the listing. Include all amenities provided (such as towels, bedsheets, coffee machines) and even general information about the area such as how to get to and from the airport. Have photos that are up-to-date and professional. Overall, the vacation rental needs to appeal to guests and stand out from the competition.
After each stay, homeowners are encouraged to ask guests for reviews and to rate it out of 10 on the site. This gives the vacation rental listing more credibility and a higher reputation, as future browsers will have more confidence once they see a vacation rental has many reviews and ratings.