How to Win Indonesian Hospitality Market

According to The Jakarta Post, staycations in Indonesia are expected to surge in demand, following the reopening of some tourist destinations in the country. And with the current travel restrictions, the Indonesian Hospitality Market a.k.a. local travelers are predicted to boost the country’s tourism sector that will create a demand for hotels.

However, even if there is a high demand, that does not guarantee you a fully-booked hotel because the challenge here is, there’s also an overwhelming amount of competition.

In this blog, we will discuss all the things we have learned from our more than five years of experience in the business that help us succeed in winning the Indonesian market.

5 Characteristics of Guests in Indonesia Every Hoteliers Must Know

  1. They are last-minute bookers
  2. They are price sensitive
  3. They prefer non-refundable bookings in lieu of cheaper prices
  4. They are loyal customers
  5. They prefer mobile bookings

What’s inside this blog?

  • 5 Characteristics of Guests in Indonesia Every Hotelier Must Know
  • Frequently Asked Questions About Winning Indonesian Market

1. They are last-minute bookers

Our data at ZEN Hospitality Solutions shows that bookings in Indonesia, especially in Jakarta, have always been last-minute. Factors like impulse travel, changing government rules, and close proximity to popular attractions lead to last-minute bookings in Indonesia. Usually, guests book their rooms 1 to 2 days prior. In our case, ZEN Rooms get a lot of same day bookings. Especially during the pandemic where guidelines keep changing, and lockdowns are on and off, guests want to reassure first and wait for more clarity before they book. 

2. They are price sensitive

While reviews are important, the price is still the highest priority of the guests in Indonesia as they are price sensitive. Guests are willing to book non-refundable rooms and opt for less comforts if rates are cheaper. 

However, with the growing hotel industry in Indonesia, it will be challenging for hoteliers to stand out. The solution here is to ensure you have competitive non-refundable rate plans such as providing them with additional offers on top of the cheaper rate. This can come in the form of free meals or vouchers for their next trip to entice them to keep booking your hotel.

3. They prefer non-refundable bookings due to its cheaper prices

A Non-Refundable Rate is a rate that can be charged anytime after the reservation is created and will not be refunded in the event of a cancellation or modification. So why would guests rather risk losing their money than opt for a refundable hotel booking?

There’s a good reason customers prefer non-refundable rate plans—because it’s cheaper. Rooms with non-refundable rate plans are offered at a lower price than a standard rate where the establishment’s standard cancellation policy is applied. The Indonesian market is quite sensitive with prices so they would really prefer lower rates.

But still, it will cost them money should the booking won’t push through, right? This is where point #1 comes in. Guests in Indonesia usually book last-minute so they don’t mind the non-refundable rate plan since they will most likely push through with their trip. 

4. They are loyal customers

One characteristic of guests in Indonesia that benefits hoteliers is that they are loyal, meaning, many of them are repeat guests. They will likely book your hotel again if their first experience is good. Most weekend getaway guests often stay in hotels so it’s really important to maintain their loyalty by showing them you value your customers. What you can do is offer a Loyalty Program where guests can get discounts and perks when they book more often. Of course, providing guests with good services and fair prices is important to maintain your customer’s loyalty as well. 

And you know what’s great about having loyal guests? They are willing to spend more money to avail your services because they are more familiar with what is on offer at a hotel they have visited before. 

Having repeat guests does not only help you maximize your revenues but also boost your online ratings that could lead to more bookings from other potential customers.

5. They prefer mobile bookings

According to Think with Google, Indonesia has more than 100 million internet users. Indonesia is the next frontier for brands looking to connect to a new, mobile-centric consumer base, and it’s the one to watch for other developing markets. They also added that 98% of mobile users in Indonesia have researched brands and products on their smartphones that’s why it’s not surprising that many guests in Indonesia book through mobile. 

As Indonesia’s digital population continues to grow and evolve, hoteliers must have strategies that reflect this. You will win the customers by increasing your online presence by providing relevant content, and adapting to consumer behavior trends that will make them want to purchase.

With a reliable Revenue Management Software (RMS) like ZEN eManager Express, you can get data that will help you determine the market trend and best prices. ZEN eManager Express features AI-backed intelligent pricing, real-time automated updates, and in-depth analytics for performance review. Not only does it give you the right prices for the right season, it also helps you monitor your competitors’ pricing, improves your listings and maximizes revenues.

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Frequently Asked Questions About Winning Indonesian Market

Q: How do I improve sales for my budget hotel in Indonesia?
A: Hotel guests in Indonesia have certain characteristics compared to those in other countries. Therefore, knowing those characteristics is important in order to define your strategies. First, a lot of bookings in Indonesia, especially Jakarta, are last minute. Therefore, a lot of them book using the non-refundable rate plan. So it is good to have competitive non-refundable rate plan prices to attract them. They are very price-sensitive as well, so comparing with competitors is crucial to determine the best price, we recommend you to use an efficient Revenue Management Software (RMS) like ZEN eManager Express that features AI-backed intelligent pricing, real-time automated updates, and in-depth analytics for performance review. A lot of repeat customers as well due to the nature of the stays, so it is pivotal to get their loyalty. Lastly, mobile promotion is important as well due to the majority of bookings being through mobile.

Q: What are the characteristics of hotel guests in Indonesia?
A: They usually book last-minute. They prefer non-refundable rate plans because of that. They are very price-conscious. They are likely to repeat if they like their first experience. And a lot of bookings come from mobile.

Q: What are repeat guests?
A: Repeat guests are hotel guests that stay in the same hotel multiple times, probably because they like the hotels and they are loyal to it. It is important to maintain loyalty as repeat guests are more likely to spend more in the long term, and they can help to boost your ratings online too if they book through OTAs.

Q: Is mobile promotion good for my hotel in Indonesia?
A: Definitely. Mobile penetration in Indonesia is skyrocket, with most of the population, being in the lower and middle class, have access to mobile phones but not to computers. Therefore, it is very important to create mobile promotions for your hotel, as besides it will attract your potential guests, it will also boost your hotel’s visibility on the OTAs.

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