The Booking.com Genius programme

All you need to know as a Genius partner

 

Introduction to Genius

The Genius programme is an effective marketing tool that is designed to connect our best partners with Booking.com’s most qualified bookers. We offer extra exposure to partners that offer additional value exclusively available to Genius members.

To make it easier for Genius members to discover properties that are most relevant to them, Genius properties are boosted in the search results and receive extra visibility through special tagging and dedicated Genius sorters and filters. This helps them stand out from other properties in the same area, and drives more traffic to their property pages, which may result in higher conversion rates, an increase in occupancy and incremental revenue all year around. 

To ensure the quality of the Genius programme only select properties are invited to join. To qualify for the Genius programme, a partner needs to have an average score of 7.5 of higher, and a minimum of 3 reviews. In addition, the property needs to meet our pricing criteria. Exceptions on pricing can be made for different countries, in accordance with local regulations.

To manage settings, as well as to monitor the impact of the programme, Genius partners can access the Genius Hub at any time. This can be found in the extranet, under the Opportunity tab. Once there, you will also find more recommendations on how to take full advantage of the programme.

See if you’re eligible in just a few seconds

The benefits of Genius

Genius means increased visibility.

Genius partners receive visibility boosts when logged in Genius members are browsing for properties in their area on Booking.com. This makes it easier for members to find the properties that offer them more value, and gives Genius partners up to 40% more views in our search results.

Lots of things go into visibility boosting, some of which include:

  • An automated visibility boost in the search results for Genius properties.
  • A Genius logo shown in listings (both on the site, and the app).
  • Dedicated Genius sorter (alternative ranking) and filters that moves Genius properties to the top of search results on Booking.com.
Image
trips_refresh@2x

Of course, demand in any area changes over time and therefore we understand that Genius partners want to adapt their strategy accordingly. We therefore offer the flexibility to temporarily suspend all Genius promotions, for up to 30 days each year. Partners can do this in the Genius hub under the tab ‘suspend Genius discount’.

Genius means increased occupancy and more revenue

The combination of offering exclusive rates for Genius members, a boost in search results, as well as multiple other factors increase the likelihood of getting bookings as a Genius partner. On average, we see an increase of 18% in bookings when a partner joins Genius.

But being in the Genius programme is just the start - Genius partners also receive additional opportunities that help them optimise their advertising strategy to specific target audiences to increase their property’s competitiveness and to reach their business goals. 

Find out more about the recommendations for your property here

It’s not just visibility and occupancy that go up for Genius properties: on average, Genius partners see an increase in revenue of 17% (including the cost of any discounts they serve to Genius guests).

The Genius report in the extranet enables partners to monitor the revenue generated through the Genius programme over time.

Image
genius chart 2020 _ EN UK.png

Genius means increased attention from high value guests

Genius partners get priority visibility in the search results of Genius members, Booking.com’s highest-value guests. Genius members are more experienced guests that on average spend more and book more. They are more reliable and committed to fulfill their bookings which result in less cancellations and fewer no-shows when they make a booking with a Genius rate.

In addition, we see that Genius members travel more internationally, book further in advance and leave higher guest reviews compared to non Genius members. In return for offering exclusive promotions to this high value Close User Group (CUG), we make it easier for Genius partners to capture the attention of these guests and to increase their competitiveness. 

The results of Genius

In the personalised Genius report in the extranet, we provide partners with key performance metrics to track the impact of Genius on the property’s performance over time.The key performance metrics include: 

  • Monthly bookings: net stayed bookings generated by Genius members vs normal guests.
  • Average spend per booking, length of stay and booking window. 
  • Cancellation rate.
  • Incremental revenue. 

The performance insights presented in this report are based on bookings completed by Genius members. Please note, in the first days following partners joining the programme, they might not see all data insights immediately as this depends on the number of the stayed Genius bookings they have.

Additionally, the ‘Booker insights’ report in the extranet provides you with more data where your current guests are coming from. Based on these insights you can set up a Genius country rate to optimize your targeting strategy and to drive more bookings.

Genius room set up

To get our partners started, we automatically enable the mandatory 10% Genius discount on their least expensive and/or most popular room, boosting their property to attract high-value Genius guests.

We find that Genius partners who offer a variety of rooms receive reservations not only for their best-selling room more frequently, but also drive bookings to other room types. If you have multiple room types, and you want to take full advantage of the Genius programme, we strongly recommend setting up these rooms to include Genius promotions.

Partners can select the rooms they prefer to add in the Genius hub. In situations where the least-expensive room is not the best-selling room, the discount will apply to both room types. Genius partners can select additional rooms based on their preference in the Genius hub.

Genius membership levels

Based on the extensive research we have done with our Genius members to identify what they really love, we launched Genius promotions that are exclusively available to Genius level 2 members.

  • Genius Level 1 for guests: 2+ stayed bookings in the past 2 years
  • Genius Level 2 for guests: 5+ stayed bookings in the past 2 years 

Since partners that offer these promotions become more appealing and therefore receive extra exposure on our platform through a specially designed sorter and extra tagging in the search results, this helps partners drive additional bookings.  This brings the added benefit of attracting guests that are less likely to cancel, and book more in advance.

We make sure guests using Booking.com programmes stay high-quality by removing those who engage in fraudulent or improper behaviour. 

Genius promotions

We offer Genius partners the opportunity to set up promotions to optimise their advertising strategy and target selected Genius audiences. This helps partners increase their competitiveness and receive additional bookings during periods when they feel they need to drive more business. If partners meet the eligibility criteria for these promotions, they have the freedom and flexibility to activate these promotions and to turn them on or off depending on the demand for their property.

Genius promotions are fully flexible, and can be activated when a property owner or manager feels like they need more exposure to high value guests that tend to spend more, book more and cancel less.

Find out more about promotions in the Genius hub

Additional discounts exclusive to Genius members

Benefits of offering an additional 5% discount: 

  • Securing revenue faster 
  • Getting up to 30% more bookings 
  • Easy to set up and to stay in control 

Partners that start offering an extra 5% discount attract guests who spend more and book earlier. This promotion is exclusively available for Genius level 2 members. We see that these partners receive up to 30% more bookings, as compared to those who do not. 

Find out more about exclusive Genius discounts

Room upgrade promotions

Room upgrade promotions are exclusively available for Genius level 2 members and are an effective way for partners to sell more of their higher room types. Partners that set up this promotion receive extra visibility in search results when Genius level 2 members are browsing on our website.

When a room upgrade promotion gets booked, the upgraded room is automatically allocated in the system. This means no operational hassle for our partners and no overbookings. A room upgrade is different than a discount and we see that Genius level 2 members are less likely to cancel this promotion. 

Benefits of offering a room upgrade include:

  • Boosted visibility in the search results
  • Selling higher room type to Genius level 2 members, while keeping the best-selling room available to other guests 
  • Driving more traffic to the listing and selling more rooms overall
  • The booking is automatically allocated in the system, which means no overbookings, no complexity, and no additional effort. 
  • Reduced chances to get cancelled. 

Implement your own room upgrades

Breakfast promotions

Partners that set up breakfast promotions see an average growth in bookings of 24%. They stand out in the search results and are included in sorters and filters when Genius level 2 members search for a property. In addition, partners can take a more strategic approach to sell more higher room types by selecting the rooms they prefer. 

Benefits of offering a breakfast promotion:

  • Extra tagging in the search results
  • Selling more higher room types 
  • Improving guest satisfaction 
  • Benefits from the ‘breakfast included’ filter and the ‘Genius level 2 benefits’ sorter 
  • Increase in bookings, while keeping ADR low
  • Reduction of costs and food waste 

Set up your breakfast promotion

Partners that set up an additional 5% discount, a room upgrade promotion or a breakfast promotion only offer this to Genius level 2 members. This offers partners to set up more targeted pricing strategies to drive more lookers into bookers. 

Genius business rates

Additionally, partners can set up Genius business rates to attract independent business bookers who are price sensitive and budget conscious. These travellers are selected based on criteria including travel purpose, previously booked business travel, and search behaviour. They have a higher likelihood to return, and cancel less often. 

Benefits of offering promotions exclusively available for Genius business guests: 

  • 1 out of 5 guests on Booking.com are travelling for business. 
  • Genius Business results in 16% more business bookings on average. 
  • Business travelers return to the same location 60% more often.
  • Business travelers cancel on average 50% less. 
  • Business travelers tend to spend more on additional services within your property. 
  • Business travelers are more likely to book during weekdays.

Partners who want to offer discounted rates only to business travellers that are Genius members must be a Genius partner. 

Set up your business rates 

Genius country rates

A Genius country rate is a special rate that is only offered to Genius guests from a specific region or country. This rate will not be visible outside the selected region or country, and as Genius is a closed user group programme it will not be publicly available. In the Genius hub we provide you with personal recommendations on how to set up these rates for your property based on the Genius guests that stayed with you in the past 12 months.

  • Drive additional bookings from Genius members from particular regions. 
  • Exclusively available to Genius members from a specific region or country.
  • Receive personal recommendations and data insights to help you easily pick the regions that are worth targeting in order to increase revenue.

Find out more about Genius country rates

 

Find what’s right for you

If you are already a Genius partner, or are thinking of becoming one - we leave you with a learning we’ve found.

To build a diverse pricing strategy, you need to use 3 components:

  • Rate plans
  • Targeted rates
  • Promotions

And on Booking.com, you can combine (or "stack") these in different ways. Find out how Genius promotions work in combination with your rate set up.

Build your own pricing strategy

Of course, depending on your property type, you can stop offering discounts to Genius guests by either opting out of the programme in the extranet or contacting us via the extranet ‘Inbox’ tab, so that we can then update your page.

Remember though, after opting out you won’t be eligible to join the programme again for another six months.