July 3, 2024
Reading time
4 min

Success Story: Historic Hotels Ghent

A Partnership Built on Trust and Success

Historic Hotels is a small but distinguished group of five hotels, nestled in the heart of Ghent, Belgium, that has been a shining example of what can be achieved through a collaborative partnership and strategic digital marketing.

When you choose Historic Hotels, you are choosing a quality experience that goes beyond the ordinary. What sets them apart is not just the locations and amenities but their commitment to being family-owned and operated. The five hotels Hotel Gravensteen, Ghent River Hotel, Hotel de Flandre, Monasterium Poortackere, and Tower Hotel are dedicated to ensuring your stay is not merely a visit but a complete immersion in the city's rich history and culture. 

Our relationship with Historic Hotels Ghent began in 2022, spearheaded by their General Manager, who had previously experienced our services while managing another hotel. Impressed by the results we delivered in the past, he entrusted us with the digital marketing for Historic Hotels Ghent.

The Challenge

When we started, Historic Hotels Ghent had minimal marketing activity and relied heavily on Online Travel Agencies (OTAs) for bookings. Their primary source of traffic was organic search through their own SEO efforts, with little to no digital marketing initiatives in place. This dependency on OTAs resulted in high commission costs and limited control over their customer relationships.

Our Strategy

To turn this situation around, we implemented a comprehensive digital marketing strategy focusing on Search Engine Advertising (SEA). Our approach included:

  • Brand Campaigns Strategy: Ensuring that Historic Hotels Ghent's brand was prominently featured in search results.
  • Dynamic Search Ads (DSA) Campaigns: Leveraging Google's algorithms to automatically show ads based on website content.
  • Generic Campaigns: Targeting broader search terms to capture potential guests in the discovery phase.

Due to the early success of these initiatives, we expanded our efforts by incorporating Microsoft Ads into their marketing mix. The outstanding results prompted the GM to also entrust us with the SEA campaigns for their meeting rooms website.

Remarkable Results

Our partnership has yielded impressive results:

  • Year-over-Year (YOY) Q1 Revenue Growth: 32%
    This substantial revenue increase highlights the effectiveness of our strategic approach, driving more bookings and higher revenue for the hotel group.
  • CPR: 11% across the entire hotel chain
    Lowering the CPR means more efficient use of the marketing budget, allowing Historic Hotels Ghent to maximise their return on investment (ROI) and reinvest savings into further enhancing guest experiences.
  • Impressions Growth YOY Q1: 61%
    A significant rise in impressions indicates that our campaigns are reaching a much broader audience, increasing brand visibility and awareness. This growth lays a solid foundation for continued customer acquisition and engagement.
  • Clicks Growth YOY Q1: 26%
    The increase in clicks showcases heightened interest and engagement from potential guests, translating to more traffic to the hotel group's websites. This boost in traffic is a critical factor in driving direct bookings and reducing reliance on OTAs.

One of the most significant achievements was the dramatic shift in booking sources. Initially, most of the bookings came from OTAs. Today, the majority of bookings are direct, significantly reducing costs and enhancing customer relationships. This shift not only improves profitability but also allows Historic Hotels Ghent to establish stronger, more direct connections with their guests, leading to better service and guest loyalty.

“I have used Myhotelshop's service twice. I was so pleased with my first experience that when I changed from 1 hotel to a group of 5, last year, one of my first contacts was Myhotelshop...They have reproduced the same level of service, speed and results.  Using them to startup and manage our PPC campaigns has delivered 100,000s of visitors to our websites in 6 months, challenged the OTAs who were bidding on keywords and brought direct bookings to our hotels. With a ROI of 9x I'd say that was a result. On top of that our own websites have seen a dramatic uptick in traffic so we have become more visible and get more group and corporate requests as a result.Always available and always keeping an eye out for what's going on, we have a great Account Manager in Katia, so the personal touch is also appreciated. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend Myhotelshop for the ease of use and the financial returns. I just don't want my competitors to know!”

Richard Gale

Pricing and Revenue Director

Looking Ahead

The future looks bright for Historic Hotels Ghent. Our plans include adding metasearch marketing to their strategy, further expanding their digital footprint and driving even more direct bookings. 

Working with Historic Hotels Ghent has been an immensely rewarding experience. Their trust in our expertise and their openness to innovative strategies have been key to our mutual success. We look forward to many more years of collaboration, helping them grow and thrive.