Independent Boutique Hotel Seeks Higher Conversion & Increased Direct Bookings

Many independent hotels struggle to convert customers directly and rely heavily on third-party OTA channels for bookings. The Hotel Zamora was no exception. The Hotel Zamora is a 71-key independent boutique hotel located in St. Petersburg Beach, FL directly on the Intracoastal Waterway & across the street from the Gulf of Mexico. The Hotel Zamora was acquired in September 2022 by Sherman Associates, a Minneapolis-based development & property management company, and has been partnered with Total Customized Revenue Management (TCRM) for their revenue management support since the acquisition.

Revenue Project Goals:

  1. Increased conversion
  2. Shift OTA bookings to direct bookings
  3. Reduce distribution costs

At the time of acquisition, the hotel’s booking engine was supported by the property’s CRS (Central Reservation System).

New Booking Engine Solution

In July 2023 the hotel partnered with Skipper’s booking engine which is integrated with the CRS. Skipper’s streamlined booking engine is natively embedded on the hotel website and gives independent hotel owners a chance to convert customers directly.

Increased Booking Engine Conversion

Since inception, the original booking engine has yielded a 3.16% conversion rate while the Skipper booking engine’s conversion rate since July 2023 is 41% higher at 4.45%.

Comparisons made between channel contributions in 2022 and 2023 revealed a +30.9% increase in booking engine revenue contribution (45.8% in 2023 vs. 35% in 2022) after partnering with Skipper.

OTA Channel Shift

Additionally, two major OTA channel revenue contributions decreased between -44.6% and -63.6% for the same time period. The hotel’s overall room revenue increased by 2% for the same time period while the two major OTA channels’ commissions decreased by 16%.

2022 (pre-Skipper) vs. 2023 (post-Skipper) Channel Distribution (in RN %)

Increase in Food and Beverage Revenue

Even though it wasn’t one of the original goals, an unexpected bonus from the switch to Skipper was also the increase in the hotel’s Food & Beverage revenue per occupied room. In fact, 21% of guests who book a room also book a table at the hotel’s Mediterranean-inspired award-winning restaurant, Castile. This capture has increased the outlet food & beverage spend per occupied room by 10.6%.

According to Robb Hall, Vice President of Hospitality & Retail for Sherman Associates, the “Skipper Booking Engine has seamlessly integrated into The Hotel Zamora’s website, strengthened our connection with, and booking experience for, our guests, ultimately leading to higher conversion and decreased commission expenses. Additionally, their presentation of add-on offers, OpenTable reservations for our restaurant, Castile, and one-click-book digital wallet options are exactly what we needed.”

About Skipper

Skipper is a hotel & resort reservation platform that makes it easy for guests to book everything a hotel has to sell: rooms, dining, and more. Skipper increases booking conversion rates by keeping the guest on the marketing website throughout the transaction and allows guests to pay with digital wallets. Implementation is as easy as inserting a few lines of code on the hotel’s website. To learn more about Skipper, please visit:

About Total Customized Revenue Management (TCRM)

TCRM offers revenue management services tailored to the unique needs of each client within the hospitality industry. With a focus on comprehensive revenue optimization strategies, TCRM empowers hotels to achieve their financial goals through customized solutions, expert insights, and dedicated support. More Information