Achieving a steady increase in direct bookings is the holy grail of hotel marketing and distribution teams. However, this quest for direct bookings to your hotel is also constantly challenged by the changing dynamics of the online marketplace.

On one side, it is the established Online Travel Agencies (OTAs) with high power marketing campaigns. On another, it is rogue OTAs sourcing rates from Wholesalers and selling your hotel cheaper than on the brand website. The complexity of metasearch and Google’s evolving ambitions in the travel space makes metasearch marketing challenging to say the least.

So, amidst all this, where should the hotel focus on when it comes to increasing direct bookings?

Foundations for a direct booking strategy

As with any strategy, it is important to get the basics right. This helps ensure that once you are up and running you can consistently build on your efforts to increase direct bookings.

Rates & pricing – get the structure right


Position for more direct bookings

  • Have a clear positioning statement that reflects what your hotel represents
  • Identify clearly the unique selling points and differentiators
  • Positioning should support the overall value proposition as perceived by bookers

Plan your brand website


Manage reputation to up direct bookings


Ensure rate integrity

  • Have a consistent approach to distributing rates across all channels
  • Be fair but firm with third-party partners
  • Ensure rate parity but differentiate with value

Do metasearch marketing

  • Use a digital agency that has expertise in metasearch
  • Allocate spend to metasearch with clear goals on return on investment (ROI)

Implement ongoing content marketing

  • Publish unique content consistently on your blog and share on social media
  • Ensure that the content is connected and use a spiderweb of interrelated themes

Measure & improve

  • Identify a set of metrics that you want to monitor progress by
  • Ensure teams involved are briefed and plans and expectations set

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