Increase Direct Hotel Bookings

How to Increase Direct Bookings for Hotels

Expedia’s Path to Purchase research discovered that booking a hotel room often starts online, with a staggering 80% of travellers using Online Travel Agencies before making the reservation.

This trend highlights the significant influence OTAs have over the booking process, which positions them as a primary go-to resource for travellers. 

This reliance on OTAs presents both a challenge and an opportunity for hoteliers. 

Online travel agencies (OTAs) can certainly expand a hotel’s reach and drive bookings. 

However, direct bookings offer hotels higher profit margins since they avoid OTA commissions and fees. They also provide an opportunity to cultivate personal relationships with guests, which OTAs generally don’t facilitate.

So, if your goal is to get more direct bookings. Don’t worry. In this article, we have put together proven strategies to help your hotel be more visible, trustworthy, and ultimately more profitable and achieve higher direct booking rates. 

7 Ways to Increase Your Hotel’s Direct Bookings

1. Build a Fast – Eye Catching Website 

Website design matters a lot more than you can imagine. WebFX reveals that 75% of users judge a business’s credibility solely from its website design. 

A website that loads quickly and captivates visitors not only projects an image of trustworthiness but also showcases the best of what your hotel has to offer – from the lobbies, amenities, and other offerings or specialities.

Furthermore, an intuitive and engaging user experience (UX/UI) encourages visitors to explore your site further, which significantly increases the likelihood of conversion. 

However, for conversions, you can entirely rely on the designs, messages, and calls to action on your web pages to move the needle profoundly. So, hire a skilled copywriter to write persuasive content that is powerful enough to turn the visitor into a guest.

So, don’t let your boring website discourage potential guests. Turn your website from boring to modern and see the magic happen.

2. Invest In Digital Marketing

The hotel industry is one of the most competitive industries. To ensure your hotel’s website gets noticed in the crowd. It would be best if you leveraged various digital marketing channels.

Here is a concise guide –

Social Media: Statistically, 55% of users discover products through social media, which makes it an invaluable tool for promotion and engagement. On Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn (for targeting business guests), and X (formerly Twitter), you can create engaging content that showcases your hotel’s unique features. 

Plus, to boost engagement, you can use Instagram stories to give a behind-the-scenes look and highlight special offers or guest experiences to encourage bookings.

SEO (Search Engine Optimization): Search results are the most trusted source of information for internet users. People know that it’s challenging to manipulate search engine rankings. The top rankings only favour websites with great content, a good reputation, and strong branding.

Having professionals handle your SEO makes sense if you want to improve your online presence. You can hire an SEO expert or an agency. They will help optimize your website for the keywords people search for, and your website can rank on those keywords. Plus, they can provide high-quality content and know how to get relevant and authoritative backlinks. Doing these things strategically can boost your search rankings.

They know all the latest best practices for ranking higher in search results. With their expertise, your website can get more visibility and traffic from people searching online for what you offer.

Email Marketing: Email marketing often gets a bad rap for low CTR. However, when done correctly, it can do wonders. The numbers speak for themselves – the global email user base is expected to reach a staggering 4.8 billion by 2027. Ignoring this channel could mean leaving a significant portion of potential customers untapped.

Where email marketing truly shines is in retargeting efforts. By collecting email addresses from visitors to your website (through sign-up forms, newsletter subscriptions, or even capturing abandoned cart details), you can create personalized, mobile-friendly email campaigns tailored to their specific interests and behaviours.

In your campaigns, you can offer exclusive discounts, FOMO offers, vouchers, or giveaways. The key is crafting irresistible offers that directly address the recipient’s needs and preferences to ensure that your message stands out in their crowded inbox.

Online Ads:  After that whole pandemic mess, ad spending just exploded as businesses finally understood the true power of online advertising. But here’s the kicker – it brought more players into the game, and competition levelled up. Therefore, nailing your online ad game is crucial for standing out in this cut-throat hotel industry.

You can hire an expert performance marketer for targeted ads on Google, Facebook, and Instagram to get a bigger bang for your buck.

But it doesn’t stop there. You’ve got to play smart and use retargeting tactics to get back to potential guests who visited your site but didn’t seal the deal. Just a friendly little reminder of what they’re missing out on, you know?

Remarketing: The numbers don’t lie: retargeted ads boost the likelihood of website visitors turning into buyers by a whopping 70%. (source)

If your marketing strategy overlooks the people who’ve already shown interest in your hotel by visiting your site but have yet to book, you’re leaving serious money on the table. 

To stop missing out, focus on remarketing. 

Here is how: –

Use retargeting ads to remind people who stayed at your hotel about the good times they had and to catch the eye of those who checked out your hotel online but still need to make a reservation.

Offer them a tempting personalized deal to cross the finish line. It’s about making your hotel the option they can’t forget, turning browsers into bookers, and maximizing your direct bookings. 

Keep it simple, innovative, and focused—because when it comes to increasing your bookings. Remember, precision beats throwing everything at the wall to see what sticks.

3. Provide Exclusive Rates & Deals for Direct Bookings

Setting the right price for your hotel rooms is crucial for driving direct bookings, as the price is the most significant factor for 87% of consumers when making a purchase. 

To secure most bookings, your room rates should be lower than those listed on Online Travel Agencies (OTAs). If your rates are the same or higher, customers are more likely to book through an OTA, as long as you don’t offer something they care about when making bookings from your website.

Here’s how you can strategically set your pricing to attract more direct bookings:

Understand the Market: Start by competitive analysis, find out who provides the same level of service and amenities. This will give you a benchmark for your pricing.

Use Makcorps Hotel Price API for Competitors Pricing Data: This Hotel Data API allows you to compare hotel room prices across over 200 OTAs.

This information is invaluable as it shows you comparable hotel prices listed on different OTAs and provides real-time data on competitor pricing.

This will help you identify opportunities to adjust your pricing to offer better value or match the market’s demand.

makcorps hotel price apia

Adjust Pricing According to Demand: There are ample pricing strategies hoteliers uses. But what makes them successful is, finding the right balance. Your prices are neither too low nor too high, as both can negatively impact your bookings.

Set your prices based on market demand. This involves lowering prices when demand is low to attract more bookings and increasing them when demand is high to maximize revenue.

Offer Incentives: Consider providing discounts or vouchers to make your offering more attractive and encourage immediate bookings.

It can effectively differentiate your hotel and convince potential guests to book directly with you. Read this guide to coming up with undeniable deals and discounts.

4. Make it Easier for Visitors to Communicate with You

When someone checks out your hotel website, they have questions bouncing around in their head, such as room specification, availability, accessibility, amenities, pet policy, early check-in—checkout, group booking, internet and connectivity, and more.

If you can answer them quickly, you’re more likely to seal the deal and get that direct booking. To make this possible, you can integrate a messenger or a chatbot into your website.

Nowadays, plenty of AI-powered chatbots are available that give quick and tailored answers. To maximize their accuracy, you can train them for the most common queries prospective guests tend to ask, and it’ll handle those like a pro.

What if someone asks something that the AI isn’t prepared for? Train it to respond and pass it on to the customer support executive who is ready to take action. This way, you can cover all the basics and give visitors the outstanding communication they crave.

5. Use Urgency in Your Messaging

If you want an abundance of direct bookings, you need to leverage an Urgency strategy that uses human strategy to motivate the prospects to book early.

Here is how you can do this –

First up, start showing off on your website how popular your hotel is with notices like 5 people have booked this room in the last 24 hours. It creates a sense of immediate demand and motivates them to book faster.

Then kick things with the availability countdowns, such as Only 3 rooms left on these dates. That’ll motivate potential guests to go ahead and book their stay before all the rooms are gone.

But we’re just getting started. To increase the occupancy further, offer your guests aw-dropping offers with visible timers ticking away the hours. A special deal with an expiration date will propel them to make quick decisions.

These urgency tactics encourage quicker decision-making and significantly enhance the appeal of direct bookings by making the opportunity too good and scarce to pass up.

6. Focus on Selling the Experience, not Just a Room

Many hotels get it wrong with their marketing by focusing too much on just selling the room. They talk about how great their amenities are, the discounts, and the prices. But here’s the thing: what really matters is how guests feel during their stay. 

A study found that 86% of people are happy to pay more for a better experience. That’s right, making guests happy can lead to more money. 

So, instead of just talking about the room, hotels should work on making their stays unforgettable. 

To show it off to your prospects, ask guests to leave reviews and then add them to your website. You could even make videos of guests talking about their experiences and share them on social media, feature them on your website, or collaborate with a travel influencer to promote them. 

It helps future guests trust you more. And when people trust you, they’re more likely to book directly with you.

7. Leverage Personalization

Your Property Management System (PMS) is a goldmine of guest info. Dive into it to craft messages and emails with offers so tempting that guests can’t say no. 

For example, if you notice a guest always book a spa treatment during their stay, send them a “Pamper Package” deal for their next visit. 

Here’s how to nail personalization: 

Firstly, segment your guests based on their preferences or past behaviours. Then, tailor your communications with offers that hit the mark. Whether it’s a spa deal for the relaxation seeker or a gourmet dining experience for the foodie, the key is to make it irresistible. 

It’s all about making each guest feel like the offer was crafted just for them. Personalized offers don’t just catch their attention; they also make them feel seen and valued, which significantly boosts direct bookings.


To secure more bookings directly, you need a solid game plan. First up, make your website impossible to ignore. It should load fast, look great, and be easy to use. Then, get smart with your online marketing. 

Show off what makes your hotel special on social media, improve your search engine ranking, send emails that people can’t resist reading, and don’t forget about online ads and remarketing to keep bringing people back.

Plus, strive to offer better deals for direct bookings. So that your guests know they’re getting the best price by booking directly with you. Plus, throw in some extra perks like free Wi-Fi or late checkout to sweeten the deal.

Increasing direct booking is not rocket science. It’s all about making your guests feel special and showing them the value of booking directly with you. Do that, and you’ll not only see more direct bookings but also create a bunch of happy, returning customers. 

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