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Six winning strategies to increase direct bookings

In the competitive hospitality industry, securing direct bookings is vital for hotel success. Relying solely on third-party platforms can reduce profitability and control. 

But why is it important to develop winning strategies to increase direct bookings?

  • Direct bookings boost profits by cutting commission fees and allow hotels to build better guest relationships.
  • They enable personalized experiences, data collection, and targeted marketing efforts.
  • Direct bookings foster brand loyalty and give hotels control over pricing and policies.

Therefore, developing effective strategies to boost direct bookings is paramount for long-term success in the hospitality industry.

Let’s find out six strategies to increase direct bookings:

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1. Create a sense of urgency

Implementing tactics such as limited-time offers or showcasing limited inventory can instill a sense of urgency, prompting guests to make direct bookings to secure the best deals.

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Example:

To create a sense of urgency, hotels can offer flash sales with limited availability or time-bound promotions such as “Book within the next 24 hours to receive 20% off your stay” or “20 people are currently viewing this room”. This urgency motivates potential guests to act quickly, driving direct bookings and increasing revenue.

2. Utilize commission-free booking engines

Consider investing in a direct booking platform tailored to your hotel’s needs. This allows hotels to optimize their online presencemaximize direct bookings, and maintain control over the booking process and guest relationships.

Check out some essential features when selecting the perfect booking engine for your property:

  • Commissionable or Commission-Free: Choose between platforms that charge a commission on bookings or those that offer commission-free options.
  • Language & Currency Converter: Ensure the booking engine supports multiple languages and currencies to accommodate international guests.
  • Payment Method: Select a booking engine that integrates various payment methods to cater to diverse guest preferences.
  • Purchase Triggers: Look for features like rate comparison widgets and integration with Google such as WatchMyRate and Get Google to incentivize direct bookings.
  • Smart Pricing Features: Opt for a booking engine with smart pricing capabilities to dynamically adjust rates based on demand and market trends.

3. Utilize short-form videos

Leverage platforms like TikTok, YouTube, and Instagram Reels to create engaging short-form videos that showcase your hotel’s offerings, highlight guest experiences, and capitalize on viral trends to increase brand visibility and drive direct bookings.

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Example:

Create short video tours of your hotel’s rooms, amenities, and local attractions, accompanied by upbeat music and captions highlighting key features. Share these videos on social media platforms to capture the attention of potential guests and encourage them to book directly for an immersive experience.

4. Optimize your website for mobile bookings

Ensure that your hotel’s website is optimized for mobile devices, including responsive design and fast loading times. With an increasing number of travelers using mobile devices to research and book accommodations, a mobile-friendly website is essential for capturing direct bookings.

5. Build social proof and reputation

Encourage positive reviews from satisfied guests and actively engage with customers on social media platforms. By responding promptly to comments and reviews and showcasing social proof of guest satisfaction, hotels can enhance their reputation and attract more direct bookings.

Make sure you utilize the influence of these reviews in your marketing efforts by investing in suitable tools

Direct bookings 16. Implement a robust Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system

Consider implementing a robust Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system tailored to your hotel’s needs. This enables hotels to capture guest data, personalize experiences, and foster loyalty through targeted promotions and rewards programs.

Check out some essential features when selecting the perfect CRM system for your property:

  • Data Capture: Choose a CRM system that effectively captures guest information and preferences to personalize their experience.
  • Communication Tools: Ensure the CRM system offers tools for sending post-stay follow-up emails and requesting feedback to nurture guest relationships.
  • Loyalty Programs: Select a CRM system that facilitates the implementation of rewards programs and offers exclusive perks for returning guests to incentivize direct bookings and foster loyalty.

In conclusion, implementing effective strategies to increase direct bookings is essential for maximizing revenue, enhancing guest relationships, and maintaining control over the booking process. By creating a sense of urgency, leveraging commission-free booking engines, utilizing short-form videos, optimizing mobile bookings, building social proof, and implementing a robust CRM system, hotels can successfully drive direct bookings and achieve long-term success in the competitive hospitality industry

Tags: commission-free booking engines, direct bookings, short-form videos

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STAAH is a New Zealand-based technology company that specialises in cloud-based channel management and booking engine for accommodation providers helping them maximise their online revenue. Founded by Gavin Jeddo in 2008, a pioneer in the field of distribution technology, STAAH’s industry-leading technology powers a property’s distribution through online travel agencies (OTA) and direct bookings. STAAH partners with over 19000+ properties across 90 countries through its operations in New Zealand, Australia, India, UAE, Malaysia, Philippines, Thailand, Indonesia, Vietnam, Middle East, UK and Europe.

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