How to Increase Direct Bookings For Your Hotel
By Jean Francois Mourier, CEO of REVPAR GURU
Promoting your property online is crucial to the success of any hotels’ business today. Properly promoting your hotel through the online channel (including OTAs, the direct channel, social media, etc.) can help a property drastically increase its brand recognition with potential guests and will help to sustain your competitive edge – as great online visibility ultimately leads to increased sales.
more competitive than ever for guests and come at a cost for hotels, which are not only faced with pressure to secure bookings in a highly competitive market, but are also required to pay commission on bookings made through this channel. By securing direct bookings however – that is bookings secured directly via a hotel’s own website or reservation desk – hotels can not only begin saving on commission costs, but also gain greater control over their potential guests’ booking experiences. Here are four ways that hotels can increase their direct bookings starting today.
For most properties, third-party OTAs are often much
Google Carousel is a “a row of images across the top of the Google SERP (search engine resultspage) against a dark background. For now, the carousel contains up to 20 results and appears primarily in results for travel, hospitality, and restaurant queries.”1 Carousel results appear when a user searches for something with local intent (i.e. hotels in San Francisco, CA).
Google Carousel can impact your property’s direct booking rates because your property’s visualimage (which is always more impactful than text results) will be shown to users before the OTA listings are. In fact, according to recent data, Carousel currently impacts 33% of keywords across the travel and hospitality industry2 and 70% of people are more likely to click on Carousel images than Google Maps and AdWords.
When clicking on the image in Google Carousel, users will be routed to search results for theproperty’s name, which offers direct contact info (including a link to the property’s website), as well as a ‘Book’ button, which shows the property’s room rate. Once someone decides to book with your property (direct), if you have a non-commission based booking system, you will be able to earn 100% of the booking rate (rather than 65-85%, like on most OTAs).
Social Media Bookings Social media platforms - such as Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Vine andInstagram - can be used to increase your property’s direct bookings. Guide your customers to book through the direct channel across all of your social media accounts by frequently updating and sharing with them information about your property, including links to your website’s booking engine. If prospective customers have only ever seen a booking option via OTAs, that’s where they are going to end up booking their reservation; by promoting the link through social media and making it easy for guests to find your site from your profiles/posts, you will greatly increase the number of direct bookings that your property secures.
Promotions and Incentives
In order to direct more bookings through the
Having the right technology can also help to increase direct
While you’ve seen the huge benefits to increasing your direct bookings, that doesn’t mean that youshould stop using the OTAs as well. The two channels provide hotels with significant benefits when used together strategically. Because OTAs greatly increase a property’s online visibility, having your rooms listed on the OTAs can lead to an increase in direct bookings (called the billboard effect). In 2013, Cornell Professor Dr. Chris Anderson found that hotel direct bookings increased from 7.5% to 26% when listed on Expedia – a direct increase in revenues due to the visibility created by being listed on the OTA3.
This demonstrates that the best strategy for all properties is to combine a strong presence acrossmultiple international and regional OTA channels, as well as an effective program to direct bookings through your own website.
About REVPAR GURU
REVPAR GURU provides hotels around the world
Headquartered in Miami, Florida, additional information can be found at or by calling +1.786.478.3500.