traveler viewing a hotel website on a mobile phone possibly leading to more direct hotel bookings

Direct hotel bookings are reservations that a guest makes directly with a property.

NB: This is an article from Fuel Travel

A direct booking is made with the hotel itself, rather than via a third-party such as an online travel agent, meta-search site, a managed travel service, or similar.

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The term ‘direct bookings’ typically refers to stays that are still booked online, usually via a hotel’s website. The most direct a guest can book is via walk-in or phone reservation, but depending on your property type and location you may not receive many of those.

As a hotel, your technology is essential to increasing direct bookings. If you’re an independent hotel, you’re competing against multi-million-dollar tech companies. Technology can help level the playing field by making it clear that by booking directly your guests receive the best rate, the most reliable booking, and may even have additional perks you choose to include.

Your hotel’s booking engine is truly essential to increasing direct bookings. Your booking engine is the end destination of every direct online reservation. There are several ways it can help (or hinder!) your hotel’s ability to obtain direct bookings. Your booking engine is the last stop before a direct reservation, but it doesn’t have to be the last stop in your direct strategy. When a guest books via a third party, you can use technology to win them back to a direct guest next time.

In this article, we’ll go over how your booking engine can help you increase direct reservations, as well as strategies to revamp your guest experience to encourage direct bookings down the line.

Make it easy to add, manage, and display rate plans 

An essential strategy to increasing direct hotel bookings is showing multiple rates in your booking engine aside from the basic direct rate. Make it incredibly clear the additional value a guest receives when booking with you instead of an intermediary. Your hotel booking engine should directly integrate with your property management system in order to sell specialized rate plans that encourage this.

In the example above, this hotel is showing the value of booking directly with two options: saving money or getting a premium add-on that’s not available on third-party channels. Most travel shoppers will check multiple sites before making a choice. Create memorable rate options in your hotel booking engine software so they come back to you for the final decision.

Read more articles from Fuel Travel