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Hospitality Insights

How To Create A Compelling Direct Booking Offer

15 February 2023


Why should you create a Direct Booking Offer?

There are several reasons why you may want to consider offering a direct booking offer:

Increased Control: By offering a direct booking offer, you have the ability to control the guest experience from start to finish, rather than relying on an OTA to handle the booking process.

Improved Relationships: When guests book directly, it provides an opportunity to build a relationship with them and create loyal customers who will return to your hotel time and time again. A Direct Booking Guest has a longer life cycle.

Increased Revenue: By eliminating the commission fees charged by OTAs, you’ll increase your revenue for each booking and have more control over your pricing and revenue management strategies.

Better Data: When guests book directly, you have access to their information and can use this data to create targeted marketing campaigns and offer personalised promotions.

Where and when should you display your Direct Booking Offer so that it converts?

Imagine this typical scenario… a potential guest is searching for hotels to stay at on their usual OTA. They use this OTA regularly for booking their trips away. They have already built up trust with the OTA due to the number of transactions they have already made with them, and they like the cancellation policy.

During their research of the hotels they have shortlisted, they decide to check your website to see if you are a legitimate hotel and that it matches the expectations they have built up from the OTA. You have a very small window of opportunity whilst they visit your website, to try and convince them to book direct with you, rather than return to the OTA where they have already built up trust. 

Therefore, your offer needs to be both very compelling and extremely visible.

How can you make a Direct Booking Offer that converts?

So, now that you understand why it’s important to offer a direct booking offer, let’s talk about how to make your offer compelling. Here are a few tips to help you get started:

Offer Exclusive Perks: Guests love feeling special and appreciated, so consider offering exclusive perks or upgrades to guests who book directly. This could be anything from a complimentary breakfast or spa treatment, to early check-in or late check-out.

Provide a Guaranteed Best Rate: Offer the best rate guarantee to guests who book directly, letting them know that they’ll always get the best rate available when they book directly with your hotel.

You need to check your User agreement with the OTA… as you may only be able to have rate parity.

Offer a Package Deal: Consider offering a package deal that includes multiple nights’ stay, meals, and activities. This type of offer can be especially compelling for families or couples who are looking for a complete vacation experience.

Make it Easy to Book: Make sure your direct booking process is simple, seamless, and accessible from your website and social media channels.

Use Social Media to Promote Your Offer: Use your social media channels to promote your direct booking offer and reach a wider audience.

Other perks you can consider including:

Room upgrades: Offer guests who book directly a room upgrade to a more luxurious or spacious room, or perhaps a room with a better view. This exclusive benefit will make them feel valued and incentivize them to book directly in the future.

Complimentary breakfast: Offer guests who book directly a complimentary breakfast, either in the hotel restaurant or delivered to their room. This not only saves them money but also provides a more convenient and enjoyable start to their day.

Early check-in/late check-out: Offer guests the option to check in early or check out late, giving them more flexibility and a better overall experience.

This can easily be achieved by changing what your check-in and out times are on your OTA.

Complimentary parking or transportation (transfer): Offer guests who book directly complimentary parking or transportation, whether it’s a shuttle to and from the airport or a car rental during their stay. This will save them money and make their experience more convenient.

Spa treatments or recreational activities: Offer guests who book direct discounts or complementary services at the hotel spa or recreational facilities, such as a massage, yoga class, or round of golf.

Gift certificates or local experiences: Offer guests who book direct gift certificates for local restaurants, shops, or attractions, or provide them with a unique local experience, such as a guided tour or cooking class. This will not only enhance their stay but also support local businesses and give them a taste of the local culture.

Personalised welcome amenities: Offer guests who book directly personalised welcome amenities, such as a bottle of wine, fruit basket, or handmade chocolates, to make them feel welcomed and appreciated.

Membership Scheme
Highlight the benefits of booking direct, but include longer-term benefits and perks for return loyalty.

Making your offer visible

If you only have a few moments when your potential guest visits your website before going back to the OTA to book, you need to make sure they see that you have a Direct Booking Offer that they can’t ignore. Here are some ways you can do this:

What else can you do?

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