Tell guests why they should book direct

Constantly remind guests that booking direct is better by prominently displaying your direct booking benefits on all of your marketing channels.

One of the simplest and most impactful ways you can convince your guests to book direct is to tell them WHY they should.

After all, once a customer finds you on an OTA, the first place they usually go is to your hotel’s direct website. And, this is where the ball is squarely in your court.

You need to offer legitimate benefits for guests to ditch their OTA habit and book with you instead. But there’s no need to give away additional costly amenities to generate direct bookings and create parity arguments with your OTA “partners”. Instead, simply remind viewers that direct booking includes things you already offer: these can include free wifi, free breakfast, airport transfers, or discounts off the restaurant and spa. OTAs are often unaware of these core inclusions and unable to showcase them on your OTA listing page.

Most hotels are smart enough to offer guests convincing reasons like these to book direct, however they hide these reasons deep inside their website. Or, only display them once the guests make it to the booking engine. Or, forget to arm their call centre reps with these reminders of value.

Your direct booking benefits need to be obvious, shared often and displayed in areas where online visitors can’t miss them. Such as right on your homepage, in your social media pages, in a prominent place on all of your marketing emails, in your employees’ email signature, retargeting ads, etc.

Bring out your direct booking benefits front and centre to amplify your chances of guests booking direct.

Tambourine Blog

Tambourine is a US-based marketing, booking and distribution service that helps hotel and travel marketers sort it all out. It delivers a 360º program that reduces stress and increases revenue.

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  1. I recently booked accommodation valued at over $1,000 with a resort in Victoria that was listed on Wotif. But I did the “right” thing and saved the resort the 15% commission and instead went to the resort’s own website booked direct using their online booking system with SiteMinder (The Booking Button).

    The tariffs were the same on Wotif and on their online booking system, so it didn’t matter much to me what I booked through.

    Imagine my surprise when my credit card was charged not only the tariff but an extra 1.5% on top of that to cover the credit card transaction fee. Yes, I should have looked carefully – buried in the microscopic print on their booking page within paragraphs of terms and conditions was mention of a 1.5% credit card fee.

    In comparison, Wotif charge no booking fees and no credit card fees.

    I see no reason to book direct for certain accommodation providers, when the only reward you get for saving the accommodation the 15% commission fee is being hit with a 1.5% credit card transaction fee which you wouldn’t have to pay when booking through an OTA. In those cases, it is actually more expensive to book direct than book through an OTA.

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