How hotels can increase direct online bookings

The COVID-19 pandemic has wreaked havoc on the travel and tourism sector. Even prior to the pandemic, with the rise of Airbnb, online travel agencies and other third-party travel booking websites, hotels were finding it increasingly difficult to drive traffic to their own websites. This “cannibalisation” effect led many users to book their stays via third-party websites rather than hotels' websites. This in turn led to hotels having profits reduced due to commissions, losing out on customer information, and finding it harder to nurture customer loyalty. So, under these challenging circumstances, what can hotels do to avoid cannibalisation and increase direct bookings? This guide will answer that question by delving into these 12 practical tips that you can integrate into your international digital marketing efforts, taking into account the extra challenges currently posed by the pandemic:

  • guarantee the best rate on your own website
  • offer exclusivity and safety
  • offer flexibility all over the place
  • provide free perks when booking directly
  • content, content, content
  • strengthen your SEO strategy
  • do not underestimate the power of ad extensions
  • enhance the stay with in-app and cashless experiences
  • create a profile on Google My Business and keep it up to date
  • build up a great loyalty programme
  • take care of your community, especially in times of crisis
  • make sure you are ready for mobile

Whether you are just getting started with marketing your website or if you want to improve your existing efforts, this guide is a must for any hotel wanting to decrease cannibalisation and increase their direct online bookings.