The OnRes Blog

6 Creative Strategies to Attract and Increase Direct Hotel Bookings

By: Steve Behrisch , President & CEO

In the highly competitive hospitality industry, it’s crucial for hotels to maximize their direct bookings. 

Direct bookings not only provide higher profit margins but also allow hotels to have a direct relationship with their guests. 

In this article, we will explore various strategies to increase direct hotel bookings.

Table of Contents

Importance of Direct Hotel Bookings

Direct hotel bookings are reservations made directly through a hotel’s website, phone, or email, bypassing third-party platforms. These bookings are vital for a hotel’s profitability and customer relationship management.

Benefits of Direct Hotel Bookings

  1. Higher Profit Margins: Direct bookings eliminate the need to pay commissions to third-party booking platforms, resulting in higher profit margins.
  2. Customer Relationship Management: Direct bookings allow hotels to have direct contact with their guests, enabling them to provide personalized services and build strong relationships.
  3. Brand Control: With direct bookings, hotels have full control over their brand image and how their services are presented to potential guests.

Ways to Increase Direct Hotel Bookings 

Let’s see some winning strategies to increase direct booking bookings.

How to increase direct hotel bookings?

1. Optimizing Website User Experience

A user-friendly website is crucial to increase direct bookings. It should be easy to navigate, visually appealing, and provide all the necessary information a guest might need.

Importance of User-Friendly Website Design

  1. Easy Navigation: A website that is easy to navigate can significantly improve the user experience and increase the likelihood of direct bookings.
  2. Visual Appeal: High-quality images and a visually pleasing design can make a website more attractive to potential guests.
  3. Information Availability: Providing all necessary information about the hotel, its amenities, and booking policies can increase trust and encourage direct bookings.
#OnResTips: In case you missed it, OnRes provides a comprehensive hotel website design service

2. Implementing Effective SEO Strategies

Search engine optimization (SEO) is a powerful tool to increase website visibility and increase direct hotel bookings.

Key SEO Techniques for Hotel Websites

  1. Keyword Optimization: Use relevant keywords in your website content to improve its visibility on search engines.
  2. Local SEO: Optimize your website for local searches to attract guests from specific geographical locations.
  3. Mobile Optimization: Ensure your website is mobile-friendly to cater to the increasing number of mobile users.
#OnResTips: Here are some SEO best practices to implement for your website. 

3. Leveraging Social Media Marketing

Social media platforms can be used effectively to promote your property and increase direct hotel bookings.

Utilizing Social Media Platforms for Hotel Promotion

  1. Engaging Content: Post engaging content about your hotel and its services to attract potential guests.
  2. Promotions and Offers: Use social media to advertise special promotions and packages to encourage direct bookings.
  3. Customer Interaction: Interact with your followers regularly to build relationships and improve brand loyalty.
#OnResTips: Check out our detailed blog on social media marketing strategies for hotels

4. Utilizing Email Marketing Campaigns

Email marketing is an effective way to reach out to potential guests and encourage direct bookings.

Creating Engaging Email Campaigns for Direct Bookings

  1. Personalized Emails: Send personalized emails to potential guests with special offers and information about your hotel.
  2. Regular Updates: Keep your subscribers updated about any new services, amenities, or promotions at your hotel.
  3. Call to Action: Include a clear call to action in your emails to encourage direct bookings.

5. Offering Special Promotions and Packages

Special promotions and packages can be a great incentive for guests to book directly with your hotel.

Attractive Offers to Encourage Direct Bookings

  1. Discounted Rates: Offer discounted rates for direct bookings to incentivize guests to book through your website.
  2. Exclusive Packages: Create exclusive packages for direct bookings that include additional services or amenities.
  3. Loyalty Programs: Implement a loyalty program to reward repeat guests and encourage direct bookings.
#OnResTips: Did you know that OnRes booking engine has a packages and promotions feature specifically designed to improve your lookers to bookers ratio?

6. Providing Exceptional Customer Service

Exceptional customer service can make a significant difference in encouraging direct bookings.

Importance of Personalized Customer Experience

  1. Personalized Service: Offer personalized service to your guests to make their stay more enjoyable and memorable.
  2. Prompt Response: Respond promptly to any queries or complaints to show your guests that you value their feedback.
  3. Going the Extra Mile: Go the extra mile to meet your guests’ needs and exceed their expectations.
#OnResTips: How to improve your hotel guest experience

Frequently Asked Questions

Direct hotel bookings are reservations made through the hotel’s own website, phone, or email, bypassing online travel agencies (OTAs). This allows guests to book directly with the property, fostering a stronger guest relationship.

Direct hotel bookings offer a win-win situation for both hotels and guests, going beyond just potentially better rates. Here are some key benefits:

  • Increased revenue (skip OTA commissions)
  • Own guest data for better marketing
  • Tailor the guest experience (more control)
  • Exclusive deals for direct bookers
  • Build guest loyalty programs
  • Enhance communication (personalized outreach)

Incentivize direct bookings with exclusive offers, discounts, or loyalty programs. Highlight the benefits like personalized service and special amenities. Create a user-friendly website with a secure booking engine and clear pricing.

Absolutely, a user-friendly website with a smooth booking engine is essential. It should be mobile-friendly and optimized for search engines to attract guests and convert them into direct bookers.

Yes, by avoiding OTA commissions, hotels can retain more revenue from direct bookings. This allows for reinvesting in guest experiences or promotions to further attract direct bookers.


Implementing these strategies will help hotels significantly improve their direct bookings and increase their profitability. 

It’s all about providing a seamless, user-friendly experience and building strong relationships with your guests.

Steve Behrisch, President & CEO

Steve joined the OnRes Team as an account rep in 2008 and was promoted to VP of Operations a short time later. In 2011, Steve agreed to purchase OnRes and became President and CEO, and has been steering the ship since; achieving significant milestones such as rebuilding the reservation software from the bottom up, forging new partnerships, doubling the revenue, and much more…
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