Why Hotels Should Focus on Direct Bookings
For most travellers, the hotel stay is one of the key highlights of their journey and a big part of the decision-making process while arranging a trip. Many people do not use the hotel’s direct booking but turn to online travel agencies (OTAs) and other platforms to secure rooms.
Nowadays, hotels are largely dependent on third parties to reach more people, have more exposure and boost their marketing. However, lately, hotels have been trying more and more to move away from their dependence on third parties and are gradually opting to offer hotel’s direct bookings.
What is hotel direct booking?
Hotel’s direct bookings are reservations that guests make directly with the hotel itself as opposed to using third parties such as OTAs (online travel agencies) or mediator websites. They are usually made via the hotel’s website, over the phone or email or even by direct walk-in. In this way, hotels have direct contact with their guests and a much better overview of their preferences and expectations.
More and more hotel owners have been trying to reduce their dependence on third parties when it comes to bookings for a variety of reasons. This trend is noticeable also amongst smaller and independent establishments with core values like independence, personalised approach, unique character and who are tightly related to their destination. In addition to that, third party platforms oftentimes fail to display the unique values of a hotel, leaving it exposed to just a few images and a price point.
The lack of commissions owed to the third parties and the opportunities for acquisition of first-party data and offering a more relevant and personalized experience are among the leading reasons why the trends in booking approaches are shifting. 
Why should you move to hotel direct booking?
Task number one of each hotel establishment is to stand out. In a world flooded with big chains and ever-growing tourism industry, it is important to be visible in the crowd and offer unique and memorable stays. And most importantly – to convince your guests to come back.
Let’s look at a couple of reasons why small and independent boutique hotels can do nothing but benefit from decreasing their dependence on third-party booking agents.
- It will allow you to be as personal as possible
One of the core values of each independent hotel is to provide a unique, personal experience tailored to the needs of every individual customer. Going for hotel direct booking is the perfect way to improve and perfect the personal approach. It will allow you to interact directly with your customers and get a feel of who they are and what they expect.
The hotel industry is people-based and building relationships is key for its successful running. In addition, you will be able to build your database of customer profiles and have a clear overview of your customer’s preferences. Do not forget that in the end, in the increasingly online world we are living in, nothing can replace real face-to-face human interaction.
- Have ownership of your customers’ profiles
To continue the previous point, having a direct overview of who your customers are is a challenge when using third-party booking options because the hotel management does not talk to them directly. However, if you go for a hotel direct booking you will be able to communicate then and there and be able to ask them questions about their preferences and expectations. You may also be able to find out what their occupations in life are, what they like on a more personal level, and this will give you additional impressions on what you can offer them to maximise their experience. Later, when they come to the hotel, you will know them and will be ready to engage in more meaningful and personalised treatment and conversations.
- Improve customer service 
In case of a potential lapse of service, you will be able to provide a much better solution as you can communicate directly with the customer. If the booking is done through an OTA, it will have to act as a mediator between you and the customer and you will also have to pay them a commission. Both will make the process lengthy and more tedious for the issue to be resolved.
- Increase loyalty
Everyone enjoys being taken care of and treated with attention and respect. Once felt, your guests will not forget it, and this will make them come back to your hotel again and again. Direct booking will allow you to better your personalised approaches and as a result, your customers will be loyal to you. They may even also tell their friends and family about your good services and spread the word about your hotel.
- Trip excitement and anticipation
Travellers get excited when organising their adventures. Talking to them directly will allow you to tell them some pre-stay messages and get them even more excited. This is a very good way to start your relationship with them.
- Improve marketing
Shifting your booking process from a third party to a direct one will undoubtedly make you improve your marketing strategies. Revise your online presence as now you are the one solely responsible for taking your business out there: be active on social media, consider online advertising on Google and your social media channels, improve your website, explore platforms where you can advertise commission-free, establish an email marketing strategy, get creative and begin building eye-catching virtual content.
Maintaining a blog with useful tips about local trips and ideas about your destination can bring a considerable added value to your services. Independent hotels have a much closer practical and emotional connection with their locations and this must be your strongest side when attracting guests.
Your website is, in fact, your strongest tool. Use it well and show clearly why your hotel is special and what makes it unique and authentic. You may consider negotiating special deals with some local attractions for your guests, such as discounts or personalised tours, which will bring even more personal and thoughtful touches. 
Last but not least, it’s worth mentioning that when bookings are made directly, no commission is required to be paid anywhere to anyone. This means that the revenue from bookings might increase by up to 20%.
Are you ready?
Now that we have outlined the reasons why hotel direct booking strategy is important for the authenticity of your business we hope that you will take the first step towards making your hotel bookings direct. Adopting this approach is certainly the way forward – it will bring a better personal approach as you will enjoy direct communication with your guests; you will have ownership of your customers’ profiles; you will have the chance to increase customer loyalty and communicate your messages directly. Direct bookings will also allow you to take your business’s online presence to the next level with improved marketing strategies.
At The Boutique Vibe, we embrace all of the above, therefore offering all our hotel partner the ability to redirect all traffic and bookings directly to their websites. We see ourselves are an enabler of success, a marketing and distribution partner and not a gatekeeper and enforcer of hefty commissions.