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5 Tips to Increase Direct Bookings

Updated: Jun 12

Direct booking, or reservations made directly through the central reservation, is the most profitable sales channel as it doesn't incur commission fees to sales agents.

Booking Hotel via Mobile : Image Credit to Rob Hampson on Unsplash
Booking Hotel via Mobile : Image Credit to Rob Hampson on Unsplash

In the past, direct bookings were made via dedicated phone numbers for hotel room reservations. With the advancement of IT, direct booking is now predominantly conducted online through websites, eliminating time and location constraints. The primary competition for direct bookings comes from Indirect Booking, commonly known as OTA (Online Travel Agent), which typically charges commissions ranging from 15% to 25%. Maximizing sales through direct booking also maximizes operational revenue profitability.

The potential of direct booking can be gauged from the magnitude of existing indirect bookings. Therefore, one key to the success of direct booking is converting as many indirect bookings as possible to direct bookings by running comprehensive campaigns within the hotel and targeting guests originating from indirect bookings.

Starting from the check-in process at the front office, receptionists promote direct booking to guests who have booked rooms through indirect channels, in the hope that these guests will make future bookings directly. Additionally, utilizing all available media in the hotel for direct booking campaigns, including print, electronic, and audiovisual media, is essential.

Peter Drucker famously said, "You can’t manage what you don’t measure." Positive progress can't be seen unless measured to determine what is improving and what is not. Therefore, it's beneficial to periodically review based on prepared statistical data to objectively determine the effectiveness of the program.

Here are 5 Tips to Increase Direct Bookings:

1. Develop a responsive, attractive, user-friendly, mobile-friendly (Android & iOS) sales website equipped with a Booking Engine and Payment Gateway. Maximize traffic through SEO (Search Engine Optimization).

2. Offer consistently special or better prices compared to OTAs. Compensate for OTA commission values within the selling prices.

3. Supplement with positive reviews or comments from guests who have stayed and provide scores if possible.

4. Implement a Loyalty Program with point rewards connected to the central reservation.

5. Offer diverse payment methods to facilitate buyers' transactions. Include various payment methods such as Credit Card, Debit, Virtual Account, Convenient Store, E-Wallet, E-Credit Card, Paylater.


About Writer :

Ojahan Oppusunggu : Former Technical PM – DTS ACCOR Indonesia & Malaysia, Former CTO of Topotels Hotels & Resorts, Former Director of Technical & Technology of Artotel Group and Currently as Project Director/Owner Rep. Kapuk Hills Hotel Jakarta – Handwritten Collection.


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