Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International
Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International
Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International

knowledge center - fueled by the HSMAI Foundation
About the Knowledge Center

The Knowledge Center, which is the succesor to HSMAI's eConnect, is your source of insights to fuel sales, inspire marketing, and optimize revenue. Fueled by the HSMAI Foundation, here you will find articles, presentations, templates, multimedia, and much more from HSMAI and industry leaders. Many of the Knowledge Center resources are offered exclusively to HSMAI members.

Knowledge CenterFive Guaranteed Ways to Not Get More Direct Bookings | By Babs S. Harrison, July 27, 2015

The buzz is loud and consultants are busily selling panaceas to hoteliers who crave more direct bookings. Just one problem: a lot of times the fixes cannot work because the hotels own practices guarantee it will never see a boom in direct bookings, no matter how slick the fix-it solutions.How hotels undermine themselves momentarily. First: the reason hotels, especially independents and minuscule groups, want more direct bookings of course is dollars and cents. OTAs impose commissions of around 15% on large hotel groups. The small fry get whacked for as much as 30% and it is take it or leave it. When the guest pays $ 400 but Expedia takes $120, yep, that stings. Thus the push for direct bookings, a push that reaches a near frenzy in independents.And yet those hotels - many of them - almost guarantee that the best conceived direct bookings strategy will flop. How?Here are five ways to ensure no direct bookings campaign, no matter how brilliant, will ever work.*The hotels homepage is cluttered, impossible to navigate. The best hotel websites - visit just about any Four Seasons site for instance - are things of elegant simplicity. They know what they want to communicate and they do it efficiently, often with few words and many images. And then there are the other sites that explode on the screen in a fester of competing claims. Here theres golf, there spa, lets not leave out f&b, and, oh, lets say everything five or ten times because some alleged SEO guru said thats how to improve Google page rank (even though it isnt true). Such sites do the opposite of the intent which is to pull prospects in. Instead they repel. So before embarking on a serious direct booking push, talk with experts about how to de-clutter the website. *The booking engine is cumbersome, clunky. It was in 1999 that Amazon won a patent for one-click purchasing. Yes, buying Go Set a Watchman is a lot more simple than booking three nights in a room - or do you want a suite? - with a king bed (or two quee

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