NewsJuly 24, 2023

6 Effective Hotel Marketing Strategies to Boost Direct Bookings and Revenue

The Battle for Direct Bookings Heats Up as Hotels Fight Back Against OTAs

In the ever-changing landscape of the hospitality industry, hotel owners face the challenge of driving direct bookings through their own portals while also balancing third-party websites and online travel agents (OTA’s). The hotel industry in 2023 finds itself at a crossroads, where cooperation with OTA’s seems necessary but not without its drawbacks.


Consumers have developed a habit of booking through OTA’s, believing they offer better rates than a hotel’s own website. As a result, hotels pay high commissions to 3rd party websites, leading to reduced profit margins. However, there is hope on the horizon as a shift back towards direct bookings gains momentum.

Leading hotel chains like Hilton, IHG, Marriott, Starwood, Choice, and Best Western have initiated programs to win back direct clients and reduce reliance on OTA’s. They have launched “best rate guarantee” programs and other incentives to encourage travelers to book directly on their websites.

The hotel marketing landscape is evolving, and as hoteliers, it’s crucial to adapt and implement effective strategies to stay ahead of the competition and boost revenue generation. Here are the top 6 hotel marketing strategies to achieve this.

1. Hotel SEO Marketing: Engaging content that captivates visitors and keeps them on your pages is crucial for higher rankings. Mobile optimization is paramount due to the dominance of mobile search activity.

2. Hotel Brand Protection: Register your trademark and implement brand protection measures to prevent OTA’s from bidding on your brand name and diverting potential customers.

3. SEM Drives High ROI Through Brand Protection: Bidding on your brand name in search engine marketing ensures a higher ROI compared to OTA commissions.

4. Hotel Re-Marketing to Drive Conversion: Target potential customers who have visited your website but didn’t book with personalized ads, encouraging them to return and make a booking.

5. Meta-Search Marketing for Direct Visibility: Utilize meta-search engines like Google Hotel Ads, TripAdvisor, Kayak, and Trivago to reach a broader audience and drive direct bookings.

6. Great Hotel Website Design: A visually appealing, user-friendly website with a clear booking engine is essential for generating direct bookings. Implement SEO and keyword research to enhance visibility and attract potential guests to your site.

By incorporating these effective hotel marketing strategies into your sales and marketing efforts, you can reduce dependency on OTA’s and maximize direct bookings, ultimately leading to increased revenue and profitability for your hotel. It’s time to wake up and seize the opportunity to regain control of your bookings and build a loyal customer base through direct channels.

Featured Cover Image: Vakkaru Maldives