How to get Direct Bookings from Foreign Tourists

Ok, you are here because you’re probably asking yourself how to get more direct bookings from foreign travellers. It’s not an easy question; because most foreigners book hotels through OTAs and Travel Agencies. There are, however, a few strategies that are proven to work.

hotel direct bookings

1. Reach to your audience through Instagram

People that travel abroad choose a destination 1st and then the hotel. Statistics say that about 70% of travelers search for destinations on Instagram before travelling there.

So, if you want to get the attention of the instagrammers about to travel to your area, you will need to appear on the hashtag pages related to the destination. Posting a picture with your hotel and hashtagging #hotelmalibu, for example, will most likely not reach your desired audience. Posting a picture on your hotel insta page with the Malibu Beach and using the correct hashtags, will reach your audience. And, of course, some of them will visit your profile.

2. Incentivise the direct bookings

When you plan a trip, you want to make sure that you get the best deals, correct? So, even if you go on an OTAs page, you will not book before visiting the website of that hotel and making sure you get a good offer. Take advantage of this behaviour, make sure that people visiting your website are offered a good enough incentive to book directly or to call the reception. You also need a booking engine that is commission free, of course.

Now, it’s true that OTAs require to have your best prices in their offer. But you can offer your very best prices to your “club members” only. And to become a “club member”, for example, you would only need to follow a 2-step registration.

Also, OTAs offer the “best online prices”. How about offline prices? You can always persuade your website visitors to call the reception. Or, if your business pops up in the first google search results, a lot of people will call the reception anyways.

3. Take advantage of the Facebook Pixel

Promoting your hotel blindly on Instagram and Facebook to 10 different countries from which you usually get bookings through OTAs, will be a waste of money. It’s impossible to guess who plans to travel to your location. But with the Facebook Pixel you can target exactly the persons that visited your website before and, of course, offer them a discount to book directly.

How do you get people to visit your website?

  • You have the users that are comparing prices with OTAs
  • You have the people that found you on Instagram and clicked on the link in the description
  • You invest a bit of time and resources in SEO
  • You can work with Google Adwords (this might get a bit expensive while in competition with big chains and OTAs)

So, there you have it, 3 verticals that you can work on to grow your direct bookings coming from foreign travellers.

If you have questions, or you are curious about more ideas, feel free to reach out through a contact form here on our website.

All the best!

Alex