Hotels have to be able to stand on their own, especially if they are relatively small and have little brand recognition. The Internet is a level playing field, but it is also very crowded and noisy., If hoteliers don’t have a multi-channel digital marketing strategy, they will have a great difficulty being noticed, and will consequently be dependent on Online Travel Agents like booking.com. Hoteliers not only need to have potential customers land on the hotel’s own website: they need a website which is an attractive enough channel so as to guarantee that customers will actually book their stays instead of booking through other channels. So, how can hoteliers increase direct website traffic? 1. Truly best available rate It’s your own website, your own channel. It is the place where you have the greatest control over your values and margins and, consequently, the channel to which you should give privilege. The best prices available online should be available on your website. Other websites and services can very well provide the same prices as well, but you should not be at a competitive disadvantage on your own website. If you offer non-refundable rates on OTAs, you should offer them on your website too. If you participate in the newly launched booking.com Genius 10% discount, you should offer 10% off for repeat visitors or facebook fans. In addition, to differentiate from OTAs’ fixation with price-comparison is to provide special promotions and special offers (e.g. a welcome drink) for increased prominence. Get the full story at the GuestCentric blog