The best thing a brand can do to retain direct bookings is to create incentives. If there’s a tangible benefit to booking directly, the decision is a no-brainer. It’s why Marriott offers lower booking rates to Marriott (and now Starwood) rewards members who book direct, in addition to perks like mobile check-in, free Wi-Fi and the ability to earn points toward free stays. Other brands offer loyalty members travel benefits like Uber discounts or Amazon credits. Offering incentives can also mean leveraging some of your brand’s natural advantages over the competition. OTAs are great at selling hotel rooms, but they can’t compete when it comes to local expertise. Immerse the consumer in your destination through customized content: expert insights on the area, unique restaurant experiences or luxury lifestyle amenities. This goes a long way toward establishing trust and, ultimately, booking confidence. If you sell the experience and not just the room, your brand will get a significant leg up on the OTAs. Get the full story at Forbes Page 1, Page 2 Read also "Traffic to hotel websites declining: How to respond?"