The Book Direct Show: Why Cutting Out The Middleman Reaps Unexpected Rewards!

The Book Direct Show is a virtual event designed to share insider knowledge of how accommodation owners can attract guest bookings without having to pay significant commissions to online travel agents (OTA's) and you can register to take part today from anywhere in the world.

There are currently about 400 OTA's globally, selling travel-related products from glamping, resort, hotel, B&B, long and short-stay rental accommodation, to airline tickets and car hire.

We are all very familiar with Booking, Expedia, Agoda and Airbnb and more than aware of the advantages that utilising a 3rd party company brings to our travel plans. However, there are many disadvantages for guests and service providers when not dealing directly with each other. 

Why Booking Direct Is So Important

The OTA's business model is based on the fact the guest and service provider do not communicate until they arrive at the accommodation and this is bad for everyone apart from the OTA!

The guest relationship is key! Communicating directly with a glamping business, unique holiday rental, boutique hotel or eco-retreat owner establishes a connection, building trust and rapport between the two parties. Typically we wouldn't dream of staying in someone's home without at least meeting them first; albeit it virtually and booking accommodation is no different!

A solid relationship usually ensures a better standard of service, improved choice of units, additional benefits such as free wifi, assistance with special occasions and frequently a more competitive rate! Not to mention cutting out the additional cost of booking or cancellation fees, as well as anything up to 40% commission loaded by the OTA on the owner.

Why The Guest Benefits From Booking Direct

Dealing directly with the provider will often mean more flexible terms and conditions, a lower margin for reservation error and attractive loyalty rewards in the form of points and discounts.

If you are a "leave it to the last minute" type person, contacting the establishment directly will likely yield better results in the form of late availability and rates, along with verifying occupancy rates directly following a sold-out statement on a 3rd party booking site. 

More Control Over Adjustments And Cancelations

A direct point of contact, established relationship and a closer interaction can also reap rewards when problems arise, leading to swifter handling of any un-scheduled changes or should the need arise, minimising any issues or problems relating to the booking and certainly reducing handling times for resolution.

In light of the difficult and challenging times faced during 2020, millions of consumers experienced increasing frustrations in reclaiming expenses from 3rd party operators and having a back and forth struggle between OTA's and the accommodation business owners.

In some cases, guests were being directed back to the business owners to arrange refunds for cancellations when indeed the funds were still being held by the OTA!  This is bad for the guests and bad for business, but unless the guest has booked directly with the owner there is very little anyone can do as the OTA is in control.

How To Attract More Direct Bookings

The #bookdirect movement seeks to remove the middle man from this equation and enjoy the positives of liaising directly with a glamping business or vacation rental owner. For the guest this is simple but for the owner, it can be a challenge to understand how to attract more direct bookings.

I guide business owners through the process of attracting more direct bookings in my Marketing Masterclass with The Direct Booking Blueprint® and it was the reason I was invited to present case studies from the glamping and unique holiday rental industry at The Book Direct Show.

This book direct event on the 29th and 30th September brings together dozens of incredible industry experts to examine actionable insights and inspirational direct booking strategies to reduce reliance on major 3rd party booking platforms, something many want to do after the recent fiasco experienced during the health crisis.

You can find out more about the event and secure a 10% discount on attendance via Inspired Courses here: Book Direct Show Discount

I will be presenting in two separate sessions, leading a case study on being "fully booked for an entire year, in a matter of days" and further exploration of selling on social media, examining "4 Ways to get more direct bookings using evidence-backed tactics." 

The first session will focus on using specific methods to get your property fully booked quickly, making your marketing highly visible, memorable for your audience and therefore, attracting direct bookings with ease! You might be pleasantly surprised by the process and the case-study evidence that will be shared.

Delving deeper into social media tactics in the second presentation, I will show you what platform to use and tactics to employ in order to exploit a small audience with focused and targeted action. This is the age of connection after all!

Join this two-day value-packed event and soak up the insider knowledge of how to get more direct bookings, while rekindling the old tradition of getting to know your customers before they book as well as delighting them when they stay! 

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