What is a direct booking website?

A direct booking website is a website that any hotelier or accommodation provider, no matter their size, can use to accept direct bookings.

Direct booking websites can be surprisingly simple and cost-effective to set up. A tool like Little Hotelier’s website builder, alongside its direct booking engine, enables small, independent hoteliers an opportunity to create their own stunning direct booking site in literal minutes.

Why your small hotel needs its own direct booking website

Many small, independent hotels remain reliant on OTAs and other booking channels to attract guests. While the reach of these third-party websites can be impressive, they take a sizable cut of your profits, usually in the region of 15-25% of every booking. Why give away up to a quarter of your revenue when you don’t have to?

Direct bookings are the best bookings. Without the need to pay the middleman, you can choose to either keep the extra cash, or lower your rates to make them more competitive and attract more guests.

By creating your own direct booking website, and directing guests to it through email, social media, metasearch and more, you gain more control over your hotel business.

How to create a direct booking website

The next question is how to build a direct booking website. No matter whether you’re looking to create a hotel booking site, a short-term rental website, or an Airbnb direct booking website, the task is simple if you choose a tool like Little Hotelier. The process of using our website builder is as follows:

  • Choose a template: With a wealth of beautiful templates purpose-built for independent hoteliers, you can be confident that your website will be both beautiful and functional.
  • Define your aesthetic: Branding is critical. Define your brand colours and organise the logos that will appear on your site.
  • Customise your pages: Fill out your homepage and other main pages – ‘Book’, ‘Contact’, ‘About Us’, etc. Give a potential guest all the information they might need before they decide to book.
  • Add rooms and amenities: Add info and high-quality, professional photos that put your property in the best possible light. Paint guests a picture of their perfect stay.
  • Sell your region: Tell visitors why they should visit your part of the world. Include local tips that will make their stay that much more special.
  • Add language options: The Little Hotelier website builder lets you capitalise on overseas guests by allowing them to read and book in their language. Be sure to utilise this feature.
  • Integrate third-party widgets: Google Maps, TripAdvisor and other widgets can make life easier for your guests, from locating your property to reading your reviews.

How to integrate a direct booking website with other reservation management tools

In order to get maximum value from your direct booking website, you need to ensure it connects and communicates seamlessly with your other reservation management tools. This allows you to automate much of the admin and busywork you face as a hotelier, meaning far less admin and data entry, while also making you far more effective at setting rates and filling rooms.

Happily integrating your website with tools like your direct booking engine, channel manager and overarching property management system is simple when you choose Little Hotelier, as all these features connect automatically!

If you’ve used Little Hotelier’s site builder to construct a direct booking site, you can be confident that all these tools will seamlessly integrate with that too. And even if you already have a website, connecting up the Little Hotelier suite is usually quite a simple affair.

What to look for when building a direct booking website

The very best direct booking websites offer the following features:

  • They allow you to take bookings directly from your customers via your site.
  • They help you to capture direct booking traffic from metasearch sites.
  • They seamlessly integrate with your preferred channel manager.
  • They facilitate secure customer payments.

Easily create a direct booking website with Little Hotelier

If you’re a small, independent hotelier, there’s no better direct booking website builder and direct booking engine than Little Hotelier. Our system allows any hotelier, no matter their technical ability, to build a stunning website in under an hour.

With Little Hotelier your business can enhance its guest experience and revenue, with up to a 46% increase in bookings and an ROI of 63x!

  • Responsive and connected: No matter whether you’re building a new site or adding direct booking functionality to your existing site, our direct booking engine will work, and work well.
  • Upsell and cross-sell: Gain more control over your bookings and make more money by offering extras and packages as part of the process.
  • Optimise room rates: Set any number of rate plans for each of your rooms to ensure your rates always reflect demand.

By Dean Elphick

Dean is the Senior Content Marketing Specialist of Little Hotelier, the all-in-one software solution purpose-built to make the lives of small accommodation providers easier. Dean has made writing and creating content his passion for the entirety of his professional life, which includes more than six years at Little Hotelier. Through content, Dean aims to provide education, inspiration, assistance, and, ultimately, value for small accommodation businesses looking to improve the way they run their operations (and live their life).