As the world gradually returns to some kind of normality, hoteliers across Australia will be wondering what they can do to increase direct bookings.

There’s no denying the fact that the so-called ‘new normal’ is going to present quite a challenge for hoteliers. People may be afraid to travel for any reason other than necessity for a while, and the squeeze on margins will therefore likely continue.

However, beneath that fear, there’ll still be an innate desire to get out there and explore. People will still want to go on holiday, and businesses will still require some employees to spread their wings and travel for work.

Those guests are out there. You just need to get smart with your marketing and promotional activity. 

Here’s five ways to do just that.

1. Make it easy to book online

We talk about this a lot, but the ability to easily accept direct bookings is now more important than ever.

Online travel agencies have their place, but they’re expensive; it remains far more profitable to grab a booking from your own website.

Check out our advice for planning a future direct booking strategy, and ensure your hotel property management software is linked directly to your website for online booking. Today.

2. Get super-specific with your targeting

Personalisation is vitally important in the modern hotel industry. Guests want stays, rates and rooms that are tailored to their exact requirements.

However, you can’t be everything to everyone, which is why you need to get specific about the audience your hotel targets.

Who is your typical type of guest? Take any spare time you have now to model that person; what do they like and hate about hotels? Where are they likely to be found online? What additions to a room for the night are likely to get them interested?

3. Go all-out during peak booking season

Peak seasons might seem like a distant dream at the moment, but they’ll return. And, when they do, you need to go all-out with your marketing budget.

It might feel counterproductive to up your advertising spend during those times, but peak season means a vastly increased number of eyes potentially looking for accommodation. 

If you’ve got it, flaunt it by building marketing budget increases into your forward-planning. The more you spend on marketing during those periods (smartly, of course), the more bookings you’ll bring in.

4. Give incentives for people to book

Like it or not, people are going to need more encouragement than ever to book a hotel room this year. This is why you need to offer incentives for doing so.

A great price won’t be enough – you need to be smarter than that. For instance, if you’ve struck a deal with a local attraction that provides discounted tickets, that might do it. Equally, the addition of a free wine tasting session or complimentary evening meal should eclipse any costs you’ll incur with the numbers of bookings it attracts.

5. Implement a loyalty scheme

Loyalty schemes aren’t just for airlines and stores – they work brilliantly for hotels, as well.

They’re relatively easy to implement, too. If you put your mind to it, your hotel’s loyalty scheme could build a database of customers who are guaranteed to return, thus providing a vital line of consistent, predictable revenue for your property.

It’ll do wonders for your brand, too.

Wrapping up

It’s time to get your hands dirty (figuratively of course!) as a hotelier. The effort you put in now will pay dividends as the world gets back to normality – just use our tips above to ensure you’re doing everything possible to attract new bookings in a consistent manner.

CMS Hospitality holds over 30 years of experience in delivering hospitality software solutions. CMS offers the most complete solution in hospitality software, whether you’re running a hotel, a resort or a hostel. Our highly experienced support and installations team holds a unique understanding of the hospitality industry. We will aim to provide software that suits your property’s needs.

Call us today at (+61) 2 9440 9711, or email us at We will be happy to guide you to the CMS Hospitality solution that’s right for you.