An uncertain future lies ahead, and for independent hotels, the ability to compete against chains and big brands is arguably more challenging than ever.

However, there is some good news. No matter what’s happening in the world right now, and regardless of how deep the competition’s pockets might be (who knows what’s going on behind the scenes, right?), there’s lots you can do to draw people to your property.

There is still a bustling market out there, waiting to be discovered. And while it might not be available right now, it will be – soon.

It’s therefore vitally important for independent hoteliers to make their property as magnetic as possible. 

Here’s how you can do just that.

1. Get an online booking engine (or improve your existing one)

Chances are, you’ve got an online booking engine already. 

If you haven’t – get one. It’s as simple as that.

They no longer cost a fortune to implement, and if you choose the right one, it’ll be one of your smallest overheads.

If you already have an online booking engine but haven’t received many direct bookings since it went live, read this guide – now.

2. Update your website content

When was the last time you updated the content on your website? Was it when the web designer asked you for the words and images?

If that’s the case, you’re not alone. But you should do something about it, because most people will start their hotel search on Google, and to stand a chance of being found, you’ll need relevant, fresh and regularly-updated content to feed Google’s algorithm.

This might mean hiring a photographer for some new photos, or a couple of days of your time to rewrite room descriptions and a few blog posts. Trust us – it’s time incredibly well spent.

3. Revitalise your team

It’s common for hotel teams to fall into the trap of ‘just getting the job done’ – particularly at the moment.

Once again, if your team has become this passive, that’s not really your fault and you’re certainly not alone. But you do need to do something about it if you want them to be happier and help you generate more bookings.

Keep those weekly team meetings going, but make them as upbeat as possible. Ask everyone how they’d like to see things improve and what the hotel can do to attract more guests.

You’ll be surprised by some of the suggestions you receive. You might need to put your extra-thick skin on, too, because some of the advice may be tough to hear.

The more involved your team is, the more you’ll all work cohesively to create a venue to which guests are drawn again and again. A happy hotel team is infectious, after all.

4. Spread your wings online

In the past, you may have been told to only opt for a couple of online travel agency (OTA) listings.

Forget that. Spread your wings online.

Now, more than ever, it’s vitally important to have wide coverage for online bookings. OTAs have cornered most of Google when it comes to search traffic, therefore you can lean on their investment in SEO.

Add yourself to all but the most unsuitable of OTAs and make sure you treat your listings as you would your website (see tip 2) by keeping them fully updated with photos and descriptions.

Wrapping up

If you’ve got some extra time on your hands at the moment, put it to good use by making headway on the strategies above.

There are no silver bullets in this list, but a consistent approach will ensure your independent hotel becomes a magnet for guests.

CMS Hospitality holds over 30 years of experience in delivering hospitality software solutions. GuestCentrix offers the most complete solution in hotel property management 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 and 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 GuestCentrix solution that’s right for you.