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Touch Stay x Hospitable webinar: harnessing the power of direct bookings

Tyann recently hosted a webinar with our industry friends, Hospitable (a leading tech company specialising in direct booking solutions), titled 'How to achieve more revenue, repeats, and control with direct bookings'.

Three experts in the hospitality industry, each with their unique perspectives and experiences in the field, were invited to share their insights on the benefits and strategies behind embracing direct bookings. 

The webinar featured Emma Newey, owner of Whitebeam Wood self-catering cottages in South Devon, UK, Andrew Schorr from Hospitable, (a leading tech company specialising in direct booking solutions), and Scott McAdara, manager of Branson Lakes Lodging, Missouri, USA.


Direct bookings vs. OTAs


One of the central topics of discussion was the advantages of direct bookings over those through online travel agents (OTAs), such as Airbnb, Vrbo, or Andrew Shore emphasised the critical role that direct bookings play in delivering excellent service and guest satisfaction.

  • Direct bookings enable property owners to extend their brand and service quality directly to their guests, resulting in a more personal and customised experience. 


Challenges and caution in direct bookings


The webinar also highlighted the importance of being cautious when transitioning to direct bookings. Scott McAdara pointed out that while OTAs may seem to handle everything for property owners, taking control of direct bookings requires careful consideration of certain aspects. These include:

  • calendar management
  • booking policies
  • terms and conditions

Transparency and consistency were highlighted as key elements to maintain trust and credibility with guests during this transition. 

Building trust and brand recognition


Emma Newey stressed the significance of creating a personal brand that guests can trust. By sharing insights and stories through social media and other communication channels, property owners can foster a strong relationship with their guests.

  • Emma’s example of guests returning after 12 years due to the trust and recognition of her brand showcased the long-term benefits of direct bookings. 


Benefits of direct bookings


Andrew Shore summarised the benefits of direct bookings, including increased control, the ability to tailor experiences, and reduced commission costs.

  • Having control over branding and marketing allows property owners to market their properties effectively and provide unique promotions during slow seasons. This flexibility is a significant advantage versus relying solely on OTAs.


Adding brand elements to OTAs


In response to an attendee’s question, the panel discussed strategies to subtly promote direct bookings within OTA listings. Emma and Scott both mentioned incorporating their logos and brand elements wherever possible, subtly guiding guests to explore their direct booking options.

  • This approach allows property owners to retain control and build brand recognition even on third-party platforms. 


Challenges of direct bookings

While there are numerous advantages to direct bookings, the panel acknowledged that there are challenges as well:

  • Emma highlighted the potential for disputes and chargebacks, which require careful handling to protect property owners.
  • Scott emphasised the importance of effective communication and ensuring guests are aware that they have booked directly, rather than through an OTA.

Embracing the change for greater rewards


The webinar emphasised that making the shift to direct bookings may require effort and careful planning. However, the benefits, including control, cost savings, and stronger guest relationships, far outweigh the challenges.

  • Building trust, fostering brand recognition, and effectively communicating the advantages of direct bookings are crucial steps for property owners looking to harness the power of this strategy.


Incorporating direct bookings into your hospitality business can be a game-changer. By using a Touch Stay digital guidebook, plus following the advice and experiences shared by Emma, Andrew and Scott, property owners can take the courageous step towards increased revenue, repeat business and control over their operations.  

Click here to start your Touch Stay 14-day free trial

You can also watch the full Touch Stay x Hospitable webinar here:



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