What is a Direct Booking?
A direct booking is a booking made directly with the supplier of the tour or activity. In direct bookings, no intermediary or third party is involved in the handling of the booking. The direct booking may be made by the customer on the supplier’s own website, powered by an online booking engine, with the supplier over the phone, or in person at the supplier’s place of business. In the case of the phone or in-person booking, these may be considered POS or point of sale bookings. Bookings made directly on the supplier’s website would be consider a direct online tour booking.
Direct bookings are considered the best form of booking for a supplier because the customer has a direct relationship with the service provider. The supplier has the ability to build a one on one relationship with the customer and can contact the customer (and vice versa) should plans change for any reason. Direct bookings are also the most profitable since no expensive commissions are paid to third party resellers or an OTA.
The common benefits of direct bookings include:
- Control over pricing
- Higher margin (greater profit)
- Relationship with the customer
- Ability to ask for feedback or reviews
- Ability to deal with problems one on one
- Ability to continue the relationship beyond first booking