What Do We Mean by “Book Direct”?

Tuesday 20th February 2018


A common pitfall in the world of a hotelier or hotel agency is the overuse of jargon. If used in the wrong way, this type of language can jeopardise potential bookings and confuse the user. A perfect example of this is overuse of the phrase “book direct”.

Here at Journey, we have undertaken vital research to find alternatives to the term “book direct” that give meaning to the user. As a result, we’ve developed personalised terminology based on accommodation types, and call to actions which feature reasons why the user should stay and book on the branded website as opposed to booking with an online travel agent.


Using generic alternatives to “book direct” is a great way to attract the user’s attention and emphasise the benefits of booking directly on the hotel’s website. They enable you to quickly communicate how easy it is to book direct and highlight any monetary discounts.

  • Book with us
  • Book on xxx.com
  • Stay on our website and save
  • Book direct on our website
  • Book in three simple steps [send into booking engine]
  • Booking doesn’t get easier [send users into booking engine]
  • Three steps away from [destination] [send into booking engine]
  • Your experience starts now
  • Why book with us


The urgency for city centre properties needs a certain type of message. It needs to be clear, concise, and to the point, giving the user the information they need right away.

  • Don’t shop around
  • Don’t go round the block
  • Need a late room?
  • Save money, book here


For resort-based properties, monetary incentives are often lost, as overseas vacations are typically more expensive and will attract a different clientele. The incentive needs to reveal more about how the resort can look after the user, add additional value, and offer little incentives that go a long way.

  • One vacation, one place to book
  • Make the most of your stay, book direct on our website
  • Discover value, book on our website
  • It’s the little things, book with us
  • Last resort?
  • Travel without the agent – hotel and flights
  • Let us take care of everything
  • We’ll take care of you

Country house

Country house hotels and properties also tend to attract a different type of guest. The terminology needs to be more impactful and, if possible, include special touches such as valet parking or a complimentary drink on arrival.

  • Have a drink on us
  • Added extras from [brand]
  • Book without reservations


Many users typically still see online travel agents as cheaper due to the way they market themselves. However, one way of intercepting the user in the buying cycle is to be playful in the way you communicate the added extras they will receive when they book direct through the hotel’s site.

  • Don’t go behind our backs
  • You won’t find a better deal than this
  • No need to look anywhere else

Save money

For lower end hotels, price point is always a key factor for guests looking for a hotel room. This is usually because the user’s main purpose for booking is not to stay at the hotel, but instead use it as a base for exploring the local area or taking part in nearby activities. Highlighting the money saving opportunity works really well when enticing this type of audience.

  • Best value guarantee
  • Prices you can’t compare
  • Book with benefits


Finally, if a hotel offers pet-friendly rooms, tell the user! Make this obvious when you highlight the reasons to book directly with the hotel, as rooms like these can often be hard to come by.

  • We reward good behaviour (dog friendly)

One of the ways we highlight book direct benefits is through our Hotel Transfer conversion suite. These tools act as a subtle alternative to website pop-ups and highlight any benefits to users as soon as they land on the site.


If you would like to speak to us about the book direct terminology on your property’s website or enquire about one of our conversion tools, please feel free to drop us a line.