The path to direct booking is really pretty clear.
In almost any Google Analytics report you see, branded searches produce the most website visits. That is, a search for "Your Hotel," not "Hotels in Town."
So it seems to us to be fairly simple:
Increase awareness for "Your Hotel" . . .
which will generate more branded searches . . .
which will generate more website visits . . .
which, if your website is doing what it ought to do, will generate
more direct bookings.
Of course, if your goal is increased occupancy at any rate, garden-variety PPC alone can do a fine job of pushing discounted rates. But in a way, that sort of fights with the goal of increasing revenue with more direct bookings. You can give away revenue on an OTA. So maybe PPC alone isn't the answer.
So it begs the question - how do you generate more awareness for something other than discounted rate?
Advertising (online, print, social media, etc.) and public relations.
It really doesn't have to be that complicated.