SYDNEY – While online giants Booking.com, Aogda and Expedia continue to dominate hotel distribution, direct online continue to make sustained growth last year, according to data from hotel reservation platform Siteminder.
It is clear that hoteliers are actively seeking to drive direct bookings, through greater knowledge and innovation, as well as investments in metasearch. We are also seeing technology providers supporting this appetite by adding professional services to their direct booking offerings, effectively acting as digital marketing agencies for hotels,
The findings are based on its data on the top performing distribution channels for hotels across 20 of the world’s top tourism destinations in 2019, when it processed 105 million online hotel bookings for its 35,000 hotel customers, bringing in some US$35 billion in revenue.
In 14 of the 20 destinations it analysed, direct bookings through the hotel’s website either rose or maintained their position within the top five distribution channels as compared to the previous year.
The sustained growth in direct bookings was matched only by that of Asia-headquartered Agoda, which made leaps across the EMEA region.
In Asia, the top 12 hotel booking channels for Siteminder’s customers by total gross revenue were:
3. Expedia Group
4. Hotel websites (direct bookings)
9. Global distribution systems
10. Flight Centre Travel Group
These 12 channels contributed to over 89% of total hotel revenue by all hotel revenue makers.
The continued uptick of direct bookings has made hotel websites “among the top four channels in the majority of markets and, in many instances, jumping up the ranks,” said SiteMinder’s senior director of global demand partnerships, James Bishop.
“It is clear that hoteliers are actively seeking to drive direct bookings, through greater knowledge and innovation, as well as investments in metasearch. We are also seeing technology providers supporting this appetite by adding professional services to their direct booking offerings, effectively acting as digital marketing agencies for hotels,” he added.
Also worth mentioning is the rise of Trip.com over the past year and “is testament to the value that Chinese travellers have had on Asian economies” Mr Bishop said.
Other noteworthy developments include the debut of Airbnb six markets within Europe, Africa and the Americas; the addition of Trip.com in another European market in Italy; appearance of WebBeds brands JacTravel, totalstay, Destinations of the World and Sunhotels in half of this year’s top 12 lists; re-entry of Australia-headquartered Flight Centre Travel Group in the country’s top 12 after four years and first appearance on South Africa’s top 12; and debut of Lastminute.com in two markets within EMEA.