What channels are being used by hoteliers?

Solutionz has been tracking the hospitality industry trends for more than a decade, utilizing statistics provided by Travelclick. 

Travelclick is a Chicago-based firm that specializes in serving the hospitality industry.  One of the things that they provide are analytics on electronic bookings that go through Pegasus and the GDS (which is the definition of “Total Electronic” in the charts below).  

While their 2nd Quarter figures are not out yet, in light of yesterdays review of online traffic for the major hoteliers, I thought it would be useful to look at the reservation sources for the major hotel brands. 

As you can see in the Q1 numbers, there is VERY little shift from Q12010 to Q12011 in the mix of business from the Internet (including OTA sites), the GDS travel agent (traditional brick and mortar) and voice (call center). 

What is surprising is how these numbers fare against 5 years ago.  Read on.

Let’s look back a few years and see what the trend has been:

INTERNET (as a % of total)

In 2006, just 37.6% of big brand bookings were done via the Internet.  This grew steadily until 2010, when the trend began reversing slightly.  As of 1Q2011, Internet bookings represent 51.1% of total bookings, down from 2010 full year numbers of 52.3%.

In unpeeling the Internet onion, there are four different categories here and this may surprise you.

Brand Websites
In 2006, 76.1% of all big brand bookings were done via the Internet.  This has declined every year to just 70.7% this past quarter.

Retail Websites (OTA – Retail via the GDS)
In 2006, just 5.4% of the big brand bookings were done via the retail model.  This number has been up and down over the 5 year period, but is down to 3.0% as of this past quarter.

Merchant Model (OTA – Negotiated Deals)
In 2006, Merchant Model represented just 10.6% of big brand Internet bookings.  That number has climbed to 15.6% of total, largely at the expense of the brand websites.

Opaque Model (eg. Priceline, Hotwire)
Opaque was at 8.0% of the total Internet bookings for the big brands in 2006.  That number has grown since then to 10.8%. 

GDS AGENCY (Brick and Mortar Agencies and TMCs)

The bookings through the agency channel have been declining each year since 2006, when they produced 31.3% of big brand bookings.  That number is now at 23.6% of total.

CALL CENTER (Brand Central Reservations Bookings)

This is an interesting number, as in 2006 it was 31.3% of total and declined each year from 2007-2009, then in 2010, it reversed the trend and increased to 25.6% of total.  1Q2011 was off that just slightly at 25.3%.

We eagerly await the 2nd Quarter numbers from Travelclick to see where the booking trends will go.

For full details on these trends, pre-order the 2001 Edition – The Essential Guide – Multi-Channel Distribution.

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