January 2014 – Travellers are increasingly turning to smarphones and tablets to book hotel rooms, acounting for 7% of all bookings in 2013 and this trend will grow by another 20% this year, reveals eRevMax in its recent study on „Online Hotel Distribution 2014“.
Hotel bookings through mobile will be robust in 2014, and are expected to reach US$26 billion ny the end of the year.
Metasearch sites, which are also gaining popularity, saw a 13% increase in 2013. Google Hotel Finder, TripConnect and Trivago are becoming a driving force in hotel online distribution, as 60% of travellers shop by comparing rates on these sites.
eRevMax said that to shift market share from the OTAs to direct bookings hoteliers should utilise metasearch sites as a part of their overall distribution strategy, as it offers better search experience and allows the traveller to find the lowest prices available online.
Bookings from OTAs surged ahead with a 12% rise in Q3 2013, and now stands at 13% of overall bookings in North America. It also shows that 33% of all bookings take place at the brand’s website, an increase of 5% in Q3 2013.
eRevMax suggested hoteliers work with OTAs to increase revenues and to implement reputation management solutions for quick responses to their guests.
“In this world of social media, SEO and analytics failure to adopt digital platforms in their marketing strategy is suicidal for hotels,” it added.
“The data shows that 81% of tech-savvy travellers find user reviews important, while 49% travellers book hotel only after reading reviews. Nearly 21% used Facebook to search for hotel information at least once while 14% of travellers use the Facebook platform to book a hotel room. Hence, it is imperative that hotels take social-commerce seriously.”