Electronic Hotel Reservations Finally Surpass Old Channels

Adapted by Dave Hogg from a May 12, 2015 Ryan Rudnansky article in Travel Pulse

Hotel bookings from individual business and leisure travelers spiked across a variety of digital channels in the first quarter of 2015, according to data from the TravelClick North American Distribution Review (NADR). That includes bookings made through official hotel websites, online travel agencies (OTAs), and Global Distribution Systems (GDS).

OTAs (which include Expedia.com, Hotels.com and Bookings.com) experienced the greatest jump in bookings, with a 15.1 percent increase compared to the first quarter of 2014.

Reservations made directly through hotel websites also grew by 7.1 percent, year-over-year, while GDS bookings increased by 1.1 percent.

On the flip side, “Hotel Direct” reservations — reservations made via direct calls and on property — decreased by 8.4 percent, while bookings through hotel 800-numbers (the CRO channel) dropped by 6.1 percent.

But while bookings have increased the most through OTAs, hoteliers should still focus on GDS channels to boost ADR, according to TravelClick.

ADR will continue to grow across all distribution channels over the next two quarters, based on reservations currently on the books, according to TravelClick. As it currently stands, ADR will spike by 4.3 percent and 5.9 percent in the second quarter and third quarter of 2015, respectively.

By channel, ADR will increase by 5.1 percent through the GDS channel, 4.5 percent via hotel websites, 3.8 percent through the Hotel Direct channel, and 1.8 percent across OTAs.

“As we enter the peak travel season, the distribution outlook continues to remain consistent from last quarter with travelers continuing to gravitate towards digital booking engines,” said John Hach, senior industry analyst at TravelClick, via a release. “It is evident that hotels are focusing on average daily rate (ADR) to drive revenue per available room (RevPAR) as they ramp up for summer.”

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