Global hotel industry guest acquisition platform, SiteMinder, has revealed its annual lists of the distribution channels that brought the highest booking revenue to hotels over the past year. Varying across 20 of the world’s top tourism destinations, the lists reveal “the fast-growing successes of both direct booking strategies for hotels and the growth strategies of the travel industry’s consolidation-hungry giants,” says the platform.
Within 14 of the 20 tourism destinations, direct bookings – gained via a hotel’s website – either climbed the list from the previous year or maintained their position among the top five spots. The sustained growth of the direct channel was matched only by that of Asia-headquartered Agoda, which made leaps across the EMEA region.
This year’s report notably shows the debut of Airbnb in six markets within Europe, Africa and the Americas. “The swift rise of Airbnb in many markets, for example, is evidence of the hotel industry’s openness to adopting Airbnb as a partner and the benefits they are seeing from selling an experience, not simply a room. It is also evidence that Airbnb users no longer just look for homestays and spare spaces,” says James Bishop, senior director of global demand partnerships at SiteMinder.
Other major findings included the addition of Trip.com in another European market – Italy – alongside France, where the Chinese powerhouse made its western debut last year, and the appearance of WebBeds brands JacTravel, totalstay, Destinations of the World and Sunhotels in half of this year’s top 12 lists.
SiteMinder also highlights the re-entry of Australia-headquartered Flight Centre Travel Group in the country’s top 12, after four years. “The company’s diversification and acquisition strategy in recent years is proving to have a strong impact in the merging world of travel management, having also made the list in South Africa for the first time,” it explains.
The debut of lastminute.com in two markets within EMEA, proves “the continued rise of spontaneous decision-making among today’s consumers,” adds SiteMinder.
“It’s exciting to reflect on this data each year and on the trends that we see in core tourism markets around the world,” says Mr Bishop. “It is important hoteliers are aware of how the booking landscape is changing and how their guests are choosing their accommodation.”
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,” says Mr Bishop.
Here’s SiteMinder’s rankings for 10 of the world’s biggest markets…