Hotel Bookings that are Direct Bookings - Percentages and Demographics.
The percent of direct hotel bookings is influenced by a variety of factors including the type of travel, age of the person making the travel plans and the type of device being used. In the US, around 23% of hotel rooms are booked directly online and 18% are booked by calling the hotel directly. Below is a breakdown of booking statistics, demographics and influencing factors.
Direct Hotel Bookings
On average 76% of hotel bookings take place through Online Travel Agencies. In 2016, the ratio of OTA hotel bookings to direct hotel bookings was 51:49 compared to 46:54 in 2012. The hotel industry is the only travel sector that is losing market share to OTAs.
The inverse is true of transient room bookings. Transient guests are those that book a room for a short period of time, usually one to two nights. They can include business travelers or people just passing through the area. Transient room bookings are typically 27% direct and 73% through an OTA.
The most popular hotel booking methods in the US are OTAs at 34%, direct from the hotel at 23% and calling the hotel directly at 18%. However, a recent study by Sabre found that travelers who used their smartphone to plan a trip booked hotels directly through the hotel website/app 34% of the time and called the hotel to book a room 21% of the time, compared to 25% bookings through an OTA.
The demographics related to hotel bookings vary by age and type of device used. In addition, travelers may use different methods of booking hotel accommodations for different types of trips. While there are no direct statistics published breaking down the booking choices of male versus female travelers, it is estimated that women make 80% of the travel decisions regardless of marital status.
Direct hotel booking by age:
-Of the ages of 18-34, 18% typically book directly from a hotel website/app and 14% book by calling the hotel. These guests are twice as likely to book through an OTA.
-Of the ages 35-54, 26% book a hotel directly through the hotel website/app and 17% book by calling the hotel.
-Of those aged 55+, 25% book directly through the hotel website/app and 25% book by calling the hotel.
-41% of Boomers, 42% of Gen Xers, and 41% of Millennials state that they have or plan to book a hotel room directly.
The increased use of smartphones to plan and book travel can be an area for hotels to capitalize on direct bookings. Around 31% of leisure travelers and 51% of business travelers have booked general travel online through a smartphone. Almost 23% have booked a hotel room specifically via a mobile device, with 7.8% saying they do so frequently. At least 32.2% of male Gen Xers and 25.9% of female Gen Xers have booked at least one hotel room in the last 12 months from their phone. About 11.2% of female Gen Xers have booked multiple rooms. Of those that plan and book travel on their phone, about 33% call the travel provider to book directly.
A study by JD Power found that guest who have booked hotel rooms through an OTA or third party mobile app are more likely to experience problems. Hotels that are focusing on mobile trends and customer focused call centers have the potential to increase direct bookings.
At least 50% of people planning a trip will visit the hotel website directly even if they discovered the hotel through an OTA. In fact, all ages of travelers count the hotel website as the most influencing factor in deciding which hotel to book. Planners will make over three visits to the website before deciding to book. With 34% of direct bookings originating from an OTA, it is important that the hotel website appeal to the consumer. A hotel website study by FuelTravel.com found:
-87% of website visitors were influenced by pictures on the site.
-77% were influenced by the website design.
-95% were influenced by room and overall property descriptions.
-85% were influenced by hotel reviews.
-While price was the main influence by visitors of all ages, room/amenity descriptions and reviews scored 20-25% higher with Millennials.
The percentage of travelers that book hotel rooms directly varies by age, type of travel and device used. In general 23% of hotel bookings in the US are made directly through the hotel website or app. Gen Xers are most likely to book online through the hotel website/app. The Boomer generation is more likely to call the hotel to book. Mobile users offer the biggest potential for hoteliers to convert to direct booking.