The field of Online Travel Agencies (OTAs) is maintaining its level of competitiveness. It is estimated that reservations through these intermediaries will grow between 5 and 6 % in the next two years, which will maintain a continual growth regarding the last results that situated the volume of global business at 150 billion dollars.
Forbes magazine analyses the situation of these distribution channels and points out that two of the strongest – Priceline and Expedia – sell 22 and 12 million hotel nights a month, respectively. TripAdvisor is not far behind, receiving 325 million visits a month. Another factor that will shake the OTA world up even more is the imminent arrival of Amazon Travel, the multinational’s new venture into hotel reservations. And we can’t forget the Asian continent that seems like it is becoming an emerging market for these online agencies.
This is proved by the last PhocusWright report that highlights that it has already passed Europe as the most important business area. In fact, the investigation company forecasts that, for 2015, China will take the lead in billing, which will reach 30 billion dollars during this year, 50% more than in 2012. However, in reality, a large part of China’s population are not acquainted with online reservations, as the Wall Street Journal explains, only 15% normally use them.
This rapid rhythm of development and expansion is motivated by constant technological evolution. The same evolution that means that as travellers we now have a good number of options when searching, comparing and buying flights and hotel rooms in real time. Therefore, the direct channel and intermediaries keep introducing improvements to offer travellers what they need.
According to the diagram published in Tourism Review, Online Agencies are the preferred channel with 62% of reservations, over the 44% that are registered directly through hotels’ websites. A dynamic that is also met independent of the type of traveller: 94% of those that are considered to be travelling for pleasure admit to booking through these platforms and 98% of those travelling for business do so too.
When it comes to the most influential factors when making a booking: personal recommendations from family and friends, special offers, articles in the press, positioning among the main search engines, and television publicity impact our decisions when purchasing holidays. This once again endorses that the online market is vast and the tiniest details can tip the scales either way.
Therefore, here at Idiso, we work with the main market intermediaries, a task that Innwise complements by also strengthening the direct channel. It is the perfect combination to make your establishment solid in the whole hotel distribution chain.