Direct Hotel vs. OTA’s: Who is Converting?
Most hotels are constantly working to better understand—and even to reclaim—their bookings from online travel agencies (OTAs) like Expedia, Hotels.com, and Priceline.
In this report, we’ll look at the state of OTAs, hotel reliance on OTAs (in terms of both traffic and bookings), and which hotels have successfully increased their bookings.
Out of the top OTAs in the industry, only two of the have show an increase in bookings compared to the same time last year—Expedia and Booking.com. Meanwhile, five of them have actually lost conversions year-on-year.
While some OTAs are struggling, direct bookings (reservations made directly through the hotel websites) appear to be in a slight upswing. Out of the top hotel brands, five of them have shown an increase in direct bookings since last year, as evidenced in the graph below.
OTA Channel Reliance
When we look at OTA reliance—in other words, the percentage of traffic leaving OTAs and leading to hotel sites, we see major disparities by brand.
Although the Country Inn is relatively small (and only receives .05% of the overall downstream traffic from OTAs), this brand is the most channel reliant on OTAs—over 10% of their web traffic comes from these booking sites.
In the previous section, we saw that Choice and Wyndham have been converting more customers on their own websites than they did in 2016; here, we see that they also receive a notable amount of traffic from booking sites. This could suggest these hotels are successfully conquesting and converting downstream site visitors before they return back to the OTA.
Top Hotel Brands
Below is the breakdown of the top fifteen hotel brands consumers have stayed at within the last twelve months. Note that this does not add up to 100% because some guests stayed at more than one hotel int he span of one year.
Direct Bookings: Who Converts Best?
In order to optimize direct bookings, it’s important to identify which hotels are better able to capture their own website visitors.
Direct Bookings: Key Hotel Competitors
Next, we took each of the five best-converting hotels and analyzed the top three other hotels (besides themselves) that were most often booked by their visitors. In other words, we identified their key competitors—hotels who are most likely to conquest their potential customers.
For the top three brands (Hilton, Marriott, and Best Western), their major competitors are simply each other. For hotels with smaller market share, the competition is more diverse, and could therefore post an opportunity for a more unique competitive strategy.
Source: Share of visits and clicks reliance data pulled using Hitwise Intelligence for May 2016 and May 2017. Competitive analysis of bookings pulled between 03/12/2017 – 06/03/2017. Hotel bookings measured based on visits made to a hotel’s booking confirmation page.