IndustryTravel & Hospitality

Online Direct Bookings in Hospitality Soar in 2022 Despite Pandemic, According to Industry Study

The COVID-19 pandemic, while devastating for many businesses, had a silver lining for the hospitality industry. The crisis led to a surge in online direct bookings, as travelers sought to minimize face-to-face interactions. According to a recent study by h2c, an industry research firm, online bookings via hotel websites accounted for 20% of total hotel revenue in 2022, up from 10% in 2017. The study surveyed 96 hotel chains across the globe, representing more than 2 million rooms.

The report also highlights several key findings, including the fact that six in ten hotel bookings are now made online, with the percentage of website bookings almost doubling over the past five years. The share of online bookings made via OTAs (online travel agencies) and bed banks grew by 5 percentage points to 35%.

The study also found that larger hotel chains are more likely to use CRS (central reservation system) as their primary distribution channel, while smaller chains tend to rely on their PMS (property management system). However, about 2 in 10 hotel chains question the effectiveness of CRS and believe that it should be replaced with other systems.

In terms of decision criteria for acquiring a new system, cost and affordable integration options were identified as key factors. 64% of hotel chains surveyed pass on their elevated costs to guests, with larger chains more inclined to do so than smaller ones.

Finally, the study found that most hotel chains are unable to name distribution innovation leaders, highlighting the need for more innovation in the industry. While the pandemic has brought about many challenges, it has also accelerated the shift towards digitalization in the hospitality industry.

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