Marriott International says it has grown its direct channels “more meaningfully” than the online travel agency channel.
Responding to analyst questions during its fourth quarter, 2021 earnings call, Leeny Oberg, chief financial officer and EVP, business operations, said GDS bookings had taken the “biggest dip” since 2019 in terms of percentage share while OTAs had benefited from the growth in leisure business and were up in 2021.
“So now when you look at kind of their [GDS] percentage share, they’re down 600 basis points as compared to ’19. Now the OTAs are up with all this leisure business by 200 basis points, and they’re at 14% in 2021. But at the same time, a direct share of total room nights is up to 76.3%, and that’s actually up 340 basis points.”
Oberg adds that the growth in the direct share was partly down to the “movement off of voice to digital.”
“I think that all makes sense when you think about our Bonvoy technology and our app and how many downloads we get that our guests are feeling more and more comfortable using the digital channel, which, again, is an incredibly efficient channel from a cost perspective and from a value delivery to the customer.”
Marriott says that in Q4 2021, 52% of room nights globally and 58% of room nights in the U.S. and Canada came from Bonvoy members with membership now totaling 160 million worldwide.
The company also touched on booking windows extending although not to 2019 levels.
For Q4 2021, the booking window rose to about 17 days up from its low of five days in Q2 of 2020.
Net income in Q4 came in at $468 million compared to a loss of $164 million year-on-year and net income of $279 million for Q4 2019.
Adjusted EBITDA was $741 million for the quarter versus $317 million in Q4 2020 and $901 million in Q4 2019.