Perhaps stating what has become increasingly obvious, Hotwire has released research on how concerned hoteliers are about discounting and its effect on brands.
Although it draws on the opinions of quite a small sample, 75 European hoteliers, they account for 13,000 rooms in 45 countries.
The study shows 75% believe discounting has a negative impact on brand and more than 80% say they are discounting more now than five years ago.
While the report does not suggest hoteliers will stop discounting, Hotwire's senior manager Michelle Rosinsky says they are likely to be more discerning about distribution channels, the level of discounts and timing.
This, says Rosinsky, is likely to play into Hotwire's hands as price cutting becomes more last-minute and hoteliers turn to opaque sites and mobile.
Here's a breakdown of key findings:
- Mobile is becoming a popular channel for exclusive, targeted discounts - 21% of hoteliers are offering mobile-only discounts and 40% say they discount on mobile more than a year ago.
- The study says hoteliers have become sophisticated at managing price cuts with very last-minute discounts introduced in recent months for same-day bookings - one-in-twenty hotels offers the largest discounts for last 24 hours and more than a quarter offer the largest within seven days.
- Opaque has become more popular with Hotwire saying it has doubled revenue in the past 12 months. The report suggests hoteliers see opaque as one of the safest methods for discounting with 75% saying brand protection is a key reason to use the channel.
- The conclusion, as you might have guessed, is that discounting is necessary with a third of travellers saying they never or rarely buy a room that hasn't been reduced, but it has to be at the right time.
This latest study comes on top of Hotwire's report from April
this year revealing more than half of consumers never or rarely pay full price when they shop.
In addition, 90% say they will continue to bargain hunt even if their economic situation improves.