Hotels in many markets around the globe saw
growth in the share of bookings coming through their direct channels during
According to SiteMinder data based on gross revenue sources for all users of its platform across more than 20 of the world's top
destinations, hotel websites maintained their top-five position in all
destinations over the full year 2020.
Since April, as the overall number of
bookings dropped due to COVID-19, hotel website share rose in more than a third of
destinations analyzed, reaching number two in markets including Germany,
France, New Zealand, Italy and the United Kingdom.
“Domestic leisure tourism took an upturn, and
the direct channel has been attracting a lot of that particular type of
business,” says James Bishop, SiteMinder’s senior director of global demand
“That’s good for hotels because it’s seen
as a very high value channel … and hopefully hotels can learn some lessons from
that in terms of how they can continue to drive that share of direct reservations
through this year and into future years.”
The data is detailed in a SiteMinder e-book
Along with growth for direct booking
channels, the report details a shift away from consolidation, with 32 instances
of distribution channels making their first appearances in the lists and 20
instances of distribution channels climbing at least two positions from the
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Bishop says channels that specialize in
domestic leisure bookings “didn’t suffer to as great an extent as others” in
One channel that gained prominence in the
last year is Airbnb. According to SiteMinder, Airbnb debuted among the top 12
channels in nine destinations, rose in five destinations over the full year and
increased its ranking in 10 destinations since April.
With international travel limited, local
and regional distribution channels also moved up in the rankings in many
markets, comprising about half of the top 12 in each destination for the full
year. And some new names joined the lists just since April, including Kurzurlaub.de
in Austria, VeryChic in France, feratel in Germany, MG bedbank in Indonesia,
and Hotels.nl in the Netherlands.
As travel restrictions and consumer confidence
in travel have ebbed and flowed, SiteMinder finds the increase in spontaneous
travel has boosted sites such as Lastminute.com and HotelTonight, which together
are in the top 12 for nine destinations.
Wholesalers also saw an uptick, with
Hotelbeds among the top 12 in every destinations for both the full year and
since April, and WebBeds among the top 12 in eight destinations since April.
Bishop advises hotels to understand which
channels can attract domestic travelers and other types of guests that are able
to travel to their properties and to “remain agile with their distribution,” as
COVID-19 data and restrictions may continue to change.
As the travel industry approaches the one-year anniversary
of the initial lockdowns in many markets, Bishop says hoteliers should learn
from their experiences over the past 12 months to understand where demand may
exist as current restrictions are lifted.
“We know what we need to look for. We can
see where those guests that did start to travel as soon as they could, what
channels they were coming from, what types of guests they were,” he says.
“So we are in a stronger position with
regards to information and data to make better decisions at this point and then
just be optimistic towards later on in the year as the vaccine programs role
out, and as we can see international acceleration.”
The report also includes advice from
SiteMinder and several online booking channels, including Flight Centre Travel
Group, Despegar, Airbnb, Expedia Group and Booking.com, on trends to expect over
2021 and how hoteliers can optimize their listings.