SiteMinder has unveiled its annual lists of the distribution channels that brought the highest booking revenue to hotels over the past year. Varying across 20 of the world’s top tourism destinations, the lists reveal the fast-growing successes of both direct booking strategies for hotels and the growth strategies of the travel industry’s consolidation-hungry giants.
Within 14 of the 20 tourism destinations, direct bookings—gained via a hotel’s website—either climbed the list from the previous year or maintained their position among the top five spots. The sustained growth of the direct channel was matched only by that of Asia-headquartered Agoda, which made leaps across the EMEA region.
Other major findings included:
- The debut of Airbnb in six markets within Europe, Africa and the Americas, less than two years after launching its first global hotel technology partnership with SiteMinder to support traditional hospitality providers.
- The addition of Trip.com in another European market—Italy—alongside France, where the Chinese powerhouse made its western debut last year.
- The appearance of WebBeds brands JacTravel, totalstay, Destinations of the World and Sunhotels in half of this year’s top 12 lists.
- The re-entry of Australia-headquartered Flight Centre Travel Group in the country’s top 12, after four years. The company’s diversification and acquisition strategy in recent years is proving to have a strong impact in the merging world of travel management, having also made the list in South Africa for the first time.
- The debut of Lastminute.com in two markets within EMEA, proving the continued rise of spontaneous decision-making among today’s consumers.
SiteMinder’s senior director of global demand partnerships, James Bishop, says, “It’s exciting to reflect on this data each year and on the trends that we see in core tourism markets around the world. The swift rise of Airbnb in many markets, for example, is evidence of the hotel industry’s openness to adopting Airbnb as a partner and the benefits they are seeing from selling an experience, not simply a room. It is also evidence that Airbnb users no longer just look for homestays and spare spaces.
“Encouragingly, direct online reservations continue to contribute strongly to hotel revenue globally, with hotel websites remaining among the top four channels in the majority of markets and, in many instances, jumping up the ranks. It is clear that hoteliers are actively seeking to drive direct bookings, through greater knowledge and innovation, as well as investments in metasearch. We are also seeing technology providers supporting this appetite by adding professional services to their direct booking offerings, effectively acting as digital marketing agencies for hotels.”
In Asia, the top 12 hotel booking channels in 2019, based on total gross revenue made for SiteMinder’s customers, were:
“It is important hoteliers are aware of how the booking landscape is changing and how their guests are choosing their accommodation,” says Brad Haines, regional vice president – Asia Pacific at SiteMinder. “Of note in our list of the 12 most popular booking channels is Trip.com, which has risen over the past year and is testament to the value that Chinese travellers have had on Asian economies.”
SiteMinder’s platform processed 105 million online hotel bookings for travellers in 2019 to bring its 35,000 hotel customers a total of USD 35 billion in revenue.