Digital divide: Suppliers, OTAs refine focus
As hotel brands and third-party distribution partners continue searching for new ways to drive guests to hoteliers, most of the opportunity is emerging in the digital space.
After all, 66% of hotel bookings so far in 2013 occurred offline (via a direct phone call, call center, orwalk-in traffic) versus 34% online (via Brand.com sites, online travel agencies, metasearch sites and mobile applications), according to PhoCusWright research.
And, in the third quarter, the three major distribution channels that experienced year-over-yearroomnightgrowth were OTAs (13.6%), Brand.com (5.3%) and the global distribution systems (3.7%), while hotel-direct demand decreased from a year ago by 0.2% and the call center channel decreased by 5.5%, according to recent data from TravelClick.
The dial on that offline-to-onlinespectrumis ever-so-slowlyinchingall the way toward online as companies make it easier and safer to book on tablets and smartphones. Experts predict a day when virtually no one walks directly into a hotel to get a room and few have reason to pick up the phone and call.