As we know, online is becoming by far the most popular method for people to purchase travel options such as accommodation.
Whether it’s through online travel agents, direct hotel website bookings, or another medium, online bookings continue to grow thanks to the willingness of consumers and accommodation providers alike to adopt new technology.
Mobile, tablet such as iPads, and laptop bookings are all increasing as part of a trend that will likely continue well into the future.
In the US, there’s no exception.
Thanks to Euromonitor International, we’ve uncovered some interesting statistics around online travel sales in America that cement the trend and should capture the attention of all accommodation providers.
1. Online travel sales to US residents grew by 7%, totalling $277 billion, in 2015
2. Ownership of smartphones and digital devices surpassed that of any previous year
3. The travel industry responded in kind by creating more mobile-friendly platforms and adapting to the ‘on-the-go’ lifestyle of consumers
4. Online travel agents, such as Expedia or Orbitz, and other sites have dominated sales with close to $120 billion of the share
5. Direct accommodation sales such as hotel website bookings come in at just under $80 billion
6. Some hotels are working harder on strategies to entice more direct bookings, including new loyalty programs and video advertising
7. Mobile travel sales grew by 36% in 2015, reaching a total of $47 billion
8. Metasearch platforms such as Kayak are growing in popularity as travelers look to compare rates and seek an overall view of the pricing landscape
9. Instagram has become the go-to social media platform for hotels looking to connect with customers in a more genuine and personal way
10. Online travel sales to US residents is expected to reach $344 billion by 2020, with $108 billion of this coming from mobile.
Given how telling these statistics are in showing the extended period of growth in online and mobile bookings, B&Bs and small hotels must make these online channels a priority focus. Connecting to numerous relevant OTAs while maintaining a strong direct booking strategy represents a clear path to business success.
While these facts are based around the US, they remain a pointed lesson for hospitality businesses all around the world that will be experiencing the same trend.
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