For hoteliers, capturing customers directly to free themselves – as much as possible – from dependence on OTAs is a permanent concern. And obviously, their efforts are paying off. In any case, this is what emerges from the latest study* published by Coach Omnium. “While these online platforms are still as successful as a means of finding and ordering hotel stays according to 65% of travelers surveyed, our 2022 survey reveals that the share of customers who book directly with hotels – in addition to or at the place to go through OTAs, depending on the stays – has jumped to 70% against 30% in 2017”, underlines Coach Omnium.
An “unexpected phenomenon”, for the marketing and economic studies company specializing in tourism and the hotel industry, which is explained by “unsuspected new habits”. According to Coach Omnium, travelers tend to use OTAs to choose an establishment based on their criteria using the search engines of these platforms, before going to the hotel’s website. If the price is more advantageous, and other criteria are met, such as e-reputation, they then make the reservation. “To the delight of hoteliers who thus save a commission to be paid to the intermediary who has only served them – free of charge – as a showcase or as bait,” notes Mark Watkins, the founder of Coach Omnium. The condition remains that the hotel sites are professional, reassuring and attractive. »
The price, sinews of war
The still strongly rooted idea that Booking or Expedia-type OTAs therefore seems to be gradually fading. Since 2015 and the intervention of the Autorité de la concurrence, in coordination with the European Commission, hoteliers can indeed offer lower rates to those displayed on the Booking.com site on their offline sales channel, which was not the case before.
An element that is all the more important as the price is – more than ever – the sinews of war. According to the same study, among the criteria for choosing an establishment, price comes second (75% of those surveyed). ” This item has increased in importance because they were 58% to mention it during our previous survey conducted in 2017″, notes Coach Omnium. The first criterion remains location (88% of respondents refer to it). Online reviews come third (important to 46% of hotel guests). The number of stars defined according to the hotel classification, dusted off last April, is however only taken into account by 16% of those questioned… compared to 64% in 2009.
Once the hotel has been pre-selected, 86% of travelers will sometimes or always look at the ratings, photos and comments published by other customers on dedicated sites (Booking, TripAdvisor, Expedia, etc.). Opinions deemed more reliable than any label or advertisement, also points to Coach Omnium.
* Qualitative-quantitative study carried out in June 2022, self-employed by Coach Omnium, by face-to-face survey, with 621 hotel customers, French and European, representative of hotel customers in France, by range , by CSP, by frequency of stays and by origin.
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Hotels: in five years, the share of travelers booking directly has jumped 40%