Direct bookings flourish in the UK for the third year running
SiteMinder, the global hotel industry’s leading guest acquisition platform, today reveals its annual list of distribution channels that brought the highest booking revenue to UK hotels in 2019. Varying across 20 of the world’s top tourist 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 booking channel giants.
Within 14 of the 20 tourism destinations, including the UK, direct bookings – gained via a hotel’s proprietary website – either climbed the list from the previous year or maintained their position among the top five spots. The sustained growth of direct bookings was also matched by Asia’s Agoda, which made leaps across the EMEA region and retained its position from last year as the 5th best performing booking channel in the UK.
In the UK, 2019’s top 12 hotel booking channels, based on total gross revenue made for SiteMinder’s customers, were:
These 12 channels contributed over 89 per cent of the total revenue made by all hotel booking channels for SiteMinder’s UK customers in the past year, highlighting just how consolidated the UK market has become.
Other major findings included:
- Direct bookings through a hotel’s proprietary website remain strong and steady in the UK, hanging on to the 3rd spot for the third consecutive year
- Sunhotels moved up from last year’s 12th place to 9th in the UK, proving local hotels need to invest in the B2B market
- com remains attractive to spontaneous travellers, with the site ranking in 12th place in the UK. As a result, hotels need to be prepared to accommodate ‘last-minute’ guests throughout the year
- The debut of Airbnb in six markets across 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
SiteMinder’s senior director of global demand partnerships, James Bishop, says, “Encouragingly, direct online reservations continue to contribute strongly to hotel revenue globally, with a hotel’s website remaining among the top four channels in most markets and, in many instances, jumping up the ranks. 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.
“Within the UK, the inclusion of both Lastminute.com and LateRooms.com again this year proves spontaneous bookers aren’t going anywhere, anytime soon. With more people than ever booking accommodation on mobile devices, hotels need to be prepared to accommodate guests with short booking lead times throughout the year ahead.”
“It is important hoteliers are aware of how the booking landscape is changing and how or why guests choose accommodation,” says Mr Bishop. “With continued political uncertainty in a post-Brexit world, UK hotels should seek every opportunity to attract guests and ensure their success in 2020 and beyond.”
SiteMinder’s platform processed 105 million online hotel bookings for travellers in 2019 to bring its 35,000 hotel customers a total of £27 billion in revenue.