• sarahhabsburg

Top 12 Sources of Hotel Bookings in 20 Countries


DO NOT miss this blog!


This SUPER useful information will help you work out where to focus your efforts on which booking sources are generating the most revenue in your country.


Siteminder’s annual list of the Top 12 sources of hotel bookings has become a super reliable source of information about which distribution channels consumers are gravitating toward and, subsequently, which generate the greatest revenue for accommodation providers around the world.


AND THE BEST PART… direct bookings are no longer unicorns!


They really do exist! In their tens of thousands **yeiiiii** 🥳🥳🥳


Direct bookings through hotel websites have maintained their top five position in all destinations over the full 2020 year. This includes in Australia, Ireland, the Netherlands, Portugal, and Spain where they ranked as the second-top producer of booking revenue for local hotels.


And cause for even more celebration:

“The ranking of hotel websites rose further in more than a third of destinations since April, when hotel bookings dropped to below 10% of 2019 levels as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.”

It is clear that recovery-stage travellers are responding to the call to book direct!


Success in this drive to encourage booking direct depends on a sustained global effort to educate our customers of the benefits of doing so.


This sounds like a huge challenge, right?


It is, but I often talk about how enough drops in the ocean can turn tides.


This is a perfect example.


If every accommodation owner talks about the positive impact a direct booking has on their business and immediate environment, the seemingly impossible mass change of booking consciousness will begin to shape into reality.


Let’s talk about how booking direct leaves more money in destinations.


How it allows hotel owners to invest more in staff training therefore increasing opportunities for local people.


How it gives us a chance to support local initiatives and reduce our carbon footprints because we have more spare cash to invest.


Despite the challenges this presents, I am wholly passionate about making this happen by bringing you resources that increase your confidence to get in (and stay in) the game. To make sure you receive new info as it comes out, if you haven’t already, sign up to my email list here.



Enough about that, let’s get onto those results:


Click on your destination below, or feel free to browse through the whole list. Don’t forget to scroll right down to the bottom for some insights into how best to apply this information.


Apologies to anyone who doesn’t find their own country here. Siteminder endeavours to cover the most popular destinations, but of course many, notably in Latin America, do not feature. I have questioned this and hope to get some feedback soon from those who create this annual resource.


Top 12 Booking Sources List


Australia

Austria

Canada

France

Germany

Greece

Indonesia

Ireland

Italy

Mexico

Middle East

Netherlands

New Zealand

Philippines

Portugal

South Africa

Spain

Thailand

United Kingdom

United States




Top 12 Booking Sources for Australia

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Top 12 Booking Sources for Austria

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Top 12 Booking Sources for Canada

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Top 12 Booking Sources for France

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Top 12 Booking Sources for Germany

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Top 12 Booking Sources for Greece

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Top 12 Booking Sources for Indonesia

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Top 12 Booking Sources for Ireland

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Top 12 Booking Sources for Italy

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Top 12 Booking Sources for Mexico

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Top 12 Booking Sources for the Middle East

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Top 12 Booking Sources for the Netherlands

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Top 12 Booking Sources for New Zealand

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Top 12 Booking Sources for the Philippines

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Top 12 Booking Sources for Portugal

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Top 12 Booking Sources for South Africa

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Top 12 Booking Sources for Spain

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Top 12 Booking Sources for Thailand

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Top 12 Booking Sources for the United Kingdom

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Top 12 Booking Sources for the United States

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Awesome stuff, right?


So now, what do you do with this information?


First, do not be disheartened if OTAs such as Booking and Expedia top the lists in your country.


If anything, this helps you to decide whether to continue working with them while you sharpen your direct booking skills. I have a blog in the pipeline about whether you should take part in Booking’s Genius programme, but meanwhile, I don’t want to say any more here about those two biggies.


What can help shape your strategy for the future is an analysis of the High Risers. For example, Mr & Mrs Smith in the UK. As with everything, certain factors have to be present for it to make sense to choose to work with this new type of OTA. In this case, if you are a boutique, independent hotel, or lodge, Mr & Mrs Smith could be a great fit.


It is also interesting to see emerging trends caused by the pandemic like shorter booking windows as we can see in High Risers such as Lastminute.com and HotelTonight.


Also, the trend towards regional distribution channels such as Kurzurlaub (shortholiday) in Germany, and Voordeeluities in the Netherlands.


Spend some time on this. Research the profile of any High Risers to see if they could be a good fit for your property, and you for them of course.

If you do decide to add a new sales channel, it is an essential timesaver to work with a channel manager so that you can centralise your inventory. If you haven’t already got one (or are looking to change), there is more info on my preferred option - Siteminder (or Little Hotelier that is managed by Siteminder) - at the end of the blog. Click here if you want to go straight there now.



Just as an added point of interest for those who are unfamiliar with the term Global Distribution System. GDS, in short, refers to huge companies likes Amadeus, Galileo or Sabre that are mainly leveraged for business sales, so for small businesses they are usually not relevant.


I also want to acknowledge the presence of Agoda on most of these lists.


Agoda is a travel agency metasearch engine, and it operates under Booking Holdings. It buys rooms in bulk (wholesale) from its partner properties, then sells them to customers at discounted, competitive prices (that are shown before tax ☹). This is why you can sometimes (and hugely annoyingly for owners) find rooms priced lower on Agoda.com than on the property's own website. Agoda operates under the affiliate marketing (or merchant) business model. Guests pay Agoda and Agoda pays the property a % of the guest’s payment. This is different to OTAs like Booking who operate under the agency model. They act as brokers between the guest and the property because they pass the payment and (almost all) reservation details onto the property, who then charges full payment and is invoiced any commissions due as contractually agreed.


It would also be remiss not to mention Airbnb. The pandemic-induced desire for private entrances and a contactless experience among those who did, could, or simple dared to travel over the last year, has accelerated the rise of Airbnb in five destinations over the full year, and the appearance in the top 12 in nine of the twenty destination listed.


You can of course choose to list your own commercial property in Airbnb, in a “in you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em” kind of way. Alternatively, you can accept that the world will always present us with competition so one of the most powerful responses is to get confident, build your resilience and skill set, and enter the competition gracefully. Take a look at this blog for ideas of how to appeal to those customers who might be tempted by the Airbnb option.


Personally, I believe there is room for everyone in this market. I would of course like to see the Airbnb regulated and taxed as commercial properties are, but aside from that, holiday home options have always existed, and if it is not Airbnb, it will be someone and something else.


Your reality is to work with you have. Dig deep to truly understand your offer (aka your strengths) and which customer profiles they most appeal to.


Then go forth and make that match.


Take a moment to think as if you were a dating agency.


Which qualities would you assign the most value to, in order to create that match made in heaven?


One way to reach and nurture these clients is with a targeted email marketing strategy that allows you to learn more about your potential customers, answer their concerns and send them valuable content.


This content is designed not only to inspire them to visit your destination but encourages them to book direct because you succeed in creating an emotional connection. All of this grants you increased credibility as a trusted source of information which in turn generates a more personalised and enhanced guest experience during their stay. And that means more great reviews that encourage more people to visit you in the future! Learn more about my tried-and-tested GROWcovery targeted email marketing strategy here.


So, that’s it from me.


I hope you have found this super useful. Leave a comment at the very bottom of the page if so and click here if you want to go back to the list.


Ah, almost forgot, for those who wanted some more info on the Siteminder/Little Hotelier channel manager option….


What is a channel manager?


A channel manager is a tool that will allow you to sell all your rooms on all your connected booking sites at the same time. It will automatically update your availability in real-time on all sites when a booking is made, when you close a room to sale, or when you want to make bulk changes to your inventory.


If we take the simple approach, channel management is the process by which you will sell your inventory via online distribution channels around the world. These channels may include OTAs (Expedia), retail travel agents, metasearch engines (Google), global distribution systems (GDS), or direct channels (your website and social media pages).


This will be facilitated by a single dashboard, allowing you instant access to lives rates and availability without needing to access several individual extranets. In this context channel management is a process by which you can simplify and speed up the way you sell your products, namely your hotel rooms and the ancillaries you attach to them.


Siteminder is a world leading channel management company, perfectly suited to servicing independent hotels. It connects to over 400 booking sites and integrates with more than 250 property management systems, making it the most powerful channel manager in the industry. Siteminder offers not just the channel manager, but a booking engine, a website builder, and if you needed it, access to a GDS (Global Distribution System) too. For smaller properties with smaller budgets, such as B&Bs or guesthouses, the all-in-one system provided by Little Hotelier, also a part of Siteminder, is a great option.


I have worked with and am familiar with both and would be happy to chat with you about what could work best and why according to your needs. Follow this link to sign up for a free 15-minute consultation.


Just an added incentive to get you more motivated. With last minute travel continuing to grow, it’s no surprise that the majority of these spur-of-the-moment bookings are happening via mobile. According to Criteo’s Summer Travel Report, over 70% of last-minute hotel bookings were made on a mobile device. Both Siteminder and Little Hotelier offer integrated mobile responsive websites that deliver an awesome, small-screen experience to help secure those impromptu bookings from guests searching on the go.


And on that note, is your homepage Covid-aware?


In case you missed it, follow this link to access my Hotel Homepage Essentials Review 2021. Featuring a lodge in South Africa, a hostel in Honduras, a hotel in England and a tourism complex in Chile, this review highlights the essentials that today’s traveller expects to find on the first page of your website.


It is really over and out from me for now ;-)


Come and get inspired, ask questions and share info on things that have worked for you over in my Building Tourism Resilience Facebook Group!