• sarahhabsburg

Top 12 sources of hotel bookings for 21 countries in 2021


Due to the success of this blog last year, here goes the updated version with the top 12 sources of hotel bookings per country for 2021.


What was relevant in 2020 morphed as the pandemic lumbered on through 2021. The insights we can derive from this super useful information will help you once again to work out where to focus your marketing efforts. But not only that, it will guide and influence how many, and which, OTAs offer an optimum balance for your property, according to your location and consumer demands.


Siteminder’s annual list of the Top 12 sources of hotel bookings is a reliable source of information. It details 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 continue to increase! 🥳🥳🥳


According to the report, in 12 markets, direct bookings are now ranked as the second-top producer of booking revenue for local hotels, up from five markets last year and just two in 2019.


The 12 markets leading the way in direct bookings for 2021 were Australia, Austria, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, The Netherlands, New Zealand, Portugal, South Africa, Spain and the UK.


This is great news for our bottom lines as occupancy break even point is of course lower when bookings are direct and no commission is paid.


That is not the only good news though!


Local and regional distribution channels have maintained their strength and relevance in 2021.


According to the report, channels such as EzTravel and AsiaYo in Asia, Hero Travel in Australia, Kurzurlaub in Austria, Tiket.com in the Philippines, SafariNow.com in South Africa, and Off Peak Luxury in the UK are all new arrivals on the lists this year, while the local Traveloka channel has had a breakthrough performance to hit the top spot in Indonesia.


Both the increase in direct bookings, and the preference of choosing more local channels, are indicative of the growing consumer awareness towards taking more responsible decisions when travelling.


Booking .com's Sustainable Travel Report 2021 ¹ also highlighted this change in attitudes as reflected in these quotes:



"61% of travelers state that the pandemic has made them want to travel more sustainably in the future".


"49% of travelers admit that the pandemic has shifted their attitude to make

positive changes in their everyday lives".


"69% of travelers are committed to reducing the carbon footprint of their trip".



These are some encouraging stats for anyone concerned about climate change and the future of our planet.


There is of course still so much more to do, and I believe that tourism business owners are not only super well placed, but also have an inherent responsibility, to educate the public about the benefit of booking direct or using locally owned channels.


I believe that if every accommodation owner talks about the positive impact a direct booking has on their business and their local community, the seemingly impossible mass change of booking consciousness will begin to shape into reality.


Let’s share with our guests how much more cash a direct booking leaves in our 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.


This all starts with celebrating your direct bookings. And I have a tried and tested way of doing this that is free and amazingly powerful. Take a look a this 4 minute video to find out more:




As mentioned in the video, this is the link to the free graphic design tool Canva, and here is the blog all about how to make Canva work for your hotel.


There will always be challenges, but I am wholly passionate about supporting you with resources that increase your confidence and commitment to taking more responsible business decisions. To make sure you always 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 Asia and Latin America, do not feature. I questioned this last year and hoped to see a change this year. I am happy to say that Asia and Colombia have been included for 2021. Here's hoping to see more from Latin America on the list in 2022!



Top 12 Booking Sources List


Asia

Australia

Austria

Canada

Colombia

France

Germany

Indonesia

Ireland

Italy

Mexico

Middle East

Netherlands

New Zealand

Philippines

Portugal

South Africa

Spain

Thailand

United Kingdom

United States




Top 12 Booking Sources for Asia

What to do now with this info? Click here

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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 Colombia

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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 Indonesia

What to do now with this info? Click here

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Top 12 Booking Sources for Ireland

What to do now with this info? Click here

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Top 12 Booking Sources for Italy

What to do now with this info? Click here

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Top 12 Booking Sources for Mexico

What to do now with this info? Click here

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Top 12 Booking Sources for the Middle East

What to do now with this info? Click here

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Top 12 Booking Sources for the Netherlands

What to do now with this info? Click here

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Top 12 Booking Sources for New Zealand

What to do now with this info? Click here

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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

What to do now with this info? Click here

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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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These reports thrown up some super interesting food for thought, right?


The next question is of course, what to 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 am a firm believer in balance, but I also believe you should have control of your OTA listings. When the offers start to stack up it is easy to lose sight of the lowest available price that will end up being published. Being on top of your price parity is crucial to successful hotel marketing. To delve deeper in what you could and should be doing with your OTA profiles, take a look at this blog about how to get the most out of your Booking . com profile.


What can help shape your strategy for the future is an analysis of the High Risers, Newcomers, and the Ones To Watch in the above reports. Examples to check out are:


WebBeds / Sunhotels and Kurzurlaub.de in Austria

Ezibed in New Zealand

Tiket.com in Indonesia

Off Peak Luxury in the UK

Comair Travel and SafariNow.com in South Africa

Traveltino in Spain and Portugal


Spend some time on this. Research the profile of any of these High Risers and Newcomers 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), Siteminder, Little Hotelier, Cloudbeds and RoomRaccoon are great options. I offer a free consultation to answer questions about which would be the best fit for you. Click here to see available time slots and book online.



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 again this year.


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 have chosen to travel over the last couple of years, has accelerated the rise of Airbnb in twelve destinations over the full year, (up from just five in 2020), and has debuted in three:

Indonesia, the Middle East and Spain, where it shot to eighth on Spain's list.


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 Airbnbs 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?


I could go on about that for quite some time, but I invite you to get inspired with a recent blog about how to create wow moments for your guests.



So, that’s it from me.


I hope you have found this useful. You can find the complete Siteminder report here.

Or click here to go back to the list of countries at the start of this blog to check through the reports again.


If you loved this blog, I invite you to scroll right down to the bottom of the page to leave a comment, and I would love to have you get inspired, ask questions and share info on things that have worked for you over in my Building Tourism Resilience Facebook Group.



¹ Booking.com Sustainable Travel Report 2021

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