2017 was a strong year for tourism. Figures from the United Nations’ World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) show a 7% increase in international tourist arrivals – a result they called “remarkable” because it’s the strongest growth recorded in seven years.
And this achievement was a truly global effort.
Europe, despite its geographic size and market maturity, posted results only emerging destinations can dream of – 8% growth to be exact. Africa also achieved growth of 8% with Asia and the Pacific seeing an uplift of 6%. The Middle East saw a strong recovery coupled with continued growth in some of its countries and the Americas managed a 3% increase, according to the findings.
These numbers mean that more than 87 million additional people travelled internationally during 2017 than in 2016, representing a huge opportunity for hotels all around the world.
The need for diversified distribution
For hotels looking to compete on a global stage, it’s a timely reminder of just how important it is to have a diversified distribution strategy. To attract, reach, and convert guests from every corner of the world, the right balance of online connections needs to be at the forefront of any hotel’s revenue plans.
But with today’s online travel landscape often described as a powerful ecosystem, it can be overwhelming for hoteliers to know which channels are the right ones to connect with. One of the ways to narrow down the search is to establish which online channels are generating the most revenue for hoteliers in your region.
To help hotels figure this out, SiteMinder recently released its top 15 revenue-generating booking channels.
The lists, which focus on regions across the world, are calculated by looking at the number of hotel reservations that passed through SiteMinder’s channel manager during 2017 and the value of those bookings in gross revenue for the company’s 28,000 hotel customers.
Here are eight things we learned from the top 15 booking channels for hotels:
- The duopoly of Booking.com and Expedia features among the top three highest-performing booking channels for hotel markets around the world – with the notable exception of India where Agoda and MakeMyTrip/Goibibo overtake Expedia in the second and third spots, respectively.
- Ctrip appears in almost every Asian market listing, proving the value of the Chinese traveller market across Asia. Ctrip’s influence within other parts of the world is yet to be seen, but we expect it will climb to the top 15 in a number of European markets within the next 12 months.
- Hotels are clearly seeing the continued value of the wholesaler sector, with Hotelbeds (and/or its acquisitions of GTA and Tourico) featuring in every global market’s list of the 15 highest-performing booking channels.
- Despite only being offered as connected channels to SiteMinder’s customers one year ago, LATAM-based Despegar.com, BestDay.com and PriceTravel have all climbed to the top 15 spots to show their incredible value to the region’s hotels, and the need to not only attract international travellers but domestic also.
- The top 15 booking channels in each market contribute over 87% of the total revenue generated through The Channel Manager within their particular markets, showing the dominance of our industry’s largest players and their success in attracting today’s travellers.
- Hotel websites and global distribution systems feature among almost every global market’s top 15 highest-performing channels, proving the value of direct and corporate bookings.
- In 2017, SiteMinder’s channel management solution processed 72 million reservations worth $22 billion (USD) in hotel revenue.
- The appearance of LateRooms.com, HotelTonight and Lastminute.com demonstrates an ongoing trend among guests to book their accommodation with little planning time involved. These websites also show the value of advertising rooms via a dedicated last-minute booking site, rather than discounting rooms across the board.
To view your region’s list click here.