17.04.2024 | 12:05

5 changes in the way people book hotels brought about by the pandemic

6 July, 2022

HOTREC, the European catering employers’ association, has just published the V Hotel Distribution Study, which provides findings on the origin of bookings made during 2021 and how the pandemic has altered hotel booking habits. The Spanish Confederation of Hotels and Tourist Accommodation (CEHAT) has noted the relevance of the report as it identifies the same changes in the Spanish tourism industry.

Data from the study, which has been collected and analysed by Professor Roland Schegg of the HES-SO Valais Institute of Tourism, points to five key trends:

  1. The number of direct bookings has increased, largely through bookings made by email or through hoteliers’ own websites. The European employers’ organisation points out that this is the first time this figure has been recorded since it began conducting the study in 2014.
  2. Despite more direct bookings, the results for 2021 show that hotels’ reliance on online travel agencies (OTAs) remained at almost the same level as in 2019.
  3. Booking Holding is by far the most influential player, with a 71.2% share of the OTA market. Booking’s dominance has increased over the last 8 years by more than 11%, from 60.0% in 2013 to 71.2% in 2021.
  4. The majority of hoteliers (55%) feel pressured by OTAs to accept terms and conditions on the platforms that they would not normally offer voluntarily.
  5. In 2021, Hotel Ads by Google was the metasearch market leader (73%), followed by TripAdvisor (57%) and Trivago (44%).