Although OTAS have been spending millions on advertising and search engine ranking, and have as a result gained much top of the mind awareness for consumers, travel shoppers are still looking to hotels when they are ready to buy. .
In this study, Millward Brown Digital shows how “OTAs are utilized in the consumer journey, and how they can grow their share of consumer attention by reaching them at the start.” The study also shows how OTA ad spending has influenced where consumers shop. “When Booking.com and Hotels.com were at the peak of their offline advertising in the second quarter of 2014, 64% of hotel shoppers visited an OTA, compared to just 57% shopping hotel supplier sites.”
The interesting point to me is that OTAS have minimal loyalty and low brand awareness when come to large chains and brand name hotels. It certainly is an opportunity for these hotel to take back market share.
Only 66% of consumers who initiate hotel research with an OTA will book with an OTA, But, 80% of those who start with hotel site will book with the hotel supplier.
The surveys believe that only 12% of consumers start hotel research with an OTA, and that thse who do not start with the OTA are very likle to boook direct. As they say “there is a strong chance OTAs will miss out on bookings (by travel who do not start with them) without aggressively marketing their brands or booking experience. From this we can assume that brands can take business direct by competing with OTAS if they are more strategic in advertising and marketing.