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Cornell University Study Confirms "Billboard Effect" for Hotels Listed on Online Travel
Agent Sites Validating Increased Reservation Volume on the Brands Site
as a Result of Listing on the Third-Party Website



Ithaca, NY, April 11, 2011
– A new study issued by Cornell University confirms the existence of the so-called "billboard effect" for hotels that are listed on third-party websites operated by online travel agents (OTAs). The study used publicly available data from comScore on brands operated by InterContinental Hotels Group to assess the impact of listing at OTAs upon bookings on the "hotelbrand.com" site. The study, "Search, OTAs, and Online Booking: An Expanded Analysis of the Billboard Effect," by Chris Anderson, is available at no charge from the Cornell Center for Hospitality Research (CHR) at http://www.hotelschool.cornell.edu/research/chr/pubs/reports/2011.html.

Anderson, an assistant professor at the Cornell School of Hotel Administration, replicated and expanded an earlier study, which found that a hotel's listing on Expedia increased total reservation volume—not including reservations processed through Expedia itself. This larger study looks at 1,720 transactions for InterContinental Hotels brands during the summer months of three years (2008, 2009, and 2010).

"It's clear that there is increased reservation volume on the 'brand.com' site as a result of having the hotel appear on the online travel agent site," said Anderson, "and it appears that the commissions paid to online travel agents actually should be considered a marketing expense."

Anderson also tracked the surfing behavior of would-be hotel guests. He found that almost 75 percent of the consumers who booked at the brand's site visited the OTA, with 83 percent performing a web search prior to the booking (and two-thirds doing both). "Some travelers spend enormous time researching hotels online," he said. "On average, hotel consumers made twelve visits to an OTA's website, requested 7.5 pages per visit, and spent almost five minutes on each page before booking."

Thanks to the support of the CHR partners listed below, all publications posted on the center's website are available free of charge, at www.chr.cornell.edu.

About The Center for Hospitality Research
A unit of the Cornell School of Hotel Administration, The Center for Hospitality Research (CHR) sponsors research designed to improve practices in the hospitality industry. Under the lead of the center's 81 corporate affiliates, experienced scholars work closely with business executives to discover new insights into strategic, managerial and operating practices. The center also publishes the award-winning hospitality journal, the Cornell Hospitality Quarterly. To learn more about the center and its projects, visit www.chr.cornell.edu.

Center Senior Partners: Hilton Worldwide, McDonald's USA, Philips Hospitality, SAS, STR, Taj Hotels Resorts and Palaces, and TIG Global

Center Partners: Davis & Gilbert LLP, Deloitte & Touche USA LLP, Denihan Hospitality Group, eCornell & Executive Education, Expedia, Inc., Forbes Travel Guide, Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts, Fox Rothschild LLP, French Quarter Holdings, Inc., HVS, Hyatt, InterContinental Hotels Group, Jumeirah Group, LRP Publications, Maritz, Marriott International, Inc., Marsh's Hospitality Practice, priceline.com, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Proskauer, Sabre Hospitality Solutions, Schneider Electric, Thayer Lodging Group, Thompson Hotels, Travelport, and WATG

Center Friends: 4Hoteliers.com • American Tescor, LLC • Argyle Executive Forum • Berkshire Healthcare • Center for Advanced Retail Technology • Cody Kramer Imports • Cruise Industry News • DK Shifflet & Associates • ehotelier.com • EyeforTravel • Gerencia de Hoteles & Restaurantes • Global Hospitality Resources • Hospitality Financial and Technology Professionals (HFTP) • hospitalityInside.com • hospitalitynet.org • Hospitality Technology Magazine • Hotel Asia Pacific • Hotel China • HotelExecutive.com • Hotel Interactive • Hotel Resource • International CHRIE • International Hotel Conference • International Society of Hospitality Consultants (ISHC) • iPerceptions • JDA Software Group, Inc. • J.D. Power and Associates • Lodging Hospitality • Lodging Magazine • LRA Worldwide, Inc. • Milestone Internet Marketing • MindFolio • Mindshare Technologies • PhoCusWright • PKF Hospitality Research • The Resort Trades • Resort and Recreation Magazine • RestaurantEdge.com • Shibata Publishing Co. • Synovate • The Lodging Conference • The Wall Street Journal • The TravelCom Network • Travel + Hospitality Group • UniFocus • USA Today • WageWatch, Inc. • WIWIH.COM • Wyndham Green


Contact:

The Cornell School Of Hotel Administration
www.chr.cornell.edu/
537 Statler Hall
USA - Ithaca, NY 14853
Phone: 607-255-9780

Glenn Withiam
607.255.3025
 grw4@cornell.edu




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Also See: Cornell Hospitality Research Summit Explores the Dimensions of Electronic Distribution and Revenue Management; Chief Thread is Need for Hotels to Establish and Maintain Price Integrity / April 2011

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