News for the Hospitality Executive
by Jonathan Barsky and Lenny Nash, February 2007
The Market Metrix Hospitality Index©, based on 35,000 consumer interviews conducted each quarter, includes a variety of measures about the hotel reservation experience – both online and offline. This data provides special insight into the growing popularity of website usage and the satisfaction with the online experience.
The growth of online booking as a percentage of overall reservations continues to grow dramatically. More people are booking online and less people are booking through central reservations telephone numbers and offline travel agencies. For example, over the past 3 years, Best Western has seen online bookings grow from between 10 percent to 15 percent of overall traffic to around 40 percent today. At Choice hotels nearly 60% of reservations now come from online bookings.
The majority of persons who make reservations online are now booking directly on the hotel or brand’s website (see “Market Share” in chart below). This is quite an achievement for the hotel industry despite many new websites attempting to book or refer hotel reservations. Now hotel companies are paying less money to travel portals and are establishing more relationships directly with their guests.
Because travelers are increasingly using the Internet to book hotel reservations, the online interface is an important part of the overall experience for many hotel guests. The quality of the experience with the website can influence customers’ decision making, ultimately reinforcing loyalty or losing customers for the brand.
The top performing hotel site for 2006 (quarters 1-3) was Drury Inns. According to travelers, Drury’s website delivered the best user experience compared to all other hotel brand websites. Sleep Inns (Choice) and Courtyard by Marriott finished closely behind Drury. Hotel and brand websites have improved significantly and now, many of these sites outscore the best Internet travel portals in overall satisfaction with the online experience.
Among travel sites, Hotwire, Priceline and Orbitz received the highest
evaluations for satisfaction with the online reservation experience for
the first three quarters of 2006. This category includes independent travel
websites that allow users to make hotel reservations online.
Jonathan Barsky and Lenny Nash are principles with Market Metrix LLC (MarketMetrix.com), a firm that provides customer and employee survey programs for the hospitality industry. For more information, call (800) 239-7515.
|Also See:||Market Metrix Announces 2006 Hospitality Index Results; Drury Inns, JetBlue Airlines and Enterprise Rent-A-Car Win First Place 2006 Awards – go to|
|Expedia, Travelocity and Orbitz Facing New Competition from Heavyweights - Google, Yahoo and AOL / November 2005|
|Hotel Chain Best-rate Guarantees Taking Hold; Third-party Travel Sites No Longer the Place to Look for the Best Discounts / July 2004|
|Travelocity Launches $80 million Ad Campaign; Hopes to Regain Market Share Lost to Expedia / January 2004|
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