Direct hotel bookings rise on trips

Direct hotel bookings rise on trips

Hotel websites ranked third among booking channels in 2020 after a surge in domestic trips spurred more direct bookings, according to SiteMinder.

Brad Haines, regional vice-president for Asia-Pacific at SiteMinder, a Sydney-based distribution hospitality platform provider, said the domestic market was one of the key factors influencing the trend.

As local residents are more familiar with the area they plan to visit, they can go directly to hotel websites that can better represent the hotel, its services and characteristics.

The government's subsidy on hotel rooms called "We travel together" also supported strong growth in direct bookings.

On the other hand, when tourists travel to less familiar countries, they have to look at the broader range of accommodation providers, rather than seek out a specific hotel.

The top three hotel booking channels in Thailand last year were, Agoda and hotel websites, in order of rank.

Direct hotel bookings were ranked fourth in 2019.

Mr Haines said international travel restrictions also highlight regional distributors' performance, namely Agoda and Traveloka, which have seen improvement since last April.

As high-end accommodation became more affordable during the pandemic, the list also featured newcomer Mr & Mrs Smith, a platform for boutique and luxury hotels.

While some hoteliers decided to put a subscription on hold during tough times for the industry, the majority of more than 3,000 hotels in Thailand who are SiteMinder's customers maintain subscriptions to help attract guests.

The most important thing for hoteliers is to focus on what they can control and what markets are available to them, Mr Haines said.

Apart from health and safety, hoteliers have to focus on availability for last-minute booking to meet the domestic market's behaviour and attract guests to stay for extra days, he said.

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