Online hotel bookings have tipped again towards OTAs

Expedia, and others have retaken more than half of all online hotel bookings in the recovery era

Apr 11, 2023

OTAs are taking back some of the distribution market share they lost to hotel chains during the years leading up to the pandemic, as companies such as Expedia Group and Booking Holdings have ramped up marketing investment and product improvements to sell more room nights to prospective U.S. lodging guests.

Key takeaways

  • Direct-booking incentives and loyalty program pushes have made strides in driving guests to book on the websites of the big hotel brands. But as the industry's recovery from the pandemic has progressed, OTA bookings have again outpaced hotel website bookings;
  • OTAs' share of bookings dropped to as low as 49% before the pandemic, but has since rebounded to 52%. In 2012, OTAs had a 54% share of that business, according to the latest Phocuswright data;
  • It became easy and cheaper if you were a member of a loyalty program to book direct, but that’s been countered by OTAs’ marketing programs, and hotels can’t compete with that.

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