We’ve suggested it’s the industry’s best kept secret, but it looks like travellers are rapidly becoming more clued up about the benefits of booking direct. The annual MMGY survey found that US travelers prefer to book direct rather than use online travel agencies. Why? For both price and expediency. Of the 2,800 surveyed, 65% think they will find a better deal on a brand’s website, while 67% felt booking direct was more convenient.
Times are changing…fast
Compared with last year’s survey, these figures are even more exciting. The number of travelers who say they get information from an OTA has plummeted from 84% to 58%, while the percentage using OTAs to book is almost a third of what it was in 2014.
Every age on the same page?
Over half of respondents in all four age categories surveyed (18 to 68+) claimed they generally book direct, although the generation X-ers (aged 36-48) are the most likely to. Those over 68 are least likely, showing the greatest preference for traditional travel agents. Even so, 55% say they book direct, with a sizeable portion preferring to make direct bookings over the phone.
Surprisingly, the 18-35 year-olds were the most likely to use OTAs (17%). This doesn’t go hand-in-hand with a mistrust of booking direct, though (they’re the second most likely group to do so). It might well be because they’re the group most likely to book especially adventurous, multipart travel. Turning to an agent to help you research and book a trekking trip around Indochina may seem a much better option when you don’t know where to even begin with the planning process.
Overall, though, it’s still good news for hotels and bad news for OTAs. Once you've scanned the helpful infographic why not read four simple steps to more direct bookings?