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Direct bookings now second top revenue driver in Australia

SiteMinder’s Top 12 hotel booking revenue makers of 2021 reveal commerce strategies in Australia now more holistic

SiteMinder, the world’s leading open hotel commerce platform, has today unveiled the lists of distribution channels that over the past year brought the highest booking revenue to hotels in Australia and more than 20 other of the world’s most popular tourism destinations.

The list for Australia – in line with global trends – reveals a more holistic online commerce strategy, consisting of both new and established methods, is being taken by hotel businesses to reach new customers and produce revenue. This holistic commerce strategy consists of a greater balance between direct and indirect revenue streams, with direct bookings now one of the top two revenue drivers in Australia and more than half (12) of global markets – up from five markets last year and two in 2019 – driven by increased investments in booking engines, hotel websites, metasearch, frictionless payments, support from hotel consultants and specialist applications designed for conversion.

This year’s lists also feature 29 new distribution channels – including Hero Travel in Australia – reflecting the current aptitude among hotels to embrace new revenue streams in their pursuit of new customers. Additionally, the lists increasingly feature Airbnb, which has risen in Australia and 11 other markets, and debuted in three, in spite of the channel being made available to traditional hospitality businesses only four years ago.

Other major findings supporting greater adoption of a holistic hotel commerce strategy in Australia included:

  • The maintained relevance of regional channels, particularly in locations with ongoing reduced international travel. With SiteMinder’s World Hotel Index showing that domestic tourists continue to account for more than nine-in-10 guests locally, the arrival of Australia’s own Hero Travel among the Top 12 confirms its proven value to the country’s hoteliers.
  • The consistent performance of global distribution systems, which retained their fourth position in Australia. Globally, they rose two or more positions in seven markets—Asia, Canada, Mexico, the Middle East, the Netherlands, Philippines and Thailand.
  • The ongoing importance of wholesalers for many accommodation providers, with leading bedbank Hotelbeds again among the Top 12 in Australia and in each destination examined.

SiteMinder’s senior director of global ecosystem, James Bishop said: “We’re living in a new era of hotel guest, dominated by what we’ve identified as the ‘dynamic traveller’ who comes with evolved booking behaviours and preferences. Our data highlights the willingness of hoteliers to adopt both new and established methods to attract these customers, as they pursue a more holistic hotel commerce strategy to sell, market, manage and grow their business.”

“Most clearly, the rise of direct bookings reflects the grown investments we’ve seen among hotels in their websites—including their booking engines and payment options, and the specialist conversion tools they connect with—as well as their metasearch strategies and local hotel consultant support. Meanwhile, a newcomer cohort of 29 channels showcases the openness of hotel businesses to employ a broader, multichannel approach as a way of connecting with more niche or harder-to-reach customer segments.

“The popularity of Airbnb comes as no surprise. As many travellers continue to seek out accommodation options that allow work and travel to seamlessly meet, hotel distribution channels catering to longer stay and workation guests will continue to perform strongly.”

SiteMinder’s regional vice president of Asia Pacific, Bradley Haines, adds: “As the environment for hotels continues to evolve, it’s pleasing to see hoteliers throughout Australia embracing a broader range of channels, both direct and indirect, to attract new guests.

“The rise of Qantas Hotels into the top five positions over the past year is a reminder not only of the continued prevalence of domestic travel, but also the growing desire for package deals among consumers. As market conditions change, it’s vital that hoteliers continually analyse and assess their online commerce strategies, and ensure they are educated on the distribution channels proving most effective in securing reservations and revenue for local businesses.”In Australia, the Top 12 hotel booking channels in 2021, based on total gross revenue made for all users of SiteMinder’s platform, were:

  1. Booking.com
  2. Hotel websites (direct bookings)
  3. Expedia Group
  4. Global distribution systems
  5. Qantas Hotels
  6. Agoda
  7. AOT Group
  8. Airbnb
  9. Hotelbeds
  10. HRS Australasia
  11. Flight Centre Travel Group
  12. Hero Travel.

Click here to view the Top 12 lists of all travel destinations worldwide, and insights into the 2022 traveller from top distribution channel providers.

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