Loyalty-related U.S. hotel bookings in 2019 increased 7.6 percent year over year to 56.2 percent, the highest figure on record, according to hotel performance analytics company Kalibri Labs. This growth also represents a jump of 8.3 percentage points, or 17.3 percent, since the major hotel brands launched campaigns targeting direct bookings in 2016.
In addition, Kalibri co-founder and CEO Cindy Estis Green at the Americas Lodging Investment Summit in Los Angeles last month reported that the brand-dot-com channel in recent years has steadily grown and now is the channel with the highest portion of U.S. hotel bookings at 26.3 percent. That’s followed by hotel direct bookings at 25.2 percent, a share that has been declining. The indirect online travel agency channel has grown and now has 17.7 percent share.
“Property-direct has declined. It used to be 50 percent to 60 percent, it’s now 25 percent,” Estis Green said. “Loyalty contributions are six in 10 room nights sold, which is a very large number. So it looks like brand-dot-com drove loyalty, now loyalty is driving brand-dot-com.”
In report, Kalibri also found that 2019 group demand increased at 1.4 percent year over year, a slower pace than the growth in overall room nights of 1.85 percent. Further, the booking window and average length of stay continued to compress, declining 0.5 percent and 1.7 percent, respectively. Guest-paid revenue per available room in December grew by 2.07 percent year over year, and for the full year increased 1.4 percent.
Kalibri partner and senior advisor Mark Lomanno at ALIS noted that corporate travel bookings have “actually been growing a little bit, but as a percentage of the pie, as the pie grows, the percentage is staying flat.”
Still, Lomanno added that corporate travel buyers could have more negotiating power in 2020 because of all the short-term rental companies now in the market, like Airbnb for Work, Lyric and Sonder, which just this weekexpanded its New York City presence.
“There are a lot more opportunities to negotiate, which keeps that downward pressure on the rate,” Lomanno said. “As a corporate travel manager, you have more options. When your only option was a hotel, then you were bidding against one hotel versus another, or one brand versus another. Now, the bidding isn’t one brand versus another, but a whole different segment of the industry.”
As recently as seven years ago, hotel rooms represented nearly 100 percent of new U.S. lodging supply, Lomanno explained. Over the past year or so, however, it’s been about equal between hotels and short-term rentals. “Hotels average about 10,000 to 12,000 new hotel rooms a month, and this is about how many short-term rental units are coming on in a month,” he said. “I think that over time, that the short-term model will evolve a little toward the hotel model, and hotels will evolve toward the short-term rental market. Five years from now, traditional hotel companies will look a lot different.”
Kalibri November 2019 report
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