Results of a new distribution study in the hospitality sector: One out of seven hotel bookings in Switzerland made on Priceline’s booking.com in 2012
Online distribution is becoming increasingly important for the hotel industry in Switzerland. On average, today in Switzerland already 30% of bookings are generated electronically in real-time through online booking agencies (OTA), hotel websites, global reservation systems (GDS), central reservation systems (CRS) of hotel chains, hotel cooperation and social media platforms. This represents an estimated turnover of over 1.1 billion francs. These are some of the results of a joint survey by the Swiss Hotel Association (www.hotelleriesuisse.ch) in collaboration with the Institute for Tourism of the University of Applied Sciences Western Switzerland Valais (HES-SO Valais) in Sierre (www.hevs.ch).
According to the study which was conducted between December 2012 and January 2013 and based on the responses of over 200 hotels in Switzerland, online travel agencies (OTA) reached a market share of 20.9% in 2012, an increase of 5% compared to 2011. They have multiplied their market shares in the last five years. Meanwhile, both traditional direct sales and sales generated by tourism partners (e.g. travel agencies, tourism organizations) have constantly declined. In 2012, only 62% of the bookings in Switzerland were generated via direct sales channels, against 75% in previous years.
Booking.com is the most frequently used OTA in Switzerland. According to our data, its market share among OTA increased from 53% to 67%. The absolute market share (with respect to all channels) of booking.com is 14.8%, meaning that every seventh booking in the Swiss hospitality sector is generated by this player. Hotel Reservation System (HRS), GHIX and Expedia are other important players in this domain.
The total amount of commissions paid to intermediaries by Swiss hotels add up to estimated 194 million francs of which 124 million francs were spent for commission payments to online channels. OTAs represent the largest part with an estimated 104 million francs.
Approximately 40% of the questioned hoteliers used mobile sales channels in in 2012 compared to about one-third in 2011. Companies active in mobile distribution used websites adapted to mobile internet more often as opposed to specific apps.
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