Search engines corner hotel research

Search engines are dominating how consumers look for hotels despite the best efforts of suppliers to grow their online presence.

Almost three out of five consumers used a search engine to find a hotel, according to a study by the BDRC, overshadowing the 36% who browse direct on a accommodation provider’s website.

The British Hotel Guest Survey 2008 also revealed city destination websites outperformed travel intermediaries such as online travel agencies, grabbing a 24% share over the 19% for third parties.

The BDRC said bookings are increasingly being carried out on hotel sites but third parties such as Expedia (40%), (36%) and Ebookers (22%) continue to feature prominently during the research stage.

The top four hotel chains for the internet bookings in 2007 were Travelodge, Premier Inn, Holiday Inn and Hilton.

Overall the total number of leisure bookings made over the internet has continued to increase rapidly, growing from just 11% in 2000 to 70% in 2007.

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