An analysis by SiteMinder, the global hotel industry’s leading guest acquisition platform, today reveals that direct bookings have plummeted from constituting 94 percent of the €7.4 billion made in online hotel sales in Italy 10 years ago to constituting only 20 percent of the €11.6 billion estimated this year.
By 2023, the contribution is expected to drop a further four percent, according to data by Euromonitor International, to represent a mere €2.1 billion – 16 percent – of the €13.8 billion forecast for that year. The figure also represents a significant decrease from 2012, when direct bookings peaked at a total value of €7.1 billion.
SiteMinder’s alarming analysis comes as it launches State of the Nation 2019: How big is the opportunity for hotel bookings in Italy?, a report revealing that the country’s online sales have risen in recent years thanks to rising traveller confidence in using digital channels. Mobile apps are among the digital channels gaining ground, suggests the report, as travellers increasingly seek both information and last-minute deals.
SiteMinder’s vice president – EMEA, Daniele Di Bella, believes the steady decline of direct booking value comes down to hoteliers becoming overly reliant on OTAs and other third parties to bring them guests.
We have witnessed a steady rise in online hotel sales in Italy over the past 10 years. They have grown from €7.4 billion in 2009 to €11.6 billion this year, and yet it is concerning to see that both the value of direct online bookings and what they constitute to online bookings overall have continually dipped,” says Mr Di Bella.
“As hoteliers continue to operate in an increasingly-competitive landscape, it is important they compete for guests through offerings and experiences that are differentiated. That experience typically begins online and so it is crucial that hotels invest more heavily in their direct booking strategies, to win guests on their own direct websites. That starts with understanding their guests.”
SiteMinder’s report has found that tourist arrivals in Italy continue to be on the up, with Germany, France and the UK as the top three source markets. Couples are reported to make up the largest traveller group (22.8%), driven, in part, by the history in the country and its famous food and wine culture.
In an age of rising choice and accessibility for curious travellers, SiteMinder is the name synonymous with the belief that technology can empower any hotel to win in a consumer-led world and unleash their potential. SiteMinder is the global hotel industry’s leading guest acquisition platform, ranked among technology pioneers for its smart and simple solutions that put hotels everywhere their guests are, at every stage of their journey. It’s this central role that has earned SiteMinder the trust of more than 30,000 hotels, across 160 countries, to generate in excess of 87 million reservations worth over US$28 billion in revenue for hotels each year. For more information, visit www.siteminder.com.