Online leisure hotel bookings in January achieved double-digit growth over nearly every year back to 2007 globally, with the exception of 2013. Bookings made by leisure travelers through online channels were still a healthy +3.1% ahead of January 2013 levels, having improved by as much as +52% over recent years, according to Pegasus Solutions. Pegasus, which processed bookings valued at $14 billion in 2013, predicted volumes to continue the upward climb.
"Travelers are utilizing online channels to shop for hotels, which are also drawing interest from business travelers who have traditionally booked exclusively through the GDSs," said David Millili, chief executive officer of Pegasus Solutions. "The challenge for hotels is how to be found and booked by travelers insistent on booking, but needing to be ‘sold' to. Hotels that blend attractive presentation (through multiple points of sale), immediate access to information and a simple booking process will be more likely to pull their share of the bookings out there."
Global online leisure bookings were up last month by +3.1% over January 2013, with rates rising by +2.7%. Online corporate bookings stayed ahead of last year by +1.0% globally, as rates paid by business travelers in January grew +2.9% over January 2013. Corporate bookings are expected to outpace prior year by an average of +4% through May, possibly rising as high as +9% worldwide. The leisure segment is expected to slow slightly before potentially realizing double-digit bookings growth due to the Easter holiday in April. Rates for the channel are expected to continue increasing by a monthly median average of about +4% for global arrivals February through May.
Data reported by Pegasus Solutions comes from billions of transactions processed monthly by the company, which is the single largest processor of electronic hotel transactions. The Pegasus View, produced quarterly, is the only industry report to reflect data drawn from both GDS and ADS transactions, representing the business and leisure markets respectively. Pegasus' PegasusView Market Performance business intelligence is a monthly reporting product augmenting the global data provided quarterly in The Pegasus View.