Hotelbeds has prepared some testimonials about 2018, with insights about how the year has been for the industry and forecast for 2019. Some of the key messages that you will find in the document attached:
- The trend for intermediaries growing their share of hotel sales Vs the direct channel will continue into 2019 and beyond. It shows that consumers are generally more comfortable – for a range of reasons – with buying from intermediaries and on balance favor that over going to a hotel dot com.
- Consolidation has been a key part of the accommodation sector over the last twelve months and will continue in 2019. - Both investors and owners have recognized that the sector is just way too fragmented.
- Perhaps the most interesting development in the hotels space this year has not been a piece of technology or from the distribution space. OYO Rooms has come out of nowhere to raise huge sums, around a billion dollars at the last round, to create a more level playing field for small independent properties.
- Last year everyone was still assuming that the alternative accommodation sector would just keep growing exponentially. But this year has seen a massive slowdown in growth and we expect that to continue.
- The Chinese outbound market remains largely untapped
- Strong increase in hotel distributors offering re-seller content is unsustainable and bad for consumers
- Over the last few years we’ve seen a trend for airlines approaching us to start selling hotel accommodation on their website. In 2018 this has increased, but we predict that in 2019 it really will begin to snowball.
- Service will slowly become the key differentiator for hotels, not price – helped by technological innovation
- Trend for greater price transparency driven by metasearch is leading to a technological arms race.