Sourced From Emarketer
Published: October 31, 2005

A new J.D. Power and Associates survey shows continued growth for online travel booking.

The “2005 Independent Hotel Web Site Study” found that 41% of hotel reservations were booked online in 2005, up from 36% last year.

Online Hotel Reservations Marketing Statistics

The study measured the satisfaction of hotel guests who booked their reservations with one of six major independent travel Web sites that offer hotel comparison reservation services for consumers. Overall satisfaction was based on six factors:

  • Usefulness of the information
  • Ease of booking
  • Layout and design
  • Availability of packages
  • Ease of finding information
  • Ease of navigation

With industry-leading ratings from customers in all six factors for hotel information and booking services, was first in overall satisfaction. Customers rated particularly high for the site’s ease of booking hotel rooms — which ain’t a bad thing when that is exactly what you want users to do.

“ is doing a good job connecting with consumers in several key areas when it comes to booking hotel reservations,” said Linda Hirneise of J.D. Power and Associates. “Hotel guests are becoming increasingly savvy, showing a growing preference to book their reservations online. They’re looking for sites that not only offer competitive pricing, but are also convenient and easy to use.”

Ranking first among independent travel sites, while important, may be a hollow victory for Orbitz, however. According to J.D. Power, independent sites are finding it difficult to compete with hotel brand sites offering lowest-price guarantees and loyalty programs. Increasingly, hotel guests are turning directly to hotel brand sites to book reservations online. Among guests who booked their hotel reservations online, approximately two-thirds, 68%, booked through the hotel brand Web site — a 17% increase from 2004.

“The race to capture the large portion of hotel guests still using traditional methods of booking their reservations means that travelers can look forward to exciting competitive offerings from both types of travel Web sites,” said Ms. Hirneise.

Independent sites currently have an advantage over hotel brands in that they can offer one-stop shopping — packages that include hotel, airfare and rental cars. But the industry scuttlebutt is that hotel sites are close to offering travel packages of their own.