Many often hold the belief that flight-booking websites get the most attention when creating a travel plan, but it is hotel booking sites that become the most significant factor. Depending on the destination, travellers and tourists want to ensure they get the best opportunities, along with the best services. Ideal hotel booking sites are perfect for this. Not only do they list the best and cheapest hotel rooms and deals, but they also offer flexible search and filter options along with various levels of customer service — a crucial element, especially for family-friendly travel plans.
What is a hotel booking site exactly?
Hotel booking sites, also known as OTAs, include a reservation system that allows customers and clients from all over the world to book hotel services without ever being on the hotel's official website. The software tools act as an online booking engine and advertise a wide array of hotels on one single platform. Tourists and travellers browse through the hotel booking website in search of the best hotel deals, which vary according to their specific destination.
Here are some of the most popular and widely known hotel booking sites. Chances are you've probably heard of or even used these best hotel booking sites already.
With over 28 million listings, Booking.com, a Dutch online Travel Agency for hotel/lodging reservations, has grown from a small startup to an industry-leading digital travel company. In 2019, Booking.com boasted a net income of 15.7 billion which shot down to 6.8 billion in 2020 due to COVID-19. Considering the losses faced by businesses and companies worldwide, Booking.com is still making a substantial amount of money.
Similarly, hotels.com is also a website for booking hotels room online and by telephone. The company boasts 85 websites in 34 languages and lists over 325,000 hotels. In 2019, their net income was 222.88 million, and in 2020, it went down to 75.39 million.
One of the best hotel booking sites is Trivago: a hotel search company offering online booking with an extensive price comparison, which is probably its most prominent feature. Unfortunately, this Dutch company was also not spared from the effects of the coronavirus pandemic, and its net income went from 838.6 million in 2019 to 248.9 million in 2020.
Expedia.com labels itself as 'your one-stop travel site for your dream vacation'. This hotel booking site seems to do it all with options to search flights, cheap hotels and vacation packages. Yet, the COVID-19 pandemic did not leave it unscathed. With a whopping decrease in net income from 12.67 million in 2019 to 5.2 million in 2020, Expedia had its fair share of losses.
Although all of the top hotel booking sites have been financially hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic, it is quite apparent that Booking.com remains at the top. All four online booking engines are reporting just 25-50% of their normal turnover, but this is just a temporary setback.
With the travel and tourism industry currently in recovery, we expect to see pre-pandemic turnover levels return to normal or even higher levels. All in all, one widely accepted outcome of the pandemic is that if you aren't currently selling online, now is the time to begin doing so.
What makes booking sites so profitable?
Business is open 24/7
Unlike brick and mortar providers, online hotel booking sites don't have a closing time, and therefore, business remains open 24/7. Clients worldwide can browse through the website and book the best deals at their leisure, while the integrated booking software organizes and manages all appointments. Since pricing transparency is a key element, users are ensured they will get the best prices and deals.
Clever personalized digital marketing
Have you ever simply thought about purchasing or booking something online, and exactly what you want to book shows up on your social media feed or in your email inbox? Many people immediately resort to believing tracking conspiracies, but it is actually far from it. Many companies utilize clever digital marketing techniques, such as using data from your browser to make marketing more personalized.
The key to capturing attention
On the internet, there is only a brief moment of opportunity to capture the customer's attention and convince them to purchase from you. Hotel booking websites know this, and in order to re-target existing users, utilising tools such as the Facebook Pixel is paramount to making sure their listing is the first thing that comes to mind when a customer thinks about re-purchasing. Skilled in the art of digital marketing, not only does the TripAdmit team provide customers with the knowledge to successfully market themselves, but we also support them.