Internet

Major Hotel Chains Report 6.9 Percent Increase In Electronic Bookings for Q1 2007

TravelCLICK's eTRAK Reports Double-Digit Internet Increases, Steady GDS Bookings

TravelCLICK The hotel industry maintains steady growth as consumers continue an upward trend of shopping for hotels online and booking electronically, according to TravelCLICK's 2007 first quarter eTRAK results, released today. The data shows the total Central Reservation System (CRS) reservations for major hotel brands increased 6.9 percent in Q1 2007, reaching more than 21 million bookings.

The Internet contributed 41.2 percent, or 8,796,245 reservations, of the total CRS reservations at major hotel brands, a 21.9 percent increase compared to the same period in 2006. The data also highlights the low growth, but continuing importance of GDS e-commerce, with 35.7 percent of total electronic CRS reservations. Voice reservations represent the remaining 23.1 percent of CRS reservations, posting a decline of 4.8 percent over the same period last year.

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In the first quarter of 2007, brand websites grew again and continued to gain share compared to third-party merchant and opaque websites, which remain an important component of hotels' online strategy to ensure visibility to a global consumer audience. According to eTRAK, brand websites were the source of 82.3 percent of the brands' centrally-booked Internet reservations.

eTRAK is a quarterly benchmarking report that enables individual hotels to track booking trends on the Internet and GDS through CRS performance. The consolidated results provide industry indications based on performance trends for 28 major hotel brands and chains.

Observations for the market based on this latest data include:

• Electronic bookings show no signs of slowing down, making an actionable electronic distribution strategy a crucial part of any hotel's business plan for growth.

• Hotel websites have become the center of the industry's sales and marketing efforts. As consumer choice continues to broaden, hotel companies are increasing their focus on Web-direct bookings to ensure the consumer sees Web-direct as a viable option.

• The voice channel is benefiting from synergies with the Web, as call volume continues to decrease while conversion rates increase due to more educated customers.

"Hotels are getting better at ensuring that rate parity exists and that the hotel's website lives up to its best rate guarantee," said Jeff Bzdawka, Chief Operating Officer at TravelCLICK. "In conjunction with more aggressive Internet marketing, the industry also continues to drive business direct, increasing overall profitability."

  Reservation Sources for Major Hotel Brands

CRS Bookings Share of CRS Share of CRS
Reservations Reservations
Q1 2007 Q1 2006
Internet
Brand Website(1) 33.9% 29.7%
Third Party (Retail(2),
Merchant(3) & Opaque(4)) 7.3% 6.5%
GDS Travel Agent 35.7% 37.9%
Total Electronic 76.9% 74.1%
Voice 23.1% 25.9%
Total for CRSs 100% 100%



Reservation Source Growth Rates

Percent
Growth/Decline
CRS Bookings of Reservations
Q1 2006 to Q1 2007
Internet
Brand Website(1) 22.2 %
Third Party (Retail(2),
Merchant(3) & Opaque(4)) 20.6 %
GDS Travel Agent 0.6 %
Total Electronic 11.0 %
Voice -4.8 %
Total for CRSs 6.9 %



About TravelCLICK
TravelCLICK (http://www.travelclick.net/) is the leading provider of hotel business process management (BPM) solutions that drive long-term profitability. TravelCLICK helps hotels maximize asset ROI by combining innovative market analysis and proven industry best practices with advanced technology to develop and implement high-return strategies. The company offers a full set of solutions including reservations and distribution management, market intelligence-based decision support, and marketing services. Serving the hospitality industry since 1996 and headquartered in the Chicago area, TravelCLICK has more than 12,000 customers in 140 countries.



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