A new report suggests that by 2005, one in five hotel sales will be made online. The findings were released in Hotel & Lodging Commerce 2002-2005: Distribution Strategies and Market Forecasts, published by PhoCusWright Inc., a travel industry intelligence firm.
It is because discount Internet sites with special rates attract so much business — and because hoteliers are working with leading online travel agencies to move inventory — that online sales are up, explains the report. The result: a 49 percent increase in online hotel sales in 2002.
But at a cost. Hotels, the report states, have become more reliant on intermediaries than ever before. Hotels are betting on a new venture, TravelWeb, to take share away from intermediaries. This will mean more dynamic Web sites from branded hotels, as well, in an attempt to lure travelers directly to the company to do business.