Briefing: Digital support, OTAs, and the Billboard Effect

Author: Guy Lean

The latest report from TravelClick has found that so far in 2016 brand websites have had the largest share of rooms sold (34.7%) of all booking channels in North America. OTAs have had 14.9% of the share. Both segments grew in the last quarter of 2015, brand channels grew 4.3% and OTAs grew 3.8%.

Online booking continues to dominate distribution and despite recent discussions in the industry questioning the continued relevance of the ‘Billboard Effect’, relationships between smaller hotel companies and the OTAs remain important.

These videos discuss the importance of online channels and what OTAs can offer:

The Billboard Effect was made famous in 2009 when Chris K. Anderson of Cornell University published the research report ‘The Billboard Effect: Online Travel Agent Impact on Non-OTA Reservation Volume.’

The reported look closely at four hotels (three branded, one independent) and noted changes in the Average Daily Reservations on their own websites as their visibility on was switched on and off over a three month period. All four hotels saw an increase in direct reservations when displayed on the OTA. The highest difference was found with the independent hotel which had a direct reservation increase of 26% when visible on Expedia. The lowest difference was a 7.5% increase.

However, as reported on tnooz, research is now suggesting that customers who look on OTAs are more likely to ultimately book on the OTA site regardless of where they start their booking journey.

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Video clips produced by for the Hospitality Channel, including interview from industry conferences such as the IHIF conference as well as specific Hospitality Channel shoots.