High commission online
hotel agents such as Expedia, ebookers, laterooms and bookings.com are expected
to gain greater control of the market in 2012, according to the latest HotStats Hotel Confidence Monitor.
Nearly 90 per cent of London hoteliers and 80
per cent of provincial hoteliers believe that customers will change the method
they use to book hotels next year, with nearly half expecting to become more
reliant on third party websites charging up to 30 per cent commission.
Mark Dickens, managing director
of HotStats, which produced the Hotel Confidence Monitor after speaking to 521
general managers across the UK, said: “Whilst the increase in the number of
bookings through web-based channels will impact costs in the rooms department,
due to sources charging commission levels of up to 30 per cent per booking, the
ease of use for customers, presence and geographical spread which is achieved
as well as access to previously impenetrable markets
means that the strength of these new channels cannot be ignored.”
The changing economic
landscape also means that 47.6 per cent of UK hoteliers are less optimistic
compared to Q3 2011. This represents the most pessimistic response of the last
nine surveys conducted by HotStats, with 38 per cent of respondents either
pessimistic or very pessimistic about their hotel performance over the next
The corporate sector
remains the largest source of demand for hotels in London, according to more than half of the
respondents. In the provinces, however, both the corporate segment and the
domestic leisure market play an equally important role.