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Electronic bookings, a new growth for Internet

According to the eTrack indicator from Travelclick, major hotel chains report booking through their central reservation systems up more than 8% in 2006, reaching over 81 million bookings. The Internet channel accounted for 38.3% of 2006 brand hotel bookings, driven by a 20.2% growth rate compared to 2005. During 2006, the GDS maintained steady growth of 5.1%, finishing the year generating 35.6 percent of overall transactions, with 29 million bookings. On the other hand, voice reservations decreased 1.5%, now representing one fourth of overall bookings. The analysts predict that reservations through the CRS will continue to increase over the next several years, powered by centralization of distribution and revenue management functions. The GDS will continue steady performance as a result of recent transitioning into a hybrid agent-user interface that offers traditional GDS functionality within a browser-based environment. But as hotels continue to shift marketing funds from offline to online, more bookings will be made directly through hotels’ own websites.

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