There are many sources where serviced apartment providers get their reservations from, including online travels agents such as Booking.com, Airbnb and Expedia as well as direct via phone, website or email and traditional routes including agents and corporate.
We took a sample size of 100,000 bookings made during the first half of 2017
At ElinaPMS, we wanted to understand which channels have been driving reservations for apartment owners and operators, so we took a sample size of 100,000 bookings made during the first half of 2017.
Booking.com featured heavily
Booking.com as expected featured heavily with 56% of bookings made coming from the Priceline owned European powerhouse. They have been making more effort to work with serviced apartments and currently 40% of their UK listings are apartments. We were also surprised to see 10% of our apartment customers not trading at all on Booking.com. Expedia was the next highest OTA but in comparison was just 9% of total bookings and Agoda was in third place with a mere 0.6% of bookings. Our data confirms that Booking.com is clearly dominating OTA driven apartment bookings.
Airbnb is also an important player
Airbnb is used by around two thirds of our serviced apartment customers, with 40% getting more than two bookings a month. Whilst overall it accounts for just 4% of reservations, some providers rely on Airbnb for 50% or more of their bookings. This seems to highlight the different nature of working with the website, where time needs to be invested to yield good results.
18% of reservations came from direct bookings
Agents and corporate business channels account for 8% in total including the well-known UK agents such as Silverdoor. Relocations whilst lucrative due to their length, are just 0.2% of registered bookings.
Direct traffic is growing in importance due to increasing commissions in the industry and the strength of online players. We found 18% of reservations made coming via direct bookings including via their own website and inbound calls.
Duncan Chappell, Commercial Director at ElinaPMS said:
“We can see many providers who would benefit from investing more energy into Airbnb, or adding Booking.com, but limiting the window and conditions of bookings. We’d also like to see serviced apartment providers offering more favourable pricing or conditions to direct bookers. Careful management of inventory, rates, conditions and content should allow serviced apartments to operate on all these channels successfully.”