Travelers Navigate to Brand Sites, Not OTAs, to Book
The study looked at US adults who had taken at least one leisure trip 75-plus miles from home in the past 12 months. Among respondents, 41% had booked digitally using an airline website or app, vs. 26% who had turned to an OTA. The story was similar for online hotel bookings. Over one-third reported using a hotel website or app to make accommodations, compared with a quarter who booked through an OTA.
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Other responses indicated that leisure travelers were more engaged with travel brands than OTAs. When asked if they subscribed to emails or e-newsletters from travel companies, 34% said they subscribed to those from hotels, and 32% were signed up to receive such communications from airlines. Meanwhile, 26% subscribed to OTA emails or e-newsletters.
Research released by UBS in March 2015 indicated that travel agencies were slowly losing share of total digital travel sales in the US, falling from 33.7% to 33.2% between 2013 and 2015. By 2019, online agencies were expected to account for less than 30% of the total.