Does it really pay off to book direct for a hotel?

A new report published by research firm Piper Jaffray suggests it doesn’t necessarily pay to book direct with hotels instead of with an OTA.

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Booking direct on a hotel’s website is the less expensive booking option for only 14% of hotels.
21% of the times OTAs or metasearch sites have a lower price for a room.
66 % has the same listed price on OTA, metasearch, and websites.
In cases when an direct website offers cheaper prices, the price is less expensive by 3.8% on average.

In the past year, the major global hotel chain have launched a variety of different initiatives and campaigns designed to encourage consumers to book direct, the most prominent of these campaigns was Hilton’s “Stop Clicking Around” campaign, which debuted in February 2016. 

The tension between OTAs and hotel companies is one that has existed for quite some time, and it doesn’t seem to be ending anytime soon — along with hotels’ efforts to encourage more direct bookings.

This report suggests that if hotels want more direct bookings, they’ll need to do more to ensure that customers are educated about the potential benefits of booking direct: as long as there are inconsistencies in pricing across channels and OTAs are periodically offering a lower price, that’s going to keep consumers wanting to check multiple sites before they book,which means OTAs remain a critical component of the consumer travel booking process.