TravelCLICKå‘s eMonitor results for the third quarter of 2002 show that for the first time in over a year, worldwide hotel room nights and revenue booked electronically through the Global Distribution Systems (GDSs) increased versus the same period last year.
The number of room nights booked electronically was up 3.3% from the third quarter of 2001. Revenue was up 1%, as average rate declined by 2.2%. A key factor in driving this year-over-year increase was the results of last year’s third quarter, which were affected by reduced booking activity for the 19 days following September 11, 2001.
Electronic room nights year-to-date through the third quarter are down by 3.6% from the same time period last year, while ADR is down 5.4%. This fueled a 9% decline in electronic revenue compared to the same period in 2001. Average length of stay for the 2002 year-to-date period was 2.13 nights, down nominally from last year’s 2.14 nights.
eMonitor results are compiled from TravelCLICK`s comprehensive database, which is the exclusive source of hotel industry electronic distribution data from the Amadeus, Galileo, Sabre, and Worldspan GDSs. TravelCLICK`s data also includes consumer online hotel bookings made through GDS powered Internet travel sites.
Travel Agent Component
Travel agent bookings remained the dominant source of hotel e-business, representing 94% of total GDS room nights. The travel agent component of GDS increased at a 3.3% rate in room nights, but declined 2.2% in ADR versus the third quarter of 2001. On a year-to-date basis, travel agent room nights were off 4.0% from 2001, and average rate was also down 5.3%
Internet (consumer online) room nights, excluding bookings from auction sites, displayed growth of 2.1% above the third quarter of 2001. However, average rate was down for GDS powered Internet bookings by 3.7% compared to the third quarter of last year. The ADR of Internet bookings through the GDSs was $91.39, which was 22% lower than the ADR for travel agent bookings.
While the Internet component displayed a 3% growth in room nights over the first nine months of the year, average rate was down by 6.9%, which led to a 4% decline in revenue year-over-year.
“For the first time, GDS room nights booked by travel agents increased at a higher rate than GDS powered Internet bookings,” said Bruce W. Mainzer, senior vice president of marketing for TravelCLICK. “These trends demonstrate that travel agents remain a strong source of hotel distribution. Third quarter results also indicate that the majority of the growth of Internet distribution is now taking place on non-GDS powered Web sites; either brand/chain Web sites, or net rate Web sites like Expedia and hotels.com.”
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