UK holidaymakers ‘booking direct’ through hotel websites more than doubled over last decade

Research by Opinium on behalf of Barclays, shows that almost two fifths (37%) of UK holidaymakers plan to book their holiday accommodation directly with hoteliers this year, this is more than double on ten years ago when 17% booked direct. It has been found that online travel agents are the preferred booking method (52%) for international holidaymakers, followed by traditional travel agents (22%) and booking direct (17%).


Key drivers for booking direct for UK holiday makers include cheaper prices (62%), special benefits offered only to direct bookers (39%) and easier booking experiences (37%).

Almost two fifths (37%) plan to book their stays through hotel and self-accommodation provider websites this year, compared to 17% in 2007 and 30% five years ago. This contrasts with international trends where travel agents online and on the high street are the most popular ways for holidaymakers to book their UK breaks (52% and 22% respectively).

The number booking their trips online using their mobile phones has also doubled from the 3 per cent of all bookings made this way five years ago. With 6% of all UK holidaymakers planning to book their holidays online using their mobile phones this year, this equates to 2.4 million Brits planning their holidays, potentially, whilst on the move.

The popularity of smart phone bookings is even more obvious among international guests, with nearly one in ten (9%) planning to book their holidays this way. It is particularly popular for Chinese 17% Saudi Arabian holidaymakers (14%).

On the other hand, US guests are the international visitors most likely to welcome a human touch, with twice as many booking their holidays by conversation over the phone (8% versus 4%) or in person (15% versus 11%) compared to the averages seen for other global holidaymakers.

Airbnb is a popular option for international holidaymakers, with nearly a quarter (24%) considering this type of accommodation for their UK breaks this year. However, UK holidaymakers still prefer the hotel experience (49%) and less than one in ten (6%) currently plan to use an Airbnb for their staycations, with mid-market (25%) and budget (10%) hotels being more popular options.


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