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OTAs Capture Most Young Traveller Accommodation Bookings

January 30, 2018 Statistics & Trends No Comments Email Email

Sixty-seven percent of young travellers choose to book their accommodation via Online Travel Agents (OTAs) and other intermediaries rather than direct with the accommodation provider, according to a recent global survey of young travellers, New Horizons. About 46% of young travellers booked their accommodation via an OTA in 2017, up from 31% in 2012.

Challenges and opportunities to generate more direct bookings from young travellers

The New Horizons findings on the travel booking behaviours of the Millennial and Z generations were revealed by WYSE Travel Confederation at the third annual STAY WYSE Hostel Business Conference in Amsterdam. The conference brings together more than 300 travel accommodation providers, travel agents, tour operators, service providers and others specialised in youth travel.

“With only 33% of young travellers booking direct, clearly there is an opportunity for your hostel or hotel to do more direct business – we also understand that there are challenges for accommodation providers to compete with OTAs for this direct business,” said David Chapman, Director General of the World Youth Student and Educational (WYSE) Travel Confederation.

Young travellers look to Booking.com and Airbnb to book 

The New Horizons survey reveals that Booking.com is the most popular OTA used by the under-30 travel market globally, used by 40% of young travellers to book accommodation. Twenty-three percent of young travellers reported using Airbnb to book their accommodation.

Hostels remain top choice, but live like a local pushes family and friends back

European and American brands such as Freehand Hotels and Generator Hostels have been recognised for their design-led concepts with social spaces and local flair, bringing youth-inspired travel accommodation into the mainstream.

Hostels and hotels are the top travel lodging choices for young travellers globally (21% and 20% respectively), followed by Airbnb and other sharing economy type accommodation (15%). Airbnb-style accommodation displaced family and friends as the third most popular travel accommodation for young travellers in 2017 compared to 2012.

“With more than 304 million international travellers in 2017, the youth travel segment has driven the development of new hotel concepts that are social by design,” said David Chapman. “Youth travellers have always been the trailblazers of tourism.”

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