By Katherine Klahn
NEW YORK — Since the emergence of online travel agencies (OTAs) and digital bookings, guests are moving away from traditional methods of booking their rooms, such as picking up the phone and calling in a reservation or walking directly to the check-in desk. Yet, perhaps surprisingly, bookings through in-person travel agents—aka global distribution systems, or GDS—have increased.
That is what TravelClick, a worldwide provider of data, ecommerce and Internet solutions for the hospitality industry, has found in a new study. The review is based on data for 25 major North American markets. Data is derived from real reservations pulled from hotels under flags of such companies as Hilton, Hyatt, IHG, Marriott and Starwood.
The group reported that OTAs and GDS continue to experience growth, according to senior industry analyst, John Hach. Mobile and digital channels were driving the industry last year, and are set to continue their reign as power players in the sector. On the other hand, Hach said dial-in bookings are on the decline.