Travellers 4x more likely to book through OTAs

Hand holding a pink mobile phone with speech bubble for your text, pop art comic style vector illustration. Mobile phone call or taking selfie concept.

Data shows Aussie travellers are more likely to book online, and are more comfortable booking directly on provider’s websites.

So it’s more important than ever for agents to understand how and why travellers like to book online.

With an exclusive report from Criteo, the New Digital Traveller Report, we look at the fundamental reasons travellers are increasingly digital, and find ways agents can slot into these patterns.

Criteo, the performance marketing technology company, has unleashed research that shows 75 per cent of travellers have booked direct on hotel and airline websites in the past 12 months.

Thirty-nine per cent had booked via OTAs, with another 21 per cent redirected to OTAs via price comparators like Skyscanner.

By comparison, only 10 per cent of those surveyed had made a call to, or visited, a physical travel agency.

The report reveals the top three reasons travellers find booking through OTAs easy and convenient, with half claiming the website is easy to use, 49 per cent believing OTAs have the best prices, and 35 per cent indicating they’re just used to booking travel this way.

The ‘Booking’ phase of travel follows the ‘Dream and ‘Search stages. A number of industry leaders have assured agents their business will remain relevant and sought-after for many years to come when it comes down to this point.

Penny Spencer claims it’s the fact that agents “sell time” while Travel Counsellors MD Fred van Eijk says the secret sauce is in the storytelling aspect of agents.

But what about the other secret sauces that can give agents a leg-up on OTAs?

Well, the report – which you can download here for a bit of added selling power – also shows 61 per cent of travellers book between one and two months before departing.

This means by going digital and targeting clients and other travellers with deals, airfares, and destination content, they can target people planning for a trip in one to two month’s time.

In addition, by making their own services accessible via mobile devices, agents instantly up the likelihood of someone approaching them for travel bookings.

Download Criteo’s report here for an exclusive sneak peek at more of the Aussie travellers’ booking habits and where you fit into it all.

Email the Travel Weekly team at

    Latest comments
    1. …. i was right all along… I’ve been telling you… i was right about joyce that qantas will be best on his hand… well, you know the story…i was right about tripadvisor when i said the business listing with the site is a rip-off …. recent report says trip advisor’s booking system an epic fail…. and now this… the only way for offline agents to survive and win the millenials is to work with otas… millennials want otas rates then give them otas rates… agents or wholesalers should create their own website featuring worldwide destinations… for god sake, just look at expedia’s website… there’s another i have to add – if hoteliers want more direct bookings then hoteliers should get united and create their own website listings… a website that will mimic that of otas and the difference? – it will have the hotels’ contact details: email, phone, fax, website not present in all otas… I’m telling you the gospel truth -it is the only way to win the war for direct bookings…

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