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OTA–booked travellers top spending in all TRAVELLERS who booked via an online travel agency (OTA) spent more per trip than non-OTA guests across all categories, regardless of whether they were travelling for business or leisure, making them a valuable segment of customers for hotels, according to a joint survey by online travel company Expedia Group in collaboration with Oxford Economics. The study covered a per trip basis including transportation, retail, dining, and entertainment, and guests were segmented by those who booked part or all their journey using an OTA and non-OTA booking guests. According to the survey shows that the aim of an OTA is to make travel bookings as frictionless for guests as possible. The research from Expedia Group and Oxford Economics revealed that guests who booked using OTAs are more profitable to hoteliers than non-OTA customers. The OTA guest brings greater or equal value to hoteliers and destination marketing than any other travel segment. Over one-fifth (21 per cent) of surveyed travellers used an OTA in trip planning and booking, and according to the data, OTA bookers stay eight per cent longer and spent nearly 18 per cent more per trip than non-OTA bookers. Coined “OTA Premium” by Oxford Economics, this variance between OTA guest and non-OTA guest spending is evident across all categories, including food and beverage, retail, recreation, entertainment, and transportation. The largest difference in spending is in the retail category, where the OTA premium is nearly 26 per cent, followed by transportation, recreation and entertainment, both upwards of 20 per cent. “OTAs are a valuable contributor to the travel ecosystem, often bringing a larger traveler spend to every facet of a trip, regardless of trip purpose,” said Abhijit Pal, Head of Initiative and Ops for Expedia Group. “With more than one-fifth of travelers using an OTA to book all or part of their trip, the data shows the scale and importance of this traveler segment to hotel brands and owners, transportation companies, restaurants and other businesses in the destination.” The OTA premium is partly attributable to the typically longer length of stay for OTA bookers and does not have any correlation to travel party size. The Oxford research reveals that OTA bookers generally are slightly younger than non-OTA bookers, with a higher concentration in the 25 to 54 age group , by nearly 10 percentage points, and no notable variant from household income. Although the focus of this study was specifically based on American travellers who reported staying at a hotel in the US, the insights are still beneficial for hoteliers in Thailand as the US is the number one feeder market for Thailand based on Expedia Group data in the past 12 months ending Q1 2018. “It's encouraging to see that OTAs are the primary source for travel planning and booking among the US travellers. As the world's leading online travel company, we're here to support our hotel partners to tailor their offerings and help them acquire more valuable American travelers to stay in their properties,” Pimpawee Nopakitgumjorn, Director of Market Management at Expedia Group concluded.
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"Alipay is widely recognized as one of the largest payment platforms in the world, and as people from China travel to the U.S. they want to use their preferred payment method," said Chuck Fischer, ARC's managing director of airline services. "For airlines that choose to accept Alipay, ARC now provides the means to extend this payment platform to the agency channel. ARC continues to work with UATP to enable other payment options for airlines and agencies that can be easily integrated into their revenue accounting systems." As airlines and online travel agencies seek ways to enhance the customer experience, providing payment options that are familiar and seamless is key to gaining and retaining those customers. ARC anticipates that its airline and agency customers will desire to accept Alipay in the very near future. And when they are ready, ARC will be ready to support them. "Customer demand for Alipay, and other payment options continues to grow and we want to fulfill that demand," stated UATP's VP of Business Development, Tom Cunningham. "Having the agency channel ready for Alipay acceptance is crucial; naturally, working with ARC is fundamental to meet this demand." The Airlines Reporting Corporation (ARC) is the premier driver of air travel intelligence and commerce in the travel industry with leading business solutions, travel agency accreditation services, process and financial management tools and high-quality data. In 2017, ARC settled $88.5 billion worth of airline ticket transactions for more than 7,000 travel agencies with 12,000 points of sale. Established in 1984, ARC is an ISO 27001 certified company headquartered in Arlington, Virginia, with offices in Louisville, Kentucky, Tampa, Florida and San Juan, Puerto Rico.
For the original version including any supplementary images or video, visit https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/arc-brings-alipay-payment-option-to-travel-agency-channel-300679023.html