There is little doubt that residential rental sites such as Airbnb, VRBO and HomeAway are disrupting the multi-billion dollar hotel business. There is still significant debate about the long-term impact of that disruption but if a new study conducted by Hitwise, a division of Connexity, is any indication, these sites are complicating hotels' online efforts.

According to the study, monthly visits to sites like Airbnb, VRBO and HomeAway has surged by 70% over the past three years while direct traffic to hotel sites has decreased by 3.6%.

What should we do?

Female vacationeers are far more interested in booking vacation experiences that differentiate them from their friends, visit a different location every time they travel, and book through a company they have never heard of.

Therefore, we should take the following steps:

  1. Segment and personalise better
  2. Focus on customer experience
  3. Revisit UX
  4. Take advantage of their strengths

Read the full post and each point in-depth here.

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2 years ago

This is true across the spectrum of general interest sites as well. 10 years ago before the mammoth brands became local as well, many regional, tourism and collective information sites, saw a very high level of accommodation searching. These now see substantially less as people go to "trusted" branded aggregators.

If only the guests knew they could get a better deal direct, which it is in effect as many OTA's only act as intermediaries and have no liability!

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