Contrary to popular opinion, meta search users prefer to book hotel rooms directly through hotels rather than through OTAs. This is great news for hotels because direct bookings bring in more revenue than bookings through OTAs.
Even when the hotel’s direct booking price was higher than the OTAs’ prices, more than half of meta search users booked through the hotel. Of course, the bigger the price discrepancy, the more users chose the OTA because it was the cheaper option. When there was a 10% difference in price, 51% of users still chose to book through the hotel.
Meta search users in a recent study by Koddi said they chose to book directly with the hotel based on price, trust in the company, and a preference for the supplier. Although some users trust OTAs because the brands are well known thanks to their TV ads, more users overall trust individual companies more than OTAs. Users prefer to book with the hotel directly because they believe the hotel will provide better treatment and customer service than OTAs and may lead to more upgrades. Some users wanted better rooms than those selling at a lower price point on OTAs. Many hotel guests have had bad experiences in the past with OTAs and as a result, now book directly with hotels to avoid any issues.
Bottom Line: Guests want to be treated fairly at the lowest possible price. They will book from the hotel directly if they feel the hotel will provide better service and if they trust the brand. Conversely, if they do not trust the hotel brand or the price discrepancy is large, guests will book with the well-known OTAs.