Although preliminary data from TravelClick shows that global
distribution systems in January lost share of North American hotel bookings from
2011 levels, TravelClick executives said the figures do not indicate a decline
in business travel, as its most recent data indicates an increase in the volume
of such GDS bookings.
GDS bookings accounted for 21.4 percent of North American
room nights in the first quarter of 2011, but for bookings as of January of
this year, that share had dropped to 16.6 percent, according to TravelClick.
Online travel agencies also had a slight drop in share, with most of the corresponding
increase attained by hotel brand websites.
Still, TravelClick noted that total North American room
nights booked through the GDS increased by 2.8 percent year over year during
the fourth quarter of 2011.
For the full year 2011, GDS bookings accounted on average
for 19.5 percent of North American room nights, ranging within a few percentage
points of that level in each quarter. Hotel website booking share remained
close to 25 percent throughout all four quarters of 2011, but room nights were
up year over year in every quarter, including a 6.8 percent increase in the
fourth quarter, according to TravelClick.
TravelClick executive vice president of enterprise services
Tim Hart said because the data is preliminary, "it's too soon to tell how
the GDS channel will do in the first quarter of 2012."
Hart said that while transient corporate travel appears to
be "leveling off" in early 2012, group travel "is significantly
growing in 2012 and is actually the leading driver of occupancy gains for
hotels. We think that corporate travel will continue to be strong in 2012."