A recent GlobalData poll has revealed a shift in consumer preference to booking holidays directly instead of going through an online travel agency (OTA).
Of respondents, 39% said they would typically book directly, followed by 17% that opted for OTAs and price comparison sites. According to GlobalData, this is likely due to the flexible cancellation and straightforward refund policies offered by direct booking.
This is a notable change from a previous survey conducted in Q3 2019, which had 29 744 respondents. In the results of that GlobalData survey, 44% of consumers preferred booking through an OTA, while 36% preferred booking directly with a hotel and 34% with an airline.
“The pandemic has caused a significant shift in consumer booking habits,” notes Gus Gardner, Associate Travel and Tourism Analyst at GlobalData.
“Some OTAs have been extremely slow to issue refunds and have received a raft of bad press as a result. This has knocked travellers’ confidence to book through intermediaries. Direct booking channels are likely to have experienced an increase in popularity due to the fragility of booking a trip in the current situation. Travellers now desire the highest level of flexibility, and it is no wonder that direct booking channels’ flexible terms, easy changes and quick refunds are winning travellers over,” Gardner explains.