Due to the rapid advances in technology and internet, more travelers are going online to book hotel rooms and flights. The net-savvy travelers have bid adieu to travel agents and are planning their own travel itinerary online.
The surge of internet and technology has changed the mindset of travelers which has resulted in the birth of Online Travel Agents (OTAs) that have emerged as one-stop-shop for booking hotel rooms, anywhere in the world.
People are adapting to online booking sites as the hospitality industry has seen a great demand of Online Travel Agents (OTAs) that provide a platform for booking the travelers’ holiday. Prominent hotels have started opting for management software tools that handle their data through a booking widget which helps them increase productivity, improve cost efficiency and manage their operations in an effortless manner.
According to Travel Agent Central, “Among online travel agency users, 76% of leisure and business travelers consider travel websites as their go to for booking hotels, compared to only 24% who use specific hotel websites. Some of the top hotel booking sites include Hotels.com (18%), Expedia (15%) and Priceline (10%).
In terms of world-wide internet users, almost half reside in the Asia Pacific region (APAC). Of this 644 million people, 9.6% are located in Southeast Asia. A pretty impressive figure given that, compared to other Asian neighbors, most SEA nations have been late in hopping on the technology bandwagon. When it comes to actual online activity, compared to the rest of the world those in Southeast Asia dedicate more time to social networking than others. Looking over the various networks present in the region, it’s overwhelmingly evident that Facebook is by far the most popular. However, other sites are growing in popularity including Twitter, LinkedIn and even Tumblr. (Source: Laurence Bradford)
Famous online hotel review site, TripAdvisor, has made it easy for travelers to acquire the hotel information online and simultaneously read the guest reviews to make a better judgment. (Read: 5 Reasons Why Hoteliers Need TripConnect)
The increase in online hotel bookings in Southeast Asia has helped many small and mid-sized hotels to attain higher visibility, better control and customer satisfaction. Technology has reduced the gap between the big and small hotels by providing tools that help in streamlining the hotel operations.
It is surprising to notice a rise in Southeast Asia’s economic growth and hotel performance despite the difficult times in the recent past. While the world is managing to come to terms with the economic crisis, Asia has managed to build economic fundamentals in its major cities by 5% in GDP.
The main factor behind the recent advancement is that Southeast Asia is strategically located between Europe, Middle East, China and Australia thus making it an attractive country for travelers. The region remains very attractive for travelers for either business or adventurous retreats. The endless source of travelers emerging from China, India and countries in the Middle East has allowed the region to sustain its tremendous growth rates.