Study: Travelers Who Book Through OTAs Stay Longer, Spend More During Trips

SEATTLE—Expedia Inc. partnered with Oxford Economics to analyze hotel guest spending during more than 98,000 trips, segmented by guests who booked part or all of their trip using an OTA and non-OTA guests. Travelers who booked via an OTA spent more per trip than non-OTA guests across all categories, regardless of whether they were traveling for business or leisure, according to the findings.

More than 21% of surveyed travelers used an OTA in trip planning and booking and, according to the data, OTA bookers stay 8% longer and spent nearly 18% more per trip than non-OTA bookers. Coined by Oxford Economics as the “OTA Premium,” this variance between OTA guest and non-OTA guest spending is evident across all categories, including F&B, retail, recreation and entertainment and transportation. The largest spend difference is in the retail category, where the OTA premium is nearly 26%, followed by transportation and recreation and entertainment, both upwards of 20%.

The Oxford data on the value of an OTA booker is further substantiated by local market data from Las Vegas. According to an August 2017 gaming survey of more than 2,000 U.S. respondents, Expedia Las Vegas bookers spend more than $1,750 per trip. When visiting Las Vegas, Expedia travelers visit an average of three different hotels per trip, and spend more than the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (LVCVA) average on shopping, dining, shows, sightseeing and transportation.

The OTA premium is partly attributable to the typically longer length of stay for OTA bookers, and does not have any correlation to travel party size. In addition, the Oxford research reveals that OTA bookers generally are slightly younger than non-OTA bookers, with a higher concentration in the 25-54 age cohort, by nearly 10 percentage points, and no notable variant from household income.

The study analyzes nearly 100,000 trips taken by U.S. households in 2016, segmented into “OTA guests” and “non-OTA guests”.