With battles on multiple fronts, it appears, Expedia Inc has come out with a different tactic to keep its hotel partners happy: its customers have greater overall value.
A study fronted by Oxford Economics claims that online travel agency-sourced hotel guests not only spend more during trips but also stay for longer in a property.
The consultancy analyzed guest spend during almost 100,000 trips taken during the 2016 for the study.
The research found that a fifth (21%) of hotel guests used an OTA during their trip planning and booking.
But it then discovered that those OTA-booked guests stayed 8% longer at a hotel than those who booked elsewhere.
Furthermore, they also spent 18% more per trip than non-OTA guests.
Splash the cash
These customers, Oxford Economics argues, are "OTA Premium" travelers, with them spending more on other parts of their trips than non-OTA guests, such as food and beverage, things to do and transportation.
When it comes to buying retail items, OTA guests apparently spend 26% more than their counterparts who presumably booked direct or through a channel.
Oxford Economics claims the "premium" associated with some OTA hotel bookers is due in part to an apparent longer length of stay, rather than other factors such as the number of people included in a booking.
It also says OTA customers are generally younger to some degree than non-OTA bookers, "with a higher concentration" in the 25 to 54 age range to the tune of nearly 10%.
The release of the study coincides with ongoing efforts by hotel groups to lure customers to book via direct channels, as well as rhetoric from the likes of Airbnb that it considers OTAs the new enemy as it opens up the platform to hotels.