hatever segment of the travel business
you're in, the challenge you face is to sell as much as you can at
prices that will allow you to make a profit.
That challenge has become far more difficult in the Internet era
as a growing number of consumers scour the Web for the lowest
But notwithstanding the rise of self-service Web bookings,
travel agencies continue to produce billions of dollars in sales
each year. Moreover, these sales are likely to be at rates that
produce higher yields and profitability for suppliers.
A recent illustration is provided in the Oct. 7 issue of Travel
Weekly. Art Pfenning, research director for Northstar Travel Media,
our parent company, looked at the results of TravelClick's
eMonitor, which tracks the sale of hotel room nights and the
resulting revenue. The survey compares sales through travel
agencies with those made on the Web.
The findings show that hotel sales through travel agencies
produce substantially higher average daily rates than those made on
In the second quarter of this year, room-night sales by agencies
were made at an average of $119.48 compared with $93.76. Put
another way, travel agencies were generating 27% more per-booking
revenue for hotels.
It's no wonder that major hotel and resort chains continue to
pursue travel agency business with vigor.
The survey also showed that the most robust sector of the hotel
industry is the luxury category.
Of the four categories, luxury, upscale, midscale and economy,
the luxury segment was the only one to show an increase in the
number of room nights sold in the second quarter.
While all four segments continue to show declines in average
daily rate, the luxury segment had the smallest decline with its
average rate at $281.47.
A large portion of that high-rate business moves through travel
agencies, one of the key reasons why agencies account for higher
average rates overall.
With all the attention that is focused on Web bookings, smart
suppliers still recognize the importance of producing yields that
And they also recognize that travel agencies are the most
powerful conduits to higher-yield business.
Look for additional details on this article in the Oct. 7 issue
of Travel Weekly.