Online Travel Reservation Services

Industry Profile Report

Dive Deep into the industry with a 25+ page industry report (pdf format) including the following chapters

Industry Overview Current Conditions, Industry Structure, How Firms Operate, Industry Trends, Credit Underwriting & Risks, and Industry Forecast.

Call Preparation Call Prep Questions, Industry Terms, and Weblinks.

Financial Insights Working Capital, Capital Financing, Business Valuation, and Financial Benchmarks.

Industry Profile Excerpts

Industry Overview

The 1,400 online travel reservation service providers facilitate travel purchases between travelers and a wide range of travel resources, including airline seats, lodging, rental cars, and tours. Through websites and mobile applications, online travel agencies (OTA) use proprietary technology to streamline the travel booking process and provide a one-stop platform for researching, comparing, and reserving travel services. Lodging reservations account for the vast majority of revenue.

Dependence on Changing Technology

OTAs depend on sophisticated technology to support and enable customer interaction and manage data from different travel suppliers on a single platform.

Travel Industry Recovery Ongoing

The post-pandemic recovery of the US travel market is ongoing, with the leisure market bouncing back faster than the business and group travel markets.

Industry size & Structure
Industry Forecast
Online Travel Reservation Services Industry Growth
Source: Vertical IQ and Inforum

Recent Developments

Jun 10, 2024 - Airbnb Bans Indoor Security Cameras
  • In response to rising concerns over privacy at vacation rental properties, Airbnb has banned the use of all indoor security cameras at its listings worldwide, The New York Times reports. The ban took effect on April 30th. Previously, the vacation rental giant had allowed the devices to be installed in common spaces like hallways and living rooms as long as hosts informed guests of their use before booking. Airbnb said it would continue to allow outdoor security and doorbell cameras, as well as noise decibel monitors, as they are an effective way to monitor security and prevent guests from throwing unauthorized parties, according to NYT. Airbnb is one of the biggest players in the short-term rental market, with more than a 20% share of the vacation rental industry, according to the company.
  • Airbnb hosts are joining forces to oppose a wave of bills and regulations designed to make it harder to turn homes into Airbnbs, The Wall Street Journal reports. Under the umbrella of Rent Responsibly, an advocacy group partly funded by Expedia Group, hosts are emerging as a potent political force, according to WSJ. Hosts are showing up at statehouses, testifying at community meetings, and flooding towns with letters opposing new restrictions on STRs, which can shrink the housing supply. “The professionalization of host advocacy efforts is really leading to a turning of the tides in a lot of communities,” said Noah Stewart, head of US advocacy at Expedia Group, which owns vacation listing site Vrbo. A lot is at stake for hosts. In 2023, New York City eliminated nearly all short-term rentals when it began strictly enforcing registration rules. Other states and cities may follow suit.
  • This summer’s political conventions are expected to raise occupancy levels and room pricing power for hotels and other lodging providers in Milwaukee and Chicago, according to hospitality data company STR. The Republican National Convention (15-18 July) and Democratic National Convention (19-22 August) will draw thousands of delegates, party members, and other attendees, not to mention an army of media to fill hotel rooms throughout the host cities, resulting in significant premiums to the average daily rate (ADR) and revenue per available room (RevPAR). Moreover, the conventions are held during summer weekdays, which normally have seasonally diminished bookings from business travelers and conventions. Weekday occupancy point gains ranged from a staggering 34% increase above the seasonal norm in Charlotte (in 2012) to a “modest” 8% gain in Boston (2004), STR data show. Host markets have historically seen a consistent and rock-solid daily occupancy and ADR pattern up to and during conventions.
  • The short-term rental industry has grown so fast in recent years that supply is outpacing demand across the US, The New York Times reports. Three consecutive years of occupancy rate declines have more hosts fighting over fewer guests, driving down prices and forcing the hosts — and STR platforms — to find novel and creative ways to attract renters, according to NYT. To stand out in a crowded market, hosts are adding perks and crafting “experiences” for guests rather than just providing a place to stay. Vacation house listing service Vrbo is encouraging hosts to consider allowing pets to broaden its appeal. Still, hosts are seeing prices sag as more inventory lands on platforms, said Jamie Lane, chief economist at AirDNA. Supply grew 24% in 2022, 12% in 2023, and is up 10% year to date. Demand is also growing, but not nearly as quickly, NYT reports.
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