Research results are a positive indicator for hotel companies


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Travelers pull their luggage outside a Marriott hotel in San Francisco.

David Paul Morris / Bloomberg

There is good news for hotels in the latest travel research trends. After a year of consumers turning to alternative properties like Airbnb and Vrbo homes, there is now evidence that they are going back to some of their old ways.

In an interview on Monday, Matthias Tillmann, CFO of the travel research site

trivago

(ticker: TRVG), said his company is noticing that more and more travelers are looking at hotels again.

“Last year we saw a significant shift from hotels to alternative accommodation,” he said. Barron. “This year, with a recovery in volume, it’s reversed a bit, so the change has happened, but it’s still above 2019 levels. What we’ve seen so far this summer, is that it is between the levels of 2019 and 2020. “

This rebound was also manifested in the recent results of

Wyndham Hotels & Resorts

(WH) and

Hilton Worldwide Holdings

(HLT).

At the height of the Covid-19 pandemic last year, many people turned to vacation home rentals where they wouldn’t have to be near other people. It helped

Airbnb

(ABNB) and

Expedia Group

(EXPE), owner of Vrbo. This year, many of these types of homes were still in high demand. Yet, as travel has intensified, some people have started to choose hotels again. Part of the reason was simply that hotels had more availability, Tillmann said.

“As the volumes come back, we have already seen in some destinations – and in particular in rural and nature destinations – that the inventory of alternative accommodation is tightening,” he said. “With more and more people looking for reservations, they have to go elsewhere. And on the supply side, only hotels have the capacity to quickly increase their stocks. “

That said, hotels will still need to see business customers coming back for their results to fully bounce back.

Longer term, Tillmann expects price to be a more important determinant of where people travel, and hotels to take up a substantial share of the travel budget again – if not as much as before the pandemic. .

If people spend more time on vacation rental sites, it could likely hurt trivago as travelers would no longer need a larger search engine. But Tillmann argues that search engines will only become more important because they display both hotels and alternatives – and can attract price-sensitive shoppers.

“It’s a fragmented market and you need an aggregator,” he said. “You need someone who shows you all the options. I think the shift to alternative accommodation is helping, as it fragments the market even more. Price is the one thing that has always mattered and always will be. If trivago can show that it’s easy to find a good deal, “I think it’s a strong value proposition and that won’t change.”

Write to Avi Salzman at [email protected]


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