Booking.com tops the list of SiteMinder’s annual lists of the channels that brought the highest total booking revenue to hotels in the Middle East and other top travel destinations around the world in 2018.

Varying from direct hotel websites to a new host of third-party channels, the diversity of the lists this year reflects a rise in consumer choice that is forcing hotels to compete for business on more booking channels than ever before.

Speaking on the lists, SiteMinder’s managing director, Mike Ford, says the increased diversity is also indicative of a booking landscape that has exploded in recent years and is showing no signs of slowing. According to Euromonitor International, global online hotel sales have surpassed US$264 billion to represent over 170% growth in the last decade, including over 13% over the past year, alone.

“This year we found almost 20 instances of booking channels making a first-time appearance in our lists. So, while the more popular brands continue to dominate, we are seeing a broader range of players emerging. This trend reflects not only the ever-growing list of options now available to travellers booking their stay, but the subsequent need for hotels to be on more booking channels than ever to keep up with today’s endless paths-to-purchase,” says Mr Ford.

Based on total gross revenue made for SiteMinder’s hotel customers in the Middle East, the top 12 booking channels in 2018 were:

1.     Booking.com

2.     Expedia

3.     Hotelbeds (incl. GTA + Tourico)

4.     Agoda

5.     Hotel websites (direct bookings)

6.     Global distribution systems

7.     Goibibo

8.     HRS - Hotel Reservation Service

9.     Mr & Mrs Smith

10.  Destinations of the World

11.  Hotusa

12.  HotelsCombined.

“The number of trips taken to the Middle East surpassed 72 million last year, a rise of over 20% from 10 years ago. While this growth presents opportunity, the sheer volume also presents hotels with the challenge of acquiring business from a changing mix of potential guests,” says Michael Edinger, Regional Manager - Middle East at SiteMinder. “Our list shows which channels secured the highest total sales for the region’s hotel economy. Notably, the appearances of both Mr & Mrs Smith and Destinations of the World show the effectiveness of these channels for a region rich with some of the world’s most luxurious hotels.”

SiteMinder’s platform processed over 87 million online bookings in 2018 – a rate of 166 per minute. The bookings totalled US$28.7 billion in revenue for its 30,000 hotel customers globally.