Independent Lodging Market: Marketing, Distribution and Technology Strategies for Non-Branded Properties

Independent Lodging Market: Marketing, Distribution and Technology Strategies for Non-Branded Properties Published October 2015 Analysts: Peter O'Connor, Ralph Merten, Felica Eisenbeis, Lorraine Sileo

 

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Although independent properties make up the majority of the room supply in most regions of the world, little reliable information about their marketing, distribution and technology strategies has been available to date. How do they market themselves? Are they situated well to react to the online distribution revolution? How are they making use of technology-based systems? 

Phocuswright and h2c partnered to undertake an extensive study, Independent Lodging Market: Marketing, Distribution and Technology Strategies for Non-Branded Properties. This report analyses the independent lodging market in six major markets: France, Germany, Italy, Spain, the U.K. and the U.S. It provides information on channel distribution and use of intermediaries, as well as how these properties engage in marketing and promotion.

Research highlights include:

  • The independent share of the total hotel segment for each market
  • Online and offline marketing strategies
  • Who are their most successful distribution partners and how the mix is shifting
  • How they allocate marketing dollars
  • The role of loyalty programs

Purchase Independent Lodging Market: Marketing, Distribution and Technology Strategies for Non-Branded Properties to understand the key differences among independent properties (by size, star rating, and other key metrics). Gain insight into the distribution strategies of independent properties.

Phocuswright and h2c thank their partners and sponsors of Independent Lodging Market: Marketing, Distribution and Technology Strategies for Non-Branded Properties. Without their active support, this research would not have been possible.

PARTNERS
Dashbell
Hotelbeds
HSMA
Miles Media Company
Northstar Business Development and Licensing
Travelport

SPONSORS
AccorHotels
GTA
Hilton (Curio)
HRS Group
IDeaS
Leading Hotels of the World Ltd.
Marriott
SiteMinder
TripAdvisor
Worldhotels

  • Executive Summary
  • Key Objectives, Definitions and Methodology
  • Market Size and Structure
    • Myriad accommodation types typical of independents
    • European long tail affects property size
  • Lodging Market Metrics
    • Unique structure separates markets
    • Independents vs. chains
  • Online Sales Rising
    • OTAs dominate online sales
  • Distribution Channels
    • Direct website is favored, especially in the U.S
    • Most popular OTAs
    • A love/hate relationship
  • Marketing Challenges
    • Online marketing spend on the rise, but is it enough?
    • TripAdvisor Rules
  • Voluntary Chains / Marketing Organizations
    • Few properties take advantage of their support
  • Loyalty
    • Independents lack formal loyalty programs
  • Technology Use
    • Independents lack essential decision-making tools
  • Summary and Conclusion
  • Partners
  • Sponsors

The objectives were to establish the size of the independent lodging market, both in terms of online room revenue as well as share of the total lodging segment in each market. An overall goal was to gain a deeper understanding of independent lodging properties' channel distribution and how they made use of intermediaries, both traditional and online. The study aimed to explore how independents engaged in marketing and promotion, including their usage of online marketing techniques; how they were allocating their marketing resources; their motivations for joining representative companies and voluntary chains; as well as their use of loyalty programs. The study also set to establish which technology-based systems they used to support these efforts as well as their attitudes toward technology in general.

A mass email survey, widely distributed by a portfolio of industry partners, was used as the primary research instrument. This multi-lingual online questionnaire targeted managers working in revenue, distribution and e-commerce, as well as owners and general managers, in independent properties in each target market, asking them a range of quantitative and qualitative questions about their current usage and future plans in regards to marketing, distribution and technology issues. Over 2,800 completed questionnaires were received.

These findings were supplemented with a series of in-depth telephone interviews with over 50 executives in hotels, voluntary chains, representative companies, technology providers, OTAs, GDS and wholesalers to help enrich these findings and gain deeper insight into market trends. Lastly a variety of third party data, provided by industry partners, was also consulted and used to support conclusions.

Throughout the study the following definition was used for independent lodging properties: They had to be unbranded, although they could form part of a common ownership group of up to five properties as long as they operated independently. Properties that were members of a hidden (B2B) brand such as Supranational, Navarino or HotelRez, or of a soft (B2C) brand such as Leading Hotels of the World (LHW), Preferred Hotels or Design Hotels were also included, but members of transparent brands such as Autograph Collection by Marriott or Curio by Hilton were considered to be part of a chain and thus excluded.

US $895 
CA $1,130 • £689 • €778
FREE for Global and European Subscribers
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