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Holiday parks booking more guests direct: RMS Study

Bookings at holiday parks made direct over an online travel agent were increasing, a study has found.

Market share of bookings at holiday parks made directly with operators is on the rise, with the share held by online travel agencies declining slightly, new research commissioned by RMS Cloud reveals.

According to the first RMS Cloud Holiday Park Performance Index, which studied more than two-million online bookings made through its systems between 2014 and 2018, showed the share of bookings made through online travel agents was at 55 per cent, while bookings made directly through park websites and holiday park aggregators climbed to 39 per cent.

If the current trajectory continued, holiday parks’ direct websites will overtake online travel agents as the primary source of bookings within the next five years.

Other key findings of the study showed that maintaining flat rates mean direct bookings were the best way to increase revenue, mainly through cutting costs such as commission. Stays at holiday parks were getting shorter, the data showed, while booking lead times were growing.

RMS Cloud Managing Director, Peter Buttigieg, said a key reason for the turnaround was better quality websites being built and maintained by holiday parks as well are more targeted marketing strategies.

“The landscape has shifted, and the data shows that for the first time ever the Online Travel Agents are losing market share to holiday park operators.

“Previously it’s all been one-way traffic in the other direction, but now smart operators have lifted their online game and are fighting back, often with great success, demonstrating that given the choice and a great deal many consumers prefer to book directly with suppliers.”

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