Skift Take

What did travel executives read in 2021? What are the most important topics for them in navigating through the pandemic and calibrating for rebound and regrowth? Check out the Skift Research reports that are most read by Skift audience.

Every year at this time of the year, we at Skift Research handpick a list of reports that we’ve published in the year that summarize the most important topics and trends. This year, we are doing it a little differently and breaking the list into different themes. We’ve already published Travel’s Pandemic Myths: 7 Facts That Prove Them Wrong and 12 Skift Research Charts Explaining Covid’s Impact On Travel in 2021 to highlight the themes that the pandemic has brought us into and where the industry is headed coming out of it. So this last list before the end of 2021 is simply an aggregation of reports that are most read by our Skift audience. This gives an insider perspective of what’s on travel executives and practitioners’ mind as we navigate through rebound and regrowth. The list is organized by number of views, in descending orders. 

1. Hotel Direct Booking Outlook in 2021

Ever wonder how much of hotel sales are driven by online travel agencies, exactly? And how is that different at branded versus independent properties? Skift Research’s latest report takes a deep dive into hotel distribution channels and the outlook for hoteliers to drive direct bookings in 2021 and beyond. 

Built around a proprietary survey of hospitality operators, we are able to get a look into how many bookings each of nine different distribution channels deliver across the industry as well as the cost for each method. 

Skift Research looks at both pre-pandemic baseline distribution channels, how the pandemic has shifted booking behavior and the prospects for driving direct bookings in 2021 at both branded and independent properties.

Exhibit 1: The Impact of Covid on Hotel Distribution Channels

2. The State of Hotel Payments 2021

Many hoteliers would have seen payment processors and gateways simply as an enabler of doing business, without spending too much time on how the whole system works or what they are paying for. This has drastically changed, as the shift to more digital and alternative forms of payment have been accelerated by the pandemic and new legislation.

This report sets out how consumer payment habits are changing and provides an overview of the payment ecosystem in the hotel industry. It discusses a number of trends that will shape the space over the coming years, touching on topics like the boom in fintech, hotel tech vendors moving into payment services, fraud preventio