Skift Take

Are the channel wars coming back? The pandemic brought a wave of direct bookings but our latest survey data suggests that this trend may not last. Plus, we find surprising shifts in booking site usage and share among American travelers.

Skift Research’s latest report looks at how online travel booking habits changed during the pandemic and how these behaviors will continue to evolve. Since February 2020, Skift has been regularly surveying 1,000-plus Americans about their travel behaviors first on a monthly, and then a bi-monthly basis. The topline results of these surveys are published as our U.S. Travel Tracker. However, we ask more granular travel questions that have not been published previously. 

This report teases out specific insights around which channels Americans use to book their hotels and flights. With this data we can see how direct bookings changed during the pandemic and whether it has reverted to pre-crisis trends. We can also look at specific booking site market share shifts and investigate whether the trip planning process shifted. 

This report asks three core questions:

  • How did the pandemic impact direct bookings and are these trends still in place?
  • How has online travel agency market share shifted since 2020 in the U.S.?
  • Did the pandemic change Americans’ trip planning process?

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Tags: booking, direct bookings, skift research

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