The online hotel booking service in Russia is now undergoing a rapid redistribution – “the place is empty”, left after the departure of Booking.com, Russian services are rapidly dividing. Who is currently in the lead, what was the situation after the departure of Booking, and what can be expected in the future was presented by the Russian version of Forbes, interviewing hoteliers and experts in the online booking market.
Recall that despite all the scandals and fines, Booking in the Russian hotel market was actually a monopoly, bringing some hotels from 40 to 90% of bookings. So when the aggregator at the forefront of the anti-Russian sanctions left Russia in early March, Russian hotels faced cancellations of existing bookings and a drop or a complete halt in new ones. As Forbes experts assured, until March 2022, Booking.com was the “undoubted leader” in Russia among booking aggregators — it accounted for about 60% of all online sales. This assessment was voiced by Alexander Galochkin from the TravelLine service. According to him, Booking brought most of the bookings to most city hotels, especially small ones, up to 85% of all customers thanks to “powerful marketing.” In fact, hotels received guaranteed bookings without advertising. As a result, the hotels that fully “put” on Booking were left without online sales in general and were forced to look for customers in an emergency mode.
Large “recognizable” chains and hotels that had other sales channels were more fortunate. So, as the Azimut press service told the publication, in 2021, booking aggregators accounted for about half of sales at open rates, and about 90% of this volume was provided by Booking. After a decline in the first half of March, demand began to recover, and bookings that were previously brought by Booking are now supplied by the hotel website. “According to the results of April 2022, the average occupancy of the chain’s hotels was almost 70%, which is only slightly worse than in the same period in 2021, while the share of direct sales through our website was about 80%,” the chain’s press service says. .
As for those booking systems that have taken the place of Booking, the publication gives the following rating:
According to TravelLine, in April-May, the largest share of bookings among all services is 27, 56% – fell on the “Island”. According to the company's own data, now its website and mobile application are visited by more than 5 million users a month. The database of the service includes more than 48,000 hotels.
The second place was taken by the Bronevik hotel booking system. According to TravelLine, from April 16 to May 23, it accounted for 12.06% of hotel bookings. Previously, the service specialized in corporate b2b bookings, but since March it has also been opened for individual travelers. Moreover, in March this increase was 1600%. Revenue also increased. In addition, in three months the company received more than 5,000 requests to connect objects – mainly from owners of apartments, apartments, recreation centers and guest houses – from 150-200 objects are connected per day. Now the service offers more than 33,000 accommodation facilities and more than 10,000 apartments and apartments.
The third place was taken by the Yandex.Travel service, according to TravelLine data. If before March 5, it accounted for 0.86% of hotel bookings through third-party services, then from April 16 to May 23 – 11.45%. Irina Reider, CEO of Yandex.Travel, told the publication that the company's hotel service has grown 10 times compared to last year. Yandex.Travel also sees a multiple increase in requests from hoteliers to connect to the system. As the expert adds, Yandex.Travel took a 14% commission from hoteliers before the departure of Booking, but over the past few months has reduced it to 10%.
other services also claim to participate in the “sharing of the pie” of the departed Booking. “Competitors, like us, began to behave more actively and aggressively. Cyan and Ozon launched accommodation booking. Russian Railways and 2GIS launched their housing search services. Even the government of Moscow did not stand aside,” says Alexei Cherepakhin, founder of the online accommodation booking service Tvil.
At the moment, according to TravelLine, in addition to the top three, i.e. Ostrovka, Armored Vehicle and Yandex.Travel, also includes 101hotels.com, Academservice, Alean, Zabroniryi.ru, OneTwoTrip, etc.
For those who value a healthy lifestyle life, we recommend reading: “A nutritionist called porridge to combat constipation and lose weight.”