What’s the U.S. Hotel “Search to Book” Window for October

What’s the U.S. Hotel “Search to Book” Window for October

The booking window is shrinking.  Due to the proliferation of last minute booking websites and advances in mobile technology, people are waiting and doing more shopping. The search-to-book window is getting longer, it’s this “marketing” window that’s hard to get a handle on. Plus, with the proliferation of online resources and new travel sites coming online every day, the search process could actually be getting more complex than the industry first realized.

According to a 2013 study by Expedia Media Solutions and Millward Brown Digital, the number of websites visited escalates as a leisure consumer gets closer to booking, visiting up to 38 sites in the 45 days leading up to booking. By understanding this timing, hotel marketers have greater insight into consumer behavior and potential for incremental bookings.

Based on consumer hotel search data across third-party websites from nSight, the average search-to-book window for a U.S. leisure hotel stay in October is 21 days.  The range of 11 to 26 days for forward-looking demand based on the region.  For October, the Plains region has the shortest average search-to-book time at 11.1 days, which is likely due to lower demand for this area in off season. As a high demand market, the Southeast experiences the longest search time for October, 23.8 days, likely driven by popular warm weather destinations on the east coast.

This marketing window is the best opportunity for hotels to market to a specific geography or demographic to influence a consumer’s hotel booking decision.  Look for one of next blog posts to talk about using nSight data to target active consumers based on lead time.