Last-minute hotel bookers are multiplying

More than half of all hotel searches are conducted in the two weeks before the booking, according to a new interactive Hotel Insights report by marketing platform Sojern. The report is based on the analysis of more than a billion traveler intent data points across the globe.

As they begin to consider a purchase, today's consumers have more tools and better technology at their disposal than ever, which is changing how they shop for hotel rooms and flights alike.

Though only 5 percent of all hotel searches by Europeans and Americans are initiated seven or fewer days prior to the stay date, these last-minute shoppers represented 11 percent and 13 percent, respectively, of all hotel bookings in the two regions.

Flight search sees a similar phenomenon, with larger proportions of people booking last-minute travel than searching, for both Europeans and Americans.

"We found that two major behavior changes are rising in the consumer hotel world," said Kurt Weinsheimer, Sojern's SVP of property solutions. "Firstly, travelers are spending more time on the hotel path to purchase than they do when looking to buy an airline ticket - U.S. travelers, for instance, spent nearly 25 percent more time on their hotel path to purchase than when booking flights. Secondly, even as the path to purchase lengthens, last-minute bookers are multiplying."

Hotel Management’s Voice of the GM survey results also showed that 55 percent of general managers have noticed shorter booking windows for group business.

More than half of all hotel searches are conducted in the two weeks before the booking. The number of searches conducted prior to a booking is directly proportional with the price of the room being booked: the higher the hotel segment eventually booked, the more searches were made. For travelers who start to research hotel options three days before making the booking, the luxury segment hotel guests make on average 20 searches, while upper-midscale guests make an average of 12 searches.