Hotel 'Net bookings should top $US1 billion

Internet-based hotel sales will more than double to $US1.1 billion this year and reach almost $4 billion by 2001, according to a new study by PhoCusWright. And within three years, the 'Net will represent 5.5% of all hotel bookings, the survey predicts. Major hotel companies invested an average of $20 million in their Web sites last year.

Internet-based hotel sales will more than double to US$1.1 billion this year and reach almost $4 billion by 2001, according to a new study by PhoCusWright in Sherman, Connecticut. And within three years, the 'Net will represent 5.5% of all hotel bookings, the survey predicted.

The study "Hotel and Hospitality: The Sleeping Giant Of Internet Travel?" surveyed Internet executives at 16 major hotel companies, representing more than 50 hotel chain brands, 20,000 properties and approximately $40 billion in revenue.

Other findings include the following:

* Many hotels expect the Internet to represent approximately 10 percent of all bookings within five years;

* Top hotels offering Internet bookings on their Web sites said that 82% of reservations are made through their own sites, vs. just 18% through outside travel sites; and

* Major hotel companies invested an average of $20 million in their Web sites last year.

PhoCusWright is an Internet consultancy for the travel industry.

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