Loyalty-related US hotel bookings in 2019 increased 7.6% year-over-year to 56.2%, the highest figure on record, according to Kalibri Labs, a hotel performance analytics company. This growth also represents a jump of 8.3 percentage points, or 17.3%, since the major hotel brands launched campaigns targeting direct bookings in 2016.

Cindy Estis Green, CEO, said property-direct bookings have declined from more than 50% to about 25%. Loyalty contributions are now almost 6 in 10 room nights sold, which she called “a large number.” Green also said that while in the past “brand-dot-com” drove loyalty, “now loyalty is driving brand-dot-com.” In its most recent report, Kalibri Labs found that growth in brand.com outpaced OTA room night growth, increasing nearly 7.5% year-over-year. Given significant customer acquisition cost differences between these two channels, said the report, independent hotels in markets with weak and declining performance might do well to consider a soft brand affiliation.