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We continue to work diligently to provide you with the latest insights into the pricing strategies of OTAs. Our analysis identifies the primary “top offenders” in the market and examines the discrepancies based on factors such as the timing of the reservation and the traveler’s type.

Focusing on Valentine’s Day, we have published a “focus wave” aimed at identifying behavioral patterns on online booking platforms. Our goal is to empower you to optimize your direct bookings.

Did the OTAs’ pricing strategies become more aggressive during this period or did they adhere to the trends observed in previous reports?

Overall results

Referencing the global results, it’s clear that the trends established in prior analyses persist through Valentine’s Day. In three out of four instances, an OTA offers a lower price than that available on the hotel’s own website.

However, a comparison of the results from January 2024 and October 2023 with those from the Valentine’s Day focus waves reveals a slight increase in price discrepancies: Whereas in November, a disparity was notes 79% of the time, in January, this figure adjusted to 75.31% and on Valentine’s Day, it escalated to 82%. 

Yet, this variation should not be seen as conclusive, given that the average discrepancy across the three reports is 78.77%.

Results by destination

The degree of aggressiveness in OTAs’ pricing strategies varies significantly by location, with differences reaching up to 98 percentage points. This variation  is especially pronounced in specific local markets and on smaller platforms like Reserving. 

Notably, the data highlight substantial variation between specific destinations. For instance, New York and Los Angeles exhibit nearly 100% discrepancies, whereas Stockholm and Mallorca do not surpass 70%.

This discrepancy is closely linked to the significance of Valentine’s Day celebrations in each country – a festival that permeates schools, streets, shops and even gastronomy, contributing to one of the most celebrated traditions in the U.S. This results in a peak demand period for hotels, correlating with the observed tendency for OTAs to adopt more aggressive pricing strategies during these times.

Results Based on Reservation Anticipation, Stay Duration, Traveler Type, and Establishment Category

After reviewing the data from October 2023 and January 2024, it appears that the heightened aggressiveness of OTA strategies for reservations made on February 13 and 14 for one-night stays is not exclusively tied to Valentine’s Day, as this trend is consistent across all reports. 

Moreover, the traveler type significantly influences OTA pricing strategies on Valentine’s Day, with a marked aggressiveness towards couples, reaching a rate close to 85%. 

Lastly, considering the category of the establishments, the data across all reports reveal that OTAs persistently offer more aggressive pricing in higher-category hotels: 4 and 5 stars. However, the Valentine’s Day focus wave shows a slight increase in the price discrepancy for three-star hotels.