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HOTREC, the European umbrella association of hotels, restaurants and cafés, conducted at the beginning of 2020 in collaboration with the University of Applied Sciences of Western Switzerland Valais (HES-SO Valais Wallis) its biennial study on the European hotel distribution market. This is the fourth study since the series began in 2013.

The objective of HOTREC’s distribution study is to monitor the evolution of distribution channels within the European hotel industry with a specific focus on the role of online travel intermediaries. The study is based on observations from more than 2’800 hotels across Europe collected before the outbreak of the COVID-19 crisis.

The 2020 edition shows that between 2013 and 2019, online travel intermediaries’ market share has steadily increased in the European hotel sector from 19.7% in 2013 to 29.9% in 2019. At the same time, the share of direct bookings has decreased across Europe by over 10 percentage points from 57.6% in 2013 to 45,5% in 2019. The 3 main players within the online travel intermediary market remain Booking Holding, Expedia Group and to a lesser extent HRS, with an aggregated market share of 92%. is by far the most influential player, with a share of 68.4% in the intermediary market. The dominance of has been rising over the last 6 years by more than 8 percentage points (14%), from 60.0% in 2013 to 68.4% in 2019. Expedia has maintained its market shares during the last 4 years (16.3% in 2019, compared with 16,6% in 2017 and 16,8% in 2015). HRS has seen a steady decrease in market shares, from 16.6% in 2013 to 7.2% in 2019.