Hotel brands have made great efforts in the past two years to strengthen their online presence, and have made public commitments to offer the best price to those booking on the hotel website. They have also stepped up their online marketing efforts and are in many cases competing directly with travel agencies.

Hotel websites are making gains from search engines; with the Search Engines category accounting for 52.55% of visits to the Hotels custom category for the month of April 2007. Traffic to the category from search engines has increased year-on-year by 9.4%.

The number one search term accounting for 7.39% of search traffic to the Hotels custom category was "travel lodge" and the term "hotels" was the only non-branded search term appearing in the top 50 search terms for the Hotels custom category during the four weeks ending 26th May 2007. The term ranked 44 amongst the 10,498 unique search terms sending visits to the category.

Travelodge, ICHotels Group and Premier Travel Inn dominated visits to Hotel websites, capturing more than half (58.84%) of custom category visits during the month of April 2007.

This Hitwise analysis was prepared using a custom category of the top 20 hotel websites based on UK visits in April.

Related Link: Hitwise