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DATA shows: this hotel booking website was the cheapest in 2023 + predictions for 2024

We reviewed more than 198,000 RatePunk user searches from Jan. 1 to Dec. 1, 2023, to find which booking websites offer the lowest hotel prices.

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By Aistė

Published: Jan 29, 20244 min read

DATA shows: this hotel booking website was the cheapest in 2023 + predictions for 2024

The tendency is clear: travelers tend to stay loyal to one OTA (Online Travel Agency) and always book hotels through the same booking website. While having all hotel bookings in one place sounds irresistibly teasing, it’s far from being the best tactic when trying to find cheaper rates. 

RatePunk browser extension compares hotel prices from major hotel websites and hundreds of OTAs (Booking.com, Expedia, Agoda, and Hotels.com, to name a few). After reviewing almost 200k hotel searches in 2023, we found out which OTAs had the best prices in different countries & regions. 

From what the data showed, the OTA that offers travelers the cheapest hotel deal depends on the region, country & even the city where the hotel is located. 

First things first - in this study, you’ll find two different Booking.com logos. That’s because Booking offers very different rates for mobile & desktop users, so when comparing all the OTAs, we separated them as two different booking websites (you’ll find the explanations in the legend of each data set). 

 

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Overall cheapest OTA in 2023

 

Agoda was the clear winner and offered the lowest hotel rates in 34% of the searches. It was followed by Priceline, which had the cheapest prices in 23% of the cases. Booking.com mobile version was left in the 3rd place worldwide (cheapest in 16% of the searches). 

 

 

 

 

 

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Cheapest OTAs for all-inclusive resorts

 

Travelers seeking to book all-inclusive resorts should pay attention to slightly different OTAs. This is because of very particular all-inclusive resort destinations (for example, Mexico & Punta Cana, located in Central America, and Thailand, located in Asia). While Agoda still offered the cheapest prices, 2nd in the list of the best all-inclusive resort prices, we see Hotels.com. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Cheapest OTAs in the US

 

Data showed that Priceline was the best booking website when booking hotels in the US. It offered the cheapest rates in almost half of over 40k searches in the region (48,5%). This result can be related to the fact that the company is based in Connecticut, as the OTA location often impacts lower prices in that particular area. 

Nevertheless, travelers who have plans to visit the US in 2024 should keep an eye on Booking.com. Booking Holdings, mainly the Booking.com brand, has plans to expand into the United States. To do that, the company will make some promotions and offer direct deals with the hotels, meaning travelers can expect to score better prices there.

 

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Cheapest OTAs in Europe

 

While Agoda had the best rates 38% of the time, Booking.com offered lower prices a bit over 40% of the time with mobile & desktop cases combined. 

In most regions, Booking.com’s mobile site has better prices than its desktop version. Desktop websites have higher customer acquisition costs as most desktop users find websites via searches. That means websites need to pay for Google ads, bid for keywords, and reacquire users each time the user books through them. It’s way more simple with the mobile version of the booking websites: getting users back is way easier. 

 

 

 

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Cheapest OTA in Asia 

 

Agoda, the Singapore-based company, had the best rates in Asia & the Middle East both. What we see from our user bookings is that travelers usually like to start searching on some of the biggest booking websites, like Booking.com or Expedia, and then they end up buying from Agoda. 

In Asia, Agoda offered the best rates at 47,3% of RatePunk user searches.  

 

 

 

 

 

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Cheapest OTA in the Middle East 

 

In the Middle East, the percentage was a bit lower, standing at 38,1%, with Hotels.com being quite close - with the lowest hotel prices in 31,2% of the cases. 

Agoda’s rates are about 10% to 15% lower. The savings are more significant on more expensive hotel bookings, and with the cheapest ones, they’re automatically lower. Asia is an expanding yet sensitive market, and lower prices are one of the strategies to acquire users.

 

 

 

We mentioned prices & cheapest booking websites depend on countries & cities, too. You can find it covered in more detail in this analysis.

Jan 29, 2024

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