Internet hotel bookings are expected to double its share of total lodging demand through 2005, reports PricewaterhouseCoopers. Hotel bookings made on the Web are expected to increase from 13% in 2003 to 24% in 2005. Net revenues from Internet usage will only increase slightly, however.

The firm projects that the Internet will contribute incremental gains of 45,000 rooms per night and $1.24 billion for 2004. By comparison, the Internet contributed 26,000 rooms per night and $715 million in incremental revenue in 2003.

"By 2005, the lodging industry will have been in expansion for five to nine quarters, with rising occupancies and average daily rates," says Bjorn Hanson, global practice leader of PricewaterhouseCoopers’ hospitality and leisure practice. "Many chain management companies and franchisors will have launched programs designed to maintain rate integrity and manage inventory across all channels."

PricewaterhouseCoopers blames two factors — the recession/downturn and recent changes by hotel companies to manage yield and inventory on the Internet — for the lack of revenue growth generated by Internet hotel bookings.