Online Travel Trends to Help Improve your Hotel Business

I listened to a webinar last week put on by HOTELS magazine and VFM Leonardo called “Merchandising your Hotel Online.” I hope you can benefit from some of the statistics that were shared.

In the recession, it is critical for hotels to choose the best marketing initiatives to meet the needs of their audience.  By now, most hotels and travel businesses are aware that online travel planning continues to intensify as people can compare numerous businesses and online deals to find the best value.

According to the TIA, Travel Industry Association of America, 83% of people in the U.S. do their travel planning online. In 2008, 37-38% of online hotel bookings were generated on the internet—another third of those bookings were influenced by the internet, but completed offline. So, if people are searching the web for the best travel deals, what factors influence people to book online with your hotel? The following statistics are from US online hotel guests as surveyed by Forrester’s North American Travel & Auto Online Study.

Here are some statistics on guest satisfaction rates given the way hotels present information to guests on their website:

• 53% of guests are satisfied with written descriptions of hotel guest rooms
• 52% of guests are satisfied with the hotel property description online
• 52% of guests are satisfied with photos of the hotel’s public areas
• 49% of guests are satisfied with written descriptions of the hotel services—restaurants, lounges, etc.

These statistics show that hotel properties may benefit by investing more in their written online content and visual appeal online. Improving your hotel website in these ways will entice guests to not judge your hotel simply by the price, but by the value that your hotel and surrounding location could offer to their travel needs. Rewrite, optimize, and update visual elements on your site to attract even budget-conscious guests to your website and give them the information needed to get excited about the services, rooms, amenities and area attractions that your hotel has to offer.

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