Imagine you’re planning your dream vacation. You have the city chosen, you know what attractions you want to visit, you know your budget. You’ve got it all planned except one thing. What hotel are you going to choose? Where is the first place you look? If it were me planning this vacation (hello Greece!), I would, without a doubt, start my search online. Now admittedly, my main concern in hotel booking is typically price point. I make it top priority to maximize my travel budget when searching online, but I’ll tell you something else that has the power to sell me on a hotel choice, and that’s high-quality photography of the property.

I’m not sure which part of the vacation planning process makes me want to see real-life photos of the hotel. It could be that I want to know I’m getting my money’s worth with my reservation, or it could be that I want to choose the perfect atmosphere for my stay. It could even be that I want to make sure the facilities are up-to-date and clean. Whatever the reasoning, pictures help me in the decision-making process when booking a hotel, and I’m not alone. According to TripAdvisor, the chances of a hotel receiving a booking inquiry increase by 225% when listings have a minimum of just one photo. That is an incredible statistic! Clearly photography plays an enormous role in hotel marketing. So which photos are important in the online reservation process?

Five Focal Points for Hotel Photography

1. Recreation and surrounding area

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You can pretty much bet that out-of-towners (with the exception of corporate travelers) are looking for popular attractions and activities. It’s important to show them what your hotel is near, especially if you are close to a prime tourist spot.

2. Guest rooms

Show off the top selling features of your rooms. If your upgraded suites offer a lot of extra space, then choose photos that highlight the added area. If you just upgraded your bathrooms with the latest showerheads and faucets, then show that off! Details like this matter. In addition, it’s important to illustrate that your rooms are warm, clean and inviting. Nobody wants to sleep in a room that is anything less.

3. Restaurants or eating areas

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An on-site restaurant is significant for travelers who want to enjoy the convenience of on-site dining. Many times, hotels boast their own upscale restaurants that are a popular choice for locals and tourists. If your hotel has a restaurant or eating area, then be sure to highlight this!

4. Unique selling points of the hotel

What other features does your hotel possess? Business travelers often enjoy secure parking and a gym. Families tend to enjoy a swimming pool. Everyone loves a whirlpool hot tub, sauna or spa. Is your hotel pet-friendly? Do you offer childcare services? All of these amenities deserve recognition.

5. Meeting facilities

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Whether your hotel is a premier spot for weddings or has a variety of conference rooms, these are incredibly important things to show your guests in the way of photographs. Planners especially want a clear view of where they’ll be hosting their event.

Online hotel reservations are at their peak, and it’s imperative to understand content marketing and the importance of visual storytelling. Studies have shown that hotel bookers rely on two main factors when searching for reservations online: reviews and photography. While your actual content on your website is still so important, the value of a visual interpretation of your accommodations is priceless, and could mean the difference between a “looker and a booker.” You can use the pictures for your website and for your social media posts. These same pictures would be perfect for Instagram! Now, go hire a professional photographer and show your potential guests why your hotel is the one to choose!

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Caralee CulpepperWriter and Message Board Specialist

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