Reviews and more reviews: a question of confidence
Efforts are being made to ensure that travellers are getting accurate information that is relevant to them. Even online travel agencies (OTAs) are now diligently integrating reviews on their sites, e-newsletters, promotional campaigns and other outlets. Firstly OTAs are improving descriptions of hotels across the board so that customers can more directly compare rooms and facilities at different hotels. This includes more photos and videos for travellers to browse through. Secondly, the overall contribution from various stakeholders including employees, fellow travellers, hoteliers and so on is on the rise on their sites.
How Facebook is Shaping Your 2012 Travel Decisions
Recent studies reveal that what matters most when planning a trip is not where you’re going, but rather who you know that has already traveled to that destination. Without a doubt, the ubiquitous marketing tool’s unique brand interaction is setting a new beat to the travel pulse. While trusted travel brands unquestionably provide valuable trip advice, word of mouth from a loyal group of friends may be more worthwhile.
Hotel Industry Business Outlook: Summer 2012
What does the summer have in store for the hotel industry? The recently published Christie + Co’s Business Outlook Summer 2012 report reveals all. With the banks coming to terms with their positioning and exposure in the hotel sector, the year to date has been typified by some reasonable transactional activity, according to the publication.
What online retailers can learn from Orbitz
All stores – both online and physical – should tailor offerings to their purchasing segments. In an online environment, that might mean offering different choices to customers based on their purchase history or the kinds of products they’ve clicked on in the past.
Looking or booking? Will mobile really drive new revenues?
Last minute bookings are not a new phenomenon. What is new today is that increasing numbers of travelers have the ability to search and make a booking via a mobile device. And they no longer plan the details of their trip in advance. According to recent research by EyeforTravel, LBS expenditure is expected to near $10billion by 2016, while smart phone sales are predicted to reach 982 million units by 2015. What is more, marketers are expecting an ‘onslaught’ of mobile apps and tools within three years.
How to Manage Facebook
Caterer & Housekeeper lists out five key strategies that a hotel must follow for effective marketing through its Facebook page. They are
- Post eye-catching picture to attract followers
- Select the Brand profile picture carefully
- Customize the app icons
- Pin Up the important post
- Use milestone app for product launch or announcement
Like almost all online customers, travellers comparison shop to find the best deals. A Q4 2011 report on worldwide visitors to travel and hospitality websites by web analytics company iPerceptions found that price was the main barrier to shoppers completing online reservations. But after price, functionality and site design were among the biggest stumbling blocks for prospective customers.
Domestic visitors vital to London Olympics
The UK will only welcome an additional 330,000 international visitors as a direct result of hosting the London 2012 Olympics, reveals research at WTM Vision Conference London. According to Euromonitor International Head of Travel and Tourism Research Caroline Bremner, the UK will welcome 29.4m international visitors this year, a 2% increase on 2011, or 588,000.
Leisure hotel rates set new growth record in March
Average daily rates paid by leisure hotel guests climbed +9.2% in March over 2011, beating the previous record of +8.3% set in December over 2010, according to the latest data from Pegasus Solutions. In North America, hotels benefited from a climb of +8.5% in daily rates for leisure stays, which outperformed the +7.3% record set in February.
Making hotels comfortable with the notion of confirmed demand
A start-up called BackBid is offering hotels the ability to reach confirmed travelers – in other words, travelers that are definitely going to be traveling, not just those who are doing research or comparison-shopping online. With such offering, hotels can assess who is coming to their market, how much they are willing to pay, and what their travel preferences are, whereas consumers get to choose from personalised bids designed to meet their needs/ preferences.
TripAdvisor expands Facebook integration
Trip Friends will now start showing links to reviews from people within their friend’s network. This is probably the biggest development to the Trip Friends channel on TripAdvisor so far and plugs into where TripAdvisor is heading – tapping into the social graph of users so that they can rely on reviews from people they trust or like-minded travelers that may share similar interest by virtue of being within an existing social circle.
Room 77 grows up, adds loyalty points
In addition to searching multiple online travel sites simultaneously, Room 77 now helps travelers uncover special rates, including advanced purchase, AAA member rates and senior discounts – saving travelers up to 50% off other online travel providers.
Top three hotel marketing myths (and the truth behind them)
The way consumers shop for and book hotel accommodations has evolved and disciplines such as social media and mobile have entered the picture, and likely won’t be leaving it any time soon. The article identifies and explores these myths and reveal the truths behind them.
Major markets enjoy the benefits of raising rates
Rising occupancy levels will enable hotel managers in the nation’s major markets to significantly raise their room rates in 2012. The average daily room rate for hotels in the 50 metro areas for which PKF Hospitality Research prepares a Hotel Horizons fore- cast is projected to increase 5.3 percent in 2012. This compares to an ADR increase of just 2.7 percent for all other U.S. hotels located outside of these 50 markets. Favorable supply and demand conditions in the large metro areas during 2010 and 2011 have set the stage for the strong 2012 ADR forecast.
Are Travel Agents Really Making a Comeback?
According to a recent PhoCusWright study, travel agents have successfully tapped into a market PhoCusWright describes as the “oldies but goodies” segment of travelers – 67 per cent of their sales come from clients age 45 and older, and 32 per cent come from customers who are at least 60 years old. Leisure travel agents said that 70 per cent of their bookings have per-person spending of at least USD 1,000, and that 35 per cent spend at least USD 2,000. By comparison, the average U.S. traveller’s per-person spending is well below USD 1,000.
Pricing power becomes evident in hotel metrics
The hotel industry is back on the recovery race with rate leading the way. The global corporate rates were up 3.7% year over year and global leisure rates were up 7.6% in February, according to Pegasus data. The hoteliers needs to have a clear rate strategy to take advantage of the strong demand and continue rate growth.
Expedia’s social journey into the ‘recommendation age’
Expedia is thinking very seriously about its plans for an integrated social media strategy. According to an independent research commissioned by the agency, there is a strong correlation people actively engaging with Expedia on Facebook and those going on to book a holiday with the site. Expedia also wants to engage more closely with social media for brand-building exercise and generate more transactions.
Distribution Strategies: Working on mobile offerings as per your customers’ behaviour
The usage of smartphones by leisure and business travellers is on the rise and this growth makes the whole talk about mobile product strategy more fascinating. Consumers’ expectations and behaviour on mobile phones and tablets are different than on a website. It is important to understand and accept that people will access many channels and you should be consistent in your branding and experience.
Rate Strategy: Savvy pricing strategies mitigate risks
Since today’s customers are able to shop around more easily, rate integrity can be elastic. They expect high rates during peak seasons opposed to shoulder periods, but they don’t expect a higher rate during the off season. Business mix is especially importuning in pricing, understanding gross-operating-profit-per-available-room metrics and channel cost can increase top-line revenue and profitability.
How much exactly a hotel should invest in Internet marketing in 2012
Allocating the appropriate amount of your property’s overall marketing budget to online marketing can be more of an art, than science. Here’s why you need a significant investment in online marketing to increase direct bookings and key areas to focus your efforts on to realise the highest digital ROI.
Google, Facebook and TripAdvisor on what’s next for online travel
How OTA hotel reviews drive bookingsMove over, TripAdvisor. There’s a new leader of hotel reviews in town: online travel agencies. According to a PhoCusWright study of 27,000 U.S. hotels comprising 65 major brands, two out of every three online traveler reviews were posted to an OTA. The remaining third, or 34%, were posted to a travel review site like TripAdvisor.
Study: Despite Soft Spots, 2011 Global Business Travel Poised To Surpass $1 Trillion Global business travel this year will jump 9.2 percent and surpass $1 trillion, according to a Global Business Travel Association Foundation study. That increase would follow an 8.4 percent bump during 2010, which more than offset a nearly 8 percent decline in 2009.
An updated lodging forecast released today by PwC US shows that the lodging recovery is largely intact, yet a resetting of the economic outlook has lowered expectations of revenue per available room (RevPAR) growth for the remainder of the year. http://www.hospitalitynet.org/news/154000320/4052784.html
The social media revolution has provided new ways of consumer communication, sharing information and being close to a community. While the industry still thought consumer reviews exploded quickly, the likes of Facebook, twitter and Groupon have taught us what pace customers can take when adopting new phenomena once provided with the right toolset.
Despite the burden being forced upon the travel industry, it has also delivered new opportunities for businesses to get involved in such interaction and yet again provide targeted audiences with adequate product.
Facebook (over 500 million active users), MySpace (44 million active US users) and Twitter (21 million active users) have significantly influenced the way people interact, what they trust, how they share their experiences and the advice they offer/receive to/from their ‘friends’. These consumer portals are now becoming powerful marketing and business tools that the hospitality industry needs to address in the upcoming years to avoid losing out on potential revenue avenues or aggressive branding opportunities. Although the latter only has an indirect impact on revenue, it can help to direct more traffic to the hotels own websites that in return provides for more profitable income.
TripAdvisor (34 million monthly visitors) originally caught hoteliers by surprise. It felt that almost within weeks hotels had to deal with negative “press” although the actual movement has been going on for years and was nothing new. In the meantime online guest review websites have taken off with nearly every OTA incorporating some form of guest feedback that’s visible to new customers. Today hoteliers have no choice – either interact positively with guest reviews or see the business suffer. Hotels that effectively manage their guest reviews, both good and bad, encourage more reviews, which as a result sees the rating of their properties rise. As more guest review websites incorporate booking options the impact that your position can have on your revenue is immense.
Read on further:http://www.eyefortravel.com/news/europe/optimising-revenue-through-social-media