Published on May 10th, 2016 | by Guest0
Hotels Moving into the New Age
The hotel industry is ancient. There is a hotel in Japan that has been in the family for 46 generations, which is over 1,300 years!
The hotel industry is ancient; it is easy to understand why they are so resistant to new technology. Online Travel Agencies like Expedia have really shaken up the travel industry by changing the way we book hotels and flights. However the most technological savvy thing most hotels have done in the last decade is simply signing up their hotels on Expedia.
Coming on-board an OTA is not enough in this day and age
Back in the day every respectable hotel used to budget for “Hotel Reputation Management (HRM)”. HRM was concerned with how the hotel would carry on-site reputation building. On-site reputation building is still important, however “online” is a world unto itself there and if you do not have an online presence, you are like a ghost.
Hotels that have a strong online presence see a marked increase in revenue compared to rivals who have not focused on the online aspect on HRM. Also an online presence is very important for branding. And branding at the end of the day is what allows the big names in the hotel industry to charge through the nose.
Is budgeting for an HRM online campaign worth it?
The VP of analytics at the world’s biggest travel website, Expedia says that if an hotel on their website goes up 1 point up in rating (maximum five point), that translates into a 9% increase in the average daily rate a hotel can command. On the other hand, hotels who do invest into building an effective digital marketing campaign are forced to adopt price cutting strategies.
An effective digital campaign will start from the creation of an effective website, which promotes the hotel’s brand image. Advanced marketing tactics like the development of app for smart phones which allow online reservations and payment are also options that can be pursued as part of the digital marketing campaign.
A strong online presence seriously boosts sales. Most people prefer to book hotels in advance, and the easiest option to do that is go online. But many hoteliers will say they are already listed on an OTA so why bother.
An OTA lists many hotels. Why do you want a prospective guest to go to a website and check out whole lists of hotel? That reduces your chance. Also if the guests books through an OTA you have to pay a commission to the OTA. Having a website will allow the hotel to get direct bookings.
Also, when you start a digital campaign you will get a lot of data flowing in. Who were the people who most often came to your website? Who clicked on an ad for your website and from where? This data will then aid in chalking up a more effective, “evolved” marketing plan. Also the vice versa is possible.
Hotels that have been operating for long time periods will have tons of data on hand. By analysing that data they can find out where the bulk of their guests came in from and then run digital marketing campaigns targeting similar types of people.