10 Δεκ 2013

The impact of social networking on hotels



What is the relationship between your hotel’s online reputation and profitability? This question was answered by a recent survey by Cornell University. Below you’ll find a brief presentation of the survey conclusions:

a) The percentage of travellers who read reviews before booking a hotel is steadily growing every year as is the number of reviews read by every traveller before choosing a hotel.

b) If a hotel raises the score of its reviews by 1 unit within a scale of 5 (e.g. from 3.3 to 4.3), then it can increase its prices by 11.2% without reducing its bookings or its market share.

c) The increase of 1% in a hotel's online reputation leads to 0.89% increase in the average daily rate and at the same time results in 0.54% increase in room occupancy and up to 1.42% increase in revenue per available room.

These conclusions make it clear that social media are not just a sales tool; therefore it would be wrong to use them as such.

Hoteliers should try to understand and improve their services through useful content and effective communication with travellers, in order to satisfy the expectations of their clients, so as to improve the positive reviews that, in the long run, will enable an increase in bookings and profitability.
You can read the article and download the full survey here: http://www.hotelschool.cornell.edu/research/chr/pubs/reports/abstract-16421.html

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31 Αυγ 2013

Five stages of the traveler experience

 the traveler experience begins before check in and ends a long time after the check out.

What are the stages of the traveler experience? Many of you may rush to answer, saying they check in, they stay, they check out. However, the traveler experience begins before check in and ends a long time after the check out. We can split it in five basic stages:

Dreaming

At this stage (this can be months ahead of time) the traveler finds a stimulus that will help them imagine a holiday and define the destination they will choose to go. This stimulus may be an advertisement, an article or a conversation with a friend that may have been offline or online (45% of people said they have been inspired to take a trip through social media.)

Planning

When the traveler has chosen where they will go for holidays, he or she will begin to look for tickets and activities during their stay. Throughout this complex planning procedure travelers will visit many review sites, hotelier’s sites, social networks, emails and may use many different devices (desktop, tablet, mobile.)

Booking

When this research ends up, the traveler goes through a short list of hotels (4-5). The one that will eventually be chosen will convince him or her it can offer a dream experience. The hotel’s website and social media plays a big part in this stage.

Experiencing

t this stage the traveler has come to your hotel and is experiencing his or her trip. An important factor here is the quality of the amenities and the facilities of your hotel. It is an opportune time for your client to offer specific activities and specials, ensuring a good quality experience. This stage will determine the traveler’s opinion that will then be shared online. This in turn affects the online reputation of your hotel.

Sharing

Returning from holidays the traveler shares their online experience by uploading photos, videos and reviews. We could say this stage and the ‘experiencing’ stage are similar as both see the traveler using smart phones to upload content in real time while they are still traveling.

It is very important that the hotels have a clear strategy in using the right digital marketing tools at every stage of the traveler's experience not only to be able to earn the reservation in the first instance but also the positive review afterwards.
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