As a hospitality marketer, there are many things of which I take note when booking a hotel room. I love when a hotel has clearly dedicated time and money to its online presence – it tells me that if the property sees the value in spending money on the page, that off the page it will likely also fit my needs and desires. So when I decided to attend the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival very last minute, I knew I might have to do some digging to find both a hotel with availability and a hotel worthy of my business. To my dismay, I found a plethora of hotels in the Palm Springs area that were not worthy of my business and probably realistically don’t receive much business outside of the busy Coachella and Stagecoach Festival weekends.
For anyone not familiar with the Palm Springs area, it is a frequent spot for retired, luxury travelers looking to shop, relax with friends, partake in some fine dining, and simply unwind.There are many nice hotels in the area that cost a pretty penny. But, as I found out through my hotel booking experience earlier this week, there are so many properties in the area that do charge a more affordable price, which would perhaps allow a traveler to spend money on other nice luxuries. So what’s the problem? These hotels have virtually no web presence! How does anyone actually find these properties and book with them?
I came across multiple hotels that had no online booking systems. Call to book? Okay…fine. But alas, there was no answer and the phone rang and rang. There were broken links and broken plug-ins. A few had social media pages listed but when clicked upon, I found they were not linked to anything. Don’t even get me started on the poor image quality some websites showed. Many had outdated copy or were very obviously keyword stuffing. There was a lot of missed opportunity for bookings and while I understand that it can be hard to spend money on marketing when money isn’t coming in…hoteliers need to remember that you have to spend money to make money!
I understand that Palm Springs might not have the most tech-savvy travelers visiting, so something as simple as a Facebook icon not linking to the hotel’s Facebook page might not be trivial. But travelers are becoming more tech-savvy these days and Palm Springs hotels are just one example. I’m sure there are a large number of hotels out there with websites over a decade old that are missing out on a lot of conversions…but we can’t even find them on Google to verify their existence!