Understanding the Modern Day Traveler

family checking in to a hotel
Melody Ciria
Melody Ciria
November 27, 2013
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Hoteliers have always made it a priority to know the types of guests (business, leisure, and affluent travelers) that stay at the hotel.  Hoteliers often seek to know the reason or occasion for which the guests are traveling in hopes of gaining a better insight about their guest that would in turn help hotel management provide better customer service and offer the most sought after amenities.  Understanding today’s travelers is key to uncovering more marketing opportunities.  In a recent study by global consultancy, HVS London, most hotels are failing or struggling to keep up with how travelers are now behaving, which will hurt guest satisfaction.  According to HVS, “there is a new breed of guests whose needs and demands are entirely different from previous generations.” In order to appropriately attract leisure and business travelers in the coming years, hoteliers must think like travelers and identify the wants, needs and demands of that particular traveler.  Being in tune with what the modern day traveler wants will increase guest satisfaction and most importantly increase the likelihood of converting an online visitor into a guest.  To effectively implement a hotel marketing strategy that works, hoteliers must understand today’s traveler by getting to know your guest and adapting to his or her needs.

Identifying the Behavior of the Traveler

Nowadays, global travelers are interested in a home-away-from-home experience when they stay at a hotel.  We see more travelers impressed by simplicity and convenience rather than luxury and impractical amenities.  Travelers want to stay at a hotel that offers familiarity and convenient amenities that would make for a relaxing and stress-free stay.  With a new wave of young travelers coming into the scene, we are now seeing more priority placed on guest experience and community.  Young travelers want to feel at home and feel connected with other guests and the hotel staff.  They want to become part of the experience.  Travelers do not want to feel like they are in a corporate setting but rather feel comfort in the presence of others.  According to 2013 traveler research study by Google, leisure travelers consider these top three factors when selecting a hotel: price, convenient location, and prior experience with hotel or brand.  On the other hand, business travelers prioritize brand sites, price and convenience.  By knowing this, hoteliers are able to devise a marketing plan that would increase conversions.

Adapting and embracing the new kind of traveler

All travelers appreciate convenience and ease when it comes to planning a trip and booking a hotel room online.  We know that travelers book travel across all devices.  So it’s crucial that you cater to whatever device he or she is searching on.  Optimize your site according to the device used whether it is a desktop, smartphone, or tablet.  Nowadays travelers will completely bounce off your site and move on to another site if your site is too difficult to view and navigate around.  Majority of hotel bookings are done on a computer or laptop with 87% of people, while 25% use smartphones and 27% on tablets.    That said, hotels cannot afford to lose out on potential bookings because they don’t have an optimized website.  Hotels must improve the mobile experience by improving the page speed, design, and layout.  When it comes to app versus mobile website for overnight accommodations, 59% of people used browser/web while 45% used an app and 36% called from a smartphone to make reservations.  So whether you create a mobile app for your hotel or simply optimize your mobile site, make sure to always keep the guest in mind and make the booking process as seamless as possible.

Photo courtesy of flickr

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