Together with Google, Sojern* got more into detail about the modern traveller’s path to making a purchase, which resulted in some interesting outcomes. Especially for hoteliers it is fascinating and useful to see real numbers regarding travellers’ steps and choices with which they can optimize their strategy.
Business vs. Leisure Travellers
One finding that was especially interesting, was the difference between business and leisure travellers. It was found that 72% of business travellers book their hotel 0 -7 days prior to their stay, in contrast to only 22% of the leisure travellers. Leisure travellers are more likely to book their hotel a longer period in advance.
What does this mean for you?
This means that when you, as a hotelier, want to promote your rooms which are available in 2 months or more, you want to target leisure travellers. Think about this when creating your strategy; you want to promote all the leisure related characteristics of your hotel such as your swimming pool or entertainment area. In contrast, if you want to focus on filling your rooms last-minute you should target the business traveller and therefore promote the business related facilities of your hotel, such as your meeting rooms or working spaces. Approaching it the other way, when your hotel mainly focuses on leisure travelers, promote your hotel rooms two months in advance. When your hotel mainly attracts business travellers, focus on promoting your hotel rooms one week in advance.
The importance of mobile
Another finding of great importance was the growth of searches for hotels through mobile. Of course we are already aware of this shift, but this time we could also see the differences per hotel category. It was found that luxury hotels stand out in the number of people searching through mobile with 23%.
In addition, there was a research after the ratio of desktop versus mobile per day. It was found that especially during the weekend travellers search through their mobile.
What does this mean for you?
Obviously every hotel needs to have a mobile version of their website up and running. Make sure the loading time of your website is as quick as possible and it has a nicely structured look. When you’re a luxury hotel you need to pay even more attention to your mobile site! Besides all the basics, you can think of various ways to implement mobile into your strategy. Think of a special offer or discount for your mobile customers or even think about creating an app especially for your hotel. Since in the weekend more travellers search through mobile, you could offer something special on your mobile website on these days or you could boost some of your special features.
To read more about the modern traveller’s path to making a booking take a look at the full hotel report here.
*Source: From Search Engine to Booking Engine: Sojern’s 2017 Hotel Report http://www.sojern.com/travel-insights/2017-hotel-report