If hotels aren’t paying enough attention to mobile right now, they’re missing out. That’s the primary message Facebook Head of Travel, Christine Warner, has for hotel brands.
Warner recently spoke with Skift about opportunities for hotels in the mobile space, and — not surprisingly — the importance of using mobile platforms like Facebook and its Instagram unit to not only increase brand awareness but, in some cases, also convert users into guests, too.
Skift spoke to Warner prior to Facebook’s roll out of its new City Guides feature, which allows Facebook users to connect to hotels to book rooms through the Facebook app, albeit the link takes them directly to the hotel’s website. We did ask Warner if Facebook would ever consider becoming its own online travel agency or booking platform and this is what she told us at the time:
“Facebook, as you know, is committed to helping advertisers from all industries drive their business objectives,” said Warner. “We often say that we want to be our partners’ best minute and dollar spent. The travel industry really accepts this. We know that people are spending more time on mobile, and we’ll continue to help our travel partners capitalize on this shift.
“Dynamic ads for travel is a great example of that. We recognize the need for our travel partners to be able to leverage our platform to be able to drive direct booking, and so we launched dynamic ads for travel. I think what you can expect to see in the future is the evaluation of DAT [dynamic ads for travel] to expand to other categories like air.”
Facebook hasn’t divulged many details about its new City Guides product, including whether it takes a commission for every direct booking that is facilitated through the app.
A spokesperson said: “We’re testing a redesigned surface on city pages that showcases information about your city. This content already exists on Facebook, and during this test we’ll be centralizing it in a way that is more personalized and relevant to you. So, this new feature can help people get a better sense of their city, or a city they’re visiting through their friends’ eyes.”
Skift: Why is mobile so important, especially for hotels, today?