Is your hotel selling rooms or experiences?
Selling “experiences” is the key to influencing potential guests when they first consider taking a trip. When travelers are looking for early inspiration, they’re not focused on hotel rooms. They’re motivated by the prospect of exciting experiences that chime with their personal interests.
As a result, marketing efforts need to be pitched accordingly. When targeting people in the inspiration phase of travel, it’s important not to try and sell them rooms and amenities. Instead, hotels should focus on promoting their destination and rewarding travel moments.
How travel experiences influence the customer booking journey
In the early phases of the travel journey, inspiration for a trip almost always begins with the destination. According to Think with Google, consumers don’t think about a brand and a hotel when they start dreaming about potential trips. Their minds are fixed on the kind of destinations that excite them.
During these “I want to get away” moments, 82% of leisure travelers haven’t decided on the accommodation they will book with. In fact, one-third haven’t even chosen where they want to travel, they simply know they want to get away.
The latest comScore study funded by TripAdvisor adds weight to Google’s findings. In an analysis of over 2 million people, the comScore “Path to Purchase” study found that 73% of all first searches are generic, meaning that consumers aren’t searching for a specific destination or brand.
Based on these findings, it’s clear that travelers in the inspiration and planning stages of travel are open-minded and ready to be inspired. But what specific factors and influencers are most likely to capture their attention?
The huge sway of social influencer
It’s no secret that social media has an enormous influence on travel choices. A huge 87% of Millennial Facebook users rely on the platform for travel inspiration, and nearly 90% of Gen Z’s say their own travel plans are influenced by social media.