The tourism trade contributed about US$7.2 trillion to the global economy in 2015, and with so much wealth at stake, you can be certain that the accommodation market is going to remain hugely competitive. Unfortunately for hoteliers, differentiating your hotel from the competition can be pretty tough – essentially, you and your competitors are selling a place to sleep.
Fortunately, though, your guests are buying much more than that – they are buying an experience. Differentiating yourself from your competition entails understanding the experience you are providing, and the experiences your competitors are providing, from the guest’s perspective. These days, social media and online reviews allow you to do exactly that.
The festive season is an ideal time for hoteliers to keep an eye on what is being said about their own hotels, as well as their competitors’. The increased number of reviews allows patterns in feedback to be more easily discerned, the increased number of travellers allows you to see the hotels and your area from multiple perspectives, and the heavier workload means that any faults will be much more likely to come to the fore.
Keeping an eye on what guests are saying online about you and your competition can help you discover what makes you unique, and therefore what you should be highlighting on your website, social media, online travel agent listings and other promotional material for 2017, and can help you make the changes to your operations that will help you differentiate your hotel from the competition next year.
Keeping an eye on what guests are saying online about you and your competition can help you discover what makes you unique
Closely reading online reviews of both your own establishment and your competitors’ hotels will show you what travellers loved and hated about their experiences, and what they think will matter to the other travellers who will be reading the reviews when they plan their trips.
Social media provides a slightly different perspective, as guests often post during their stays (rather than once they get home, as in the case of reviews) and their posts are not necessarily composed with other travellers in mind, rather they are simply sharing their travel experiences in the moment.
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