The guest’s path to purchase and the sites they visit along the way has created a unique opportunity for independent hoteliers. Today, people are researching hotels and destinations in more depth and complexity than ever before. Make your hotel a can’t-miss experience, and you’ll give yourself an advantage over OTAs and other third-party sites.
This article will teach you:
- How guests are researching their journeys
- What they’re looking for
- How your hotel can give them exactly what they need
By tapping into your guests’ online journey at key points, you’ll be able to give them insight into local experiences and hidden gems they won’t be able to get on an OTA.
OTAs are trying to sell you a hotel; you’re trying to sell them yours.
This gives you an advantage. You are able to give travelers the insights into local areas that they want, and put your hotel at the center of the guest journey.
How do we book today, and what’s changed?
When we make the decision to book a trip away, most of us are looking to find a trip that gives us a break from the everyday.
Travelling connects us with the explorer in ourselves. Unlike our busy lives in the place we’ve lived for months or years, we have days of free time to explore and experience those places we don’t normally seek out.
Once you’ve decided to travel, the planning process begins: where do you want to go? Is there something new you want to experience? What about checking out the place your friend went last year?
A recent study commissioned by Expedia Media Solutions revealed that the average British traveller spends 2.4 billion minutes engaging with online travel content, which represents a 45% increase year over year. The study also states that nearly one billion of those minutes are spent on travel content from a mobile device.
All of that online content is what’s changed the booking process. Dedicated travellers can now virtually explore destinations before they go, digging up hidden gems and local experiences.
Once the decision is made about where you want to go, the next question is: where do you want to stay?
Guests are Going Local
The pattern of where people want to stay seems to have changed – it’s gotten more focused on the local. We’re looking at neighbourhoods in cities, instead of cities. According to a study from Airbnb, 75% of guests travelling to Ireland are looking to explore a specific neighbourhood.