By the end of this year, hotel revenues across the globe are predicted to reach $550 billion dollars. In 2009, the industry was worth $395 billion dollar which is an extremely rapid rise in profits of more than $150 billion dollars in seven years.
What is driving this growth?
The New Traveler
2016 and 2017 will see the Baby Boomer generation retire in their masses making way for the new dominant consumer, the Millennial generation. More Millennials are traveling than ever before and this is hugely impacting how the hotel and travel industry attract and market to this generation who are highly connected, adaptable to change and make use of ever changing technology. More than anything, this generation wants customization.
In response to the new traveler, the hotel and travel industry has to adapt to technological advances. This includes utilizing mobile applications specifically developed for the hotel and travel industry or building customized applications for their own hotel or hotel chain. Examples of apps that offer this level of customization include e-check-in, where Millennials can check in online using their smartphone and e-menu, where they can order room service via the hotel’s personalized app.
50% of hotel bookings take place online and hotels are increasing their marketing budgets to pursue customers through multiple online channels. These include; display advertising, meta-search, retargeting, Google AdWords, email marketing and Google Business Listings. These channels show room availability and pricing in real time which leads to increased conversion rates and boosts a hotel’s return on their marketing investment. In addition to this, social media has become an innovative form of customer relationship management. Social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for example, are now the main arenas for hoteliers to strategically engage with their customers in order to grow their room occupancy and deliver on customer service.
Michelle Mangan is a Content Marketing Manager who works on behalf of The Dunloe Hotel in County Kerry, Ireland. She frequently researches and creates infographics, storymaps and blogs across a wide variety of topics within the hotel, hospitality, travel and tourism sectors.