After three days, thousands of conversations, and billions of pounds in business contracts, World Travel Market London 2017 has come to an end.
Here’s what we learned about how hotels can prepare for the expected industry growth in 2018.
Be a force for positive change
Responsible tourism isn’t just better for the world. It’s better for business.
The travel and hospitality industry has a considerable impact on the environmental and social crises the world is now facing. Which means that changing industry practices for the better can have a considerable impact on improving conditions. It also means that every one of us must get involved.
The best place to start minimising a hotel’s carbon footprint is by reaching out to officially recognised green certifiers, the industry’s watchdogs of sustainability.
Green certifications speak to a hotel’s commitment to being a force for positive change in the industry, which is why they resonate so strongly with the growing number of eco-aware travellers. And by going green, hotels can increase not only their occupancy rates, but also their RevPAR because they’re spending less on electricity, paper, and water.
What does the ideal guest experience look like? That depends entirely on the guest.
Personalisation is about more than tailoring the entire customer journey 100% to the individual guest, whoever they may be. And it’s definitely about more than fostering an intimate connection with the guest. For many people, either approach might be the furthest thing from what they want, and therefore the antitheses of personalisation. Food for thought.
A lot of personalisation starts with identifying and attracting the travellers who are going to find that what a hotel offers is already pretty close to exactly what they’re looking for.
Either way, a hotel is going to want to know some degree of personal details about their guests, their preferences and predilections, in order to target the right audience with the right offerings.
Give online reputation the credit and attention it deserves
People trust people. Your online reputation will determine whether people will book with you — or not.
A hotel’s reputation is now made or broken online. For better or worse, guests are becoming more vocal about their experiences. More important, travellers are becoming more influenced by the experiences of others, making a hotel’s online reputation hugely impactful on its revenue.
Address guests’ issues the moment they’re reported. Find any potential sources of dissatisfaction and remedy them immediately. And monitor online review sites so you can respond to negative comments within 48 hours.
Advice from the trivago stand
Of course, trivago and Base7booking brought insights to share with attendees as well. The countless hotel professionals who came to the stand were curious to find out how to further their businesses in the digital age of the industry. Our representing experts were delighted to meet with and provide guidance to each.
Here’s the advice they’d like to offer to all hotels:
Stand out on metasearch to be discovered by travellers
“Take control of your hotel profile, and fill it with unique content to rank higher in hotel searches on trivago.”
It’s now clear that metasearch is no longer a newfangled fad; it’s increasingly the start of the booking journey. So metasearch is where hotels now need to appear if they’re to catch the attention (and the business) of this growing segment of guests. And not just appear, but truly stand out with a unique hotel profile and competitive rates.
Set up an easy booking process to be booked online
“Have a booking engine so you can claim your independence and boost your occupancy rate.”
An optimised booking engine is the answer to the question of how hotels can secure direct bookings while cutting dependencies and reducing commission costs.
It’s important, though, for the booking engine to be branded, to support a clean and intuitive user experience, and to have a responsive design so that guests can book on any device.
Streamline operations to focus on the guest experience
“Simplify day-to-day activities to increase the time you can spend creating a memorable stay for guests.”
The guest experience is constantly perfected and never perfect. That said, approaching hotel-stay perfection is much more feasible when operational tasks require less time, energy, and resources.
Cloud-based systems for hotel management are a hotelier’s best bet — and best friend, really — for making operations more efficient and ultimately, guests more satisfied with their experiences.
We’d like to end this article by thanking the people who came by our stand. Speaking with all of you was the highlight of the event for us. And a very special thank-you to everyone who took part in the trivago Lab. Your feedback on our products is helping us build better solutions for you.
If you were at the event and would like to add your own takeaways, we’d love for you to do so below in the comments section.