Navigating a Changing Economy & Responding to Tech-Enabled Travellers

03rd Oct 22 . News, Hospitality

Earlier this month, we were lucky enough to attend SiteMinder’s webinar deep-diving into their 2022 Changing Travellers Report, hosted by panel members, Rob Paterson (former hotel CEO), top hotelier, Dean Madge, and industry expert, Michal Rao. The webinar outlined the changes in travellers’ preferences in 2022, globally and UK-wide, and the data presented may help your business flourish in the coming year.

The hospitality industry is one that is ever-changing. With new trends, macro-environmental impacts, and evolving generations, it’s imperative that you keep up to date with new and changing trends within the sector. We’ve outlined some of the most important things to know about the 2022 report to ensure that your business is functioning as smoothly as possible and is maximising potential; online and offline.

We’ve highlighted four key areas and how these should be considered in your overall strategy for Q4 and into 2023.

Keep Guests Informed

In the 2022 report, key changes to travellers and the expectation they hold for their accommodations were set out by SiteMinder, with helpful infographics to demonstrate the data. The report told us that over 80% of UK travellers would prefer for their hotel or accommodation to provide them with key location information, including the history of the local area, as well as handy information on the surrounding activities on offer. Guests highlighted that they prefer to receive this directly from their accommodation provider, instead of a third-party website. Stacking your website with attractive and easy-to-navigate landing pages with helpful location information will ensure that potential bookers will remain on your website during their research process. This will not only provide the user with the information they desire, it will maximise your chances to secure their booking.

Your Online Footprint Matters

The webinar also demonstrated that 25% of UK travellers are influenced by what they see on social media - whether it be brand engagement, loyalty and health or directly through paid ads on your accounts. This is a key factor in the digital footprint of your brand and could be the difference between a good online presence and a great one. Take a look at our social and paid media services to find out how we can elevate your Paid Social presence to be a cut above the rest.

Adapting To a Changing Workplace Attitude

With the changes that the workplace has faced over the last few years and working from home becoming more common - and, in most cases, preferred by workers - 25% of UK travellers now expect to work on their trips away. This opens up the opportunity for room upgrades to accommodate this growing requirement or even the chance to offer business centres or quiet spaces to work, allowing guests to complete their work day before enjoying the leisure aspects of their stay. Meeting these requirements could ensure you become the best option for the UK traveller who is looking to work whilst travelling, and could elevate your business-leisure offering as a whole.

Technology vs. The Human Connection

The user journey from the first visit on your website all the way through to the booking stage should be as simple and easy as possible for your users. This was supported by SiteMinder’s 2022 report which stated that 57% of travellers in the UK prefer to pay online versus only 49% globally. This data highlights that it is imperative that your website design and booking engine focuses on the user-journey, to ensure this high percentage of people can have their expectations and preferences met for their stay. Additionally, the consumer journey continues when the guest steps foot into their hotel, customer experience expectations to meet face-to-face.

In 2022, technology is at the forefront of everything we do in everyday life and so it is no surprise that this comes into play in a big way in the hotel industry. However, 43% of people surveyed stated that it’s the human connection that decides whether they revisit the establishment or not. Therefore, we can deduce that despite the convenience of technology, people are at the forefront of the hotel industry, so it’s more important than ever that your guests experience excellent customer service and friendly interactions with hotel staff at all times from check-in to check-out. Loyalty to a brand remains focused on the human interaction that guests experience at your business; and expectations for excellent customer service is now at 61% - higher than we saw pre-COVID. Interestingly enough, these customer-employee relationships were found to be more important to younger age groups between 19-25 than to older travellers of 77-94 years of age.

So, to conclude, in order to gain consumer trust and loyalty, the customer journey and experience should be considered at every touchpoint. From the user-experience on your website and booking engine, to customer-experience throughout and following their stay, ensure your guests’ expectations are met.

Going Forward & How Click2Convert Can Help

Moving into the last quarter of 2022 and into 2023, there were some future predictions and trends that were detailed in SiteMinder’s webinar and report. Business trips are becoming longer to incorporate leisure time and activities, to nurture a healthy balance of work-life culture. Additionally, we can expect more international travellers to visit the UK as it is considered a ‘cheap’ option in the current financial climate, providing ample opportunity for international growth in your business.

If you’d like to take your business to the next level and ensure your hotel is at the forefront of the industry during these challenging times, find out how Click2Convert can help. Discover our full-service website and digital marketing services and get in touch today.

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