Five traveler trends shaping the future of accommodations

Amy Stewart

Rising inflation will not deter people from traveling, and the popular approach of combining business and leisure travel will push hotels to evolve.

Those are two key findings from open hotel commerce platform
SiteMinder’s
2022 Changing Traveller Report
, which surveyed more than 8,000 travelers
from 10 countries.

Sankar Narayan, managing director and CEO of SiteMinder,
says “a new type of traveler” with higher expectations has emerged during the
travel industry’s recovery, and “hoteliers need to be ready” to meet their
needs.

“In SiteMinder’s 2022 Changing Traveller Report,” Narayan
continues, “we can see that – more than ever – travelers now have ambitions to
book, travel, work, connect and experience the world with the greatest
flexibility and security possible.” 

The report identifies five main trends among travelers:

  • Inflation is currently having “moderate” to “no” impact on
    travel decisions for the majority of people surveyed. In fact, 85% of travelers
    are willing to pay for add-ons during their next stay, particularly breakfast
    (50%) and a view (34%). SiteMinder’s report recommends hotels offer targeted
    add-ons, such as early check-in for families with young children and
    last-minute room upgrades onsite. Post-stay, hoteliers can send offers to
    incentivize future visits. “Making it feel personal at every step is key,” the
    report says.

  • Travelers are “winnable.” Three quarters of global travelers
    and 86% of millennial travelers are open to receiving ads for an accommodation
    that’s suitable to them. More than half of respondents “often” or “always” welcome
    personalized offers and deals – even after their stay. Social media “often” or
    “always” affects the booking decisions of 43% of all travelers.
  • With 36% of all travelers planning to work on their next
    trip, working travelers’ demands will shape the “hotel of the future.” Two-thirds
    of working travelers prefer automated check-in over manual, compared to half of
    leisure travelers.

    For 78% of working travelers and 60% of leisure travelers,
    the “little things” – for example, a property’s scent, its artwork or the
    restaurant’s music – “always” or “often” impact whether they would consider
    returning to a property. Many travelers planning a working vacation will bring their
    family, so offering educational children’s programs and tours could be a good
    strategy for hotels, according to SiteMinder.

  • Every digital touch point matters for the new “trust-critical”
    traveler. When booking directly on a property’s website, more than half (57%) of
    respondents say their top priority is an easy and secure booking and payment
    process. The greatest percentage of travelers (49%) prefer to pay with a credit
    card online or electronic bank transfer, followed by in-person (43%). Eighty percent say it’s “important” or “very important” to
    have the flexibility to easily modify or freely cancel their reservation.

  • Travelers are not willing to compromise on human
    connection. When citing aspects of their stay that would make them most likely
    to return, the top three reasons given are: value for money (72%), location
    (58%) and staff and customer service (43%). Almost nine in 10 survey respondents
    say they want staff present on site.

To catch the 37% of travelers planning to book on OTAs, SiteMinder
recommends casting a wide net. Promoting a property on five or more OTA channels
can boost bookings by up to 40%, according to the report.

With 27% of travelers planning to book directly with the
venue, hoteliers can drive more direct bookings by: using metasearch to reach travelers
on Google; using market intelligence to track pricing; using promo codes; and plugging
into a global distribution system, with 10% of travelers planning to book
through a travel agent.

Quote

There are so many ways to engage with your guests between the booking and check-in, and even during their stay, that will improve the customer experience.

Noreen Henry – Sojern

The study also finds that travelers are three times more
likely to consult a search engine than friends when gathering information on
hotels. More than half plan to spend “more” or “much more” time searching for
the best-priced accommodation than two years ago.

Says Noreen Henry, chief revenue officer at digital
marketing solutions company Sojern: “The
challenge that exists is: How can you be in all the places where your potential
guests are as they search online for their next trip?

“You can no longer rely on one or even two digital channels
and expect to establish and build a relationship with your guest,” Henry
continues. “It’s crucial to have a presence everywhere that travelers are searching.
A multichannel marketing approach ensures that your hotel stays top of mind
throughout the search and planning process, so you can win the direct booking.”

But Henry calls that “only half the battle.”

“There are so many ways to engage with your guests between
the booking and check-in, and even during their stay, that will improve the
customer experience. You can also build loyalty by re-engaging past guests.”

Other findings include:

  • More than 70% of global travelers would “likely” or “definitely”
    pre-visit their property in the metaverse before check-in.
  • 87% would appreciate it if their accommodation provider
    enabled them to learn more about the local culture and history.

Headquartered in Sydney, SiteMinder has offices in Bangkok,
Berlin, Dallas, Galway, London and Manila.

SiteMinder surveyed 8,182 travelers in August 2022 in Australia,
China, France, Germany, Indonesia, Italy, Spain, Thailand, the United Kingdom
and the United States.

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https://www.phocuswire.com/SiteMinder-survey-identifies-five-key-trends-in-travel-booking

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