The hospitality industry is optimistic and expects a brighter and better trend in 2013. As the economic landscape is progressing, there will be a change in the trend of “staycation,” and people will now intend to focus on the value of travel. In other words, tourists now look for comfortable, simple, yet high-quality experiences. It is important for hospitality companies to capitalize these opportunities to stay ahead in the industry. However, brand awareness and a multi-channel environment have heightened the competition. To meet the challenges , the hospitality sector should come up with strategic marketing initiatives.
Here are some of the emerging trends that people in the hospitality industry should keep in mind while preparing strategy for 2013.
1. Renewed Focus on Property Websites
As per statistics, American hotels spent about $2.7 billion as OTA commissions in 2010. To avoid this expense, hotels are trying to increase direct bookings. To achieve this, they are developing their own websites and trying to convince travelers to opt for direct bookings and avoid bookings through OTA. Hence, hoteliers should focus more on fresh content, rich media and frequent promotion updates in their websites to increase their online hotel booking.
2. Greater Emphasis on Content Marketing
Marketing experts will realize that to reach a wider audience, brand awareness is crucial. A consensus will develop of the fact that content marketing is the ultimate way to get the word out rather than traditional advertising. Hence, a strong online presence is vital. Engaging blogs, interactive social media platforms, webinars, newsletters, ebooks, photo and, video sharing media are efficient, yet cost effective tools that will enable your brand to reach people quickly, resulting in effective lead generation. Besides, these days people prefer direct booking and make their transactions online, so, frequent updates, fresh contents, hassle free transaction modes and user-friendly navigation are imperative to stay ahead of the competition.
Travelers will focus more on the emotional value to their trip and will strive to experience a better quality of life during leisure travel. Hence, instead of opting for cost-effective getaways, they will look for a better experience and begin to place high value on splurging. Even though the trend of overnight leisure trips shall continue, there will be a sharp increase in travel spending.
4. Quality Food
Likewise, tourists are now more concerned with the food on the table, rather than focusing on celebrity chefs. They will be more demanding in terms of quality ingredients and will prefer healthy food with organic ingredients.
5. Social Network Integration
Social media plays an important role in attracting tourists. Personal connection is already at its epitome, and researching everything using social media is the recent trend. This applies to the hospitality industry, too. People tend to read and compare reviews before choosing their trip. So, effective online persona is imperative to get an edge over the competitors. Ensure that you participate in review sites and hotel listing websites. Updating blogs constantly and including testimonials from former guests are great ideas. The meeting planner tool comes in handy to strengthen the professional relationship with your customer. Twitter accounts that focus on customer service will help to draw more tourists.
6. Mobile Trend
Hotel marketers should focus on ways to capitalize mobile applications in 2013, as social media and mobile devices have already become inseparable. Smart-phones have replaced desktops and laptops, and social media updates from mobile phones are the preferred trend.
7. Embarking Visual Media
In order to allure potential travelers, embarking videos and photo sharing sites such as Instagram and Pinterst, is vital, as more and more people will view and share videos and photos that will become a great advertisement for the business.
8. Increase in the Number of International Visitors
There is expected to be a sharp increase in the number of international visitors to the USA. Hence, hotels can choose to refinance the business in order to meet the demand and to stay ahead of the competitors.