The Rise and Rise of Mobility and its Use by Hotel Guests

By Ted Horner Managing Director, E. Horner & Associates | January 18, 2015

Consider these facts... According to Criteo's Travel Flash Report, the first half of 2014 saw:

• Mobile bookings on travel websites are growing faster than desktop, at 20 percent versus 2 percent
• Smartphones and tablets account for 21 percent of hotel bookings
• In-app bookings account for 12 percent of total mobile bookings made on travel websites

Also worth considering is that there are now more than 6.5 billion smart phone in the world today and most people are traveling with up to 3 devices.

More importantly we now live in a world with the Internet of Things (IoT); a digital universe where the web, mobile and the physical world meet, and people access information about everything from anywhere at any time on a variety of personal mobile devices. Today, 90 percent of the land surface has a mobile phone signal, making mobility and the Internet a truly global phenomenon. As hoteliers busily begin budgeting for 2015, many are working hard to grasp how to take advantage of this new mobile world centered on sharing, convenience, a sense of control and individuality.

In this new world order with the emphasis on mobility guests crave instant connectivity, video, pictures sharing with family, friends and business.. People, especially your hotel guests, expect to be accessed and their information routinely shared as a part of everyday lives. To remain competitive in 2015 and beyond, hoteliers need to budget wisely. This doesn't mean just adopting a mobile strategy; it means leveraging mobile device technology and the IoT to remain engaged with your guests from the instant a reservation is made and throughout the lifecycle of the customer journey.

How Can Hotels Leverage Guest's Use of Their Smart Phones?

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Coming up in June 2019...

Sales & Marketing: Selling Experiences

There are innumerable strategies that Hotel Sales and Marketing Directors employ to find, engage and entice guests to their property, and those strategies are constantly evolving. A breakthrough technology, pioneering platform, or even a simple algorithm update can cause new trends to emerge and upend the best laid plans. Sales and marketing departments must remain agile so they can adapt to the ever changing digital landscape. As an example, the popularity of virtual reality is on the rise, as 360 interactive technologies become more mainstream. Chatbots and artificial intelligence are also poised to become the next big things, as they take guest personalization to a whole new level. But one sales and marketing trend that is currently resulting in major benefits for hotels is experiential marketing - the effort to deliver an experience to potential guests. Mainly this is accomplished through the creative use of video and images, and by utilizing what has become known as User Generated Content. By sharing actual personal content (videos and pictures) from satisfied guests who have experienced the delights of a property, prospective guests can more easily imagine themselves having the same experience. Similarly, Hotel Generated Content is equally important. Hotels are more than beds and effective video presentations can tell a compelling story - a story about what makes the hotel appealing and unique. A video walk-through of rooms is essential, as are video tours in different areas of a hotel. The goal is to highlight what makes the property exceptional, but also to show real people having real fun - an experience that prospective guests can have too. The June Hotel Business Review will report on some of these issues and strategies, and examine how some sales and marketing professionals are integrating them into their operations.