Effective Ways Hotels Provide What Connected Travelers Crave

By Renu Hanegreefs-Snehi Vice President Corporate Communications, PR & Reputation Management, Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group | February 04, 2018

The average Briton now spends more time online each day than sleeping, or doing anything else in their life, according to Wired magazine. That’s an average of nearly nine hours per day on media and digital communication. Yet this trend is not exclusive to the UK.

Across the globe, we are all scrambling to keep up with the latest developments in a 24-hour news cycle that’s churning out information non-stop; and that’s before we even mention “fake news”– and political debates about fake news – and all of a sudden we have to decipher what’s authentic and what’s not. We’re bombarded with opinions from commentators, influencers, friends, and strangers on the street, all through social media.

The online world is moving a mile a millisecond, but our brains can only handle so much in one day. As more of our work and lives move online, the digital space starts to feel very noisy; and almost everyone is suffering from information overload!

Digital Can be Peaceful

Considering all this, it’s perhaps not surprising that there is a relatively new social media trend that Adweek recently uncovered – a trend towards social media users “seeking mindfulness, simplicity and calm as a reaction to our stressful, always-on digital world.” That’s exactly why YouTube has seen a rise in demand for videos with white noise, relaxing music, or soothing sounds. There are now apps devoted entirely to meditation, mindfulness or achieving calmness. Facebook has recently been advertising an app that produces short videos featuring peaceful images, which play the sounds of rain falling on a tree or waves softly drumming on the beach. All these apps encourage users to meditate or simply “do nothing” for a few minutes.

At first glance, the fact that people are looking for moments of calm in the noisy digital and social media space may seem ironic or paradoxical; but on the other hand, it is completely understandable that social media users are craving calm and snatching brief moments of reprieve whenever they can.

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Sales & Marketing: Opinions Matter

Hotel Sales and Marketing Directors manage a complex mix of strategies to attract and convert customers into guests. Part of their expertise includes an awareness of customer behavior during the reservation process, so they can make sure their hotel is favorably positioned. One such trend is the growing popularity of travel review sites. According to one recent survey, 61% of prospective customers consult online reviews in order to validate information about the hotel before making a purchasing decision. Another survey found that the average hotel customer reads between 6-12 reviews across 4-10 properties before making a final decision on where to stay. Similarly, other studies have shown that consumer reviews are a more trusted source of information for prospective customers than other kinds of marketing messaging. In fact, reviews are often considered to be as influential as price regarding whether a customer decides to complete a purchase or not. Plus, travel sites with the most reviews - including recent reviews from satisfied customers and thoughtful responses from staff - were also found to be the most appealing. So having positive reviews on a travel website is essential and can help to increase a hotel's conversion rates dramatically. Of course, there are all kinds of additional marketing strategies for sales and marketing directors to consider - the importance of video and the emergence of live streaming; the implementation of voice search; the proliferation of travel bots; and the development of Instagram as an e-commerce platform. 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.