Mobile, Renovations, and Business Travelers
This week in hospitality news, Google presented its findings of its 2014 Traveler study in a webinar, the New York Times reported on how hoteliers are putting their review data to use, and Tnooz covered a study on business travelers.
Google’s 2014 Traveler Study
To present the findings of its 2014 Traveler Study, Google hosted a webinar on Thursday. We’ll report more in depth next week, but here’s one of the key takeaways: Hoteliers need to invest time in both their native app and their mobile site.
Google found that even after they download a travel app, the majority of both leisure hotel bookers and business hotel bookers spend the same amount of time on the app and site for that brand.
They also found that hotels are, overall, not supporting this consumer behavior. As a result, they’re losing bookings. Only 29% of those who encountered a site that wasn’t optimized for mobile pushed through to continue their booking. Those who did not went to competitors’ sites and OTAs.
Travelers are using search to navigate to specific brands. Even though they may have downloaded a native app, they will often enter your mobile optimized site through a search result. These consumer behaviors highlight the importance for hotels to maintain an excellent web experience and not lose focus on both their websites and native apps. A poor mobile experience has a negative impact on your brand, according to Google’s data.
Online Reviews as Blueprints for Renovations
This week, hospitality made the New York Times as Martha C. White reported on hotels that used online reviews to inform renovations. Omni Hotels and Resorts, the St. Regis New York, and the Lowes Regency have all listened to their guests online and made adjustments to their properties to meet their guests needs.
These hotels are using technology like Revinate’s Guest Feedback Suite to sift through thousands of reviews to find areas of trouble. Trends in feedback data can help hoteliers make smart use of their budgets and institute the changes that will make the biggest positive impact on the guest experience.
Common complaints often have to do with water pressure in the showers, slow Wi-Fi, uncomfortable beds, dated televisions and the location.
Hermann Elger, general manager of the St. Regis New York says, “Lights are a particular issue with guests — for the St. Regis, it was the switches. It’s very common for guests to be frustrated about the number of lights and switches they have to turn off.” After reading complaints, the St. Regis included a central master light switch in guest rooms.
CLICK HERE to read the New York Times article and learn more.
Business Travelers and Online Reviews
Tnooz reported on a study this week that looked at the booking habits of business travelers. It found, in contrast to leisure travelers, that business travelers look at review sentiment, brand, and aggregate rating before they look at price when booking a hotel. “They seem to be balancing what the user generated content tells them against their ability to earn points for the stay,” the study’s authors say.
The study also found that 80% of business travelers read reviews. 88% of those travelers are influenced by the reviews they read.
CLICK HERE to read the study summary on Tnooz.