A new Cornell University study provides some interesting stats about how much research goes into booking a hotel room. The study finds that “some travelers spend enormous time researching hotels online. On average, hotel consumers made twelve visits to an OTA’s website, requested 7.5 pages per visit, and spent almost five minutes on each page before booking.”
What are they reading? Reviews. Make sure that you’re providing fresh content by encouraging reviews and responding publicly to reviews that might negatively impact your reputation.
The study also discusses the benefits of being listed on third-party websites operated by online travel agents. The study shows that “a hotel’s listing on Expedia increased total reservation volume—not including reservations processed through Expedia itself.” Calling the phenomenon the ‘billboard effect’, he suggests using marketing budget to pay commissions on OTAs since it’s driving bookings on the hotels’ own Web sites.
Read the whole study here.