Technology and the internet has transformed the hotel booking and travel experience. Digital channels have influenced an era of customer experience where direct engagement and personalised marketing are the new norm, and interacting with guests before check-in is an expectation, not a courtesy. The number of international travellers to the UK grew 7% in June this year compared to June 2016 alone, with a forecasted 39.7million visitors for 2017. This increase has increased demand for connectivity as travellers get in the habit of connecting one of several portable smart devices to WiFi within seven minutes of arriving at their hotel.
Travellers are also increasingly looking for a simple end-to-end travel experience where flights, transport, nights out, and even day trips are organised for a seamless holiday abroad. Metasearch websites are becoming more popular to plan and purchase travel arrangements, but maintaining communication with guests post-stay is imperative to building relationships and loyalty for direct return bookings.
There is no doubt technology has had an irreversible impact on the industry, whether hoteliers are boutique B&B’s, national chains, or global conglomerates. The technological shift has led to; guests by-passing check-in lines at the front desk, decreased demand for room service as preferences move towards ordering local takeaway via food delivery couriers, such as Deliveroo, smart TVs in rooms enable multi-lingual electronic greetings, and replacing the hotel guestbook with online reviews where 88% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations.
Hoteliers need to look at the data, including reviews, to understand what is influencing travellers and their expectations, their interest, and behaviour within the venue to deliver an experience guests will want to review. These reviews are a detailed and honest snapshot of hotel services that highlight what travellers love, where improvements can be made, and opportunities for targeted marketing.
Our infographic and white paper takes a look at the major drivers, characteristics, and quirky trends by analysing reviews from hotel guests across the UK.