TripAdvisor®, the world’s largest travel site, has announces the results of its brand new UK accommodation owners survey, revealing mobile marketing as a priority for the British hospitality trade. Almost 800 hoteliers and B&B owners shared their current and upcoming marketing strategies in the survey.
Two-thirds (66%) of respondents say it is important to offer travellers a method of booking their inventory via mobile devices, showing the industry is keeping pace with the rapidly developing mobile market. The numbers, however, vary between property types - hoteliers prioritise mobile the most with 75% saying it’s important, while 62% of B&B owners feel the same.
The survey revealed a number of other hospitality marketing trends.
Marketing budgets stable or growing
Three-quarters (74%) of survey respondents have a marketing budget. Of those, the vast majority say marketing budgets are increasing on last year’s or staying the same:
30% say their 2011 marketing budget is bigger than 2010’s
54% say their 2011 marketing budget is the same as 2010’s
16% have decreased their marketing budget in 2011
When asked about budget allocations, UK owners revealed online marketing takes precedence: nearly one-third (32%) of respondents cited this as their single greatest marketing expense.
Successful social media practices
Of the 74% of respondents who have a social media programme, the overwhelming majority say TripAdvisor is the most effective channel:
71% cite TripAdvisor as the most effective social media channel for marketing their property
16% say Facebook
4% say Twitter
Less than 1% for each Foursquare, LinkedIn, Yelp and Groupon
No one cited MySpace, Flickr or Gowalla
8% say other sites are most effective
Summer deals and marketing
For summer 2011, room discounts will be the most common deal offered:
40% will offer discounts on rooms
38% will offer special amenities (i.e. free wireless internet, etc.)
37% will offer free parking
14% will offer one night’s free stay with booking
9% will offer deals on local attractions
4% will offer reward points
4% will offer free local transportation
11% will offer other deals
According to survey respondents, a property’s own website is the most popular way of marketing deals to potential customers:
75% use their property’s website to market deals to potential customers
39% use email
25% use user-generated review sites
22% use social media
20% use online travel agencies
14% use direct mail newsletters or coupons
8% use travel agencies
5% use blogs
8% user other methods
“The latest TripAdvisor Accommodation Owners Survey reveals that, whatever the future may hold, owners’ marketing budgets have for now generally increased or stayed the same, which is an encouraging economic indicator,” said Christine Petersen, president of TripAdvisor for Business. “Owners are placing great importance on online marketing, social media and mobile marketing, as these strategies become increasingly important for reaching discerning travellers online or on-the-go.”
The TripAdvisor Accommodation Owners Survey was sent by email to a random sample of accommodation businesses. The survey was conducted from May 18 to June 3, 2011 and generated 791 completed responses. Several questions were offered in a “select all that apply” format and therefore result in responses that yield percentages totalling a number greater than 100 percent.