Expedia has begun an experiment designed to reduce the stress most people feel when booking a hotel. They found in a survey that roughly 75% of their sample found online travel bookings as emotionally draining as a fight with a loved one, or a bad day at the office.

Booking a hotel should be a positive experience. However, the sheer number of choices, the amount of research involved and the cost can all get in the way of that. Simple problems, like not finding availability, seeing inconsistent information across the site, or a poor user experience all compound that stress.

So, we’ve focused our articles this week on 15 ways to reduce hotel booking stress for your guests. Also, Donald Trump is proving to be a threat to American tourism sooner than most thought possible – what do you think?

Pick your favorite article and get started!

New Expedia Experiment Aims to Reduce Hotel Booking Stress

Expedia is currently working on an experiment with the help of volunteers in order to understand people’s emotions when they’re navigating its website.

The aim of these experiments is to formulate ways to reduce stress or frustration that arises in users while trying to make a booking online. Expedia’s UK office found in a survey that ~75% of their sample considered booking travel online to be as emotionally draining as having a bad day at office or quarreling with a dear one. Almost one-third admitted to having become more confused with online bookings due to the plethora of available options.

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5 Things Every Hotel Website Should Feature for a Better UX

Designing a hotel website is like preparing for a first date – you don’t get a second chance to make an impression. While us ladies may take hours to get ready for a date (the hair, the nails, the outfit, and everything else), many guys just literally roll out of bed. Or they claim they don’t, but that’s what it looks like, from their disheveled shirt to their scruffy beard and mismatched socks. You may try to give the guy a fair shot, but he’s already bet the odds against him when he shows up looking like that.

I don’t want your hotel website suffering the same poor, first impression. So how can you ensure your website gets that second date?

The first step is to understand what aspects of your hotel website cause visitors to leave without booking. Visitors leave because of:

  • Limited content
  • An ineffective value proposition
  • A poor user experience on the booking engine page
  • Higher than expected rates
  • Inconsistent information on the booking page and the rest of the website
  • Lack of urgency – the page doesn’t show travelers why they should book now

Many of those points can be tackled by designing your hotel website for the user experience – here are five things your hotel website should feature to get started:

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5 Strategies to Simplify the Guest Journey – Part 1

How can you grow direct bookings on your hotel website? Help your guests make a booking in as few steps as possible. OTAs spend a lot of their time and money on improving their conversion rate. It’s time for hotels to do the same. How? Start by streamlining the guest journey that takes users to your online booking engine.

With that goal in mind, we’ve outlined 5 strategies to simplify the guest journey.

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5 Strategies to Simplify the Guest Journey – Part 2

Travel researchers today have so many touchpoints that it’s incredibly valuable to appeal strongly and immediately to users. Millward Brown conducted a study for Expedia. They found that in the 45 days lead up to a booking, a consumer will conduct as many as 38 visits to travel sites. Shorten the booking journey so that they book while you still have their attention.

There are different “journeys” you might want your guests to complete, from filling out an enquiry form to booking a room. When you read the strategies below, make certain you’re clear in your mind about what the core journeys are on your site. Make each journey clear and simple.

Today, we’re focusing on the booking journey. After an overview of how hotels can simplify things and make the booking process itself simpler, we’ll look at factors you can control outside the actual booking process.

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Donald Trump’s Travel Ban Threatens to Derail US Tourism – While Other Nations Stand to Benefit

President Trump’s decision to ban citizens of seven mainly Muslim nations from visiting the US has “cast a shadow” over the country’s tourism industry.

That’s according to Euromonitor, the market intelligence provider, which claims Donald Trump’s protectionist policies and controversial travel ban is likely to have negative implications for tourism in the US.

“The ambiguity of these very latest developments introduced by President Trump is casting a shadow over the future travel demand to and from the US,” said Nadejda Popova, travel project manager at Euromonitor.

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