We're veering into autumn and it won't be too much longer until 2022 comes to a close. Given this, it's a useful time to review trends so you can prepare for the last quarter of the year.
According to Expedia's latest report, hotel demand is still strong - despite rising costs (Q2 showed an increase of 40% in stayed room nights and a 9% increase in stayed average daily rates (ADRs) quarter-over-quarter).
As well as this, long-haul stays are proving popular again, with a 50% year-over-year increase in global traveler demand for long-haul flights in Q2.
When you are planning campaigns for Q4, keep in mind you will need to be inclusive in your efforts - with 92% of consumers thinking it is important for travel providers to meet the accessibility needs of all travellers. Consider this too when you are devising marketing campaigns and picking imagery for them. It is important to represent more than the typical 'family' unit for example.
Sustainability continues to be top of mind for people, too - 90% of consumers will look for sustainable travel options.
What else is happening?
There are other trends you need to be aware of too, that will surely inform your activity for the rest of the year and beyond. For example...
- Hotel occupancy is expected to rise, averaging 63.4% for the year
- 58.3% of meetings and events will return in 2022, and 86.9% will return by 2023
- The most significant trends in the hotel market are the use of near-field communication (NFC) technology, infrared technologies, and robots
- More people are travelling for bleisure. The bleisure tourism market is projected to reach $497.5 billion in valuation in 2022
- 57% of companies allow employees to extend business trips as part of their policies
- The global health and wellness market has reached a market evaluation of $1.5 trillion
- 66% of millennials book their trips using a smartphone while 74% use their mobile for travel-related research
So... how do you attract 'digital' travellers at this point?
According to recent market research by CWT, mobile was the device of choice for many travel customers, accounting for 60% of online traffic in 2021. When it comes to conversions, desktop is still popular - but mobile is still growing.
This indicates how continually important it is for you to ensure your content is optimised for all devices. You must be optimised for mobile and desktop so you don't lose any customers along the way.
The report from CWT also showed that 42% of visitors 'abandon travel sites after viewing only one page, with the vast majority of content never being viewed at all'. Of the pages that are visited, the average traveller views just 53% of what’s on screen (meaning they leave without scrolling the whole page).
This highlights the importance of creating good quality content with the right visuals that will catch the eye of potential guests and encourage them to keep engaging. You also must make sure your site speed isn't slow, as this will impact the amount of customers you keep long enough to convert.
You need... a great website
Your official website is the face of your hotel. Make it visually representative of who you are by using the right images, the right design and the right copy. Back all of that up with some stellar guest reviews, even more stunning imagery and the right booking engine that will actually help your guests convert quicker.
Use your social platforms to post attractive content targeting all of the different kinds of audiences you have. Use the platforms smartly - Instagram for example, is a platform that lives via visuals and video. Be creative.
Email campaigns are a great way of connecting with previous guests and it can be used as a platform to build loyalty. Use email to send newsletters, promotions, new offers and discounts.
Speaking of email... personalisation is key, too
Technology is so engrained in our lives, it almost feels as natural as our interactions with people. This means as a hotelier, you have to understand that guests want a unique experience.
This means you need to think about ways to personalise communication with guests before and after they arrive at your hotel.