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People today expect to be connected always and everywhere; sometimes it’s hard to believe that there was a world before smartphones and Wi-Fi. In the time since Wi-Fi became ubiquitous in hotels, apartments, and public spaces, it has fueled the evolution of connectivity in a lot of ways. Just like Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, the most basic needs start at the bottom, and you can’t get to the next level without a strong foundation. 

By now, everyone is aware that hotel giant Marriott International announced on Friday a massive data breach that goes back more than four years and may have affected up to 500 million customers worldwide. 

After two years of preparation, the FlyZoo Hotel — a futuristic property that uses interactive technologies to do everything from greet guests to deliver room service — is ready for business. 

Mobile technology is fast becoming central to the entire travel experience. Consumers are increasingly using their smartphones to research trips, book accommodation, check in at the airport, and access their hotel room. But one of the next big roles mobile has to play in the travel process is mobile payment. The idea of an entirely cashless society might still seem some way off, but mobile payment is gaining popularity. As it becomes more widely used, its fast and frictionless nature will bring benefits before, during and after a trip. 

Digital marketing, also known as internet marketing, plays a significant role to boost hotel website traffic and online bookings. Recently, many big announcements were made in the digital industry, for example when Facebook introduced a new video format for marketers, or when Google announced a board core algorithm. If you are a new hotelier and want to stay ahead in the industry, then you should know what’s going on in the hotel digital marketing industry. 
 



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Online Journey of Today’s Traveler

04/11/2017

To understand what decisions today’s travelers, especially millennials, are making, we need to dissect, appreciate and understand each step of the journey made before making their booking decisions. Understanding the mindset and decision making factors that guests make will help hoteliers and their web designers create content that is not only relevant, but financially sound.

First and foremost, accept the fact that more than 90 percent of millennials make a majority of their booking decisions from family and friend generated user content. Social media user generated content overpowers brand messages. This means the guests that check in to hotels from Facebook and snap photos of their fun experiences on Snapchat and Instagram are huge deciding factors for whether a hotel or any business makes the cut. We can use this information to help push customers in the right direction. If they are already on all social media outlets anyway, then hoteliers need to be there too posting pictures, advertising specials, events and basically posting anything that will attract guests to look further.

For an avid traveler, my go-to decision making factor starts off with the pictures of the property. Bright, vibrant, contemporary looking properties will always be on the menu; if not on yours, then perhaps at someone else’s. Make sure that the pictures you have of your lobby, guestrooms and any other public area of interest are professionally taken and will reflect your best side. Dark and drab rooms will only get a quick “next” from customers looking for their perfect guest experience.

Websites with just one or two dropdowns cramping all the information in small areas is unappealing to the eye. It may be a cheaper option when you are originally designing your site, but you will end up losing potential customers that are accustomed to sites with links that showcase everything the hotel has to offer and is readily available at a property a few doors down. An ideal website should have separate dropdowns for categories such as: About us, Guest Rooms, Amenities, Dining and Entertainment, etc., that lets customers see easily the many options your hotels have to offer.

When asking your web designer to create your site, do some research first. Look at other hotel sites that you like and jot down what exactly made you like the property and the website. Was it the reviews that lets guest see and even hear guest testimonials, or the glossy pictures, could it be the layout of the site that is visually appealing or perhaps it’s the showcased amenities that are generally a priority for many travelers. In order to attract a customer, we must act like a customer and take the journey with them.

About The Author
Nimesh Dinubhai
President
Websrefresh


Nimesh Dinubhai completed his studies in 2003 and launched Websrefresh to help businesses grow their ROI. He also owns two Arizona hotels, one of which earned the Historical Hotel Award in 2014.

 
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