What’s going to be happening in the hotel industry in 2017?
This year’s big new trends will be online bookings from mobile devices, OTAs and hotel chains.
Spain is now the third-largest hotel market in Europe with €12.2 billion in reservations. On this new European roadmap, hotel chains are expected to increase their share ahead of independent hotels.
In 2017, 39% of bookings will be made online, with OTAs accounting for 52% of hotel reservations.
These are the conclusions of a report carried out by Phocuswright and h2c for SiteMinder.
The outlook for the tourism sector is positive and encouraging: it’s going from strength to strength. The global hotel industry’s rapid evolution over recent years is confirmed, and continued growth is predicted in the coming years.
Looking at the conclusions of the report carried out by Phocuswright and h2c for SiteMinder, I support the finding from this study and state that the big catalyst for market developments at present is travellers and the way they organise their trips. Online bookings have facilitated direct sales to customers and have disrupted traditional booking habits. One important point to highlight comes from research conducted by Nielsen for Google, which provides numbers for the average number of days consumers spend booking a trip: no less than 53, during which time they visit 28 websites over 76 sessions. To these figures, we should add the finding that half of all consumers use social media to gather information and advice about destinations and travel.
The Smartphone is king: it has entered the market and is here to stay. While at present only 8% of bookings are made on mobile devices, that percentage is predicted to rise to 35% by 2018. These figures indicate that hotel owners, chains, and industry professionals need to develop responsive websites and mobile friendly services and information, as well as content marketing strategies and social media presence, are crucial if we want to increase revenue.
Although hotels are investing in upgrades to their own websites to drive more online business their way, OTAs will continue to grow over coming years. There are so many options available that customers in the hotel sector are currently in a period of adaptation, during which the sector is obliged to offer different marketing channels, both direct and indirect, to be able to offer a range of attractive options to suit experienced as well as more traditional travellers.
The changing nature of travellers.
For all these reasons, the hotel industry will see more changes in the next few of years than it has over the last two decades, but forecasts show that it will need to continue to adapt to guarantee success. As the sector grows, so will online bookings, and bookings made on mobile devices will be the next area of growth. On the other hand, as international reservations via OTAs continue to gain ground, companies that have a broad international customer base will rely more and more on intermediaries, while those with a domestic clientele will need to focus on their online presence and personal relationships.
The changing nature of travellers has driven a boom in international tourism, bringing challenges for the hotel industry. The World Tourism Organization’s forecast – as presented in their Tourism Vision 2020 report – suggests that international arrivals will reach almost 1.6 billion. This will open up even larger markets for hotels, and at the same time will mean they are competing in an ever-increasing marketplace and must adapt in an appropriate way. In the years ahead, knowing your market will be one of the essential keys to ensuring your company’s success.