Today’s technology continues to influence how consumers plan and book their travel. Hotels can find it difficult to keep up with the constant change, but guests know what they want and hoteliers need to exceed those expectations. A recent report by MicroMetrics uncovered that customer expectations will be the disruptive trend of 2018. Below are six key trends from The Strategic Guide To New Tech & Traveler Trends.
North American leisure travelers allow destination activities, cultural experiences, and monetary value to affect their accommodation choice. Oppositely, American bleisure travelers look towards the destination itself, additional costs, and proximity to the weekend to blend the business trip and leisure trip together.
Mobile devices account for 60 percent of destination information searches, and 60 percent of travelers also watch online videos to narrow down and determine hotel choices. On smartphones, 70 percent of potential guests researched trips and vacations, and of that 70 percent, 72 percent of travelers trust online reviews, travelers they meet in person, or communities over travel publications. Of all travelers, 95 percent trust online reviews, travelers they meet in person, or communities more than travel publications, and 82 percent of travelers don’t book with a specific brand in mind.
Today’s travelers are more into unique experiences at destinations rather than brands. Finding information about a hotel as quickly and easily as possible is the top priority when booking a trip, and brands aren’t as important. Sixty-seven percent of travelers will book with any brand that provides direct, relevant, and detailed information catering specifically to their preferences.
AI isn’t as important to today’s travelers as many in the hospitality industry might think—50 percent of potential guests don’t care whether they’re talking to a human or a chatbot.
Ease of Booking
Travelers are mostly consumed with the ease of booking, with 72 percent valuing simple bookings and 67 percent valuing offers and promotions. Additionally, 70 percent use hotels’ websites, apps, and digital tools to impact their bookings, and 50 percent are more likely to book with brands providing easy-to-read and relevant information.
However, when it comes to booking on mobile devices as the majority of travelers do, travelers aren’t so confident with the information they’re getting. Seventy-five percent of leisure travelers believe that desktop information is different than on a smartphone, and 50 percent of travelers switch from mobile to desktop when actually booking.
Thirty-one percent of leisure and 53 percent of business travelers have used their mobile devices to book. And 54 percent of leisure and 69 percent of business travelers agree that accessibility and usability are why they book on different devices. Sixty-seven percent of consumers book on a desktop while 27 percent use apps to book flights and accommodations.
Leisure travelers are consumed with experiences, and 36 percent of guests would pay more for a personalized experience while 67 percent value experiences over material objects. Popular behaviors include using personal information and past behaviors to market to guests, and 65 percent of guests want to end their trip with a new experience. These excursions include historical and heritage tours, sunset cruises, private day trips, snorkeling, kayaking, canoeing, and sailing.
Travelers know what they want, and these influences are imperative to the hotelier attracting guests in 2018.