The hospitality and tourism industry relies heavily on consumer behaviour in digital environments to drive bookings and revenue to their websites. Creative marketing techniques are necessary for hotel and travel websites to compete for business online. Understanding the purchasing trends of both leisure and business travelers will help industry players form more effective digital marketing strategies. The results of the 2013 Online Satisfaction and Experience in the Hospitality Industry report are discussed here.
The amount of people looking to book travel online, either leisure or business, has increased significantly. Leisure travelers were more likely to use the internet to compare hotels and deals, while business travelers were more focused on making reservations.
The most popular pathway consumers used to navigate to websites in the Hospitality and Tourism Industry is through search engines. This pathway increased 3% from 2012 suggesting that search engine optimization is a viable marketing expense for hotel and travel websites. Online consumers also came from direct URLs, bookmarks and 9% of website visitors came through email marketing campaigns.
Targeted email marketing campaigns likely supported the overall task completion rate online. Task completion rate refers to the website visitors who set out to perform a particular action on a website in the hospitality and travel industry and succeeded at doing so. The fact that online task completion rate in the hospitality and tourism industry increased significantly from last year and is up to 72%, suggests that website owners are catering to their website visitor’s experience. The most important attributes of a website to facilitate task completion, according to both leisure and business travellers, was the quality of information, site performance and the ability to navigate easily on a website, as well as the price and the visitor’s ability to locate contact information. Optimizing these components of a website is important since website traffic in the industry shows little loyalty towards brands.
The Hospitality Sales and Marketing International (HSMAI) report on Online Satisfaction and Experience in the Hospitality Industry in partnership with iPerceptions Inc. is based on the feedback from 77000 website visitors on 153 websites over a three month period.
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