Travel TrendsIt's the little things that matter to travellers — from the hotel's ambience to digital touch points.

5 new things that travellers look for in their next hotel stay

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Hoteliers need to be ready to meet the new kind of travellers' accommodation demands.
Hoteliers need to be ready to meet the new kind of travellers' accommodation demands. Photo Credit: Adobe/boyloso

Rising inflation will not deter people from travelling, and the popular approach of combining business and leisure travel will push hotels to evolve.

Those are two key findings from open hotel commerce platform SiteMinder’s 2022 Changing Traveller Report, which surveyed more than 8,000 travellers from 10 countries.

Sankar Narayan, managing director and CEO of SiteMinder, says “a new type of traveller” with higher expectations has emerged during the travel industry’s recovery, and “hoteliers need to be ready” to meet their needs.

“In SiteMinder’s 2022 Changing Traveller Report,” Narayan continues, “we can see that – more than ever – travellers now have ambitions to book, travel, work, connect and experience the world with the greatest flexibility and security possible.” 

The report identifies five main trends among travellers:

1. Inflation is currently having “moderate” to “no” impact on travel decisions for the majority of people surveyed. In fact, 85% of travellers are willing to pay for add-ons during their next stay, particularly breakfast (50%) and a view (34%). SiteMinder’s report recommends hotels offer targeted add-ons, such as early check-in for families with young children and last-minute room upgrades onsite. Post-stay, hoteliers can send offers to incentivize future visits. “Making it feel personal at every step is key,” the report says.

2. Travellers are “winnable.” Three quarters of global travellers and 86% of millennial travellers are open to receiving ads for an accommodation that’s suitable to them. More than half of respondents “often” or “always” welcome personalized offers and deals – even after their stay. Social media “often” or “always” affects the booking decisions of 43% of all travellers. With 36% of all travellers planning to work on their next trip, working travellers’ demands will shape the “hotel of the future.” Two-thirds of working travellers prefer automated check-in over manual, compared to half of leisure travellers.

3. For 78% of working travellers and 60% of leisure travellers, the “little things” – for example, a property’s scent, its artwork or the restaurant’s music – “always” or “often” impact whether they would consider returning to a property. Many travellers planning a working vacation will bring their family, so offering educational children’s programs and tours could be a good strategy for hotels, according to SiteMinder.

4. Every digital touch point matters for the new “trust-critical” traveller. When booking directly on a property’s website, more than half (57%) of respondents say their top priority is an easy and secure booking and payment process. The greatest percentage of travellers (49%) prefer to pay with a credit card online or electronic bank transfer, followed by in-person (43%). Eighty percent say it’s “important” or “very important” to have the flexibility to easily modify or freely cancel their reservation.

5 new things that travellers look for in their next hotel stay

5. Travellers are not willing to compromise on human connection. When citing aspects of their stay that would make them most likely to return, the top three reasons given are: value for money (72%), location (58%) and staff and customer service (43%). Almost nine in 10 survey respondents say they want staff present on site.

To catch the 37% of travellers planning to book on OTAs, SiteMinder recommends casting a wide net. Promoting a property on five or more OTA channels can boost bookings by up to 40%, according to the report.

With 27% of travellers planning to book directly with the venue, hoteliers can drive more direct bookings by: using metasearch to reach travellers on Google; using market intelligence to track pricing; using promo codes; and plugging into a global distribution system, with 10% of travellers planning to book through a travel agent.

The study also finds that travellers are three times more likely to consult a search engine than friends when gathering information on hotels. More than half plan to spend “more” or “much more” time searching for the best-priced accommodation than two years ago.

Says Noreen Henry, chief revenue officer at digital marketing solutions company Sojern: “The challenge that exists is: How can you be in all the places where your potential guests are as they search online for their next trip?

“You can no longer rely on one or even two digital channels and expect to establish and build a relationship with your guest,” Henry continues. “It’s crucial to have a presence everywhere that travellers are searching. A multichannel marketing approach ensures that your hotel stays top of mind throughout the search and planning process, so you can win the direct booking.”

But Henry calls that “only half the battle.”

“There are so many ways to engage with your guests between the booking and check-in, and even during their stay, that will improve the customer experience. You can also build loyalty by re-engaging past guests.”

Other findings include:

• More than 70% of global travellers would “likely” or “definitely” pre-visit their property in the metaverse before check-in.
• 87% would appreciate it if their accommodation provider enabled them to learn more about the local culture and history.

Headquartered in Sydney, SiteMinder has offices in Bangkok, Berlin, Dallas, Galway, London and Manila.

SiteMinder surveyed 8,182 travellers in August 2022 in Australia, China, France, Germany, Indonesia, Italy, Spain, Thailand, the United Kingdom and the United States.

Source: PhocusWire

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