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
“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
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. 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
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.