A recent study by Fuel Travel has shown that nowadays leisure travellers visit fewer websites before making their choice. Actually, the average number of unique websites is just 4.4 and then travellers make a booking. This is a tremendous decline, given that according to the study by Expedia Media Solutions in 2015, travellers visited up to 38 websites. What can hotels do about such a change?
Indeed, it’s getting harder for hoteliers to compete and make travellers visit their own websites rather than sticking to booking websites. Even a few years ago before making an order, customers would browse destination websites, OTAs, hotel websites, portal websites and so on. Nowadays, the situation has completely changed and fewer websites now have greater influence on travellers and their decision making. Decisions are now made faster, same as vacation planning in general, and so only stuff like loyalty programs can make travellers browse more websites than just making an order through a booking website. Moreover, search engines become more advanced. They offer special options for the travel industry, such as Google Hotel Ads, in generally offer relevant information faster than before.
For travellers such a change is beneficial as they can spend less time, but for hoteliers, that means putting more efforts into engagement of existing customers and improving search visibility of their websites.