Consumers finding trust in hotels websites over other sources says study
Digital agency Fuel has released its annual research on how leisure travellers are researching and booking hotels.
The agency, which specialises in marketing for hotels, says it has compiled the results of the Leisure Travel Planning Study with the help of 2,900 respondents, so a decent sample.
Lots of interesting facts and figures around who is booking, who is on the trip and when the planning takes place to help hotels target potential customers.
It also picks up on some interesting trends around how many sites consumers visit – it’s not the more than 20 sites often cited from Google research.
According to Fuel, it’s 10 or fewer, but on average between four and six.
There’s also some interesting findings on the importance of reviews revealing that more than 80% will not book a hotel without consulting reviews and that they trust reviews on the hotel’s own website over TripAdvisor and Yelp.
And, when it comes to making the decision, consumers say reviews on the hotel site, pictures on the hotel website and quality of hotel website are more important and influential than reviews sites.
Some may find this surprising but Fuel points out that respondents could have rated other sources including TripAdvisor, destination sites and search engines above the websites of the hotels.
It doesn’t mention that many of the reviews on hotel websites are a snapshot from TripAdvisor.
Here are some more results on sites visited, devices used and where people start their research.
When it comes to devices used, the results are interesting with desktop still the favourite to research a stay but consumers are more likely to book their stay via mobile if they have used their device as part of the research process.
In addition, more than 30% say they’ve used a mobile application in travel planning and more than 50% say they would use an app to purchase additional services during their stay.
For research, most are starting on search engines although the study finds search engines are only slightly more influential then hotel websites when it comes to booking.
The full study can be downloaded here.
Linda Fox is deputy editor for Tnooz. For the past eight years she has worked as a freelance journalist across a range of B2B titles including Travolution, ABTA Magazine, Travelmole and the Business Travel Magazine.
In this time she has also undertaken corporate projects for a number of high profile travel technology, travel management and research companies.
Prior to her freelance career she covered hotels and technology news for Travel Trade Gazette for seven years. Linda joined TTG from Caterer & Hotelkeeper where she worked on the features desk for more than five years.