TripAdvisor sheds light on what drives a hotel booking

Some fascinating global data from the folk at TripAdvisor, released as part of a presentation in China this week.

Lily Cheng, TripAdvisor president for Asia-Pacific, including the DaoDao brand which it operates under in China, was speaking at the TravelDaily Conference in Shanghai and sharing feedback from a sample size of more than 50,000 travellers.

First up is a run-down on what drives the decision-making process for travellers when booking a hotel.

The results are pretty interesting, especially when considering the differences between leisure and business travellers.

For example, price is the most important factor for leisure travellers, but online reviews and the opinions of others drives business types.

The other most important factors:

  • Leisure – reviews, previous experience, proximity to attractions, near to transport
  • Business – price, recommendations from friends, previous experience, proximity to attractions

What about the amenities in a property?:

  • Leisure – free in-room wifi, breakfast included, in-room services, staff can speak traveller’s own language, free parking
  • Business – information readily available (surprising), free lobby wifi, free in-room wifi, free parking, flat screen television

How travellers of both hues using their devices:

  • Mobile – calling, texting, finding way around a destination, personal email, looking for restaurants
  • Tablet – browsing online, reading books, reading news, looking for restaurants, directions/email/reading reviews
  • Laptop – browsing online, personal email, looking for hotels, business email, looking for things to do

Influence of social media and reviews:

Inevitably, TripAdvisor comes out on top as the leading source of information for hotels, but what other services play a part?

  • Word of mouth
  • User generated content on other travel websites
  • Travel guides and brochures
  • Travel guide websites
  • Online travel agencies
  • Mainstream media

And, finally, what about the booking windows?

Most travellers plan their trips around three to four months before departure, but only start the booking process between one and two months in advance.

Specific to Ling’s region, around 6% of Asians (China is 10%) booked a hotel via mobile and 27% book offline.

NB: Hotel facilities image via Shutterstock.

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Kevin May

About the Writer :: Kevin May

Kevin May was a co-founder and member of the editorial team from September 2009 to June 2017.



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  1. Diego

    Contradicting article!
    First it says that price is important for liesure travelers and reviews for business travel.
    On the next paragraph it says the contrary!

    • Kevin May

      Kevin May

      @diego – not contradicting… the second part you mention is the “OTHER” most important factors. Sorry it wasn’t clear for you.

  2. Colin Brownlee

    Very good summary Kevin. Thanks for the post. I will share it with the Chamber. Pura Vida, Colin.


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