TripAdvisor US lodging survey: Social media budgets to rise in 2011
TripAdvisor conducted its first survey of U.S. hoteliers, B&B owners and innkeepers in its database and found that 57% expect to increase their social media budgets in 2011.
Another 37% expect to spend about the same on social media and 6% plan to trim their social media budgets in 2011, the survey found.
TripAdvisor plans to this survey, conducted Jan. 14 to Jan. 21 and attracted 1010 completed responses, an annual exercise.
It highlights TripAdvisor’s plans to engage and get chummier with its lodging customers, a priority punctuated by its plans to build a global customer service call center for consumers and owners.
Among other survey findings, 46% of the accommodations owners and managers have no plans in 2011 to offer any kind of mobile programs for their customers.
This leads one to wonder if survey participation was skewed toward owners and managers of B&Bs and inns rather than large hotels.
TripAdvisor spokesman Kevin Carter says “the survey was sent to a random sample of U.S. owners and managers in our database, representing a broad spectrum of accommodations. In this random selection were a mixture of registered owners, Business Listings subsribers and owners who have neither registered nor become subscribers.”
Some 27% of respondents indicated that they plan to introduce mobile programs for the first time in 2011, and another 27% plan to retain the mobile programs they ran in 2010.
When it comes to TripAdvisor’s core product, hotel reviews, 99% of respondents said they plan to respond to user reviews in 2011, with 72% indicating they would respond to both positive and negative critiques.
Property photos are said to be very effective in attracting guests and 67% of accommodations’ ownersand managers in the survey indicated they will post 1-10 photos on TripAdvisor of each of their properties in 2011.
Ten percent of respondents said they posted11-20 photos of each of their properties on TripAdvisor in 2010, but 26% plan to do so in 2011, the survey found.
On the ancillary fees’ issue, which has been embraced by the airline industry, the vast majority of accommodations’ owners and managers — at least those survey by TripAdvisor — have no plans to jump on the bandwagon in terms of increasing the fees they charge.
The survey found that 94% of lodging owners and managers have no plans to charge additional fees for amenities while 6% have plans to increase amenities’ fees.
Speaking of fees, 91% of respondents said they plan to offer free in-room Internet access in 2011, while 5% will charge a fee and 4% won’t offer the service, the survey found.
“TripAdvisor’s first annual Accommodation Owners Survey suggests that the hotel industry is still being affected by a slow economy, as the majority of respondents don’t forsee room rate increases this year,” says Christine Petersen, president of TripAdvisor for Business. “Yet, savvy hoteliers are attempting to stand apart from the crowd by embracing social media, launching mobile marketing features and offering the programs consumers demand most.”
Dennis Schaal was North American editor for Tnooz.