When it comes to maximising room reservations and ensuring your hotel booking engine for website bookings is regularly whirring into life, it pays to know what trends are shaping consumer decisions each season. By knowing which consumer behaviours are predominant and being aware of seasonal search patterns in good time, you can ensure your digital marketing is always firmly aligned with consumer moods and wants. This will help to drive more bookings and optimise RevPAR.
The annual Trivago Spring Trends report has just been released with lots of interesting, useful insight for hoteliers based on data gathered between January and April 2017.
Here are some of its most pertinent findings to help guide your hotel booking engine for website conversions.
1. Average per night spend
The data shows very clear distinctions between what guests are willing to spend per night on a hotel stay and the accommodation’s star rating:
1 *: An average of $77 per night
2 **: An average of $103 per night
3 ***: An average of $141 per night
4 ****: An average of $186 per night
5 *****: An average of $298 per night
Consider your own average prices in light of these consumer spend habits. If your average price per night falls below that of these averages, you have room to increase in line with the above prices. Too many empty rooms? Perhaps your average room rate is significantly higher than what the average guest is willing to pay for your type of accommodation, leaving your RevPAR to pay the price.
2. Location dramatically influences price per night
The location of your hotel will also influence how much the average visitor is willing to spend per night. The Trivago study found that guests spent significantly more per night for a hotel in New York for example as a major national destination, but were more careful of spending once there. In contrast, a destination like Las Vegas saw under average nightly rates, with guests then happier to spend more overall during their stay.
Consider how your destination impacts on your guest’s perceptions – if you’re in a major, expensive city, there’s likely room to up your average nightly rate but, beware of guests then not spending as much on sundries such as dining as a result.
3. Some star ratings attract more guests
The star rating of your accommodation will have a big impact on how likely Spring travellers are to make a reservation according to the Trivago study. One and two star hotels fared worst, but three and four star hotels took the majority of the bookings and best captured consumer interest. Three star hotels were most popular, attracting 36% of clicks, with four star hotels a close behind with 32% of clicks. Five star hotels obtained 11% of clicks.
If you run a three or four-star hotel, this data suggests you’re in prime position to take bookings this spring but, it also means you face hot competition from hotels of similar star ratings. Make sure you present your hotel in the best possible light with a strong social media presence, excellent imagery, pro-active reputation management and average nightly rates in line with your star class.
4. Nurture leads from 40 days out
The data showed that typically, guests start to plan their trip just over a month in advance (40 days) so, you’ll need to factor this in when it comes to your hotel marketing. Your booking engine website will need to account for the pre-planning period along with web content, social media and content marketing posts. If there is a major event such as a festival or holiday, begin promotions around the 40-day window (if not before) to ensure you’re capturing visitor interests as they begin trip planning.