TripAdvisor Report Stresses Importance of Digital Marketing for Destination Businesses

TripAdvisor Hospitality Sector Report Stresses Importance of Digital Marketing for Hospitality Businesses

The results of TripAdvisor’s 2018 “Hospitality Sector Report” reveals digital and mobile engagement has become increasingly more important.

The Importance of Digital Marketing for Hospitality Businesses

Hotels, restaurants, experiences, tours, and attractions, as well as other destinations listed on TripAdvisor, are placing more attention on their digital presence. These businesses are focusing on mobile marketing, online reputation management, and deploying their marketing efforts on the right digital platform.

With small business owners making up most of these restaurants, hotels, and destinations, the report provides insights into the digital trends in the marketplace. For owners, it means looking at the data and determining what works and doesn’t work to make an informed decision.

Martin Verdon-Roe, vice president of business-to-business product of TripAdvisor, said in a press release, the result of the survey shows a “Rare look into today’s evolving digital travel marketplace.”

Verdon-Roe goes on to say, “What’s clear is that the overwhelming majority of owners and operators are concerned about their presence online and how they are using mobile and social platforms to attract the right consumers.”

The Growth of Digital Engagement

More than 4 in five or 87% of the respondents said having a mobile-enabled website is important, with another 71% adding having online booking is also important. This goes hand in hand with the increased number of consumers who use their mobile device to access the internet.

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Once online, the 97% of respondents said online reputation management is important to their business with another 98 and 92 percent stating online reviews and social presence is also important.

In addition to monitoring and managing their online reputation, businesses have to choose the right marketing channel. Depending on the market, demographic and location, different platforms perform better.

Knowing which platform is better suited for your customer base is key to ensuring your marketing efforts and expenditure will not be wasted. The survey reveals the majority of the respondents are aware of the differences.

Eighty percent of the respondent said working with the right online marketing service is important and 89% echoed the sentiment regarding keeping up with online marketing.

The survey also highlighted other key travel industry trends in 2018.

As to where they should focus, 27% said customer service and retention, 25% staffing, and another 20% marketing efforts.

When it comes to forces which they expect will have the most impact, 43% said hiring the best staff followed by 30% global economy, and 29% said dealing with the challenges of over-tourism.

The survey points out digital engagement is key to acquiring and retaining customers.  And this applies to virtually all industries in today’s digital ecosystem, not just the hospitality segment.

Photo via Shutterstock

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Michael Guta Michael Guta is the Assistant Editor at Small Business Trends and currently manages its East African editorial team. Michael brings with him many years of content experience in the digital ecosystem covering a wide range of industries. He holds a B.S. in Information Communication Technology, with an emphasis in Technology Management.

8 Reactions
  1. Reputation has become extremely important in the hospitality industry. I think one of the key drivers is the fact that the majority of people these days book via third party sites. The hotels themselves have to be actively monitoring all of the site reviews and their overall rankings. I don’t know what the % is in relation to people booking directly with hotels via people using the third parties however I would guess that it is well over 50% these days (especially for the small brands).

  2. Hi Mike,
    Great point.
    With so many sites, monitoring what customers are saying about your brand is a job in itself.

  3. I think that travel destinations are lucky because they have a chance to show their destinations to different parts of the world as long as they have Internet. It’s a benefit that they must tap.

  4. Digital marketing is a great place to showcase your destination and the many things you can do in that location.

  5. I guess it comes from the fact that travelers usually use the Internet to find out more about the destination before actually embarking on a trip.

  6. Michael: Digital marketing shouldn’t only be actively used by companies in the destination industry. It is great to see hotels, travel agents, etc. are using their “hospitality” skills throughout social media platforms You could see how TripAdvisor and other review sites are having a big role in the process of deciding your destination, where to go, how to travel, and with which company that will follow you along and guide you on your journey. 😉

  7. Hi Martin,
    You are right, their influence is undeniable.