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.
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.
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