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Category Archives: Travel Guide

Travel Social Media Marketing trends to watch in 2020

The travel industry has been steadily evolving online, becoming more integrated in the digital space and the social media landscape. When people travel, they are tapping into all kinds of digital media. They use their smartphones to research and book hotel rooms; post about their vacations on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram; and when they get back home, they review their experiences on Google, TripAdvisor and Yelp. Isn’t it time your business took advantage of these travel industry digital marketing trends?

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4 digital marketing trends in the travel industry

If you own a hotel or bed and breakfast, then it’s likely that your busy season is coming up. By taking advantage of these four social and digital trends in the travel industry, you can tap into the growing market of consumers researching and booking travel online and reach more potential customers than ever.

  1. Travelers expect mobile-friendly websites and OTAs.

  2. Travelers depend on online reviews.

  3. Travelers get inspired by social media.

  4. Social media encourages shareable experiences.

Here are our top four digital trends to watch for in the travel industry in 2019, and how your business can integrate each into your online marketing strategy to bring in more guests during busy season and keep them coming back.

1. Travelers expect mobile-friendly websites and OTAs

Mobile devices have become the primary way that we research and book our vacations. More consumers are using online travel agents (OTAs), such as Expedia or Kayak, to book hotels and trips on their mobile phones and desktop computers.

Of the 148.3 million online bookings made every year, 65 percent of same-day hotel reservations were made using a smartphone.

OTAs are currently 39 percent of the U.S. online digital booking market — a number that is expected to rise by 2020.

Strategy

First, make sure your site is optimized for mobile. Have you checked recently to see how your hotel’s website looks on your phone? Google your site on a smartphone and see what comes up. Then, think about how you can improve your mobile experience. This is not only important to elevate your online presence, but also because consumers are often going through OTAs on their phone rather than using a hotel’s direct website.

By offering a mobile-friendly site to your potential guests, you’re avoiding the loss of potential customers. If potential customers come to your hotel’s website on their smartphone, and they’re not impressed by their experience — they aren’t given all the information they need to book or it’s difficult to book — they will choose another site, use an OTA to explore more options, or book another hotel.

Even if you can’t offer online booking, be sure that mobile users can access your site when they’re doing research or making travel plans, and that they can easily get in touch with you when they’re ready to book.

Editor’s note: Looking for a mobile-first website builder? Check out onlinetraffico.com

 

2. Travelers depend on online reviews

Millions of businesses use sites like TripAdvisor to spread the word about their business to travelers. And they know it’s where many travelers are going to browse photos, information and, most importantly, customer reviews, before they book.

  • 96 percent of travelers consider reviews an important factor when booking a hotel.
  • 83 percent of TripAdvisor users “usually or always” reference reviews to feel confident about making their booking decision.

Strategy

Respond to all of your reviews to protect your hotel’s online reputation and extend your customer service online.

First things first: As a business owner, make sure you have a clear photo of yourself on all of your review site profiles so that when you respond to reviews, reviewers will see your name and photo and know that they’re getting a response from a real person.

Next, add photos of your hotel’s rooms, amenities and surrounding city or area to your pages on review sites like Yelp and TripAdvisor to show the genuine experience of staying at your property. This doesn’t just mean beautiful exterior shots of the front entrance. Add shots of the interior of the lobby, the pool, gym and spa, plus the interior of the rooms and bathrooms themselves.

3. Travelers get inspired by social media

Consumers want to be able to research their trip by checking out the social media pages of hotels and destinations. They’re researching cost and amenities on hotel websites and through OTAs. But they’re also perusing Instagram, Facebook and Twitter to see if the hotel they’re about to book has an active social presence and elements that will get them excited for the trip they’re planning.

  • 30 percent of families said that social media was a resource for travel information and inspiration, according to a study from NYU.
  • 52 percent of Facebook users say their friends’ photos inspire their travel plans.

Related: social media for small business

Strategy

Maintain a strong presence on social media by posting consistently with engaging, high-quality content on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. Show off your space, your team, your restaurant, your patio — anything involved in the authentic experience of staying at your hotel is what your guests want to see.

Here’s Hotel Saint Cecilia in Austin, Texas, on Instagram showing off their room service options and an insider’s glimpse of one of their rooms:

Stay on top of the trends

Keeping up with these digital marketing trends in the travel industry can help you get more guests during your busiest season — and keep them coming back. Make sure that your website is up to date and looks great on mobile phones, that your review sites are active and that all of your reviews have responses, and that you’re not only present on social media, but offering engaging, valuable information to your current and potential guests that shows the authentic experience of staying with you.

Editor’s note: onlinetraffico.com can help you with all of your social media marketing needs. they currently help thousands of small businesses across the country elevate their online presence on the platforms that matter most to consumers. Engage with your customers like never before. Get started with us here.

Marriott is Ending the use of little shampoo bottles by 2020

Marriott banning small plastic shampoo bottles by 2020

It could be the beginning of the end for tiny toiletries !

Marriott International, the world’s largest hotel chain, said Wednesday it will eliminate small plastic bottles of shampoo, conditioner and bath gel from its hotel rooms worldwide by December 2020. They’ll be replaced with larger bottles or wall-mounted dispensers, depending on the hotel.

The move follows a similar announcement last month by IHG, which owns Holiday Inn, Kimpton and other brands. IHG said it will eliminate about 200 million tiny bottles each year by 2021. Last year, Walt Disney Co. said it would replace small plastic shampoo bottles at its resorts and on its cruise ships. Many smaller companies, like the five Soneva Resorts in Thailand and the Maldives, have also ditched plastic bottles.

Marriott has more than 7,000 hotels in 131 countries under 30 brands, ranging from SpringHill Suites and Residence Inn to Sheraton and Ritz-Carlton. It says it will be eliminating about 500 million small bottles each year, or 1.7 million pounds of plastic.

Marriott has wanted to get rid of small bottles for years, president and CEO Arne Sorenson said. There are just too many of them, he said, and they’re difficult to recycle because of the time it takes to clean them out.

Marriott International pledges to replace tiny toiletry bottles with larger, pump-topped bottles that are fastened to the bathroom walls.(Marriott International)

But it took a lot of work to design tamper-resistant large bottles and get suppliers on board. High-end hotels, in particular, needed to have bottles that still felt luxurious, he said.

“There were a lot of technical features to this that we had to get right,” he said.

Rival Hyatt Hotels Corp. is going through a similar process now. The company says it’s been testing amenity dispensers in some rooms for the last year.

Bethesda, Maryland-based Marriott started replacing small bottles early last year at some North American brands, including Courtyard and Fairfield hotels. About 1,000 of those now feature larger bottles or pump dispensers that are hooked to the shower wall.

Denise Naguib, Marriott’s vice president of sustainability and supplier diversity, said Marriott got a positive response from guest surveys. Many were relieved because the larger bottles let them use as much or as little shampoo as they want.

“More and more people have a general consciousness of it,” she said. “They don’t want to be leaving half-empty bottles.”

Naguib said most Marriott hotels will eliminate small bottles by July 1, 2020. Luxury brands will get rid of them by the end of 2020. Lower-priced brands will have dispensers or bottles that are tethered to the shower wall. Luxury brands will have untethered bottles. The bottles hold the equivalent of 10 to 12 small bottles, and all are tamper resistant.

Marriott banning small plastic shampoo bottles by 2020
Marriott says it will move toward much larger, pump-topped bottles at its 7,000 properties worldwide by December 2020. (Dan Huff/The Associated Press)

Applause and complaints

The larger bottles will still be plastic, and Marriott still plans to replace them — not just refill them — when they run low. But Naguib said the larger bottles are easier to recycle than smaller ones.

Environmental groups are applauding the moves.

“Plastic pollution is an urgent global crisis and the time is now to think ‘reusable’ instead of ‘disposable,”‘ said Dianna Cohen, co-founder and CEO of the Berkeley, California-based Plastic Pollution Coalition.

 

Soon, hotels may not have a choice. Lawmakers in California are considering banning hotels from using small shampoo bottles in 2023, while the European Union is banning a wide range of single-use plastic items, like cutlery and plates, by 2021.

Sorenson said he expects some complaints, like Marriott heard last year when it banned plastic straws and stirrers. Many people like collecting hotel shampoo bottles, he said. His own mother used to have a drawer full of soap she took from hotels.

“Human nature is what it is and we resist change,” he said. “But people understand that this is so much better.”

 

Top Destinations 2020 | best places in the world to visit

If you could go anywhere in the word, where would it be? U.S. News & World Report had some ideas as it released its annual rankings of the best vacation destinations. Scroll through to find out the world’s best places to visit.

No. 1: Paris:The capital of France, Paris is one of the most-visited city in the world for a reason, offering world-famous sights and renowned cuisine.

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No. 2: South Island, New Zealand: Mountain ranges cover this island getaway, which features scenic views of glaciers, mountains and lakes.

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No. 3: RomeFrom the Colosseum to the Roman Forum, the sights of make this ancient city a destination for history buffs everywhere.

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No. 4: Tahiti: Tropical beaches and waterfalls make Tahiti a popular spot for a sunny vacation.

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No. 5: London: From the historic Tower of London to the gardens of Hyde Park, this royal city has something for everyone.

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No. 6: Maui: Looking for adventure? On this Hawaiian island, you can snorkel with sea turtles, fly in a helicopter or hike a volcano.

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No. 7: Bora Bora: Relax on the beach or swim with stingrays at this tropical vacation destination.

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No. 8: PhuketNot only does this Thai island have sunny beaches — it also houses the Soi Dog Foundation, a famous animal shelter dedicated to fighting the dog meat trade.

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No. 9: Grand Canyon: Enjoy the cavernous view at one of the seven natural wonders of the world at the national park in Arizona.

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No: 10: Yosemite: With 12,000 square miles of cliffs, waterfalls and millennia-old Sequoia trees, the northern California national park remains a top travel spot for nature-lovers.

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