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Independent hoteliers more tech-savvy


BANGKOK, 31 January 2020: New research backed by SiteMinder, a global guest acquisition platform for the hotel industry, reveals that independent hoteliers have a greater appetite for technology when it comes to their marketing and distribution strategies.

According to eHotelier’s Marketing & Distribution 2020 Journal, 68.4% of independent hotels already have a digital marketing strategy implemented for their business, and a further 24.4% intend to implement their strategy over the coming year.

Only 7.2%  of independent hoteliers do not understand the relevance of a digital marketing strategy or how it can help their hotel business.

SiteMinder senior director of global demand partnerships, James Bishop said: “These figures seemed almost unimaginable as recently as 13 years ago, when SiteMinder first opened its doors to hoteliers.”

When it comes to the value of booking channels in driving revenue, direct website bookings remain perceived as the most important booking channel for independent hoteliers, with 62.1% ranking direct website bookings as either very valuable or valuable—a sentiment accentuated among hotel chains and franchises (87.9%).

Owned channels, such as direct mail and a hotel’s website, trumped paid channels, such as paid social media, in terms of their perceived effectiveness in driving business. The study also underlined a growing desire for hoteliers to better know their customers, with direct feedback seen as the most crucial channel in defining how they approach their marketing strategy.

“Unsurprisingly, direct website bookings are perceived as the most important channel, a heartening outcome for the health of the market… However, hotels should also remember that having a balanced distribution strategy between channels, such as OTAs, wholesalers and GDS — as well as direct — remains key in the success of marketing your hotel online,” said Bishop.

As part of the study, eHotelier surveyed 461 hotel industry professionals, with 80%  being from independent hotels, including 57% that offer 10 rooms or fewer. The majority of all respondents were located in Europe (28%) and Asia (25%), with the remainder from across the Americas, Australasia, the Middle East and Africa.

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