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Independent poll of UK hoteliers indicate changes in attitudes in marketing and the competitive situation

publication date: Mar 11, 2011
author/source: Trip Advisor Survey

Majority of UK Hotels Don't Foresee Room Rate Increases in 2011

2011-03-09TripAdvisor Competitive Landscape Means Renovation Investment is High on Owners' Agenda

Annual Poll Reveals Majority of UK Hotels Don't Foresee Room Rate Increases in 2011 Yet Competitive Landscape Means Renovation Investment is High on Owners' Agenda

TripAdvisor(R) announced the results of its first annual survey of U.K. accommodation owners. Over 500* British hoteliers and B&B owners revealed their plans to attract customers and stimulate business growth in 2011.

Survey respondents offered insights into several other hospitality industry trends, from the importance of special promotions to plans for online engagement and mobile marketing.

"With service standards rising and choice more visible than ever, more travellers consult third-party resources, such as TripAdvisor, before booking a hotel and the survey shows the British hospitality industry is taking this on board," said Christine Petersen, president of TripAdvisor for Business.

"The results show that most accommodation owners are now taking proactive steps to manage their online reputation. Most are seizing the opportunity to connect with prospective guests, demonstrate their commitment to customer service and, ultimately, provide the vital online community with an accurate and attractive picture of their business."

Rates to hold steady or rise in UK for 2011

According to the survey, UK property owners expect rates will trend in the following ways:
  • - Hold steady - 54%
  • - Increase - 41%
  • - Decrease - 5%

Investing in extensive renovations With the hotel landscape more competitive than ever, the majority of respondents plan to renovate their properties this year:

  • - 75% of owners are planning renovations to their property's interior in 2011
  • - 52% are planning renovations to their property's exterior this year

Owners embrace promotions Three quarters (75%) of British accommodation owners intend to offer special promotions in 2011 to attract guests, with over half (51%) planning to offer room discounts. In addition:
  • - 17% will offer a free night's stay with booking
  • - 11% will offer special amenities
  • - 9% will offer deals on nearby attractions
  • - 7% will offer free transportation
  • - 6% will offer reward points

Online engagement UK accommodation owners this year are planning to engage their audiences on TripAdvisor:
  • - Over half of respondents (56%) plan to respond to both positive and negative reviews
  • - 20% plan to respond to negative reviews only
  • - 23% do not plan to respond to reviews at all

In addition, the survey identified a significant increase in the number of owners posting pictures of their property on TripAdvisor: in 2010, 61% of respondents posted photos on TripAdvisor, and in 2011 this number will rise to 77%. Most hoteliers provide free in-room internet

The vast majority of hoteliers understand the importance of free in -room internet to guests:
  • - An encouraging 82% of respondents plan to offer free in-room intent in 2011
  • - 7% plan to offer in-room intent but will charge extra
  • - 11% do not plan to offer in-room intent at all

Surge in social media for UK hospitality

Of those hoteliers and B&B owners who are already engaged in social media:

  • - 44% expect their social media marketing budgets to increase 2011
  • - 44% expect social media budgets to remain the same in 2011
  • - 12% expect this budget to decrease in 2011
  • - 39% did not engage in social media marketing in 2010 and do not intend to in 2011

Mobile marketing grows

obile marketing amongst hoteliers is also set to steadily grow this year:

  • - 18% of survey respondents plan to launch programs, for the first time in 2011, to engage with travellers using mobile devices.
  • - Another 27% indicated that they had offered such programs last year and will continue to do so this year.
  • - 56% have no plans to offer programs to engage travellers using mobile devices in 2011.

"TripAdvisor's first annual Accommodation Owners Survey suggests that the hotel industry is still being affected by a slow economy, as the majority of respondents don't foresee room rate increases this year," continued Christine Petersen. "Yet, savvy hoteliers are attempting to stand apart from the crowd by embracing social media, launching mobile marketing features and offering the programmes consumers demand most."
*Survey carried out on 520 accommodation owners in January 2011

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