Research Reveals the Rise of an Increasingly Tech-Savvy Independent Hotelier

Michal Christine Escobar
Senior Editor, Hotels

New research backed by SiteMinder reveals that today’s independent hoteliers have a greater awareness and appetite around technology when it comes to their marketing and distribution strategies. According to eHotelier’s Marketing & Distribution 2020 Journal, 68.4 percent of independent hotels already have a digital marketing strategy implemented for their business and a further 24.4 percent intend to implement their strategy over the coming year.

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

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 percent ranking direct website bookings as either very valuable or valuable—a sentiment accentuated among hotel chains and franchises (87.9 percent).

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 important channel in defining how they approach their marketing strategy.

“At SiteMinder, we are encouraged to also see hoteliers looking at the distribution of data from their core platform to other applications, such as CRM, upselling tools and guest messaging, to support their overall strategy in 2020 and beyond.”

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

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