There’s a lot of talk about social media being a game changer in the hospitality industry, and that’s mostly accurate. But it’s important not to lose sight of the fact that hotel websites are still the primary tool by which consumers research hotels.
Back in the day, the process of researching hotels went something like this: ask your friends, call a travel agent, thumb through guide books and similar publications. Today, consumers have more options in their evaluation process. They can hit up their friends on Facebook and Twitter, compare on OTA’s like Expedia or Priceline, or look at travel review sites like TripAdvisor and Yelp. The old method of researching accommodations was quite linear and looked like a funnel. Today the process is circular, with multiple touchpoints throughout the decision making process.