Smartphone usage is rapidly increasing around the world. Recognizing this growing trend and the opportunity to capture market share among consumers booking travel via digital devices, global hoteliers are investing more resources into mobile websites and other marketing initiatives.
According to a recent poll conducted by TravelClick 50 percent of hotels plan to put more marketing dollars towards mobile websites and marketing. Overall, 43 percent of hotels are planning to increase overall marketing budgets for 2012. Of those surveyed, 34 percent expect to keep their marketing budgets the same as 2011, and only 3 percent plan to decrease their marketing spend.
"According to Nielsen, 40 percent of the Western Europe and 38 percent of the U.S. cell phone markets are dominated by smartphones. Given these rising numbers, it is essential that hoteliers optimize their websites for mobile use to increase direct bookings from travelers that are using their mobile devices to select rooms," said Jason Ewell, Senior Vice President, E-Commerce, TravelClick.
The poll, which was conducted during a webinar titled: "2011 Second Quarter Global Hotel Industry Update," also showed that almost all the attendees polled (95.3 percent) plan to either increase their workforce (50 percent) or keep their workforce the same (45.3 percent). Of the respondents planning to increase their workforce, 30 percent plan to hire staff specifically for social media.
"Not only are hoteliers increasing budgets for mobile websites and marketing, but they are also increasing staff in areas such as social media. Hoteliers are recognizing how important mobile and social media are to guests, and they have begun to put more resources towards creating and maintaining these channels through staff additions and marketing increases," continued Ewell.