Annual Poll Shows Majority of U.S. Hotels Don't Foresee Room Rate Increases in 2011
More than Half of Accommodation Owners Planning Property Renovations this Year
Owners Embrace Online Engagement, as 57% Expect Their Social Media Budgets to Increase in 2011, and 99% Plan to Respond to Online Guest Reviews
NEWTON, Mass., Feb. 17, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- TripAdvisor®, the world's largest travel site*, today announced the results of its first annual survey of more than 1,000 U.S. accommodation owners -- hoteliers, B&B owners and innkeepers -- who revealed their plans to attract travelers in 2011 and increase repeat customers.
According to the TripAdvisor survey, most property owners expect room rates will either hold steady (51 percent) or decrease (four percent), while 45 percent expect rates to increase. Yet, owners appear to be investing in their properties, as 61 percent said they are planning renovations to the interior of their properties in 2011. Forty-two percent of survey respondents said they are planning renovations to the exterior of their properties this year.
Most owners also appear to be embracing online engagement with consumers, as 57 percent expect their social media marketing budgets to increase this year versus last year. Thirty-seven percent with social media budgets expect them to stay the same, and only six percent anticipate social media budget cuts. Meanwhile, virtually all owners surveyed (99 percent) plan to respond to online guest reviews.
Survey respondents also offered insights into a range of other hospitality industry trends, from mobile marketing to plans to implement green programs this year.
Mobile Marketing is a Growing Trend
27 percent of survey respondents plan to launch programs, for the first time in 2011, to engage with travelers using mobile devices.
Another 27 percent indicated that they had offered such programs last year and will continue to do so this year.
46 percent have no plans to offer programs to engage travelers using mobile devices in 2011.
Responding to Online Guest Reviews in 2011
72 percent will respond to both positive and negative reviews.
14 percent will respond only to negative reviews.
13 percent will respond only to positive reviews.
One percent have no plans to respond to reviews.
Getting Noticed Online with Photos
According to the survey, 10 percent of respondents said they posted 11-20 photos of each of their properties on TripAdvisor last year.
Many accommodation owners are planning to increase the number of photos per property in 2011, as the number of respondents planning to post 11-20 photos per property on TripAdvisor in 2011 rose to 26 percent.
Still, the majority of owners (67 percent) said they will post 1-10 photos per property this year.
Deals Owners Plan to Use Most Often This Year to Attract Guests
Discounts on rooms – 61%
Special amenities – 36%
Rewards points – 29%
Deals on nearby attractions – 23%
Free night's stay with booking – 16%
Few Planning to Charge Consumers Additional Fees
According to the survey, 94 percent have no plans to charge consumers additional fees for amenities.
Six percent, however, do plan to add fees for such items.
Most Accommodations Offering Free In-Room Internet Access
Accommodation owners seem to be meeting a key consumer demand—staying connected while traveling:
91 percent of respondents said that they will offer in-room Internet access as a free amenity in 2011.
Five percent of respondents will offer in-room Internet access for a fee this year.
Four percent said they had no plans to offer in-room Internet access.
Environmental concerns are also an important factor for owners, as 70 percent of survey respondents plan to offer programs in 2011 to reduce their impact on the environment.
By contrast, 30 percent of accommodation owners have no plans to implement such programs.
"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," said Christine Petersen, president of TripAdvisor for Business. "Yet, savvy hoteliers are attempting to stand apart from the crowd by embracing social media, launching mobile marketing features and offering the programs consumers demand most."
TripAdvisor® is the world's largest travel site, enabling travelers to plan and have the perfect trip. TripAdvisor offers trusted advice from real travelers and a wide variety of travel choices and planning features (including Flights search, TripAdvisor Mobile and TripAdvisor Trip Friends) with seamless links to booking tools.
TripAdvisor® Media Group, operated by TripAdvisor LLC, attracts more than 50 million unique monthly visitors* across 18 popular travel brands**. TripAdvisor-branded sites make up the largest travel community in the world, with more than 40 million unique monthly visitors***, 20 million members, and over 40 million reviews and opinions. The sites operate in 27 countries worldwide****, including China under daodao.com. TripAdvisor also operates TripAdvisor for Business, a dedicated division that provides the tourism industry access to TripAdvisor's millions of monthly visitors. The division includes Business Listings, which allows hoteliers to connect directly to millions of researching travelers, and Vacation Rentals, which helps property managers and individual home owners list their properties and showcase hotel alternatives.
TripAdvisor Media Group websites have been recognized as top travel resources in 2010 by Conde Nast Traveller, Good Housekeeping, TIME magazine and Travel + Leisure.
TripAdvisor and the sites comprising the TripAdvisor Media Group are operating companies of Expedia, Inc. (Nasdaq: EXPE).
TripAdvisor and the TripAdvisor logo are trademarks or registered trademarks of TripAdvisor LLC in the U.S. and/or other countries. Other logos or product and company names mentioned herein may be the property of their respective owners.