More and more travellers will be turning to their mobile devices to not only research lodging and travel options, but to book and communicate room preferences directly with the hotel. Mobile channel booking has increased four-fold between 2008 and 2010 according to Forrester Research. Plus, Google is projecting that mobile will overtake PCs as the most common Web-access device by 2013. With travellers adopting smartphones and tablets at such a rapid pace, it's crucial for hoteliers to optimize their website for mobile usage to capture potential mobile transactions.
Social media will continue to transform connections with travellers.
By 2016, half of the travel industry will be using social media as a way of generating revenue and bookings. Currently more than one-fifth (22 %) use social media as a revenue generating tool with a further 27 % planning to do so over the next five years. Plus, social media will become more of a key component of Search Engine Results Page (SERP) algorithms. Facebook's posts are already integrated into Bing search and Google+ emerged with native integration into Google search. Hotels can no longer afford to linger over adding social media to their marketing mix. It's now a necessary element of traffic-driving success.
Mr. Rauch serves as President of R. A. Rauch & Associates, Inc. He is a nationally recognized, hotelier serving clients in all facets of the industry. Rauch has over 35 years of hospitality-related management experience.