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Originally published in Interiors & Sources

07/30/2012

Hotel Survey Reveals Top Industry Trends

 
The results of a recent hotel survey show interesting results for the industry moving forward.

TripAdvisor has unveiled the results of the latest TripAdvisor Industry Index, featuring more than 25,000 responses from around the globe with over 5000 from the U.S. alone.  The survey contains significant insights about hospitality industry trends for coming fall travel season.  One of the key points?  U.S. hoteliers expect pricier rates for travelers ahead of the fall travel season, as nearly half (47%) expect rates to go up higher this year compared to the same time last year, while only 16% expect comparatively lower rates.

The U.S. ranks fourth in the world for hotels with the best business outlook, while Greece ranks last, according to respondents' answers to a number of questions gauging the perceived health of their business.

The U.S. ranks fourth in the world for hotels with the best business outlook, while Greece ranks last, according to respondents' answers to a number of questions gauging the perceived health of their business.

Most Positive Outlook:
1. Indonesia
2. Brazil
3. Russia
4. United States
5. India

Most Negative Outlook:
18. New Zealand
19. France
20. Spain
21. Italy
22. Greece

Bigger is better when it comes to profits and optimism

30% of U.S. accommodations reported to have been extremely or very profitable within the last six months, up from 27% when TripAdvisor conducted its last Industry Index survey in Dec. 2011. By comparison, 24% of accommodations in the Caribbean and 21% in Canada indicate they have been profitable in the last six months.

Across North America, larger properties (with over 50 rooms) reported to be more profitable than smaller properties (with 50 or fewer rooms). In the U.S., 34% of larger properties indicated that they had been extremely or very profitable, compared to 24%of smaller properties.

In the U.S., accommodation owners' economic outlook has diminished slightly, as 62% now expect the economy to improve, down from 65% in Dec. 2011. Economic outlook, however, appears to vary by property size: 67%of larger properties and 57% of smaller properties expect economic conditions to improve a little or a lot in the next six months.

Mexico and Caribbean, not U.S., best place for hotel jobs in North America

According to the survey, a greater percentage of Mexican (21%) and Caribbean (20%) hoteliers plan to increase the size of their staffs than their counterparts in the U.S. (15%). In the U.S. plans to hire have dropped down from 27% according to TripAdvisor's Dec. 2011 survey.

Outside of North America, hoteliers in India (39%) and Brazil (34%) are reportedly the most likely to increase the size of their staffs, while hoteliers in France (6%) and the UK (8%) are least likely to add new employees.

Room rate rankings: Who's increasing/decreasing rates ahead of fall
(Note: Rate trends compared to same time last year)

Top 5 for Lower Rates:
1. Greece – 58%
2. Spain – 43%
3. Italy – 37%
4. Australia – 32%
5. New Zealand – 29%

Top 5 for Higher Rates:
1. U.S. – 47%
2. Brazil – 42%
3. Russia – 42%
4. Indonesia – 37%
5. Turkey – 35%

Special offers and deals: How U.S. accommodations win guests
(Note: Special offers used most often to attract guests)

Top 5 Special Offers:
1. Discounts of rooms – 58%
2. Special amenities (e.g., free WiFi) – 44%
3. Free parking – 31%
4. Rewards points – 30%
5. Free newspapers – 20%

12% of U.S. accommodations do not offer any special offers.

What's with Free WiFi?
93% of U.S. respondents report offering free in-room WiFi Internet access
17% of the respondents who do not currently offer free WiFi, plan to do so in the next six months

Social Media Rankings Show U.S. Falling Behind
(Note: Rankings based on respondents claiming to use social media to engage with travelers)

Ranked #13 in the world for usage of social media to attract travelers, the U.S. (69%) trails behind Malaysia (89%), Indonesia (84%) and Mexico (83%) who all topped the charts.

In the U.S., 70% of hotels and 69% of B&Bs reported using social media to engage with current or potential guests. Overall, across property types and sizes, respondents cited industry research/reports (57%) and staying current with the competition (30%) as the top reasons why they are using social media, while posting deals (64%) and responding to guest feedback (58%) were the most common responses for how they are using these sites.

30% of respondents monitor mentions of their property once a day with 56% reporting that internal staffs manage monitoring responsibility. In both cases, these were the most common responses.

In U.S., hotels outpace B&Bs in mobile marketing


HOTELS

B&BS

Ability to book via my property's website on a mobile device is "very important"

75%

51%

Making special offers available to mobile device users is "very important"

48%

16%

Offers a function to engage with guests via mobile devices

43%

16%

Eco-friendly programs: 'Win-Win' for hotel budgets and environment
(Note: Rankings based on respondents claiming to offer eco-friendly practices)

Ranking #7 in the world for eco-friendly practices, U.S. hoteliers (81%) are staying ahead of their counterparts in Mexico (75%), but trailing behind Canada (91%).

The most common eco-friendly programs are towel/linen reuse (82%) and energy efficient light bulbs (78%).

When asked why they offer eco-friendly programs, respondents cited cost reduction (66%) and industry trend (51%) as their top rationales.

 

 
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