Who You Should Target With Your Hospitality Marketing

Gaelle Vogt Hospitality Management

photo-1455906876003-298dd8c44ec8Each year Fuel Travel, IQware’s hospitality marketing sister company, publishes an annual research study in order to better understand how travelers research and book hotels.

In this post we’re going to look at some of the figures from this year’s report, which in turn will show you who you should be targeting with your hospitality marketing dollars.

Focus Slightly More On Targeting Females

Fuel found that the wife or female in the relationship solely plans the vacation 34% of the time, while the husband/male in the relationship only solo plans 14% of the time.

33% of couples made their travel plans together, which means that women are involved in over 75% of leisure decisions. However, men still are involved in the travel planning (either making the plans on their own or together with their spouse) over 54% of the time, so do not forget them when marketing your property!

This image summarizes the findings:

75 percent of women are involved in their family's travel planning decisions

Emphasize Group Travel

In order to know your target audience it is also important to know who your guest is traveling with. Is he travelling solo? Is he part of a group? What type of group?

In 2016, a large majority (77%) of respondents traveled with their significant other or with children (48.4%) and friends (25.9%). The frequency of sibling and friend travel has steadily increased for the past two years. When crafting your messaging for events and things to do, hotel marketers should be mindful that guests may be travelling as larger groups than they used to. As we know, pet-friendly accommodations are in increasing demand as well.

who travelers are traveling with

Know How They Are Researching Your Property

In order to market your property successfully you need to know as much as you can about your guests’ research, planning and booking habits. What devices are they using most?

Participants take a multi-device approach. The majority of guests will research and book their trip on their desktop/laptop, however travelers who use their mobile device to research their stay are now more likely to book their stay on their mobile devices as well.

It is important to note as well that about 31% of travelers are still picking up the phone to make a reservation, however these guests are still very active in online research and planning before they call your front desk.

mobile device usage in hospitality

This can lead hoteliers to ask an important question – are guests ready to use a branded mobile app after the booking process? Is it worth investing in this emerging technology?

The results of Fuel’s survey clearly show that it is time for you to jump on the hotel-branded app, not only to improve your guests’ overall experience, but the mobile app also helps you to generate additional revenue and increase your RevPAR. Here are some stats to support this:

  • 52.2% of travelers would use a mobile app to purchase additional services during their stay. Additional service could be an activity such as a canoe tour, beach chair rentals, etc.
  • 55.6% of travelers would check-in using a mobile app if they could.
  • 61.4% of travelers would use a mobile app to purchase late check-out.

The data shows that it makes sense to have a mobile guest app for your hotel.

We hope you’ve enjoyed this blog post – to recap you’ll want to target females slightly more than males, focus on groups over solo travelers, and definitely don’t forget mobile devices (i.e. make sure your booking engine and website are responsive).

Of course, this is aggregate data and it may be different from your hotel’s target market. Still, the information should prove useful to your decision making process.