£2.3million immigration hall upgrade plans at Bristol Airport

£2.3million immigration hall upgrade plans at Bristol Airport

Monday, 24 October 2016 14:00

Following ...

Intrepid targets socially conscious Gen Z with new Geckos age-range

Intrepid targets socially conscious Gen …

Monday, 24 October 2016 11:00

30 year olds will be ‘too old’ for Geckos Adventures next year, as the Intrepid Group has announced that it will cut the age range to meet a growing demand...

New survey reveals just one in 12 Brits manage to wangle an upgrade

New survey reveals just one in 12 Brits …

Monday, 24 October 2016 08:40

New research from Jetcost.co.uk has revealed that only 8% of British travellers have actually managed to secure a free upgrade for their holiday, with flight upgrades and hotel room upgrades...

Just You launches travel trade solo experience

Just You launches travel trade solo expe…

Friday, 21 October 2016 14:00

Just You has announced its largest investment to support the travel trade with the launch of 200 joint marketing events to promote solo travel.

Spontaneous people are happier according to Snaptrip survey

Spontaneous people are happier according…

Friday, 21 October 2016 11:00

Spontaneous people are often believed to lead more exciting or glamorous lifestyles and a new study has confirmed that they are happier in all aspects of their lives.

Top Brighton attractions on Combi-Saver tickets for half term

Top Brighton attractions on Combi-Saver …

Friday, 21 October 2016 09:00

Visitors to Brighton this October half term can save up to 20% on its top three paid-for attractions with combination tickets now available for British Airways i360, SEA LIFE Brighton...

Free cabin upgrades with Cosmos Tours

Free cabin upgrades with Cosmos Tours

Thursday, 20 October 2016 14:00

There still’s time for agents to book a Croisieurope river cruise for their customers with a free cabin upgrade on a range of river cruises throughout Europe, when booked with...

Last minute autumn breaks available at Haven

Last minute autumn breaks available at H…

Thursday, 20 October 2016 11:00

Agents can still give their customers a last minute family break this autumn from £99 when booking a Haven holiday between now and November 5.

Skiers urged to head east for best piste costs reveals new report

Skiers urged to head east for best piste…

Thursday, 20 October 2016 08:00

Cash-conscious skiers can avoid the slippery slope of higher prices for their annual downhill trip by heading to ski resorts in Eastern Europe.

Design an anniversary poster for DFDS competition

Design an anniversary poster for DFDS co…

Wednesday, 19 October 2016 14:00

Ferry operator, DFDS, is putting out a call to professional and amateur artists to create a poster that will be used in their 150th anniversary celebrations this year.

Savings on worldwide adventures with Explore

Savings on worldwide adventures with Exp…

Wednesday, 19 October 2016 11:00

Explore has launched a new collection of worldwide adventures with a launch offer of up to 10% discount on all new trips booked by November 7.

New route to Seattle makes it one to watch for 2017

New route to Seattle makes it one to wat…

Wednesday, 19 October 2016 09:12

Seattle is expected to be one of the fastest growing US destinations for UK travellers next year with a Virgin Atlantic direct non-stop daily flight launching March 2017, new hotel...

Air Transat launches 2017 programme with increased connections across Canada

Air Transat launches 2017 programme with…

Tuesday, 18 October 2016 14:04

Air Transat has expanded its programme of flights from the UK to Canada with increased capacity and connections for travel in 2017.

Oceania Cruises reduces single supplement fares

Oceania Cruises reduces single supplemen…

Tuesday, 18 October 2016 14:02

Oceania Cruises has launched a reduced single supplement promotion for solo travellers, with guests offered single supplements fares from 25% on seven itineraries, booked before December 31.

Mall of America welcomes arrival of MythBusters

Mall of America welcomes arrival of Myth…

Tuesday, 18 October 2016 14:00

Running throughout autumn until January 15, 2017, visitors can ignite their curiosity and discover whether they can really huff and puff to blow a house down; if running in the...

Emirates to launch new daily service to Fort Lauderdale

Emirates to launch new daily service to …

Monday, 17 October 2016 11:00

Emirates has announced that it will launch a daily service between Dubai and Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport, on December 15, serving the South Florida area, including Fort Lauderdale, Miami and...

The hotel industry is saturated. You only have to look at a price comparison site and you’ll find a plethora of hotels offering various deals on rooms and meals.


It can be a real struggle for hoteliers to cut through the competition and really appeal to the new breed of consumer; reliant on technology and with very little time to read reams of corporate messaging.

As the British Hospitality Association identifies, there have been 100-150 new hotel openings in each of the last five years. This means there is plenty of choice for the consumer, but very little room for manoeuvre if you’re an independent hotel in a popular UK destination. It also doesn’t help that as well as the intense competition between independent hotels, there is an almost ‘predatory’ presence from the global chains, ever-ready to mop up indecisive customers using their expensive digital marketing tools.

The growing divide between independent hotels and global chains has presented the hospitality industry with a ‘David vs. Goliath’ scenario, with the independents feeling pressured to invest in expensive technology to compete with the global chains, who pour money into the latest, cutting-edge initiatives to price out their smaller counterparts.

The small independents are in need of that slingshot.

It’s not about the money
Large, international hotel groups have money at their disposal. It’s hard not to think, if you’re an independent hotel, that a multi-million pound budget means big results but it’s how you use what you’ve got that counts.

The big brands can spend as much on marketing and advertising as they like, but if they fail to interact with the connected consumer, they might as well throw the money away. If independent hotels can accurately identify their key customers, at the same time as engaging with those customers ‘on the fence’ then they automatically put themselves on a level footing with the international giants.

Research recently conducted by Appyhotel.com found that over a third (34 per cent) of hotel guests that had stayed in a UK hotel within the last year, didn’t know about the amenities that the hotel offered, such as a restaurant and bars. This suggests that many UK hotels are failing when it comes to effective marketing strategies and need to re-think the ways they communicate with the new breed of hotel goers.

It doesn’t take a seven-figure budget to effectively promote your hotel. Independent hoteliers must realise that the demands of the modern hotel guest have changed considerably and they’re thirsty for information about the hotel and what it offers.

The hotel giants do, however, give their potential customers real-time information and updates, booking times, the facilities and nearby places to visit, as well as other information, so that they have all the details they need to just click ‘check in’. This is something that independent hotels should take note of.

Keeping it simple
Online engagement can be a daunting prospect for small independents. Allocating time to make sure there is a regular online presence can be a strenuous task and many hoteliers can’t afford to employ someone full-time to monitor and engage through various channels.

But it doesn’t require any real expertise, it just requires resourcefulness. For example, engaging with your online audience via Twitter or Facebook a few times a day can massively improve your hotel’s standing as a true competitor in an otherwise cluttered industry.

It’s really important that the content you share on Facebook or Twitter, whether it’s an interesting news item you’ve spotted or an offer that your hotel is giving away is both relevant and appealing to your audience.

It doesn’t need to be complicated. It’s really about remembering that online engagement is just another form of communication with your customers and has the same principles as traditional verbal or written interaction.

The future of technology for hotels
The modern-day consumer is obsessed with tablet and smartphone devices and indeed, they use these devices in everyday life for information about products or services and also as a purchasing tool. This provides an excellent opportunity for hoteliers.

Capturing consumers on the move should now be the ultimate goal for hoteliers and having an app that consumers can use on their tablet or smartphones will increase your chances of persuading them to stay at your hotel.

If you imagine a business person, on their way to an impromptu meeting abroad who will need a hotel at the last minute, if your hotel has an app that will give your target customer all the information they need to simply ‘check in’ en route to the airport, then they are very likely to choose your hotel.

Another important point to make is that the ‘digital generation’ have now become these travelling business people. Those that have grown up with technology rely on apps to give them up-to-date information and hoteliers need to acknowledge this.

It’s a fairly straightforward case of supply and demand. The popularity of mobile and tablet apps is something that hoteliers must embrace to meet consumer demand.

In March this year, Portio Research estimated that 1.2 billion people worldwide were using mobile apps at the end of 2012. This figure is forecast to grow by nearly 30 per cent each year to reach 4.4 billion users by the end of 2017.

It’s really only a matter of time before there is a widespread adoption of app technology in the hotel industry but, as with any popular technology, it’s important that hoteliers look to adopt as soon as possible so they can stay ahead of the curve and meet the ever-increasing demand.

The hotel industry is cluttered, but only because hotels are pursuing the same avenues for marketing success. It’s the same in any industry though. The companies that explore different methods for boosting revenue are the ones that have the best chance of climbing to the top of the pile.

The powerful presence of the global hotel chains does mean that independents can feel as though they’re swimming against the current, but they have options. App technology is something that every international chain has embraced, usually at a considerable cost, as it is the perfect way of capturing consumers on the move.

The “slingshot” that independent hotels have, is in the form of a cost-free app. There are apps that independent hotels can adopt that don’t require any in-depth technical expertise to create, are free and will allow them to stay competitive with the hotel goliaths that had previously soaked up their customers.

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