How to Choose a Hotel Online

Choosing a hotel online can be such a difficult decision as you never know what you are going to get when you arrive. Thousands of travellers take to the internet each and every day to find their dream hotel where they can relax, be pampered and have a well deserved break. For some, this perfect paradise dream crashes when they arrive at the hotel to see that it isn’t what was advertised online, which is why you need to know how to choose a hotel online so you are guaranteed to receive what you pay for.

The first thing to choosing a hotel online is to have an idea of what you expect from the hotel and your room. Are you looking for sheer luxury or maybe just a quick relaxing stop over somewhere? This will help you identify if you want to be looking at five star luxury hotels or you are happy with a four or three star comfortable hotel. Do you want a hotel with an on-site restaurant? What about a fitness centre? Maybe a wellness centre? These are important considerations which can help you start identifying the hotels that tick all the boxes.

Set yourself a budget before you start your in-depth search into the hotels available. With a budget you have something to work to, this way you can identify quickly which establishments come in within your budget, helping you narrow down your short-list that little bit faster.

Next identify the location that you feel you want to visit. You may be travelling to explore a capital city or you may be heading to a large city for business purposes. With a location in mind, a budget and knowing what you expect you will be able to browse a host of hotels, put a short list together that can help you make your final decision.

Always compare the hotels in the local area to identify what they offer, their prices, their services and more. When you have one or two hotels in mind in a certain area, having a closer look at the hotels and comparing them against each other is often the easiest way to come to your final decision and book your room or suite.

Take a close look at the facilities and services provided in the hotels you are most interested in. Some hotels will offer particular services or facilities that are more important to you than others, this can also help you make a final decision. Five star hotels will provide you with a host of superior five star services and facilities from free Wi-Fi throughout the building to an indoor swimming pool and an on-site wellness centre to restaurant offering the added convenience of room service.

A five star establishment should also provide you access to a fitness centre. They will have a twenty four hour reception desk and a concierge service for added convenience. Their host of services and facilities will be vast, so you are guaranteed to tick all your boxes with ease and confidence.

With your final hotel in mind, you now want to check availability to ensure that they can accommodate you on your chosen dates. Remember the earlier you book, not only will you get the room you want for the dates you want, but many hotels offer early bird discounts, so you can save money when booking a couple of weeks in advance.

Make your booking and ensure you receive a confirmation that your booking has been secured. Check the dates on the confirmation and keep it with you for a fast and effective check in experience.

The Digital Future of the Hotel Industry Starts at Home

During my many years of travel in the service industry and having stayed in hundreds of hotels worldwide, it’s clear that the past five years have brought about enormous change in the hotel industry.

Innovation with architecture, interior design and guest comfort is at an all-time high. Widespread revitalisation has been incredibly successful in meeting guest expectations. Yet, in an increasingly demanding world, there still also remains a huge opportunity to truly create a home from home for the traveler.

Improvement On the Old?… How Much Has Actually Changed in The Hotel Industry?

In so many areas, the revitalisation of hotels continues to occur through the use of innovative products. Yet, if you look closely, you begin to realise that most ideas are limited to enhancing old, existing structures, whilst missing vital customer life cycles.

In a world where customer loyalty is hard-fought and guest expectations are continuing to rise, what’s truly needed is a shift to more dynamic business models: Low risk, digital strategies that are truly in sync with customer’s loves and expectations.

So, What’s Missing from the Guest Experience?

Be it a family, business clients or honeymooning couples, people are now approaching their travel with exceedingly high expectations. In today’s environment, we have access to so much. We have a plethora of choice in our everyday lives and we expect the same standard of availability, ease and access when we enter a hotel.

Modern Expectations

Take my example: At home, my WIFI works seamlessly, without the need for daily passcodes. I can fill my fridge with my favourite food, available for me whenever I want it. I can order it or purchase it on a whim to make my Friday night extra special. I control the temperature of my house, so that when I come home, it’s comfortable. I book massages or entertainment online to consume immediately.

These are all ‘givens’ for me. And I expect them – and more – from my hotel.

I’d love to be able to choose my preferred pillow prior to my arrival. I want to be able to book a reservation at a restaurant or spa with ease and without constant phone calls, or easily choose a city tour without visiting reception. If I have a problem during my stay, I want it fixed fast – not needing to chase a maid or deal with a busy receptionist.

If you, as a hotel, can provide a solution for me to easily manage my needs – through the entire lifecycle of my experience – from booking, staying, right through to months after my stay, then you will earn both my loyalty and my revenue.

Touch and Influence Through Mobile

But how could a hotel achieve this? By adapting pragmatic digital strategies within the guest life cycle. Mobile as our main form of communication and source of information, is one ideal solution.

Located directly on the home screen of the guest’s own device, you have the opportunity to live, literally, in the palm of their hand and be just a touch away from a direct, on- going connection. Your hotel’s physical attributes offer them comfort, whilst your digital presence offers them a 24/7 relationship with you.

A Thriving, Connected Business

The potential for true connection with customers – before, during and after their physical stay – is vast; the opportunities an innovation in this area, endless. Yet, the fact remains that hotels aren’t yet harnessing a personalized digital customer strategy.

How Trade Shows Are Beneficial To The Hospitality Industry

Trade shows have been proven to be one of the most important marketing tools for any industry. They offer a chance to have several thousand people seeing your product and interacting with you as a provider personally (something online and TV commercials cannot achieve). You get to talk to potential clients directly and get immediate feedback on your product, along with excellent publicity.

The hospitality industry also stands to benefit from trade shows, whether they are participating in them or simply hosting them. Here’s how:

Reaching target markets

There are different elements of the hospitality industry that are specifically suited to a particular clientele. For instance, there are attractions and theme parks that are suited for families with young children, while fine dining restaurants may require a more mature, upper-class client.

Trade shows attract people from all walks of life, so you get to meet and personally interact with your target market, as well as develop a customer database, which are all invaluable opportunities to any business owner or manager.

Forming partnerships

At these shows, you not only get a chance to meet potential clients, but you could form some profitable partnerships with other businesses as well. For instance, hotels looking to add something new to their experience could partner with a particular attraction within their area, which they could exclusively market as part of their hotel experience.

Real-time self-evaluation

Setting up your booth alongside your competition at these events is a great time to evaluate how far you have come as a business, and what more you need to do. Along with the immediate feedback you will receive from potential clients, you have a chance to check out the competition and see what you could strengthen within your products and/or service provision.

Making some money

This is especially true if it is within your area. Some participants may require accommodation, a meal, or just a place to relax and unwind after a long day. All these are opportunities for the hotel industry in your area to offer these services to the participants and make yourselves some money. This can be even better if you are a hotel provider hosting the entire event in your facility.

Since opportunities favour the prepared, here are some ways you can make the most of the trade shows organized within your location:

Organize your money: Setting up a display is expensive, so you will need to plan for it.
Determine your offers: These are a great way to get people to visit your business during the event. So, plan on your offers in advance and ensure they are listed along with the trade show advertisements and displayed clearly on your display.
Prepare enough literature: Print out enough catalogues for people to take away with them after visiting your stand. That way, they will remember to visit your facility during or after the event.
Free samples at the stand: If you are selling a particular product, you can bring it to the stand so that people can sample it as they talk to you. For instance, if you own a restaurant, you can bring some of your signature snacks for potential clients. They will definitely remember your restaurant, especially if they liked it.