By Nathalie Visele, Director, Shamal Marketing Communications, ATM’s official public relations company
Before I step down from my virtual soap box it would be remiss of me not to address connectivity and social media, of course the two go hand-in-hand and both are very much a part of ATM’s travel tech seminar programme.
Both are definite game changers!
So it came as little surprise when during a recent TripAdvisor survey, among the amenities that travelers will look for when they book accommodation - WiFi and air conditioning stood out.
Globally, 63% of travelers said air conditioning is a must-have when choosing a place to stay, which was far more important than breakfast, which came in at 40% or even a swimming pool which came in at 26%.
However, the real deal breaker and definitely a trend that is not going away, rather it has been growing year-on-year, is free in-room WiFi which 46% of respondents claimed is now a must-have amenity.
In other words, if a hotel or apartment did not, could not or would not provide free WiFi, these potential guests would consider booking at another hotel, chances are a competitor hotel to boot! Moreover, 26% of travelers said that they would prefer a room with super-fast WiFi and what’s more 11% said they’d be willing to pay extra for this upgraded service. Music to the ears of every financial controller I’m sure.
From a marketing perspective, there are no longer digital strategies, just strategies in a digital world. Yes, the world has turned and commerce has moved along with it – early adopters will benefit from the e-volution and luddites, as they generally do, will lose out eventually.
Marketers…it’s over to you, I’m sure you’re already coming up with a whole range of creative packages to suit all sorts of guest profiles, whether leisure or business travelers.
Irrespective of that, make sure you catch ATM’s Travel Tech Theatre – four days of social platforms, mobile engagement and travel tech trends, because just when you thought you were getting to grips with Facebook and Gen Y – we’ve now got Snapchat and Generation Z to contend with.