Study: Online Reputation, Mobile Experience, Direct Bookings in Focus

NEEDHAM, MA—TripAdvisor Inc. released the results of its 2018 “Hospitality Sector Report” in partnership with Ipsos MORI showcasing the top concerns and areas of focus for travel businesses, including hotels, restaurants, experiences, tours and attractions listed on TripAdvisor. The results of the study reveal a U.S. travel industry adapting to an increasingly mobile marketplace, focused on online reputation management and concerned about choosing the right marketing vehicles to reach global travelers and diners, among other key trends.

“We asked travel business owners and operators in the U.S. and around the globe about the key industry trends that are top of mind for them in 2018, and the results provide a rare look into today’s evolving digital travel marketplace,” said Martin Verdon-Roe, VP of business-to-business product of TripAdvisor. “What’s clear is that the overwhelming majority of owners and operators are concerned about their presence online and how they are using mobile and social platforms to attract the right consumers.”

Travel Industry Adapting to a Growing Digital Marketplace

U.S. hoteliers, restaurateurs and experiences, tours and attractions operators are facing a vast mobile marketplace and their responses are telling: 87% of those surveyed said that having a mobile enabled website/app is important, while 71% said that taking bookings online is important.

These findings complement the latest Mary Meeker “Internet Trends Report,” which notes that consumers are increasing their mobile and internet usage so fast that advertising dollars can’t keep up, creating a $7 billion mobile advertising opportunity for businesses.

Online Reputation Management is Imperative

U.S. respondents of the TripAdvisor-Ipsos MORI study also showcased the outsized importance of maintaining a positive presence online and engaging with their current and potential customers.

  • 97% say online reputation management is important to their business.
  • 98% say online reviews are important to their business.
  • 92% say social presence is important to their business.

Choosing the Right Marketing Channels Remains Important

U.S. hospitality business owners and operators revealed the importance of staying ahead of online marketing opportunities.

  • 89% say that keeping up with online marketing is important.
  • 80% of respondents said that working with the right online marketing service is important.

“For all the hospitality businesses looking for easier ways to manage their online reputation and better engage with high-intent travelers, we encourage them to claim their listing on TripAdvisor for free, respond to guest reviews and take advantage of some of our excellent ad opportunities like sponsored placements, which will improve their visibility on our site and app,” said Verdon-Roe.

Other Key Travel Industry Trends

Top Three Areas of Focus for Hospitality Businesses this Year

Customer Service and Retention – 27%

  • Staffing – 25%
  • Marketing Efforts – 20%

Top Three Forces Expected to Have a Positive Impact

  • Hiring the best staff – 43%
  • Global Economic Conditions – 30%
  • Overtourism – 29%

Methodology

The 2018 Hospitality Sector Report is a study into the pressing issues, challenges and opportunities currently facing the hospitality industry globally and more locally, within six focus markets. It is based on an Ipsos MORI study, which was conducted online in January-February 2018, with 2,395 respondents asked a series of questions on their business. The sample was of TripAdvisor-registered business owners from restaurant, accommodation and experience businesses.

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