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Industry predictions for 2012…

And a word from Richard Lewis, CEO of Best Western Hotels GB

As the consumer world continues to move online, Generation D, the digital generation will help to grow:journey, we won’t be surprised to see more of the following in 2012:

  1. Online bookings
  2. Mobile research and reservations
  3. Social Media’s informed decision making

We’ve got big plans for M-Commerce, social media and continuous innovative online marketing strategies. Richard Lewis, CEO of Best Western Hotels GB, also has a few tricks up his sleeve regarding social media activity, and how it may impact the hotel industry. See below to find out more about our top 3 predictions.

Industry predictions for 2012…

  • Online Bookings, will see continued growth

Traveller search and booking is on a constant rise. Over half of travel bookings are already made on the Internet, and the online travel market has certainly matured. More than 114 million people will research travel this year, and 94 million of those will book online!

  • More mobile research and bookings

Increasingly, people of all ages are turning to mobile phones and tablet devices to surf the net and for travel research too. According to Forrester Research, in just two years mobile channel booking increased by four times that of the previous year, and Google is predicting mobile to overtake PC as the most common web surfing device by 2013!

  • Social Media will continue to transform travellers opinions

Today, only 22% of the travel industry is using social media to generate booking revenue. However, it’s predicted that by 2016 that number will grow to at least 50%. Best Western is already using social media to increase profit margins, and we’ve got big plans to take advantage of changing consumer booking patterns. We will continue to boost marketing efforts – and bottom lines!

A word from our CEO on Social Media…

­It has always been a priority for Best Western to drive measurable results through highly effective, cutting edge digital marketing techniques, which include the use of innovative social media strategies.

Our members benefit from continuous Twitter activity, from resolving customer service issues to providing up-to-the-minute news and information to promoting exciting offers and specific properties. We are also currently the only hotel group to have an international partnership with Facebook, the world’s largest social networking site. Our on-going plans include developing a mobile platform for Great Britain – an exciting part of our marketing strategy.

With the use of mobile devices and social media continuing to rise, so too can the quality of service we are able to provide our guests. For instance, extending concierge services via Twitter feeds would allow us to communicate with guests before, during and after their stay, therefore allowing enhance your guest’s personal experience.

Geo-location features may also give us a competitive edge and encourage further in-hotel spend. Either by prompting guests to enjoy a complimentary first cocktail in the bar, or by providing information about their current location, we’d be able to accelerate our conversation with guests and make connection at points we haven’t been able to make before.

In addition we are noticing more and more travellers are taking advantage of last minute deals. Using social networking sites such as Twitter and Facebook, we can offer these deals to guests who ‘Follow’ or ‘Like’ our online presence, thus promoting our sales and creating a greater brand following and customer network.

There is no doubt that the future of the hotel industry will largely involve social media and Best Western are keen to entertain any opportunity that has the potential to improve our customer service and experience, while also increasing revenue opportunities and brand awareness for our hoteliers. As a membership organisation, every Best Western hotel has a voice in the direction of the company and with the help of industry experts, we’re looking forward to some exciting new ventures ahead.

Richard Lewis
CEO Best Western Hotels GB

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