5 Actionable Hotel Marketing Tips From the Experts Who’ve Used Them

Weronika Czekaj

The Amadeus Hospitality Media team partners with some of the biggest travel brands and tourism agencies to deliver our customers unprecedented advantages. We checked in with a few of them, as well as with our partners at Google to uncover what’s top of mind for their marketing plans this year. Read on to see if these strategies can work for you!

Flexibility is a must – especially from hoteliers

Depending on what part of the world you’re in, your hotel may either be thriving or still facing operational challenges due to the pandemic. However, when it comes to the onsite experience, travelers increasingly want it to feel as normal as possible.

Verdell Ekberg, Director of Marketing at South Seas Island Resort says, “By and large, customers want to go back to normal services. They want better cleaning and traditional services with breakfast, as well as all the amenities that come with a traditional resort stay – that’s what we’re hearing more. They want to be as close to or as far away from other guests as they want to be. That importance of flexibility is going to continue in 2022.”

Digital advertising is critical, but don’t forget to personalize it

“Prepare for a content reboot,” says David Pavelko, Global Partnerships Director for Travel at Google. In 2022, he expects hotels to be sharing richer, more engaging content that includes captivating videos and photos, as well as special promotions and packages. Make sure your property is advertising on the channels where travelers are shopping as well as highlighting your most meaningful and engaging experiences. Do guests constantly rave about your yoga and meditation sessions? Is it the cocktail mixing lessons or a world-class golf course? Include it in your advertising! Leverage first-party data to understand the guests and their needs, as that’s really key for personalization.

Luke Underwood from Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts shares how this trend evolved for his team. “Due to the ongoing impacts of COVID, and the focus on domestic-only markets in 2021 we pivoted to leverage Facebook and Instagram much more commercially. Whilst previously our approach across social channels was more heavily aligned to brand-building and storytelling, we became much more aggressive on those channels pushing specific products and offers.”

Use current data to really understand who is booking your hotel and plan marketing accordingly

Have you analyzed all available data to understand new booking behaviors and guest personas? Your audience has likely shifted since 2019. Finnbar Cornwall, Head of Travel at Google, says, “In the UK, 40% of travelers have tried a new brand during the pandemic. Customers want to do something different. The next 12 months are going to be an incredible opportunity to bring a brand-new customer to your business who’s never stayed with you before.”

“Comprehensive business intelligence data is crucial to informing successful marketing campaigns and advertising,” echoes Hannan Zanzuri, Founder & CEO of hotel consulting company Odentio. He says guests in 2021 were completely different from previous years. “By closely monitoring data trends we could see for the first time ever that guests from Romania, Poland, and Dominican Republic were topping the Google search ranking for Tulum, Mexico. We found that new customers searching for places to stay had nothing to do with customers we were accustomed to coming mainly from the United States, Spain, France, or the United Kingdom.”

Pent up demand is igniting a spending boom

Some 70% of leisure travelers from major countries such as the US, UK, Canada, Japan, and Spain plan to spend more on travel in 2022 than they have in the past five years, according to a joint report by the World Travel & Tourism Council and Trip.com. This trend has been seen by many of our hotel customers already, who mention younger generations of travelers are the ones willing to splurge on travel.

Whether it’s domestic or international markets, we work closely with our customers to ensure they can monitor this demand and when the time is right, capture wanderlust shoppers with the right offers and promotions.

“New” group business is on the rise

“Micro-weddings” and “friendcations” are just two examples of social business breathing life back into group travel. It’s allowed a wide range of luxury beachfront properties to maximize average daily rates (ADR) for weddings or even smaller groups looking to reconnect after months or years apart. In Asia Pacific and the US, micro-weddings are a hot trend, where more couples are opting to scale back on the number of guests but keep the event just as lavish.
Staying on top of demand trends is crucial but so is understanding the profile of your destination’s travelers. Could your region or city act as a magnet for these “friendcations”? Consider a targeted campaign with messaging tailored for various segments of travelers to make the most of this trend.

Business travel with a twist

Finnbar Cornwall, Head of Travel at Google, predicts a change in business travel with more quarterly trips and site visits from high-ranking executives and CEOs, and fewer internal meetings.
It would be smart for hoteliers to promote customized offers to this segment because of the popularity of “bleisure” travel. Workers are increasingly keen to add an additional night or two at the end of a business trip to enjoy a longer stay and a chance to unwind in a new place. Some of our hotel customers in Europe are tapping into this trend by running discounts for extended stays and focusing on younger travelers. People want to travel and work in tandem, so they are looking at suites or suitable working spaces.

Whatever the trends and patterns, Joe Spirito, Vice President, Global Digital & Marketing Operations at Preferred Hotels & Resorts believes that hoteliers can’t use the old playbook for annual budgeting anymore. “Adjusting plans and budget on a quarterly or even monthly basis is the way forward and using data is the key to being ready to respond quickly.”

Amadeus Hospitality is a Premier Partner with Google, which designation is awarded to the top 3% of partners in each country annually. Over the years, our hospitality partnership has grown into an operating model that drives superior customer results. This includes Amadeus having access to air and hotel data insights, unique market trend dashboards, regular trainings, customer events with experts from Google, and more.

With travel resuming, now is the time to act to meet the needs of your guests, drive demand, and gain a competitive edge. For more marketing insights from global hospitality experts, download our eBook “Rebuilding Hospitality – Marketing”.