TripAdvisor Reveals 2011 UK Accommodation Owners Survey

Mar 08, 2011, 05:05 ET from TripAdvisor

LONDON, March 8, 2011 /PRNewswire/ --

- Annual Poll Reveals Majority of UK Hotels Don't Foresee Room Rate Increases in 2011 Yet Competitive Landscape Means Renovation Investment is High on Owners' Agenda

TripAdvisor(R), the world's largest travel site, today announced the results of its first annual survey of U.K. accommodation owners. Over 500* British hoteliers and B&B owners revealed their plans to attract customers and stimulate business growth in 2011.

Survey respondents offered insights into several other hospitality industry trends, from the importance of special promotions to plans for online engagement and mobile marketing.

"With service standards rising and choice more visible than ever, more travellers consult third-party resources, such as TripAdvisor, before booking a hotel and the survey shows the British hospitality industry is taking this on board," said Christine Petersen, president of TripAdvisor for Business.

"The results show that most accommodation owners are now taking proactive steps to manage their online reputation. Most are seizing the opportunity to connect with prospective guests, demonstrate their commitment to customer service and, ultimately, provide the vital online community with an accurate and attractive picture of their business."

Rates to hold steady or rise in UK for 2011

According to the survey, UK property owners expect rates will trend in the following ways:

    - Hold steady - 54%
    - Increase - 41%
    - Decrease - 5%

Investing in extensive renovations

With the hotel landscape more competitive than ever, the majority of respondents plan to renovate their properties this year:

    - 75% of owners are planning renovations to their property's
    interior in 2011
    - 52% are planning renovations to their property's exterior
    this year

Owners embrace promotions

Three quarters (75%) of British accommodation owners intend to offer special promotions in 2011 to attract guests, with over half (51%) planning to offer room discounts. In addition:

    - 17% will offer a free night's stay with booking
    - 11% will offer special amenities
    - 9% will offer deals on nearby attractions
    - 7% will offer free transportation
    - 6% will offer reward points

Online engagement

UK accommodation owners this year are planning to engage their audiences on TripAdvisor:

    - Over half of respondents (56%) plan to respond to both positive and
    negative reviews
    - 20% plan to respond to negative reviews only
    - 23% do not plan to respond to reviews at all

In addition, the survey identified a significant increase in the number of owners posting pictures of their property on TripAdvisor: in 2010, 61% of respondents posted photos on TripAdvisor, and in 2011 this number will rise to 77%.

Most hoteliers provide free in-room internet

The vast majority of hoteliers understand the importance of free in -room internet to guests:

    - An encouraging 82% of respondents plan to offer free in-room intent in
    2011
    - 7% plan to offer in-room intent but will charge extra
    - 11% do not plan to offer in-room intent at all

    Surge in social media for UK hospitality
    Of those hoteliers and B&B owners who are already engaged in social media:

    - 44% expect their social media marketing budgets to increase
    2011
    - 44% expect social media budgets to remain the same in 2011
    - 12% expect this budget to decrease in 2011
    - 39% did not engage in social media marketing in 2010 and do
    not intend to in 2011

    Mobile marketing grows
    Mobile marketing amongst hoteliers is also set to steadily grow this year:

    - 18% of survey respondents plan to launch programs, for the first time
    in 2011, to engage with travellers using mobile devices.
    - Another 27% indicated that they had offered such programs last year and
    will continue to do so this year.
    - 56% have no plans to offer programs to engage travellers using mobile
    devices in 2011.

"TripAdvisor's first annual Accommodation Owners Survey suggests that the hotel industry is still being affected by a slow economy, as the majority of respondents don't foresee room rate increases this year," continued Christine Petersen. "Yet, savvy hoteliers are attempting to stand apart from the crowd by embracing social media, launching mobile marketing features and offering the programmes consumers demand most."

*Survey carried out on 520 accommodation owners in January 2011

About TripAdvisor

TripAdvisor(R) is the world's largest travel site, enabling travellers to plan and have the perfect trip. TripAdvisor offers trusted advice from real travellers and a wide variety of travel choices and planning features (including Flights search, TripAdvisor Mobile and TripAdvisor Trip Friends) with seamless links to booking tools.

TripAdvisor(R) Media Group, operated by TripAdvisor LLC, attracts more than 50 million unique monthly visitors* across 18 popular travel brands**. TripAdvisor-branded sites make up the largest travel community in the world, with more than 40 million unique monthly visitors***, 20 million members, and over 40 million reviews and opinions. The sites operate in 27 countries worldwide****, including China under daodao.com. TripAdvisor also operates TripAdvisor for Business, a dedicated division that provides the tourism industry access to TripAdvisor's millions of monthly visitors. The division includes Business Listings, which allows hoteliers to connect directly to millions of researching travellers, and Vacation Rentals, which helps property managers and individual home owners list their properties and showcase hotel alternatives.

TripAdvisor Media Group websites have been recognized as top travel resources in 2010 by Conde Nast Traveller, Good Housekeeping, TIME magazine and Travel + Leisure.

TripAdvisor and the sites comprising the TripAdvisor Media Group are operating companies of Expedia, Inc. (NASDAQ: EXPE).

TripAdvisor and the TripAdvisor logo are trademarks or registered trademarks of TripAdvisor LLC in the U.S. and/or other countries. Other logos or product and company names mentioned herein may be the property of their respective owners.

(c)2011 TripAdvisor LLC. All rights reserved.

*Source: comScore Media Metrix for TripAdvisor Media Group Sites, Worldwide, August 2010

** In addition to TripAdvisor, The TripAdvisor Media Group of websites includes: http://www.airfarewatchdog.com, http://www.bookingbuddy.com, http://www.cruisecritic.com, http://www.everytrail.com, http://www.familyvacationcritic.com, http://www.flipkey.com, http://www.holidaylettings.co.uk, http://www.holidaywatchdog.com, http://www.independenttraveler.com, http://www.onetime.com, http://www.seatguru.com, http://www.sniqueaway.com, http://www.smartertravel.com, http://www.travel-library.com, http://www.travelpod.com, http://www.virtualtourist.com and http://www.kuxun.cn.

***Source: comScore Media Metrix for TripAdvisor Sites, Worldwide, August 2010

**** TripAdvisor sites operate in 27 countries worldwide: http://www.tripadvisor.com, http://www.tripadvisor.co.uk, http://www.tripadvisor.ca, http://www.tripadvisor.it, http://www.tripadvisor.es, http://www.tripadvisor.de, http://www.tripadvisor.fr, http://www.tripadvisor.jp, http://www.daodao.com, http://www.tripadvisor.in, http://www.tripadvisor.se, http://nl.tripadvisor.com, http://www.tripadvisor.com.br, http://www.tripadvisor.com.tr, http://www.tripadvisor.dk, http://www.tripadvisor.com.mx, http://www.tripadvisor.ie, http://www.tripadvisor.com.au, http://www.tripadvisor.com.sg, http://www.tripadvisor.co.kr, http://no.tripadvisor.com, http://pl.tripadvisor.com, http://th.tripadvisor.com, http://www.tripadvisor.ru, http://www.tripadvisor.com.gr/, http://www.tripadvisor.co.id and http://www.tripadvisor.com.ar.

SOURCE TripAdvisor