Thursday, July 23, 2015

5 travel sites UK Hotels Can’t Miss

The good time is back for the UK hotel industry. With economy firmly on the track after six years of recovery, travel mood in on the positives. However, the past few years of challenging economic condition has altered the mindset of travel consumers. They are more alert and are watching their pounds as they make arrangements for their travel. According to a Deloitte survey, 59% of holidaymakers today compare prices online, maintaining their recessionary behaviour. Historically high spenders, today’s British travellers are more likely to be influenced by peer recommendations than brand loyalty.

TripAdvisor Screen

The emergence of price comparison and review sites has changed the consumer purchase path from linear to multi-channel and fragmented. The digital revolution has empowered consumers with access to easy information, more product choices and a medium to raise their voices. It’s no wonder; TripAdvisor today is UK’s top travel site with 27.1 million monthly visitors. The evolution of travel from a seller’s market to a buyer’s market is now almost complete especially in matured markets. Hotel needs to get out of the cookie-cutter approach and relook at their distribution strategies.

Here are my picks of five channels in the United Kingdom which have set new rules.

SEE ALSO: 5 Online Travel Agents shaping the travel industry in the Middle East

TripAdvisor.com

92% UK travellers read TripAdvisor review before choosing an accommodation -making the travel giant the most popular travel site in UK. It took them fifteen years to reach where they are today, but TripAdvisor today has become the single biggest travel influencer. Last year the guest review giant launched it’s much talked about Instant Booking feature, which allows users to research, compare, choose and now book hotels, in other words, complete the buying journey while staying within TripAdvisor user shell. Much though it would like to deny acting as an OTA, fact remains that after the launch of instant booking feature, TripAdvisor now has advantage of being a review site, meta-search and booking engine – all within one platform.

LastMinute.Com


50% travellers in UK take short breaks at the last minute. The country where 6 million people use mobile phones to book getaway breaks on the same day it is no wonder that last minute travel will play a major role for generating revenue to the hoteliers. According to a recent report by PhoCusWright, about the 30% bookings that come from Hotel Mobile booking platforms; 70% of them are for same day bookings. This makes LastMinute.Com, which offers hotel rooms at a heavily discounted rate for the last minute travellers, in an advantageous position. Acquired by Travelocity in 2005 the company currently serves 17 million British travellers who rely on the accommodation provider for their last minute booking decisions.

In the later part of the article we'll discuss about three more top performing online channels in UK which you need to focus on.

Image Credit: TripAdvisor
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