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No More Boring Hotel Websites. Please.

Author: Kaleel Sakakeeny
Published: December 17, 2012 at 8:53 am

There was an interesting round table discussion sponsored by visual content management powerhouse, VFM Leonardo. The basic question the panel was asked to consider was this: Why is hotel web site content so boring, and how can it be made more engaging for the traveler?
It so happens, that the initial stage in travel decisions is the all-important “Planning Stage,” the tipping point, so to speak.

So if content is almost exclusively transactional and booking-oriented (which it is), the customer’s emotional needs are not met. And if the emotional needs are not met, the panel agreed, there is no incentive to book because there is no excitement; no connection to the property or destination.

I think it was an executive at TravelPort who sited a report claiming that 44 percent of people would pay more money if they could experience what their stay at a hotel would really be like before they go.

If that’s true, then why isn’t hotel content more vivid; more rich-more tied into the customers “experiential” needs?

One explanation was that those in charge of providing content for hotel websites and portals are thinking too much like IT people and not about the “wow” factor of a property.

VFM Leonardo referenced a Forrester Research study  that said two-thirds of consumers won’t even consider a hotel unless the visuals are compelling.

So, again, how can hotels make their content connect more? One surprisingly obvious answer was video.

All the participants said that video was a must; perhaps the single, strongest content enhancer.

More importantly they argued, what mattered was not just putting video highlighting a property on a hotel or destination’s website.

Given all the video sharing sites today, being able to share the video globally, and thus powering hotel brands is critical. But it’s a concept destination and property managers don’t get.

Continued on the next page

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Article Author: Kaleel Sakakeeny

Kaleel Sakakeeny is the CEO of New Media Travel (NMT) providing timely travel news and information for consumers and the travel industry as Travel Video PostCards, Audio PostCards, and posts. Twitter follow: @newmediatravel http://www.newmediatravel.com …

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