8 Common SEO Mistakes You Should Avoid

8 Common SEO Mistakes You Should Avoid

It doesn’t matter how great your hotel’s website is or how much content you fill it with; if your  SEO tactics are weak, you will not get the results you want. There are plenty of helpful articles on the internet that can teach you how to use SEO properly, but many hoteliers still make mistakes that hurt their search engine rankings. If you want to increase the traffic to your hotel’s site and improve your website ranking on search engines, avoid these common mistakes.

2016 Checklist to Maximize Revenues from Online Media and Display Ads

2016 Checklist to Maximize Revenues from Online Media and Display Ads

2016 Checklist to Maximize Revenues from Online Media and Display Ads.
By Patrick Merryman

With the digital landscape constantly growing and the hospitality industry transforming to make room for new technology, running successful, revenue focused digital campaigns is becoming even more of a key to success in hotel marketing.

Blogging Best Practices to Brush Up on Before 2016.

Blogging Best Practices to Brush Up on Before 2016.

By Brian Overson, source

Here are our 4 tips for staying on top of your blog strategy in 2016.

1. Aim Each Post at a Single Person

When a hitter in baseball is in a slump, it's usually because he's had a series of bad at-bats and is starting to question all the things he's doing wrong – from his stance to his swing to how well he's seeing the ball out of the pitcher's hand. 

A good hitting coach will help the slumping hitter focus on one thing at a time so he's not trying to overhaul his entire swing all at once. 

Well, a marketer whose blog isn't connecting with her audience is no different. Instead of thinking of all the different people who may be reading your blog, focus on writing to one specific person for each post that you write. It's the best way to get out of an "audience slump" and keep your content relevant.

2. Attack Specific Keywords

Because there are so many things to focus on when writing your business blog (audience, headline, links, images, calls-to-action etc.) keywords have a way of floating to the background. And frankly, this is a dangerous tendency! 

The whole point of blogging for business is to drive traffic, not just through your distribution channels (social media, email, PPC), but through organic search. But the latter only happens when you strategically choose a keyword and structure your blog content around that keyword, using it in the title, URL, body copy, and meta description. 

We know blogging regularly gets difficult sometimes, but the volume of content produced should never negatively impact how strategic your keyword targeting is.

3. Hyperlink Wisely

One of the biggest mistakes we see content marketers make is hyperlinking to outside websites that have nothing to do with their business – or worse – adding hyperlinks that redirect to their competitors' websites! 

Remember that every blog you write is an opportunity to build page authority for other pages on your site. We suggest making a list of site pages and blog posts that have a chance to rank higher for a specific keyword on Google.

For instance, it would be wise to link to one of your website pages that is ranking in the 10-30 range for a specific keyword. Linking to the page could help you jump in to the top 10, and thus, on to the first page of Google's results page. 

Pro Tip: If you're having trouble finding a word that can be linked to another page in a contextually relevant fashion (i.e. it would confuse the reader if they clicked) try using a read more interrupter such as the one you see below....

4. Go Long (When You Can)

Look, we know writing long blog posts doesn't always fit into your busy schedule. That said, the numbers show it can be really, really beneficial. 

According to HubSpot there is a positive correlation between increased word count in a blog post and how many referral links a blog post earns. (One exception being that posts under 250 words generate more referral links than posts between 250 and 750 words). To see the full graph, click here.

So when you're feeling inspired, don't worry that you might be "boring" your audience with a long post. Keep writing - the links will come!


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10 Things Hotel Marketers Are Thankful For This Year

10 Things Hotel Marketers Are Thankful For This Year

Source By tambo

‘This is the season to look back and reflect on what made 2015 a remarkable year for hotel marketers and what to be excited about just over the horizon.

1. A Stable and Strong Economy

Studies show that we’re sitting on the edge of the best economic years that the country has seen in a decade. This means travelers feel better where they stand economically and are looking at their future with optimism. About eight years of economic doldrums have left the hotel industry with pent-up demand as travelers regain confidence in their spending and are booking travel at record rates. This means ADR is up. Occupancy is up. And, our gratitude is through the roof.

2. More and More Consumers Are Preferring to Book Direct

What hoteliers lacked in pricing power because of rate-parity clauses, they regained by luring in direct bookings with coveted perks and privileges not given to OTA customers. Think complimentary Wi-Fi, better rooms, digital check-in, late check-out and even the ability to pick your room. And, the perks are paying off as more and more travelers catch on that booking direct means a better travel experience, period. A recent survey of nearly 3,000 leisure travelers discovered that there was a noticeable drop in how often the respondents booked with OTAs compared to 2014. They also found that consumers are still frequenting popular third-party sites, but mostly for researching their options and to compare prices. 

3. An End to Rate Parity Is in Sight

This past summer, hoteliers and lawmakers in France made history by striking down rate parity.  With this newfound freedom, French hoteliers can now differentiate their hotel product, charge whatever they’d like for direct bookings, and essentially, take back the power to market their properties, drive direct business and turn a profit without the burden of OTA contractual language holding them back. It’s only time before the end to rate parity makes its way across the Atlantic, and that’s reason enough to break out the champagne and cigars.

4. Continued Low Prices for Gas and Airfare

The low prices at the gas stations (and airlines) are continuing to lure travelers to get on the road and indulge in much-needed vacations, getaways and business trips. And, it gets better. As people save money at the pumps and on airfares, they’re happier to expand their travel spending in other places, such as their lodging, dining and ancillary products, like a trip to your hotel spa!

5. Trend in Authentic Travel

Modern travelers are losing interest in bland and cliché experiences and attractions that are “touristy.” Instead, they’re indulging in authentic and locally inspired experiences that give them a “sense of place.” And, when it comes to booking a hotel, more and more travelers are seeking options that give them front-row access to these immersive activities, and perhaps even offer some themselves. Marketing for authentic travel allows hotels to be more creative when differentiating themselves from their compset and allows them to easily position their properties as destinations themselves, not just cookie cutter rooms with a bed.

6. New Lower-Cost Channels

OTAs aren’t the only game in town. Now hoteliers can partner with TripAdvisor to have rooms booked using their new Instant Book feature. While TripAdvisor receives commissions, they are only half of what OTAs would charge. Similarly, Google Hotel Ads allows hotels to post their available rates, along with perks. Google’s commission amounts are TBA.

7. Tech-Enabled Travel

The proliferation of smartphones, tablets and wearable technology have allowed us to streamline bookings, engage in conversations with our guests pre- and post-travel, offer express check-in, communicate on-property offers, empower social sharing and enhance the guest experience like never before.

8. Word-of-Mouse Marketing by Social Media Enthusiasts

One of the best things to emerge since the advent of social media is the brand evangelist/ambassadors. You know them well. They are the guests who gush and brag about their stay on Facebook, who post foodie pics to Instagram and who take quick Vine videos of their hotel rooms. Not only have they made marketing travel engagingly personal and authentic, they come at no cost to the hotelier.

9. TripAdvisor

No matter how stunning your photography is or how captivating your copy is written, the fact remains that travelers trust travelers above anything else. This is why TripAdvisor has become synonymous with travel research and decision-making. Their consumer-facing platform of unbiased reviews gives hotels the chance to post public responses to showcase their customer service prowess. Plus, they offer plenty of hotel marketing tools and programs to lure TripAdvisor visitors directly to their hotel Website.

10. Digital Intelligence That Drives Conversions

Everyday, hotel website designers are getting smarter and smarter about who’s visiting, looking and booking. The robust analytics and monitoring technology at our fingertips give us unprecedented power to customize marketing campaigns to specific travelers, personalize offers and track ROI.


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Five cases of PR done right

An Assortment of Examples Showing Crisis PR Done Right.
By George Washington University, source

One of the best ways to learn about and prepare yourself to cope with the negative side of PR is to study real-life examples.

There are a lot of “wrong way” case studies out there, but, as is the nature of the media, when things go right you hear less about them.

The infographic we’re sharing today, created by the team at George Washington University’s Strategic Public Relations Program, actually has five “right way” examples.

Although you can seldom adapt the identical strategy and tactics used in one situation to another, you can certainly look for similarities to give you clues on how you should proceed.


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Marriott to acquire Starwood, creating the world's largest hotel company

Marriott to acquire Starwood, creating the world's largest hotel company.
Source : Marriott International Inc.

Marriott International and Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide announced today that the boards of directors of both companies have unanimously approved a definitive merger agreement under which the companies will create the world’s largest hotel company.

The transaction combines Starwood’s leading lifestyle brands and international footprint with Marriott’s strong presence in the luxury and select-service tiers, as well as the convention and resort segment, creating a more comprehensive portfolio.  The merged company will offer broader choice for guests, greater opportunities for associates and should unlock additional value for Marriott and Starwood shareholders. 

Combined, the companies operate or franchise more than 5,500 hotels with 1.1 million rooms worldwide.  The combined company’s pro forma fee revenue for the 12 months ended September 30, 2015 totals over $2.7 billion.  

Transaction Highlights and Strategic Benefits

Summary of Transaction: Under the terms of the agreement, at closing, Starwood shareholders will receive 0.92 shares of Marriott International, Inc. Class A common stock and $2.00 in cash for each share of Starwood common stock. On a pro forma basis, Starwood shareholders would own approximately 37 percent of the combined company’s common stock after completion of the merger using fully diluted share counts as of September 30, 2015.  Total consideration to be paid by Marriott totals $12.2 billion consisting of $11.9 billion of Marriott International stock, based on the 20-day VWAP (volume weighted average price) of Marriott stock ending on November 13, 2015, and $340 million of cash, based on approximately 170 million fully diluted Starwood shares outstanding at September 30, 2015.  Based on Marriott’s 20-day VWAP ending November 13, 2015, the merger transaction has a current value of $72.08 per Starwood share, including the $2 cash per share consideration.  Starwood shareholders will separately receive consideration from the spin-off of the Starwood timeshare business and subsequent merger with Interval Leisure Group, which has an estimated value of approximately $1.3 billion to Starwood shareholders or approximately $7.80 per Starwood share, based on the 20-day VWAP of Interval Leisure Group stock ending November 13, 2015.  The timeshare transaction should close prior to the Marriott-Starwood merger closing.

Total Estimated Value to Starwood Shareholders

  • Share Price of Marriott International, Inc. - $70.08*
  • Cash Consideration Per Share - $2.00
  • Value of Vistana Disposition - $7.80**
    Total Value - $79.88

*Marriott 20-day VWAP ending November 13, 2015, calculated at 0.92 of $76.17

**Based on ILG 20-day VWAP ending November 13, 2015. Excludes $132M of cash consideration and reimbursement from ILG to Starwood

After adjusting for the value of consideration to be separately received by Starwood shareholders in the Vistana transaction, the merger consideration represents a premium of approximately 6 percent over the Starwood stock price using the 20-day VWAP ending November 13, 2015 and a premium of approximately 19 percent using the 20-day VWAP ending October 26, 2015 (prior to recent acquisition rumors).

  • Leveraging Operating Efficiencies: Marriott expects to deliver at least $200 million in annual cost savings in the second full year after closing.  This will be accomplished by leveraging operating and G&A efficiencies. 
  • Accretive to Earnings: Marriott expects the transaction to be earnings accretive by the second year after the merger, not including the impact of transaction and transition costs.  Earnings will benefit from post-transaction asset sales, increased efficiencies and accelerated unit growth. 
  • Significant Capital Recycling Program: Marriott expects Starwood to continue its capital recycling program, generating an estimated $1.5 to $2.0 billion of after-tax proceeds from the sale of owned hotels over the next two years.  The hotels are expected to be sold subject to long-term operating agreements. 
  • Continued Strong Returns to Shareholders: On a pro forma combined basis, Marriott and Starwood generated $2.7 billion in fee revenue in the 12 months ending September 2015.  In 2015, Marriott expects to return at least $2.25 billion in dividends and share repurchases to shareholders.  Marriott believes it can return at least as much in the first year following the merger.  
  • Accelerated Global Growth: Marriott International expects to accelerate the growth of Starwood’s brands, leveraging Marriott’s worldwide development organization and owner and franchisee relationships.  The combined company will have a broader global footprint, strengthening Marriott’s ability to serve guests wherever they travel.
  • Lifestyle Leader: Starwood’s first-mover advantage in the lifestyle category, along with Marriott’s broad range of brands in this segment, positions the combined company as a leader in the lifestyle space.  With Marriott’s strong owner and franchisee relationships, the combined company expects growth of its lifestyle brands to accelerate.
  • World-Class Associates: This combination brings together two of the most talented teams in the industry.  Together, they will combine their innovative ideas and service commitment to deliver unforgettable guest experiences. 
  • Leading Loyalty Programs: Today, Marriott Rewards, with 54 million members, and Starwood Preferred Guest, with 21 million members, are among the industry’s most-awarded loyalty programs, driving significant repeat business.  They should be even stronger when the companies merge
  • Owner and Franchisee Preference: The combined company will be able to realize increased efficiency by leveraging economies of scale in areas such as reservations, procurement and shared services.  Combined sales expertise and increased account coverage should drive additional customer loyalty, increasing revenue.  We expect that these enhanced efficiencies and revenue opportunities should drive improved property-level profitability as well as greater owner and franchisee preference for the combined company’s brands. 
  • Commitment to Management and Franchising: Marriott remains committed to its management and franchise strategy, minimizing capital investment in the business to generate attractive shareholder returns.

Arne Sorenson, President and Chief Executive Officer of Marriott International, said: “The driving force behind this transaction is growth. This is an opportunity to create value by combining the distribution and strengths of Marriott and Starwood, enhancing our competitiveness in a quickly evolving marketplace.  This greater scale should offer a wider choice of brands to consumers, improve economics to owners and franchisees, increase unit growth and enhance long-term value to shareholders.  Today is the start of an incredible journey for our two companies.  We expect to benefit from the best talent from both companies as we position ourselves for the future.  I know we’ll do great things together as The World’s Favorite Travel Company.”

J.W. Marriott, Jr., Executive Chairman and Chairman of the Board of Marriott International, said: “We have competed with Starwood for decades and we have also admired them. I’m excited we will add great new hotels to our system and for the incredible opportunities for Starwood and Marriott associates.  I’m delighted to welcome Starwood to the Marriott family.”

Bruce Duncan, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, said: “During our comprehensive review of strategic and financial alternatives, it was clear that our talented people, world-class brands, global leadership and spirit of innovation were much admired and key drivers of our value.  Our board concluded that a combination with Marriott provides the greatest long-term value for our shareholders and the strongest and most certain path forward for our company.  Starwood shareholders will benefit from ownership in one of the world’s most respected companies, with vast growth potential further enhanced by cost synergies.  Starwood’s shareholders will also receive the value of the previously announced sale of our vacation ownership business to Interval Leisure Group, which is not part of this transaction.”

Adam Aron, Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Chief Executive Officer on an interim basis, said: “We are excited to play a vital role in the creation of the biggest and best hotel company in the world with tremendous upside potential.  The combination of our two companies brings together the best in innovation, culture and execution.  Our guests and customers will benefit from so many more options across 30 hotel brands, while our hotel owners and franchisees will derive value from our combined global platform and efficiencies.  We are also delighted that our associates will have expanded opportunities as part of a larger organization that is consistently recognized as one of the best companies to work for in the world.”

One-time transaction costs for the merger are expected to total approximately $100 to $150 million.  Transition costs are expected to be incurred over the next two years.  They cannot be estimated at this time, but are expected to be meaningful.  

Marriott will assume Starwood’s recourse debt at the closing of the transaction.  Marriott remains committed to maintaining an investment grade credit rating and to continue managing the balance sheet prudently after the merger. Marriott expects to maintain our 3.0x to 3.25x adjusted debt to adjusted EBITDAR target.

Arne Sorenson will remain President and Chief Executive Officer of Marriott International following the merger and Marriott’s headquarters will remain in Bethesda, Maryland. Marriott’s Board of Directors following the closing will increase from 11 to 14 members with the expected addition of three members of the Starwood Board of Directors.

The transaction is subject to Marriott International and Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide shareholder approvals, completion of Starwood’s planned disposition of its timeshare business, regulatory approvals and the satisfaction of other customary closing conditions.  Assuming receipt of the necessary approvals, the parties expect the transaction to close in mid-2016.


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The Best Types of Videos for Hotel Marketing.

By Nigel J. Rodgers, souce

Hoteliers know that video is one of the most important forms of marketing content on the internet, video content gets more engagement than any other form of digital content; 

Experts believe that, by 2018, video will take up about 79% of the internet. Since video has such a large impact online, it is important to know how to properly use video to connect with your audience.

Here are some of the most popular types of videos that will help increase your hotel’s impact online:

Virtual Tours – What better way to show off your hotel than to show a video walk through of your property? Virtual tours give guests a live action look at your hotel. Show them what it’s like to walk through your halls or lounge by the pool. You can also show your viewers what it feels like the first time they walk into a room. Virtual Tours make your guests feel like they’re actually in your hotel and make them comfortable before they even get there.

Guests of the Month – Guests like to feel appreciated. A great way to show that your hotel cares about its guests is to celebrate them. By having a ‘Guest of the Month’ video, you can film your guests saying great things about their stay. Also, showing that you appreciate your guests lets the viewer know that connecting with your visitors is most important to your hotel.

User Content – Another way to show your hotel’s connection to its guests is by uploading user content. Ask your guests to take videos of themselves having fun at your hotel and post it on their social media. Once they post it, have them tag your hotel’s social media site so you can repost the video. When travelers see others having a great time at your hotel, it places a positive image of your property in their minds.

Staff of the Week – Similar to the ‘Guest of the Month’ video, the ‘Staff of the Week’ video adds a human element to your hotel. Potential guests can see that your hotel is alive and not just a building with rooms. Giving a voice to your wonderful staff puts a face to your hotel and it gives your staff a platform to speak about how great your property is.

Local Events - Sometimes the biggest draw to your hotel is what’s happening in the local area. Whenever there are annual or monthly events in your area, hoteliers can send a crew out to film themselves having a great time at those events. Whether it be a food festival, art event, farmers market, or local concert, showing these great events in your area will definitely attract interested guests to your hotel.

Hotel Facility and Amenity Updates – People like new things. When something new comes to your hotel, promote it with video. Did you just renovate your rooms? Create a short video showing what the new rooms look like. Maybe your hotel just added new gym equipment. A video showing guests using the equipment can increase engagement with travelers who find fitness important. If there are new foods added to your menu, create a video where the hotel chef explains his/her cooking methods. A sense a newness will always give your hotel an advantage over those that are always the same.

Your videos should tell a story about your hotel. Guests should be able to understand the culture, personality, and goals of your hotel just by watching a short clip. People that feel a connection with your hotel are more likely to book a room.


Foto & Video SERvices by GianoraConsulting

Have a look at some of the videos we have made:

©Author: Milo Zanecchia

Thanks to an exclusive partnership with Milo Zanecchia, we are able to offer your hotel a photo and video service at a special price. Our added value is certainly our hotel experience combined with the great “savoir-faire” of Milo. (more examples on

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How Blogging can Positively affect Direct Bookings.

How Blogging can Positively affect Direct Bookings.

By Nigel J. Rodgers, source

There are numerous digital marketing tools available for hoteliers to effectively promote their properties, one of these useful tools is the hotel blog.

There a few reasons why blogs are important. Blogging helps the hotel connect with their audience on a personal level by providing a message that can directly target the customer.

Blogs are also effective social media content and, when scheduled regularly, can help your hotel appear connected and up-to-date. Google is partial to newer content, so posting blogs with strong copy on a regular basis can help your hotel website rank higher in searches.

Greater engagement with your customer can be facilitated through blogs because they allow readers to directly comment on your posts. A blog will get your website greater visibility which in turn will positively affect your direct bookings. That’s the ultimate goal, right?

Blogging is more than just coming up with an article about a current event. There are steps that can be taken to ensure that your blog is effective. It starts with the title: use an exciting and interesting title that captures the attention of the audience.

Something like “Come see Our Newly Remodeled Rooms” gets the point across, but it isn’t enticing. You want a title that makes your want to read more. Speak to the emotions of the reader with a title like, “Kick back and Relax in our Newly Remodeled Rooms with New Features!”

Adding keywords to your blog will also make your site more likely to rank higher in search results. Use keywords that flow seamlessly into the copy of your blog. In addition, too many keywords will make your copy seem disjointed and clunky, so use them moderately.

Another way to get better results is to add a picture to your blog. When you post your blog on social media, it is more likely receive engagement if there is a picture accompanying the post.

When selecting topics for blogs, choose ones that will interest your target audience. Here are a few topics that have been proven to receive high engagement:

  • Special Events like festivals, concerts, and conferences.
  • Popular restaurants, bars, nightclubs, and theatres.
  • Local attractions, city tours, theme parks, and landmarks.
  • Hotel Updates- New services, remodels, customer interviews and reviews, events at the hotel.

Once you select a topic, create well-written content with strong keywords, and post your blog on social media. You will be well on your way to increasing traffic to your hotel’s website!


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The Five Senses of Hotel Marketing

The Five Senses of Hotel Marketing

July 27, 2015 • By tambo, source:

People have keen senses.

Taste, smell, touch, sight and sound evoke powerful emotions and memories, and that’s good news for hoteliers.

Contrary to what most hoteliers would believe, travel decisions aren’t simply rational and logic-based. People make buying decisions – or any decision for that matter – based on their emotions.

Sensory marketing has been a secret weapon used by some of the world’s biggest brands for decades. Just think of the iconic and refreshing sound of a Coca-Cola can being opened, and the drink poured over a glass of ice cubes as it begins to crack the ice, fizzle and pop. Studies shows that 35 percent of Fortune 500 companies have adopted some form of sensory branding into their marketing philosophy.

In a time when the entire hospitality industry is talking about the guest experience, the focus is on creating an emotional connection between your hotel and potential guests. Sensory marketing appeals to all of the human senses, therefore, engaging emotions and influencing buying behavior.

Here’s how you can hit all five senses to draw people completely into your experience and make them more likely to book:

1. Sight

People will make automatic assumptions about the quality of your hotel experience based on the quality of your marketing materials. According to a recent study by professors at Cornell University School of Hotel Administration, old and outdated marketing images gave their research subjects the impression that a hotel was not just dated, but also ugly and dirty – even without them ever having visited the property before! That’s why clean and modern aesthetics on your hotel website design, brochures, sales kits, videos and photos are so vital to turning a profit.

While most hoteliers will read this and say, “Sure, that’s why we invested in new photography last year,” beware that a traveler’s sense of sight is impacted by more than just photos. This also relates to your fonts, color palette and overall design. Plus, don’t overlook your copy, which also “paints a picture.” Use words to bring out the color and vibrancy of your destination, such as, “be surrounded by our verdant green jungles and blazing blues of ocean and sky.” All of these sensory elements combine to create a visual experience to draw people in.

2. Smell

Recent research suggest that smell comes immediately after sight as the most important of the senses and most influential on a consumer’s emotional response to a company.

Intercontinental Hotels Group uses the sense of smell to entice brand loyalty. Each IHG brand caters to different target markets and therefore offers on-property scent options tailored to their specific guests’ expectations and desires. For Hotel Indigo locations, properties can choose from four signature scents each quarter to pipe throughout their hotel. For example, past winter scents included Cranberry Apple Marmalade (warming scent of tart cranberries and spiced apples) and Noel (Balsam fir mixed with warm spices and citrus top notes).

Holiday Inn Hotels have a universal scent that is used at all properties worldwide to create a consistent and common experience. Guests will smell a white tea and citrus blend, with subtle notes of woods, musk, herbs and perilla leaf.

3. Sound

Catchy marketing jingles can remain in people’s minds for decades. That’s why advertising music is written with the specific purpose of hooking the listener and nesting in the guest’s mind and decision-making. One hotel marketing slogan with massive longevity is Motel 6’s famous, “I’m Tom Bodett and we’ll leave the light on for you.” Ad-libbed by Bodett in 1986 and mixed in with uplifting fiddle music, it became the hotel’s signature sound piece that conveyed a down-home theme of clean, comfortable rooms at the lowest prices of any national hotel chain.

Truly, advertising often sneaks into the brain through audio. That’s why after your commute, you’re humming the last song you heard in the car. Or, you’re constantly thinking of that witty jingle by a national insurance company. Sound is powerful. Hard Rock Hotels asks VIPs to fill out a questionnaire before their stay, including what their favorite bands and songs are. They then have the guest’s preferred music playing in their guest room as they walk in, creating instant happiness and nostalgia.

4. Touch

Don’t overlook the textures, fabrics and materials that make up your property’s marketing materials and language. Hotels have a unique opportunity to convey the feeling of luxury or sumptuous comfort by accurately and animatedly piquing people’s sense of touch. Doing so can trick a guest’s mind to briefly experience your hotel, making them bond even more with your brand without ever having stepped foot onto the property. Look how much your sense of touch is activated just by adding materials and fabrics in these descriptions:

“Beautiful headboards vs Floor-to-ceiling velvet and leather headboard”

“Kitchenette with all appliances vs Kitchenette with sleek marble countertops and stainless steel appliances.”

“Comfortable bedding vs Plush, 1200-thread count Egyptian cotton sheets and silk duvets.”

5. Taste

It’s often been said that one way to win over someone’s heart is to appeal to their appetite. That’s the power of a person’s sense of taste. In the 1980s, Doubletree by Hilton defied the custom of reserving privileged perks solely for VIP guests by offering a warm, chocolate chip cookie to every guest upon check in.

The gesture suggested warmth and caring and now each DoubleTree by Hilton property follows the brand’s exact recipe and baking instructions to guarantee a consistently delicious experience no matter which property a guest is visiting. Is there a food that is synonymous with your destination? Perhaps offer sample sizes of your own version. Offer complimentary wine and appetizers during a guest happy hour. Or, offer glasses of champagne upon arrival.

How are you currently marketing to your guests’ five senses?


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How to Attract Chinese Tourists with the Digital?

How to Attract Chinese Tourists with the Digital?

By Gentlemen Marketing Agency (full article and source) 

China has experienced a particularly impressive growth over the last 5 years and although some industry are stopping to grow, this is not the case of two sectors: tourism and e-commerce.

Chinese tourism market is indeed very sought after. It is not before the late 20th century that Chinese got 2 days off per week and 9 public holidays per year. The incredible increase of e-tourism in China.

After that, tourism started to be on the rise. Between 2000 and 2012, the market has increased by 8 times and they are now the first number of tourists traveling abroad (almost 100 million in 2013) and they are the most spendthrift (75.5 billion euros in 2012) too.

China is also hosting the largest number of netizens with about 600 million Internet users in 2014. This represents almost half of the population and it is more than the actual European Union’s population. On the 600 million users, almost half had already made a purchase on the Internet and this is increasing of 30% each year. By 2015, China will be the first e-commerce market in the world.

How does the Chinese tourist think ?

As you may have noticed, the growth of these two sectors has produced a change in the way tourists decide to choose their holiday destination. In Western countries, we decide a particular destination thanks to family or network advice. While in China, it is mainly the Internet that will tip the scale to a corner of the globe or another.

Internet has become an indispensable tool for over 50% of Chinese if they want to go on holidays abroad. When it comes to choosing a destination, book a hotel or a flight, the first reflexes they will have, is to search and seek for information on the web. Before taking the final decision, they will cast a glance at the social networks. Read reviews, watch travelers' pictures, check out on forums the reputation of the travel agency and its services and then ask its virtual network.

If you want to capture Chinese tourists’ attention, you need to know what influences them the most and what are the place where they seek for information. Then, you will be able to control information, the image that your brand vehicle and know the best ways to sell travel services on the Chinese Internet.

Favorite on-line places you don’t want to miss

If today’s large traditional agencies such as CITS or CIT, are not winning unanimous support, new players take place into the market. Ctrip, eLong Qunar, Ivmama, Tuniu manage to distinguish themselves and even control a big piece of the market as they occur only on the Internet and therefore riding the wave of the e-commerce and e-tourism in the same time.

Baidu is never off the Chinese tourists lips these days. This is the main search engine in China (similar to Google) with 70% market share. It offers countless features and functions including Sina. This site offers the possibility for Chinese to share their experience and give feedback on their travel. Other blogs and forums exist as well and mostly appreciate by the population. Among them are Tuniu or Baidu Tieba.

If you want Chinese tourists to find you through Baidu, your site must be well ranked on this search engine. A good ranking is necessary in China and, of course, possible if you choose appropriate keywords to match your agency services. Afterwards, you will have a much better percentage of customer really interested in your services.

Your website must be hosted in China, written entirely in Mandarin and be consistent with Baidu’s standards. Let’s not forget Baidu uses different algorithms from Google, the ranking is therefore not based on the same criterion. SEO or SEM campaign can also help you gain visibility by enhancing your position on the search engine and target interested customers. Several foreign companies based in China can help you build that kind of strategy.

Being referenced on Baidu is the first steps to attracting Chinese tourists

After establish yourself on the Chinese search engine, then travelers will be able to solicit your company for its services directly on your website, which they are used to do in general. Press is also a good way to have visibility and reassure clients on your services but don’t forget to choose specialized one to match your target. Online ads and commercials are taken too, but the target is too vague to be truly qualitative.

Social networks are the most used channels in China and particularly in this sector. 92% of active Internet users use social networks. On these platforms, some accounts are entirely dedicated to the promotion of travel, not in a commercial way, but through travelers posting their latest discovery. To discuss with forum’s users and try to make a name for yourself, one thing have to be done: register on Sina Weibo, WeChat and Tuniu. These are the places of choice for Chinese who share their last trip abroad.

Key Opinion Leader are very important

Among them, Key Opinion Leader (KOL). In China, they are present on every social networks and are very popular among Chinese. Whether for cosmetic brands, clothes brands or for travel agencies, it is always in your favor to be named by one of the KOL. Several agencies also had the good idea to offer free trips to stars or celebrities in exchange for them to post their holidays on social networks and, by that, share with their entire virtual community. Yaochen (the Chinese actress) made the buzz by posting photos of her holidays in New Zealand. This led to a crave for the country never seen before.

Source: iResearch

A precious help

If you want to start in the Chinese e-tourism, you need to know some websites. They do not value their own airline or resort but offer to host and reference your service to allow Chinese tourists to compare them with other company. The good side of these platforms is that they have a reputation that will automatically impact your agency and your services.

There are several e-tourism firm that emerged in the past year. Ctrip is one of them, brand new, the application has wreaked havoc and the company dominates the market with its 8000 employees. Qunar, the new application of Baidu is unbeatable in terms of traffic. Finally, eLong, the oldest, which loses its influence and is about to close down. These platforms, such as the famous B2C and C2C ones, let customers interact and share with each other after their trip.

These companies go up in the ranking of the most successful companies in China and for the first time this year came up in the top 100. This is why they will help you improve your sales faster. Register your hotel complex, seaside resort, your restaurant or your business is more than necessary to succeed in the Chinese market. Chinese consumers are very oriented and influenced by the price. More than knowing what others think about a destination, they want to compare prices. These platforms are the perfect tool for them, so do not hesitate!

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