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Content: The Key to Hotel Bookings?


The online travel planning process is one that often involves research on multiple websites and consideration of a number of factors. Learn why hotel content (primarily visual) plays a significant role in driving bookings.

By John McAuliffe, Chief Marketing Officer, VFM Leonardo
September 3, 2009

What makes online travel shoppers feel comfortable, welcomed and confident in their hotel booking decisions? It could be a number of factors and may vary from consumer to consumer – their friend stayed at that hotel and had a good experience, all of the reviews they read online were positive, the hotel advertised a special package that catered to their interests. But, there’s one thing for sure, visual content definitely plays a significant role when travel shoppers are researching hotel options online.

Travel shoppers are no longer looking for the lowest-priced option; they’re looking for the best-priced option that promises them the best experience. The proliferation of the Internet has opened travelers up to a plethora of hotel options right at their fingertips. It’s easier than ever before for shoppers to find and be engaged by visual content, particularly video, and as a result, travel shoppers have become increasingly “content-sensitive.”

It’s not just written content that is important, but rather, a combination of relevant written and visual content. A study conducted by Forrester Research earlier this year found that 37% of US online leisure travelers surveyed avoid staying at hotels because they don’t see photos, video or written content that would make them feel comfortable.1

Online travel shoppers start their hotel research on any number of sites – search engines, online travel agencies, video sites, review sites, destination sites, social media sites, brand site, etc. and the most failsafe way to engage and convert shoppers to buyers is to ensure that the content for your hotel makes them feel comfortable, welcomed and confident in their booking decision.

So yes, when managed effectively online, content is key to hotel bookings and will give you a leg up over your competition online.

Learn more about this topic in a complimentary webinar featuring Henry H. Harteveldt, Vice President and Principal Analyst with Forrester Research. Henry’s research helps travel industry eBusiness & Channel Strategy professionals worldwide understand and anticipate how technology will affect the way they market, sell, and distribute their products and services.
Henry will unveil interesting and fresh research and insights into the role content plays with travel shoppers and how it impacts the five pillars of successful eBusiness.

Complimentary Webinar: The Five Pillars of Effective Travel eBusiness
September 10th 2009, 2:00pm Eastern / 11:00am Pacific
Register now »

Sources:
1 North American Technographics® Travel Online Survey Q1 2009 (US), Forrester Research, Inc., February 2009

About VFM Leonardo
VFM Leonardo is a technology leader in online visual content management and distribution systems. VFM Leonardo’s VScape® and VBrochure™ products leverage the distribution capabilities of the VNetwork™, the most universally accepted and largest online visual content distribution network for the global travel industry including all four global distribution systems (GDSs), Pegasus and travel-related channels including online travel agencies, travel research and supplier web sites, search portals and major travel intermediaries. VFM Leonardo offers the hotel industry the most effective digital asset management and online merchandising systems available today and efficiently delivers over 1,000,000 visual images (photos, virtual tours and videos) to more than 30,000 travel channels and websites in the VNetwork including Amadeus, Galileo, Sabre, Worldspan, Pegasus, Travelocity, Orbitz, Priceline, Tripadvisor, Yahoo! Travel, Kayak, Google and many more for 90,000 hotels worldwide. For more information about VFM Leonardo, visit www.vfmleonardo.com. Follow VFM Leonardo on Twitter at www.twitter.com/VFMLeonardo.

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