The transition to mobile will drive a lot of the changes predicted to take place in how customers book hotel rooms, according to information from market intelligence firm eRevMax.

The information gathered shows that in 2013 an estimated 7% of all hotel bookings came from mobile, with that figure projected to rise by a further 20% in 2014. eRevMax estimates that over the next 12 months, hotel bookings via mobile devices are going to reach $26million (£15.8million).

Meanwhile, direct bookings from hotel websites account for one-third of all bookings. Working with online travel agents should not be neglected, as this sector is rapidly developing and gaining a larger share of bookings, eRevMax notes.

The importance of social media for hotels is not likely to wane in 2014. Statistics reveal that more than one in five (21%) travellers have looked for a hotel at least once on Facebook, mostly searching for user reviews. Close to half of those polled for the research stated they never booked a room before reading reviews about the hotel, and more than four in five rated user reviews as important for their choice. Moreover, 14% of travellers have booked a room through the Facebook platform.

In order to get Facebook users engaged, eRevMax recommends that hoteliers personalise their welcome page and offer loyalty benefits to those who become fans of the page. Hotels should be sure to monitor the reviews and interactions on their page, and respond to questions and complaints as quickly as possible.

Ben Hollom

January 15, 2014