The holiday season is quickly approaching which means hotel bookings are on the rise. It’s an especially important time for hoteliers to begin targeting their consumers who are on the hunt for great deals. The increase in hotel competition means that customers will have lots of choices when they begin to book. Luckily, the statistics from the past few years have provided us with a clear outlook on what to expect in these last couple of months in 2015.
Between family gatherings and plans for warm vacation getaways, December is the most popular time for travel throughout the year. In fact, The Winter Holiday Travel Survey reveals that 58% of Americans plan to travel within the US for the holidays. And interestingly enough, 48% of those don’t intend to stay with their families for the holidays. Most Americans (54%) prefer that their visiting relatives make hotel reservations (hotelnewsresource.com). These changes in family expectations have opened a huge door for hotels. Hotels have the opportunity to target these visitors with intentional messaging that focus on these traveler’s low key needs.
Last year's trends show that bookings peak between November 17 and December 14, and half of all holiday bookings were made after December 14 (hotelnewsnow.com). The short period is crucial for hotels due to the assumptions that can be made about this segment of their audience. Visitors hitting the site during this time frame can be marketed to in a specific and intentional way. Evaluating visit source, history, and length of stay will help hoteliers understand more about their holiday traffic’s preferences.
When it comes to campaigns, the best part about the holidays is that many travelers have a flexible travel schedule. It’s reported that 33% of US travelers research their stay to start before Christmas and stay through New Year’s day. However, only 16% move forward with their plans to stay through the New Year (Tnooz.com). For hotels, that can be a costly change in plans. In fact, the same article also references that the average stay for the Christmas season is only 3 nights, December 24-27, if these guests had decided to book through the new year, it would have added at least 5 nights to their stay.
With these facts in mind, it is highly recommended that hotels engage their guests during the next few weeks of holiday planning. Elizabeth Harz, president of Media, ADARA, gives her suggestions in response to The Holiday 2015 Travel Prediction Report. "Marketers still have time to reach and engage potential holiday travelers with creative, relevant, and targeted advertising campaigns, but they have to act now. By getting their message and offers in front of potential travelers today, marketers can help drive consideration and bookings during this critical time period for holiday travel"(hotelnewsnow.com).