As a hotel operator, you’re probably aware digital content is key in converting browsing to booking and maximizing your occupancy rate. You may have also realized that price and location are no longer the top 2 criteria driving people to choose a particular hotel.
Guest experience factors such as past stays, reputation, recommendations, and online reviews, are critical to selecting a hotel. Of visitors surveyed, 51% said the experience was more important than either the hotel’s geographical location at 48% or price at 42%. Since guests will certainly use various web-based and mobile tools to compare prices, check reviews, and see pictures to help them with their decision, allowing searchers to “virtually” tour rooms and amenities is a sure win.
From the beginning, hoteliers can shape guest experiences by preparing their expectations in the planning phase. Here are 5 Ways virtual tours for hotels can help:
#1. It Begins with a Search
90% of travelers will go online at some point during their travel planning, 80% will book online and 65% of those will book directly from a hotel/brand website.
80% of online trip planning starts with a search engine. Since virtual tours improve rankings in search results, it’s a great strategy ensures that your website is prominently featured.
Travelers spend 3x more time-on-site when interacting with virtual tours. That’s three times more opportunity to convert browsing into booking. Interactive content keeps people engaged long enough to inspire conversions and bookings.
#2. Getting Social Gets Noticed
4 out of 5 people use social media during the planning phase. Daily posts with interesting and informative content have the potential to reach thousands of travelers.
85% of people who like a brand on social media are past and present customers. Connect with them and they will become enthusiastic brand ambassadors.
52% of Facebook users said their friends’ travel posts inspired them to visit the same place. Create posts with engaging media that your guests will want to share.
#3. Manage Your Reputation and Maximize Confidence
93% of travelers say online reviews had an impact on their decision. Your online presence can shape their expectations and lead to a satisfactory experience.
87% say that a good response to a bad review improves their impression of the hotel. Cultivating a positive online reputation boosts your bottom line. Virtual tours are highly impactful when shared in response to negative guest reviews about the appearance or condition of your hotel.
Online reviews can affect RevPAR by 10% or more. Ultimately, people want confirmation that they’re making the right choice, and having a virtual tour helps them choose your hotel with certainty.
#4. If a Picture is Worth a Thousand Words, There are a Million Reasons to Go360
67% of travelers say photography quality is “very important” in choosing a hotel. Interactive virtual tours will let guests explore your property at their own pace, experiencing your hotel as if they were there in person.
Travelers are 150% more engaged when listings have comprehensive imagery of guest rooms and facilities. Inaccurate or inadequate photos result in disappointed guests and lost bookings.
Hotels with virtual tours on their website can experience 48% more bookings. With 167% more conversions, ROI can be achieved in as little as 4 weeks.
#5. Interactive Virtual Tours are the Next Best Thing to Being There
2 out of 3 consumers want more virtual tours of businesses. Interactive virtual tours allow people to explore, connect with, and experience a business as if they were there in person.
Hotel/brand websites are the #1 online source for business travel planning and the #2 source for leisure travel planning.
96% of Hotel Event Coordinators say virtual tours are also a good tool to help prospective visitors visualize the event spaces and meeting rooms.
Travelers rely on digital media and web-based resources throughout the process for research, planning, booking, and even post-trip sharing. Virtual tours can play a significant role in strengthening your digital presence by showcasing your facility in ways that pictures can’t. Travelers need to know if your facility has the amenities and atmosphere they want. Professional virtual tour imagery showcases your hotel in its most favorable light.
This wonderful article was originally written by the great folks at Coast 2 Coast. Thank you for the great contribution!