Some of the highlights include:
- Mobile marketing: It appears like 2013 was finally THE year of mobile, so expect some serious inroads here, with allocated budgets and increased tactics to respond to the growing traffic coming from tablets and smarphones alike.
- OTA vs. Direct Bookings: A study by Expedia Media Solutions recently showed travelers visit 38 websites on average before purchasing their online travel package, so the competition is become increasingly difficult. Hotels would obviously prefer to get direct bookings and shave off commission levels given to Expedia, Booking, Travelocity and other OTAs but the challenge is to get customers to deal direct. Easier said than done, yet it will be vital in 2014 to get this right.
- Meta-search: With Priceline acquiring Kayak at the end of 2016, with Trivago now a part of the Expedia family and TripAdvisor offering meta-search capabilities, it seems like this is another key distribution outlet hoteliers need to look at in their 2016 strategy.
- Social Media Marketing: Recent studies and surveys show the increasing influence of social media in the search & planning stages of travel, while pure search seem to be slightly declining. It will be interesting to see how well visual sites continue to fare in 2016, in particular Instagram, Vine and Pinterest.
- Growing importance of Google+: This echoes one of the 5 social media marketing trends for 2016 I had already predicted back in November, but will hotel marketers take the plunge?