Hotel booking flexibility replaces price as top priority
There are known facts about the pandemic, such as a repressed desire to travel and a need for flexibility on the part of suppliers.
But no one really knows yet which of the current trends will persist and how traveler behaviors will be impacted in the longer term.
SiteMinder in one report nods to the increased appreciation for travel as well as the feeling of more than a third of travelers, 34%, that they plan to travel more.
In his Dynamic traveler: a new era for hotel guests report, the hotel tech specialist says travelers now have higher expectations of their accommodation.
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According to the report, 52% say they have higher expectations and things like flexibility, value for money and security have the most impact on booking behavior.
Research shows that of the 14 factors that can influence booking, free cancellations and changes are among the top two priorities for almost a third of travelers.
It trumps price, which has always been considered the main influencing factor on behavior in the past, which comes in second with 27%.
In Australia, flexible bookings are among the top two priorities for 45% of travelers, while in France, Spain and the UK it is a key factor for over 40%.
Interestingly, after booking, the flexibility and price, included breakfast, and health and safety practices are roughly equal when it comes to influencing bookings.
The report also highlights the trend of direct bookings, revealing that 39% of travelers plan to book directly with hotels, up slightly from the figure of 36% in 2020.
Booking through an online travel agency has gone from 37% in 2020 to 26% this year according to the study.
It also reveals that travelers are opting for packages more, with 14% now choosing a package compared to around 4% in 2020.
Other findings from the SiteMinder report include the challenge of online trust with around a fifth of travelers trusting their accommodation provider ‘a lot’ with their personal payment details, 48% saying ‘a little’ and 21 % say ânot a lotâ.
Mark Renshaw, Director of Marketing at SiteMinder, says: âThe preferences of this dynamic and evolved traveler have the potential to fundamentally reshape the travel industry, as well as the approach hoteliers must now take to be considered an option. viable hosting.