Expedia and Visit Scotland has forged an alliance aimed at increasing visitor numbers to the country’s hotels year-round.
The leading OTA hosted a summit for hoteliers in Edinburgh this week at which they were urged to embrace technology to extend the booking season for overseas visitors.
The Edinburgh Partner Summit featured speakers from VisitScotland, Marketing Edinburgh and the Edinburgh Hotels Association as well as the Expedia Group.
The event highlighted why extending the peak season for Scottish hoteliers is integral to driving visitor numbers, particularly among international travellers.
Irene Roberts, Expedia Group director of market management, UK and Ireland said hoteliers can leverage the power of technology to maximise booking potential and revenue all year.
“We’re delighted to have welcomed Scottish hoteliers to our annual Edinburgh Partner Summit,” she said.
“Our new alliance with VisitScotland aims to build on the recent growth we’ve seen in the country and drive even greater demand all year round, particularly from valuable international visitors who tend to spend more during their visit, book further in advance and stay longer.
“It’s important for us to continue engaging with the local industry to debate the current challenges facing the industry and how we can overcome them together, as we did at this year’s summit.”
Fellow panellist Linda McAllister, senior manager, quality and business advice for VisitScotland, predicted the personalisation of travel will be the biggest trend for the industry, stating that “the attractiveness of the destination will prevail, the challenge will be how to personalise that experience.”
Paul Wakefield, head of marketing and partnerships for marketing Edinburgh said the biggest challenge Edinburgh faced was a “how it positions itself during the off season” and that by focussing on its ‘here-all-year’ cultural offering, the industry can drive demand in non-peak months. “Travellers like it when a city puts its arms around a visitor for the whole experience, that’s what we need to do in Edinburgh”, he said.
The summit came after Expedia Group and VisitScotland announced a new collaborative alliance earlier this month, aiming to drive travel demand through supporting Scotland’s hoteliers with data driven insights and guidance on best practice.