Less than one in 10 UK hospitality businesses now use offline businesses, such as high street travel agents, as a marketing platform, a TripAdvisor study reveals.
The TripBarometer Mobile and Social trends research shows that half of hospitality businesses are devoting marketing spend to mobile and social media channels as online marketing continues to capture share from offline spend.
Nearly half (44%) of UK hoteliers allow bookings through a mobile device, and four in ten (40%) ensure their website is mobile-friendly.
Around the same percentage of travellers globally (39%) say they expect hospitality businesses to provide a mobile-friendly site, which suggests that UK businesses are quickly responding to consumer demand.
Almost a third (32%) plan to expand their mobile offering next year, while 30% also plan to invest more in their use of social media platforms.
But more than a third (38%) of UK hoteliers admit they do not optimise for mobile, with nearly half of those (41%) admitting they felt they did not have the knowledge to do so.
A quarter of global travellers relied on social media to plan their last trip, to get recommendations (72%), see pictures and videos of where they’re going (67%), find inspiration for what to do and see while they’re there (60%), and to look for deals (45%), according to the study.
A majority of hoteliers have seized upon this opportunity and are using social media to engage with current and potential guests (Global: 82%; UK: 72%) with Facebook and Twitter being the most popular social networks.
More than half of hoteliers globally say they get the most value from using Facebook (Global: 59%; UK: 49%).
TripAdvisor for Business president Marc Charron said: “Travellers’ reliance on mobile devices and social media is consistent with the trends we’re seeing.
“TripAdvisor has 79 million average monthly mobile unique visitors, an increase of more than 216% from last year.
“Over 50 million people have installed our various apps, and we see that travellers are using them not only for planning but during their trips.
“Additionally, one in three TripAdvisor reviews are submitted by Facebook connected users, demonstrating that travellers are still keen to share their experiences via social media platforms after their trips.”