Why doesn’t the relationship between the hotel and their guest begin at this strongest emotional moment?

 

Tnooz recently put out a thought-provoking piece on tapping emotions at the moment booking. According to a TripAdvisor study on the Psychology of Travel:

Excitement is the #1 emotion at the point booking a vacation.

Think back to the last time you booked a vacation. The meticulous preparation you put in - researching every possible location for you to spend the precious time you had off work and the even more precious money you had saved up – until finally you had narrowed it down to one destination. What was the emotion you felt?

The experience of travel does not start when you leave the front door, it begins at that point months before where you started planning, researching and ultimately, booking. That excitement you felt is the same main emotion that 54% of global travelers share with you when they make the actual booking*. Yet only one-in-eight hotels - 12% - prioritize making you feel that the holiday has begun at that point.

Why doesn’t the relationship between the hotel and their guest begin at this strongest emotional moment?

So much is spent in encouraging booking and competing for direct bookings that there has traditionally been a gap in engagement between when a booking is made and when the date finally arrives. It seems quite obvious there remains a huge missed opportunity for hotels to begin developing a relationship with their guests.

The value proposition is clear: if you are a guest, why wait until you arrive to make a restaurant booking which may no longer be available if you wait?

How is your hotel improving the guest relationship after booking (and even winning business from OTAs)?