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If a Picture's Worth a Thousand Words, What's it Worth in Dollars?

Interesting news out in Hotel Management magazine highlighting a recent MMGY Global Research which includes these findings:

  • 78% of travelers want to see photos of hotel and resort facilities
  • 73% seek photos of the area
  • 68% want the ability to preview room locations

In addition, 30% want to share those photos with others (not surprising when you consider that most travelers—both business and leisure—travel with other people). This data underscores why visuals matter in digital marketing for hotels and resorts.

Other findings attracting attention in the study focus more on pricing, with 83% wanting to check the lowest rates, 80% looking for a best rate guarantee, and 73% asking to compare rates across suppliers.

But, it’s dangerous to assume that consumers looking for best rate guarantees only want low prices. One of the great things about using images for marketing your hotel or resort is how effectively those images demonstrate value to your guests — regardless of the rate offered.

Consider the following presentation of hotel information:

Hotel information presented as text

Now check this out:

Hotel information presented visually

Which do you suppose sells more hotel rooms?

Yes, consumers want to find a good deal. That’s a fact. Pretty much always has been; probably always will be.

But, what they really want is good value. Paying $79 for a crappy room (or one that’s indistinguishable from every other room out there), may be “cheap,” but it’s not necessarily enticing.

Instead, offer your guests a good look at what they’re getting for their money. It’s been my experience, as well as that for many clients, that guests will pay more so long as they understand what they’re paying for. In fact, the New York Times recently highlighted a trend in paid upgrades among hotels and resorts that guests really appreciate (I learned the same thing while working on a new HSMAI upselling white paper).

The bottom line is this: Price isn’t everything, even when guests say it is. Instead, make it easy for your guests to see what they’re paying for and you might be happily surprised to learn they’ll often pay more.

Interested in learning more about where digital marketing’s headed? Register to receive a special report I’ve produced in conjunction with hotel marketing firm Vizergy, “Digital Hotel Marketing in a Multiscreen World.” It’s targeted specifically at hotel and resort marketers, though the lessons also apply to just about any business. You can get your free copy of the report here.

And you might also enjoy some of our past coverage of the social, local, mobile web and what it means for your business, including:

Tim Peter

Tim Peter is the founder and president of Tim Peter & Associates. You can learn more about our company's strategy and digital marketing consulting services here or about Tim here.

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