2012 Tourism Trends
Online booking will continue to (modestly) grow
More than 50% of travel bookings are now made on the internet. The number of U.S. travelers booking and researching online is still seeing modest growth. More than 114 million people will research travel online this year, while 94 million will actually book reservations.
There will be more mobile bookings and research
More travelers will be turning to their mobile devices to not only research lodging and travel options, but to book and communicate room preferences directly with the hotel. Mobile channel booking has increased four-fold between 2008 and 2010 according to Forrester Research. Google is projecting that mobile will overtake PCs as the most common Web-access device by 2013. With travelers adopting smart phones and tablets at such a rapid pace, it's crucial for hospitality businesses to optimize their website for mobile usage to capture potential mobile transactions.
Social media will continue to transform connections with travelers
It is being projected that by 2016, half of the travel industry will be using social media as a way of generating revenue and bookings. Social media will become more of a key component of Search Engine Results Page (SERP) algorithms. Facebook's posts are already integrated into Bing search and Google+ emerged with native integration into Google search. Hospitality businesses can no longer afford to linger over adding social media to their marketing mix. It's now a necessary element of traffic-driving success.