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5 Hospitality Website Trends to Improve Guest Experience

When guests are ready to travel, they research their accommodations and book where they’ll stay long before packing their bags. That means their search for lodging starts online, and oftentimes, it will lead them to a variety of hospitality websites. 

A prospective guest can tell a lot about you by your digital domain, as well as your online engagement at large...

Luckily, there are few trends in the hospitality industry that hotel and park systems alike use to make researching and booking online easier. From mobile-friendly website design to supportive tools and integrations, here are five hospitality-specific website trends to improve the guest experience:

Trend 1: Responsive Design

In today’s day and age, any hospitality website needs to be smartphone-friendly. If a website is unattractive or hard to navigate on mobile, guests will bounce right back to the search engine results page. According to Google, 61% of users likely won’t return to a mobile website if they had trouble accessing it, and 40% visit a competitor’s site instead.

Mobile-first web design is not only appealing to search engines— who want faster loading, fit-for-any-screen functionality— but it also reflects how would-be guests perceive your brand. An astounding 75% of consumers admit to making judgments on a company’s credibility based on the company’s website design.

Does your current website allow guests to go through the entire booking process on their phone or tablet? If not, perhaps start looking at how you can migrate over to a mobile-friendly website to stay on top of industry trends. 

Trend 2: Self-Service and Reservation Management 

Perhaps one of the most important features guests want on a hospitality website is the ability to book their stay, right there, right now. By allowing guests to book online, you cut out the middleman. Your front desk staff saves time on the phone. Guests can book 24/7, without having to worry about your business hours, waiting on hold, or playing phone tag. As a matter of fact, any brand within the industry that doesn’t offer self-service reservations is at a disadvantage— as more and more major accommodation providers offer this convenient option. 

In addition to its sheer convenience, adding self-service reservation management features to your website makes upgrading a breeze. Guests see options for enhancing their stay as recommendations before checkout, freeing your sales team up to focus their efforts elsewhere. 

Trend 3: Chatbots

When a guest is shopping for accommodations, they’re in the zone. At that exact moment, they want answers— convenient, easy answers. If they’re really interested in your hotel or park, a digital guest might fill out a form or send an email to request more information. However, more often than not, the online visitor will hop back to the search engines to look for instant fulfillment elsewhere.

Enabling instant chat on your hospitality website sets you apart from the competition by enabling 24/7, automated assistance. Through the use of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML), bots can serve site visitors instant answers to common questions. The tech will even know when to pass more difficult questions off to a real person— and with the right remote support, you can get answers to your prospective guests quickly. The faster you can serve a guest’s needs, the more they’ll trust your brand, especially if you can make their first touchpoint with you memorable. 

Trend 4: Storytelling Through Video

While a well-written website is one way to get search engines’ and prospective guests’ attention, text is not the only way to get your message across. On one side of the coin, people enjoy seeing and hearing someone explaining something via visual and auditory media. On the other side, search engines crawl this media very similarly to text, analyzing the alternative text, captions, titles, and descriptions connected to the video. Two birds, one stone. 

Just like you can attract attention and boost engagement on social media by leveraging video, you too can embed clips on your website to stay trendy and relevant. Showcase long-standing staff members on your company’s About page, or film virtual tours of your properties to give guests a first-hand look at your impressive lodging, amenities, and events spaces. 

You can even repurpose the content you create on social media, like your Facebook Live recordings or TikToks, so your time is well spent across all channels and marketing. 

Trend 5: Social Proof

Before booking a stay, most guests will check to see what others have to say about your brand online— beyond your website alone. They’ll hop to popular review sites like TripAdvisor and Yelp, as well as Facebook Reviews and similar platforms, where guests rate and share blurbs about their experience.

In fact, 78% of individuals check reviews before booking, according to Lodging Magazine and a survey conducted by The GO Group, LLC. Similarly, of those surveyed for our 2021 State of the Industry Report, the majority of respondents said when searching for camping or hotel accommodations, it’s review sites that most influence their decision.

hospitality website trends

Guests are looking for that social proof— for that honest guest feedback— to reassure them of your credibility before making a reservation. 

Make guest feedback easily accessible right on your hospitality website by including quotes in a rolling slider bar or as images with graphics. The easier you make it for prospective guests to see what others thought of their stay, the better. Plus, by including testimonials right on your website, you can curate your favorites upfront!  

improve guest experience

Level Up Your Guest Experience

These hospitality industry website trends are sure to create a better guest experience, empowering your site visitors with the user interaction they desire online.

If you’re looking for more ways to polish your website, we’ve got a terrific resource— just for you. In Taking Your Website to the Next Level, we discuss important SEO tactics and more to excel in the hospitality industry and beyond. 

Download your complimentary copy, today. 

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