In a recent survey conducted by Proactiv Marketing, more than two thirds (2/3) of Irish hotels and guesthouses are not actively promoting their venues on Facebook. While most Irish hotels have developed their own websites they are not making the most of social media. Facebook has a membership of over 500 million users worldwide with 50% logging on every day.
The opportunities in social media marketing as well as hotel revenue management, mobile applications and search marketing will be covered at this year’s HotelWebsiteMarketing.com Conference in Dublin on Sept 14th being held at the Crown Plaza Hotel in Dublin Airport. The conference sponsored by Tourism Ireland, will include some of the industry’s leading experts including Tripadvisor, IDeaS Revenue Management, Meetingsbooker.com, Tnooz.com and many more.
Speaking at the launch of the HotelWebsiteMarketing.com Conference Mary Hanafin T.D, Minister for Tourism Culture and Sport said “using every opportunity and medium to maximise business for hotels across Ireland is vitally important in the current economic climate. Customers looking for leisure or business purposes have to seek the best value for money and the best facilities and exploiting all of the new forms of social media to advertise hotel facilities is an important business marketing strategy. This conference will draw together all of the expertise in this industry and seek to provide answers to help hotel marketing and salespeople deliver even more."
According to the Central statistics office (CSO), 48% of visitors to Ireland in 2009 stated that the internet played a key role in influencing their decision to visit Ireland. “Tourism Ireland has increased its digital marketing activity across the world and we now invest €12 million of our marketing budget online. Our suite of websites Discoverireland.com, already provides a platform for Irish hoteliers and other industry partners to promote themselves overseas” Niall Gibbons, Chief Executive of Tourism Ireland.
Irish hotels are dealing with a totally new type of customer who no longer books through traditional channels. Web savvy travellers are shopping around online visiting on average 6 websites before making a decision. The growing influence of peer advice is also a key factor in the decision making process, this is underlined by the continuing success of conference speakers Tripadvisor who offer over 35 million travel reviews.
“We receive 10% of our meeting room bookings through social media platforms. Although it does have a zero cost to entry, it’s not a medium for the hard sell and most hotels do not recognise this and constantly push offers instead of engaging with people” Ciaran Delaney, MD MeetingsBooker.com.