The Importance of Online Guest Engagement

Information Technology Press Releases Tuesday March 6, 2018 12:41
Bangkok--19 Jun--TQPR
How THAI Hoteliers can leverage impROved listings, data insights and tailorED guest relations tools to Stay ahead of the curve
By Pimpawee Nopakitgumjorn, Director - Expedia Lodging Partner Services, Thailand

Online Travel Agencies (OTAs), like Expedia, provide travelers with a variety of accommodation options in one place, and put information at their fingertips. OTAs are the leading resource during the planning phase of a trip, and remain prevalent through the booking path, with OTAs converting the most travelers.

Tools, data and insights available via OTA extranet sites, like Expedia(R) PartnerCentral (EPC), offer Thai hoteliers the opportunity to inspire and convert travelers, set expectations, create personalized experiences, identify and address issues to better meet guest needs, improve guest experience and drive repeat bookings. But understanding the phases leading up to the trip, and the traveler experiences throughout, is a fundamental part of maintaining a hotel's online reputation.

Understanding the Traveler JourneyThere are four phases: dreaming and planning, shopping and booking, the trip itself and post-trip. Throughout this journey, today's tech-savvy mobile-first travelers are looking for personalized content that is relevant to their preferences

So what tools can Thai hoteliers use to help attract and engage travelers throughout their journey?

Influencing the Guest ExperienceTravelers want to imagine themselves in a destination and experiencing their vacation. So how does a hotel make it easy for travel shoppers to visualize their stay, while also differentiating a hotel's property?

The tools available in Expedia PartnerCentral (EPC) can help Thai hoteliers inform, influence and engage with travelers throughout their journey. Using EPC, hoteliers can access market data about what traveler shoppers are most interested in to help improve property content, optimize photos and provide tools to better engage and influence a hotel partner's online reputation.

With more than 600 million traveler visits to Expedia's portfolio of brands each month, hotel partners have the opportunity to capture consumer interest and visibility.

Attracting Travelers with Dream-worthy Content During the initial dreaming and planning phase, travelers are viewing immense amounts of content and researching their options. Once they've chosen a destination, robust hotel descriptions, compelling imagery, and information on nearby points of interest all influence a traveler's hotel booking decision. A study found that 35 percent of U.S. travelers (one of Thailand's top inbound travelers) start their search with multiple destinations in mind and average 140 visits to travel sites in the 45 days leading up the booking. These insights confirm the importance of content and how it can provide an opportunity to inspire travelers and empower Thai hoteliers to be a true destination ambassador.

Use Market Data to Help Lock in BookingsAs travelers move into the booking phase, hoteliers still need to account for travelers' diverse needs and budgets. They can attract more travelers, and increase the likelihood of converting a booker, by offering a wide variety of room types and rate plans. Understanding the market and offering competitive rates and availability can be what helps travelers make that final booking decision. Expedia has built a powerful set of tools to help Thai hoteliers understand their performance, be more competitive in their market, and grow their business in the Expedia Marketplace.

Leveraging performance and market information, paired with public shopping data, can help hotels set strategies that convert travelers. Expedia offers several analytics tools to help with revenue management and property performance, which provide valuable information on a property's revenue performance.

9.8M MESSAGES exchanged between hoteliers and guests with EPC Conversations since launch

Success! The traveler has booked a stay at a hotel's property. Once a traveler has booked, the hotelier can begin delivering on guest experience by opening the lines of communication using tools such as EPC Conversations, which helps create first impressions and set expectations with custom messages or check-in instructions.

The StayContinued engagement with a traveler once they embark on their journey is key to creating a positive experience as engaged guests are also 40 percent more likely to return to the property. There is an opportunity for hotels to drive incremental profit through active engagement with their guests. For instance, a recent Gallup study showed that engaged hotel guests spend almost THB 20,000 per visit versus the average guest who spends only THB 14,000.

Engaged guests are returning guests – they are 40 percent more likely to return to the property.

To further facilitate guest engagement, Expedia helps capture Real-time Feedback. With Real-time Feedback, guests receive a brief email questionnaire to gauge how their stay is going, which allows hoteliers to instantly read and respond. When hoteliers immediately address and resolve traveler issues, they can create a positive impression and potentially increase the likelihood of receiving higher post-trip Guest Review.

Reliving the Journey During the post-trip phase, travelers want to relive their experiences by posting on social media and leaving reviews – positive and negative. Understanding the role of reviews throughout the journey, and their impact on a hotel's online reputation, is imperative for Thai hoteliers. Research has shown that 49 percent of travelers won't book a hotel without a review[4] and most travelers read 6 -12 reviews before booking.

Expedia encourages guests to write an online review through Expedia Verified Reviews after guest check out. It's important for hotels to monitor post-trip Guest Reviews and respond to questions and concerns. In fact, 62 percent of users say that seeing hotel management respond to reviews generally "makes me more likely to book it" and 87 percent of users agree that an appropriate response to a bad review "improved my impressions of the hotel."5

Guest reviews are valuable to both hotels and potential guests, but extracting actionable insights from them can be time consuming and costly. With EPC, hoteliers can easily monitor their property rating across Expedia group websites. Additionally, Guest Review Insights transforms unstructured guest reviews into actionable, quantifiable data regarding how guests feel about a stay, allowing hoteliers to make informed improvements, where possible.

About the Expedia group
The Expedia group (NASDAQ: EXPE) is the world's largest online travel company, with an extensive brand portfolio that includes leading online travel brands, such as:
  •, a leading full-service online travel brand with localized sites in 33 countries
  •, a leading global lodging expert operating 90 localized websites in 41 languages with its award winning Rewards loyalty program
  • Expedia(R) Affiliate Network (EAN), a global B2B brand that powers the hotel business of hundreds of leading airlines, travel agencies, loyalty and corporate travel companies plus several top consumer brands through its API and template solutions
  • trivago(R), a leading online hotel search platform with sites in 55 countries worldwide
  • HomeAway(R), a global online marketplace for the vacation rental industry, which also includes the Abritel(TM), FeWo-direkt(TM) and brands, among others
  • Egencia(R), a leading corporate travel management company
  • Orbitz(R) and CheapTickets(R), leading U.S. travel websites, as well as ebookers(R), a full-service travel brand with websites in seven European countries
  • Travelocity(R), a leading online travel brand in the U.S. and Canada delivering customer service when and where our customers need it with the Customer First Guarantee
  • Hotwire(R), inspiring spontaneous travel through Hot Rate(R) deals
  • Wotif Group, a leading portfolio of travel brands including,,, and
  • Expedia(R) Media Solutions, the advertising sales division of the Expedia group that builds creative media partnerships and enables brand advertisers to target a highly-qualified audience of travel consumers
  •, a premier online car rental booking company with localized sites in 13 countries
  • Classic Vacations(R), a top luxury travel specialist
  • Expedia Local Expert(R), a provider of online and in-market concierge services, activities, experiences and ground transportation in over a thousand destinations worldwide
  • Expedia(R) CruiseShipCenters(R), a provider of exceptional value and expert advice for travelers booking cruises and vacations through its network of over 240 retail travel agency franchises across North America
  • SilverRail Technologies, Inc., provider of a global rail retail and distribution platform connecting rail carriers and suppliers to both online and offline travel distributors
For corporate and industry news and views, visit us at or follow us on Twitter @expediainc.

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