Last November we revealed the recipients of the trivago Awards 2019: the winning hotels and alternative accommodations providing the best guest experiences and online booking journeys to today’s travelers.
Now we’d like to introduce some of the hard-working and forward-looking hoteliers behind these award-winning properties. The aim of these interviews is twofold: Both to recognize the passion and dedication required of running a hotel, as well as to bring to light the common challenges all hoteliers are facing.
For this issue, we spoke with Melanie Harvey, PR Director and General Managerof trivago Award-winner ibis budget London Whitechapel.
The marketing executive of an award-winning hotel on success, struggles, and the importance of metasearch in running a hotel business
trivago: Congratulations on being awarded as a number one hotel in this year’s trivago Awards: Direct Bookings! How do you feel about this achievement and to what do you attribute your success?
“This award provides recognition of our success this year and proves that a non-distributed hotel can still deliver great results. It is always hugely satisfying to receive such a reward, particularly to recognise the hard work of all those involved in running the hotel. The award shows that hotels can achieve real success from direct bookings if they have a strong brand and if guests know they are going to get a great experience at good value.”
This award provides recognition of our success this year and proves that a non-distributed hotel can still deliver great results.
What is the main challenge you are currently facing as a hotelier?
“Driving incremental revenue is definitely a challenge in an increasingly competitive environment, with competitors sometimes adhering to very aggressive pricing strategies. To thrive in that world is a challenge but what this award shows is that if you have a powerful brand that promises a quick, straightforward, welcoming experience and great value, it can have a real commercial impact in attracting loyal guests.”
The hotel industry is getting increasingly digital. How have you adapted to keep up with the changes?
“We have been heavily investing in digital technology for several years, but we are very careful to deploy it only where it enhances the guest experience. A key example is our use of mobile technology. In 2017 we began to run most of the ibis UK network from mobile devices, with employees welcoming and helping guests as well as managing their schedules from an app on their smartphones. This gives staff more time to assist guests and also enabled us to remove traditional reception desks altogether.”
What role does metasearch play in improving your hotel’s online visibility and in increasing your online bookings?
“Of course, some websites are incredibly powerful and metasearch referrals are an important part of the mix. This is why we put such a focus on doing everything we can to drive positive RPS and guest reviews online, such as our group-wide cultural transformation which has empowered and encouraged our people to create outstanding guest experiences. Online visibility is vital, but so much of what people see online stems from the good or bad experiences they have had with hotels in the past, whether during the booking process, during their stay, or after it.”
….metasearch referrals are an important part of the mix.
Melanie, thank you for this interview, and congratulations once again on your trivago Award!
Be considered for next year’s trivago Awards
Every year, the trivago Awards recognize the top-rated and best-performing hotels and alternative accommodations on trivago.
By registering for free on trivago, you can see your hotel’s online reputation and find out what you need to do to improve your rating in time for the trivago Awards 2020.
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