Small Hotel Trends: Key Travel Agent Predictions for 2017

small hotel trends

If you’re running a small hotel such as a bed and breakfast, there’s a good chance you’re working with travel agents.

Travel agents are an important distribution partner for any business in the travel industry – particularly small hotels.

Given the fact that you are a locally-owned entity with a limited number of rooms, you need to work with agents and distribution partners if you want to reach a global audience. Given the fact that these agents are a vital part of your business, it’s important to take notice of the hotel trends that they are predicting.

After analyzing booking data, here’s what one travel agency group is predicting for 2017:

Cruises are booming

Nearly 65% of travel agents in the group felt that they were going to book more cruises in 2017, with premium cruises being the most popular option among travelers.

Those who are booking premium cruises sometimes have an opportunity to stay in a destination for a night or two, so hotel operators can work to attract these travelers.

What you can do:

Create a promotional package for 2017 that is designed for short stays, such as one-night stays that include a discounted tour with stops at the top area attractions.

Partner with local tour operators to design this package, and then promote it to agents who specialize in booking cruises.

Travelers from the United States and Canada will be focused on domestic travel

About 35% of agents in the United States expect to see an increase in domestic American travel, while 20% of agents in Canada expect an increase in Canadian travel.

What you can do:

Create a promotional package aimed at domestic travelers. Weekend getaway packages are ideal for domestic travelers, who may be trying to fit in a quick trip.

This is another package where you can partner with local tour and activity providers to include extras that might be appealing to domestic travelers who want to book a comprehensive travel package.

The free independent travel market will show the largest increases in 2017, followed closely by group travelers and escort tours

Basically, this group of travel agents expects 2017 to be a big year of travel for all types of businesses within the industry.

Small accommodation providers need to take note of these trends in order to take advantage of these opportunities.

What you can do:

Partner with businesses that tap into these powerful markets.

To effectively market your small hotel to these traveler segments, earn listings on the top review sites that these travelers and their agents use while researching travel options.

Another interesting fact: For travel agents, hotels generated the least amount of customer loyalty, clocking in at just 6%.

However, you can use this data as an opportunity to increase your customer loyalty amongst direct bookings.

To learn more about improving guest loyalty at your small hotel, watch the Little Hotelier guest loyalty video now!

small hotel trends


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