The Five Stages of Travel

A study about how customers select hotels.

Google has released a study that highlights the five stages of travel that people go through in selecting their hotel. Whether the traveler is dreaming about their next vacation, planning for it, booking their stay or experiencing it firsthand, the study provides insights on how to connect with your customers at each of these key moments in their travel buying cycle. Here is the condensed version with key actionable points for you to accomplish.


Stage 1: Dreaming

Most vacations starts with a dream. A destination featured on a magazine; a photo of a friend walking on a beach posted on social media; or a youtube video showing a recent vacation may be the spark of inspiration that’s needed to start the dream.

Reach travellers during this stage by emailing your past guest with news about events and promotions happening in your hotel. Past guest who already experienced staying in your hotel are an easy sell. Encourage your guests to share their experience on social media. Their post can be the spark that inspires other people to consider your hotel during their next holiday. Write about the top things to do in your area. This will generate plenty of new content on a regular basis, and google loves new content – giving you a boost in rank for niche keywords.


Stage 2: Planning

After the initial dreaming, the customer has decided to take action and moves to the planning stage where google’s statistics tell us that they’ll be visiting 20+ different websites in order to find the ‘perfect’ hotel.

Also according to Google, 66% of travellers will shop around before booking their hotel. So how will your website stand out from the rest? Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) ensures your website ranks higher than your competitors. Update your website at least every month with fresh content. Your website must also be easy to update and should be mobile responsive so it looks good in both desktops and mobile devices. Look for a turn-key Website Solution that is easy to use and made specifically for hotels.