of online travel, to find that Independent Hotels’ Online Presence Lagging according to this recent study by GuestCentric. The gap between the larger chains and smaller independent hotels is significant when it comes to an effective presence online and the use of web based marketing and distribution tools.
The web was supposed to have leveled the playing field for large and small players but it seems that hasn’t entirely happened in the accommodation sector yet, although according to the latest PhoCusWright Consumer Travel Trends Survey Hotel stays were the most popular component with U.S. online leisure travel buyers in 2007.
This is proof of the growth opportunity for the accommodation sector and poses a challenge to those who haven’t yet focused on how to best use the web as a key tool to assure their future success and do so fast or very likely continue to decline and eventually disappear. No supplier in the travel industry can any longer afford to stay on the sidelines when it comes to the effective use of the web.