Increasingly, globetrotters rely on the internet in deciding what travel products to go for and those in the hospitality are responding with more investment into developing online portals.
Pan Pacific Hotels Group has announced that it is undertaking “a million-dollar initiative” to renew its websites for both its Pan Pacific and Park Royal lines, to be launched in 2013. The project is to take into consideration “technology, customer experience and performance” and aims to increase interactiveness and customer engagement. A mobile-optimised website compatible with major portable electronic devices is also to be developed.
The decision to revamp the websites has been based on findings from a global customer survey that the hotel group has done with research company BDRC Continental, which involved more than 15,000 interviews in some 40 markets globally. Results of the survey showed that 87 per cent of travellers had visited a hotel website in the 12 months prior, with 65 per cent going on to make a booking. It also found that in Asia Pacific, smartphones were used to a much greater degree for hotel-related activities than elsewhere, although bookings remained more common through websites than apps. Not surprisingly, more than half of those interviewed and who has used a review site indicated that they had changed their decisions on hotels based on online reviews.
Pan Pacific has some 30 properties in its portfolio, including those under development in Asia, Oceania and North America.
Similarly, Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts has also just launched new websites after 10 months of work. The move aimed to improve customers’ trip-planning experience and the result includes optimised mobile versions of the site for iPhone, Android and Blackberry users. A mobile application for iPhone and iPad users is to come at the end of June to allow travellers to locate properties, book their stays and access latest offers, and members of the group’s Golden Circle loyalty programme can also manage their accounts through it. Social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Weibo, Kaixin and Youku are integrated.