These are the findings of the European Hotelier Pulse-Check, a new survey by Choice Hotels Europe of just under 100 hotel owners, operators and general managers.
Duncan Berry,Choice Hotels Europe, said: “Choice’s Pan-European Hotelier Pulse-Check reveals the importance hoteliers and general managers are putting on sales and marketing strategies to ensure they can successfully compete in the current economic environment.”
With regards to the economic status of the hotel industry in 2012, Choice Hotels' European Hotelier Pulse-Check found:
- 59% believe the hotel sector will see an upturn in 2012
- 26% believe that hotels will not show any sign of recovery
- 40% believe room rates will return to pre-recession levels
The importance of social networking
The Choice Hotels survey revealed a mixed reaction to the role social networking sites play in the hospitality sector. Almost half (47 per cent) of respondents have created a hotel profile on social networking sites and 71 percent regularly monitor what people are saying about their properties online.
However, six per cent don't intend to implement any social network strategies at all, and 39 per cent believe that, while social networking sites raise the profile and awareness of a hotel property, they will never become a respected booking channel.
Room condition and features, location and convenience of the property, staff service, and price and value were perceived to be the most important hotel features to ensure repeat business.
Last month, BigHospitality reported that the vast majority of UK hoteliers believe that customers will change the way they book hotels in 2012, with mobile technologies seen as the future of hotel reservations. The hoteliers surveyed by Choice Hotels were from the UK, France, Germany, Italy, Switzerland and the Czech Republic.