The website’s TripBarometer, a survey of 35,000 hoteliers and travellers from 26 countries, found that 50 per cent of travellers would be increasing their travel budget this year with those from Africa, the Middle East and South America looking to up theirs the most.
The findings show that hoteliers may be seeing an end to the trend of dramatically reducing rates in a bid to fill rooms with 40 per cent of the 1,590 UK hotels surveyed actually planning to increase room rates in the next six months.
However, while the outlook for the year ahead was largely positive, hoteliers were less confident that it would be as successful as last year with just 58 per cent of UK accommodation providers forecasting a profitable year this year compared with the 76 per cent who reported making a profit in 2012.
The TripBarometer also looked at the booking habits of travellers, finding that price (76 per cent) and location (68 per cent) were the most important selection criteria when it came to choosing a hotel with the majority (92 per cent) using the internet to research and plan their trip.
Of the mediums used to research online, review websites and social media were seen as increasingly important and of the 24 per cent using social media to plan and book a trip, 76 per cent of them used Facebook.
The survey also showed the increasing importance of reaching travellers via smartphones. Seventy-two per cent of travellers said it was ‘beneficial’ for hotels to allow them to book via their phone while 54 per cent said they expected hotels to engage with them via their mobile devices.
Travellers were also questioned about the free services offered that would sway them to book a hotel. A free breakfast came top (84 per cent) with free Wi-Fi in bedrooms (80 per cent), free Wi-Fi in lobbies (66 per cent) and free parking (66 per cent) also deemed important in the decision-making process.
“The TripBarometer has revealed useful insights into what global travellers are planning and shone a light on the areas where accommodation providers can do more to meet guests’ expectations,” said Christine Petersen, president, TripAdvisor for Business.
“With travellers choosing digital channels for their travel planning and research, traditional word of mouth has been amplified and online booking has become the norm across the globe. Furthermore, as travel budgets increase and European accommodations plan to keep room rates steady, it seems likely that Europe will prove to be great value for money for international travellers this year.”