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Presentation on theme: "On-Line Readiness Study OVERVIEW FINDINGS NEXT STEPS"— Presentation transcript:


2 Table of Contents Overview On-Line Readiness Study Overview Rationale Approach Findings Literature Review Primary Research Best Practices (Bottom Line Critical Website Success Factors) The Gap Action Plan

3 Overview

4 Overview Overview Government-industry partnership between ACOA, the four Atlantic Provincial Tourism Industry Associations, and the four Atlantic Provincial Tourism Departments. Mandate to increase global competitiveness of operators through enhanced use of technology Strong presence in Atlantic Canada since 1998 increasing rate of connectivity and general IT awareness Technology Resource Coordinators (TRCs) Credible and unbiased sources of IT information Bridge the gap between suppliers and industry Best practices/education on emerging technology and trends

5 On-line Readiness Study

6 Study Rationale Overwhelming trend towards use of Internet Research Plan Book on-line Trend applies to virtually all segments Internet is the channel We need to be prepared to meet and do business with our customers on-lineor someone else will.

7 On-Line Bookings Incidence of Travel Reservations/Booking On-line, 2000–2005 Among on-line travel planners Among on-line frequent travelers Among on-line travelers Among travelers Source: Travel Industry Association of America

8 Approach

9 Overview Focus Determine readiness of Operator to do business on-line Three-step Approach Assess local industry Assess consumers and future market trends Determine the gap between industry and consumer and market demands Results Develop strategic plan Assist industry to close the gap

10 Approach: Assess Consumers Focus groups with household travel decision maker, at least one trip in the past year Boston Toronto Montreal Insights provided into Inspiration Planning Booking

11 Approach: Assess Market Secondary research Demographic/baseline trend review (TIAs Travelers Use of the internet, 2005) Online travel best practices Future trends Emergent technologies Provided insight into Industry direction Consumer expectations Critical success factors Importance of booking on-line

12 Approach: Assess Local Industry Primary research 10-minute telephone interview 374 Telephone survey with Operator in Atlantic Canada Focused on Importance and role of website Administration of website On-line marketing activities Website content Website usability Website professionalism

13 Approach: Assess Local Industry (contd) Website evaluation Conducted by website/content experts Assessed criteria consumers listed as important: Searchability (i.e. Google) Content Navigation Usability

14 ConsumersOperator Industry in Atlantic Canada The Gap Approach: The Gap

15 Findings

16 Overall Internet is becoming key channel for research, planning and now booking travel Consumer expectations are rising Google, Amazon, eBay setting the standard Operators must recognize their website as part of complex buying process Must be ready for the traffic Sell the product Close the deal! Consumers not satisfied with operator sites Professionalism Content Usability Booking We have work to do!

17 Primary Research

18 Primary Research: Consumers Buying Cycle Inspiration Research Narrowing of options Booking Consumers will only book on a website they like and trust! TRAVEL PLANNING AND BOOKING CYCLE INSPIRATION RESEARCH NARROWING OPTIONS BOOKING

19 TRAVEL PLANNING AND BOOKING CYCLE INSPIRATION RESEARCH NARROWING OPTIONS BOOKING Phase 1: Inspiration Goals Find wish list and must see destinations Influences Friends and advertising Marketing/advertising/ communications Operator website is not often a source for inspiration Process Broad in-take of information Looking for inspiration Something to catch their eye Friends are the best resources since you know how they measure up against your own needs. Primary Research: Consumers (contd)

20 TRAVEL PLANNING AND BOOKING CYCLE INSPIRATION RESEARCH NARROWING OPTIONS BOOKING Phase 2: Research Goal Sort out options Select locations/activities to research Find deals Influences Internet (search engines and aggregators) Articles, guides, specialty TV shows Use of Agents decreasing Process Use aggregate sites to generate options Look on property site for details/deals Scan site to check for fit with tastes/standards Look for deals/promotions/availability on specific and flexible dates Primary Research: Consumers (contd)

21 TRAVEL PLANNING AND BOOKING CYCLE INSPIRATION RESEARCH NARROWING OPTIONS BOOKING Phase 3: Narrowing Options Goal Find deals Refine plans Confirm choice Influences Internet (aggregators, operator sites) Process Visit 3-6 sites Confirming details (activities, price, dates) *Jumping-on point to local site Consumer is now going to operator site directly Primary Research: Consumers (contd)

22 TRAVEL PLANNING AND BOOKING CYCLE INSPIRATION RESEARCH NARROWING OPTIONS BOOKING Phase 4: Booking Goal Confirm deal Complete transaction Influences Safety Security Accuracy Support (1-800 number) Process Look for secure/recognized booking option Credit card most popular Primary Research: Consumers (contd)

23 Conclusions (Success Factors for Operator Site) Professionalism Trustworthy Secure Content Convey charm Pricing Deals/packages Availability Amenities Photography Usability Site navigation Tools Mapping Calendars Primary Research: Consumers (contd) Customers needs must be satisfied at each stage of the cycle, or they will not proceed.

24 Primary Research: Operator Phone Survey Key Findings 99% of Operators have an independent website 52% can edit/change Strongly satisfied with website presence Not many roadblocks to improving websites Over half use search engine marketing Over half respondents use site visits and email inquiries to measure success of their website. Key Conclusions Operators happy with websites View websites as basic information tool Many content/quality elements missing from sites Room for growth

25 Primary Research: Operator Phone Survey (contd) Sites not updated frequently Frequency of Site Updates Weekly Quarterly Monthly Every 6 Months Yearly Never Time Period

26 Primary Research: Operator Phone Survey (contd) No perceived problems with improving website Roadblocks to Improving Websites Investment in Design Equipment Marketing Photography Connectivity Hosting Issues Other No Perceived Problems

27 Primary Research: Operator Phone Survey (contd) Investment in site maintenance is low Website Marketing Spend < $100 $101–$249 $250–$499 $500–$999 $1,000–$2,499 $2,500–$4,999 > $5000

28 Marketing Investment No Yes Traditional Advertising ( Visitors Guides) Co-operative Advertising ( Events Sponsors) Search Engines ( Google) Web Banner Advertising Primary Research: Operator Phone Survey (contd) Traditional advertising most popular, search engine marketing happening too

29 Primary Research: Operator Phone Survey (contd) Measuring Results 33% of Operators do not measure results 67% currently run analytics on their websites 65% use unique visits to measure success 57% use email inquiries 46% use actual bookings

30 Primary Research: Website Evaluations Key Findings Many elements consumers want are not found on majority of Operator websites. Gap between consumers and Operators perception Users rate website experience an average of 6/10 Operator rate own websites 8/10 Key Conclusions Need to raise the bar Online delivery not meeting consumers needs Action must be taken quickly or consumers will go elsewhere

31 Primary Research: Website Evaluations (contd) Navigation Key information regarding rates is not always there Navigation Item Consumers Want to See% Operators Who Said No Specials82% Amenities63% Maps49% Local Attractions44% Rates43% Rooms28% Contact Us28%

32 Primary Research: Website Evaluations (contd) Mapping 59% of sites had at least one map on site 40% had driving instructions But… of those that had mapping, most only scored 6/10 in terms of experience Conclusion Consumers expect good maps, driving directions and tools to help plan their trip

33 Primary Research: Website Evaluations (contd) Content Consumers Want to See % Operators Said Yes Quality Local attractions67%7/10 Food menus63%6/10 Description of amenities55%6/10 Links to other attractions48%6.5/10 Photos of local attractions43%6/10 Other restaurant information27%6/10 Policies (smoking, pets, etc.)26%6.5/10 Local weather information16%6/10 Calendar of events14%6/10 Content Information is sometimes there, but not high quality

34 Primary Research: Website Evaluations (contd) Photos were not ranked as high quality (avg. 6.5/10) Yet Operators were satisfied with images Good photography helps sell Builds trust Conveys charm/feeling of property Allows consumer to form opinion Consumer expectations are… Photos of every room, linked to a description with a rate Only 38% of evaluated sites had photos of every room, and only 24% linked to rates and descriptions High quality images, or they leave the site/dont call

35 The Gap

36 Consumer Expectation Industry Website FUNCTIONALITY USABILITY PLEASURE & EMOTIONAL SATISFACTION THE GAP What is The Gap? Consumers will go elsewhere if they continue to receive the current level of experience on Operator websites. A change in perception of the Operator is mandatory to the success of any program.

37 Gaps on Websites Content Quality of images/information was not high Links to deals, packages and specials were often missing Links to other local events, restaurants, shops, night life often not available Usability Websites reviewed were not Easy to use Easy to navigate Easy to find information Did not provide a showcase or summary of features Consumers require these elements to be present, and of a high quality or they will move on.

38 Gaps on Websites (contd) On-Line Booking is key Majority of transactions will occur on-line within the next 3-5 years Source, eMarketer: 62% of travelers will book directly with the supplier by 2010 Operators need capability to remain competitive The telephone is not enough

39 Gaps on Websites (contd) On-line Booking Incidence of Travel Reservations/Booking On-line, 2000–2005 Among on-line travel planners Among on-line frequent travelers Among on-line travelers Among travelers Source: Travel Industry Association of America

40 Gaps on Websites (contd) Conclusions Most Operator websites do not meet the needs of on-line consumers A successful website is Easy to use Provides meaningful content Communicates the experience Makes the consumers want to buy Unless action is taken quickly, this will get worse, and have a negative impact on bookings

41 Action Plan

42 Action Plan Education Develop and deliver education about the gap PowerPoint presentation to industry groups Industry trade shows and annual meetings Options Consult Industry on available options Content management systems On-line booking/e-commerce options Tools Develop and deliver best practice tools to close the gap Best practice website template Best practice checklist Mentoring and support Provide on-going support to industry and operators to adopt, implement and successfully use new on-line tools Consult operators on new technology trends within the industry to help them continuously deliver a positive customer experience

43 Contact Information Jamie Vander Kooi Technology Resource Coordinator Tourism Industry Association of PEI - TIAPEI (902) 566-5008 Bernard Gauvin Technology Resource Coordinator Tourism Industry Association of New Brunswick (506) 344-0183 Craig Foley Technology Resource Coordinator Hospitality Newfoundland and Labrador (709) 722-2224 Ext. 32 Michelle Sears Technology Resource Coordinator Tourism Industry Association of Nova Scotia (902) 423-4480

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