WILLEMSTAD – The Expedia group, the world’s largest online travel company, has released new data revealing noteworthy findings and patterns from international visitors to Curacao during the 12 months ending in March 31, 2017. Understanding the travel patterns of international tourists better enables hotel partners to create strategies which meet their sales goals throughout the year.
According to the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), travel to the Caribbean grew by 4.2% in 2016, outpacing the global average growth rate. The region’s popularity is evident, and so is that of Curacao. During the 12 months ending in March 31, 2017, Curacao took 5% share of business in all of the Caribbean. To drive awareness for the destination in 2016, the Curacao Tourist Board launched a campaign titled “Right Now in Curacao” which included ads showcasing the island’s unique offering and participated in several marketing opportunities in large U.S. cities such as New York.
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Key traveler insights from the top three international markets that travel to Curacao, include:
- Travel demand from Americans to Curacao increased nearly 10% during the last 12 months ending in the first quarter of 2017 YoY.
- Although US travelers had one of the shortest booking windows and length of stays on average (booking their trip nearly 33 days prior for almost 4 days), the US market had the highest Average Daily Rate.
- More than half of all Americans preferred 4-star properties, at over 60%, while over 30% preferred 3-star.
- On average, Dutch travelers booked nearly 63 days prior to their vacation in Curacao and had a long length of stay that averaged over 7 days.
- Dutch travelers had an almost equal preference for 3 and 4-star properties at over 45% and approximately 50% respectively.
- Dutch traveler’s demand for Curacao increased 60% during the 12 months ending in March 31, 2017 YoY.
- With an average of almost 63 days, the booking window of Brazilian travelers surpassed the Dutch and U.S. booking window for travel to Curacao, but only spent an average of just over 5 days on the island.
- Visitors from Brazil also prefer 4-star properties to 3-star at over 60% and nearly 35% respectively.
- Brazilian demand for Curacao increased nearly 65% during the 12 months ending in March 31, 2017 YoY.
“Expedia’s deep insights about traveler behavior can help our hotel partners in Curacao optimize revenue by knowing when and where to target the right travelers at the right time with the right offer to help boost incremental demand,” said Luciana Melo, Area Manager for the Caribbean, the Expedia group. “Our local market management teams are available to hotel partners during low and peak booking periods and continuously offer tools and strategies to ensure that local hoteliers meet demand and surpass visitor expectations.”
In addition, Melo offers the following tips for hotels to get the most from international travelers:
- Give consumers the option of when to pay: Allowing consumers to have the choice of either paying for their hotel rooms at the time of booking or upon check-in enables hotels to increase their overall relevance to consumers. Expedia® Traveler Preference allow hotel partners to enjoy increased conversion resulting in more bookings by having the flexibility to offer the ‘Pay Now’ and ‘Pay Later’ option. Because ‘Pay Now’ bookings are paid for in advance by travelers, hotel partners will experience lower cancellation rates than travelers who choose the ‘Pay Later’ option. ‘Pay Now’ also allows hotel partners to set non-refundable rate plans, which further reduces cancellation rates and minimize the financial risks for partners as a result of last-minute cancellations and no-shows.
- Packages are Key: Package bookings, which combine aspects like flights and hotels allow for hoteliers to capture higher quality travelers that spend more money, tend to have longer lengths of stay and book further in advance.
- Content is King: Invest in your online brochure. Hotels with high-quality photos, good reviews and accurate descriptions and location information, are the most likely to convert. If you’re based near local bus stops, tell travelers that. The Expedia® Partner-Central (EPC) now gives hoteliers intelligent feedback on how to improve their hotel content.
- Be mobile: More and more savvy travelers are researching and booking travel on mobile devices which includes smartphone, tablets and wearables. According to Expedia group proprietary data for 2016, over 45% of the group’s traffic arrived via mobile and nearly 1 in 3 transactions were booked on mobile devices. Hotels who want to capture these travelers should consider having both a mobile web and app strategy. A relationship with the Expedia group gives hoteliers access to the EPC app that allows them to manage their business with Expedia anytime, anywhere. The app furthers this direct, rapid connection allowing hoteliers to access data and react quickly with an efficient single login and the ability to use their own smartphones, so they can focus on their main priority, the hotel guest.
- Watch the market: See what your competitive set are doing in regard to rates and restrictions, and see how demand is progressing. Tools like EPC allow you to customize your competitive set with 5-20 properties and see how you stack up on key indicators such as price, search results, property views, bookings, and other areas across EPC.