In Tourism Marketing, Women Travelers Matter
Certain descriptors are welcome phrases to any hotel: Aesthetic. Trendy. Modern. Renovated. Fancy.
Why do these words matter? Because these descriptors are the top 5 positive attributes that draw female travelers to certain properties, based on findings from Brand Karma Analytics. On the flip side, “dingy,” “stained,” and “outdated,” are the primary negative attributes that repel female guests.
Why do women travelers matter? Because, with 82% of travel decisions made by women, they represent the most important and fastest growing segment in both leisure and business travel markets.
According to the Travel Industry Association, an estimated 32 million American women traveled alone at least once in the past year, with three in ten women traveling five or more times. And that doesn’t take into account travel with family and friends. Women represent the driving force behind travel decisions, and their social networking behavior has necessitated adaptations by the travel industry and tourism marketing.
For example, women write more online reviews than men. They’re not only writing more reviews, but are also more likely to publicly express their thoughts toward a hotel after a negative experience via their online social communities.
Recognizing the travel power of women, Hilton Hotels is actively marketing to female travelers, with ongoing dialogue targeting women via Facebook and Twitter.
The benefits of such marketing include the unfiltered feedback Hilton has received that provides valuable insights. The hotel shampoo was disappointing; the menu offered only fattening foods; robes and slippers were too large; appreciated additional amenities would include yoga mats, electronics chargers, and better hair dryers.
John Wallis, Hyatt’s global head of marketing and brand strategy, best described the core reason for the travel and hospitality industry’s past omission of women travelers: “Hotels have been created by men for men. Women want and deserve a completely different customer experience.”
The growth of the female customer segment is reflected not merely in their growing reign over social media channels, but also in their travel behaviors: traveling alone, traveling more, traveling based on their individual decisions.
Those targeting women in the travel industry, or any industry, would do well to remember that their decision-making process is heavily based on community recommendations, reviews, and advice.