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You’re spending more on marketing your hotel, but where is it going?

  Posted in Marketing  Last updated 1/12/2023

Your hotel marketing strategy is a fluid entity, and it requires a significant investment in your resources. Most hoteliers are spending more on marketing their properties, but where is that money going?

Research from leading industry analysts Phocuswright, co-sponsored by SiteMinder, took a deep dive into marketing trends in US and European hotels. The findings, published in the ‘Independent Lodging Market Report’, reveal some fascinating insights and stats into the way hotels are are spending their marketing dollars.

Where are European hoteliers spending their marketing dollars?

  • 48% of independent European properties are investing more money into social media marketing, while on 7% are investing more in traditional print media.
  • 45% of independent hotels in Europe are focusing their efforts on improving their presence on online review sites, such as TripAdvisor.
  • 52% of independent European properties have implemented a mobile website, and 21% of revenue for independent hoteliers in Europe is generated on mobile devices. But unfortunately, about 48% are held back in their ability to compete effectively because they lack a proper hotel technology solution.

Where are American hoteliers spending their marketing dollars?

  • 34% of independent hoteliers in the United States believe the most effective way to increase online bookings is to invest in SEO marketing.
  • 49% of independent properties in the United States are increasing their spending on social media marketing. This lines up with the fact that 54% of independent U.S. hoteliers believe that managing the brand’s presence on TripAdvisor is the best way to generate online bookings.
  • 29% of bookings in the United States in 2015 were completed on mobile devices.
  • About half of booking distribution is split between the two largest OTAs in the United States: Expedia and This means a lot is paid in the way of commissions to OTAs.

Measurement is a challenge for both European and American hoteliers

The fact of the matter is, all hoteliers want to know where their business is coming from — but the majority of them do not.

In particular, independent hoteliers in the United States noted that it was difficult to determine where their business is coming from, how much it costs to generate that business and attract their target audiences, and manage bookings across multiple channels.

Many hoteliers in the United States want to increase their direct bookings, but they don’t set concrete goals or implement a plan of action to achieve the desired results.

Instead, they become increasingly reliant on third parties, which minimises the revenue that they earn per booking.

To learn more about how the U.S stacks up against Europe, access our free infographic.



By Shine Colcol

Shine is the SEO and Content Manager of SiteMinder, the only software platform that unlocks the full revenue potential of hotels. With 5+ years of experience in content strategy, Shine has produced informational content across various industry topics, mostly about operations management and continuous improvement. She aims to share well-researched articles for hoteliers to discover how to optimize their time and increase room revenue.


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