‘In addition to that I knew we had to catch up with the competition. We were not involved in Social Media at all and our online business was not running as it should. We had limited traffic on our website, and we did not generate any revenue online. Having met with Xotels – our current business partner- several times I knew it was time to make a huge jump in the deep. We made a strategic, long term investment in our website, online marketing and social media marketing’.
‘The transition process is never quick. You don’t build a good website overnight, SEO is not something you do for 5 days to be able to see a result. And the hospitality industry in general is still walking a path of discoveries related to Social Media’, says Remko.
‘Now, almost 1,5 years later, Htel is picking the fruits of their investment. And their consumers are guests are proving it first and foremost. Htel Amsterdam hit the number one spot on Tripadvisor for specialty lodging.’
Ingmar continues: ‘Tripadvisor is right in the center of our Social Media Campaign. This is where guests actually take the step to sharing online with Htel, and with other consumers. And Xotels shows us, hands on, how to connect with our guests on the platform. Tripadvisor is proving to be huge for us. Not only is Tripadvisor a travel website with millions of unique visitors each month, it’s also like a social accelerator. More reviews, more guests, more responses by me, better reviews, more and more guests’
‘Tripadvisor is not the only indicator of Htel’s successes’, adds Remko. ‘The revenue that the website generates exceeds everybody’s expectations. Their 2 serviced apartment complexes have Minimum Lengths of stay of 7 and 28 nights for the different properties. That has a huge impact on conversion. Today the numbers tell us that the website actually generates indredible revenues via the booking engine. On top it ranks between the least expensive distribution channels’.
‘And the offline spin-off is also enormous, says Ingmar again. I have chosen not to set up separate phone numbers or email addresses to track the spin-off business of all the visitors to our website. But I know it’s there, I have personally already received a lot of recognition for the website, and we have roughly 50 offline requests every week’.
‘Looking back, the smartest strategical decision I made was cut back on offline marketing spend, and shift funds to online marketing. I reduced my overall marketing cost with 35 percent, and my general business results are better than they have ever been. And the market is telling me that we’re doing it right today. In the end, how else could we get to spot number 1 on Tripadvisor’.