Hotel sites key selling factor, say uni experts

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HOTELS that fail to spend time and money on their websites face a drop in bookings, according to experts from the University of Portsmouth.

Dr Alice Good and recent graduate Arunasalam Sambhanthan, both from the school of computing, studied hotels in Sri Lanka and found customers expect online features – even when looking at small hotels.

Dr Good said: ‘Hotels that rely on web bookings are going to face a drop in bookings if they fail to keep pace with website design and the importance of it to customers.

‘A website is the interface – the shop window – between businesses and their customers and a poor user experience will reduce the chance of a customer committing to a business transaction.

‘A poorly-designed website will also reduce the chances of a customer returning to it and increase the chance that they will tell others very quickly about a poor experience.’

The experts outlined key elements of good hotel website design including internet security and ensuring reservations can be made online.