1983: The Dark Ages of Hotel Marketing?

October 29, 2013

Tambourine 30th anniversary

As we mark our 30th anniversary as a hotel marketing firm, we take a look back at how hotel marketing has changed over the past 30 years.

Put simply, the only thing that’s certain is that nothing is certain anymore. Back in 1983, for example, there were just three ways to book a hotel room — call a travel agent, ring the hotel’s toll-free number or simply show up, unannounced, and hope there’d be room at the inn. Now there are almost too many to name.

Expanded GDS reach, CRM systems, a proliferation of individual hotel websites and sites like Google, Expedia, Kayak (and dozens more) have made researching and booking a hotel easier than ever, creating a new generation of well-informed travelers. Add smart phones, travel apps, social media and websites like TripAdvisor that allow consumers to post reviews and suddenly… the job of a hotel marketing executive looks nothing like it did just a few decades ago.

In this seven-part series, we’ll examine how dramatically things have changed over the last 30 years. How finding and booking a hotel has changed, how pricing rooms and staying connected with past guests has changed for hoteliers and how the hotels themselves have changed to meet market needs and desires. (Remember when “hotel food” was a bad thing)? We’ll let the experts weigh in on how distribution has changed for hoteliers and get their take on how marketing for meetings and groups has evolved.

While we look back, we also look forward. No one could have imagined in 1983 that, 30 years later, 57% of all travel reservations would be made on the Internet or that, by 2015, nine out of ten consumers will own a mobile phone. From the Dark Ages of hotel marketing to the rapidly evolving Information Age, if you’re not ready, it’s time to get ready.

About Tambourine

Tambourine drives revenue for hotels and destinations worldwide using advanced marketing technology. The firm is celebrating its 30-year anniversary. For more information, visit Tambourine.com.