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hotel photography

Friday Freebie: Up Your Visual Appeal To Get More Bookings

August 26, 2016


Welcome to the Friday Freebie! Each week we share one impactful hotel marketing tactic that you can implement immediately to drive more direct bookings.

This week’s freebie: Attract more bookings by appealing to people’s sense of sight.

Contrary to what many believe, people make purchase decisions based on emotions and how something makes them feel — not on facts or figures. Luckily for hotel marketers, evoking powerful emotions from your target audience is as easy as a few simple tweaks to your existing materials.

Out of the five senses, it’s the sense of sight that remains the most important way for hotels to gain recognition, convey the guest experience, and most importantly, impact booking decisions. Here’s one easy way to maximize your hotel marketing’s visual appeal to encourage more bookings: 

Replace all Ugly or Ho-Hum Photography With Stunning Property Images

This may seem like an obvious move to some, but we have seen hundreds of hotels that still use outdated and bland photos in their marketing assets! Remember, images have the power to repel or entice guests, so don’t take photography lightly. Audit every image on your website, sales kits, marketing emails and ads. If they’re old, dark, grainy, pixilated, or fail to convey your property’s core message, then be ruthless and replace or delete them.

Even if you’re a gorgeous beachside resort, all it takes is ONE ugly property photo to convince someone not to stay with you. If you don’t have any beautiful images to replace them with, than it’s time to invest in an experienced hotel or real estate photographer.

Finally, make sure your images are consistent across the entire digital landscape. If consumers see different photos on OTAs than the ones they see on your site, they will be uncomfortable and surf off to your compset.

Learn how to appeal to more senses to increase bookings: The Five Senses of Hotel Marketing

About Tambourine

Tambourine uses technology and creativity to increase revenue for hotels and destinations worldwide. The firm, now in its 33rd year, is located in New York City and Fort Lauderdale. Please visit:

A Picture Is Worth A Thousand Bookings

July 6, 2015


The days of simply selling “product” (rooms or meeting spaces) are long gone. In its place is a requirement for hotel marketers to start selling the experience!

To do that, all of your marketing assets have to be near flawless, especially your hotel images. Don’t shrug off photography as simply being pretty pictures. They carry so much more weight than that.

Your images prepare potential guests for what’s to come. Along with your hotel website design, they convey your experience with a single glance. And now, we have further proof that photography has the power to determine whether you win or lose a booking.

Senior lecturer Stephani K.A. Robson from Cornell University School of Hotel Administration and Breffni Noone, associate professor at Penn State’s School of Hospitality Management, tracked eye movements of 32 travelers who had recently booked a hotel room. In their extensive study, they found that consumers thoroughly examined hotel photography – everything from lobby to rooms to outdoor and meeting space, to gauge if the price matched the experience.

The most interesting observation was that images can often change a potential guest’s mind – making them consider a property that before was not in the running or to drop a hotel they were once interested in.

Does your hotel photography make people want to check in or stay out?

Here are four tips to follow:

  1. Skip the Stock Photography.

    Your guests aren’t stupid. They will be able to sniff out a stock image immediately from the obvious too-perfect casting (such as an all-blonde family, or all Asian family), cheesy expressions and fashion, and overall cheap feel. Stock photos of any kind will instantly make you and your hotel look lazy, outdated and definitely not a place worth traveling to.

    Read: Three Ways Hotels Can Tap Into the Authenticity Trend

  2. Don’t Settle for a Few Good Shots.

    A recent TripAdvisor study found that hotel properties with over 20 photos received 150 percent more engagement. So, don’t simply feature one great shot of your pool, one great shot of your room, etc. Show different angles, views from different sides of the hotel, other amenities – these are all vitally important to conveying your experience to guests searching online.

  3. Invest in an Experienced, Top Notch Hotel or Architectural Photographer.

    Photography is a line item you shouldn’t dare skimp on. Too many hotels have tried to go cheap on photography, finding an up-and-comer, ignoring the lack of a hotel portfolio in exchange for hard-to-resist low rates. But resist you must, because potential guests will end up putting a hefty amount of trust on the photography over everything else. We know a hotel owner who hired his own college-aged daughter because she liked photography and “she took great pictures.” True story.

    A quality photographer will have previous experience shooting hotel or architectural projects, will bring along an on-location assistant who is also a professional photographer, will go through each room type with you to look at various angles and lighting needs and will spend a considerable amount of time on editing.

  4. If You Have to Question If It’s Time for New Photography, It Probably Is…

    In their study, Robson and Noone also found that their subjects were extremely turned off to old images. In their minds, old equals dirty. So, even if your images feature a pristine lobby, an impeccably styled room, and clean, white table clothes in your restaurant– if they’re dated images, potential guests will still get turned off.

About Tambourine

Tambourine uses technology and creativity to increase revenue for hotels and destinations worldwide. The firm, now in its 33rd year, is located in New York City and Fort Lauderdale. Please visit:


Surprise! 10 ways your hotel website is killing your business. Part 2

February 21, 2014

Tambourine: 10 ways your hotel is killing you

Think your website is “good enough?” Think again… Here’s the second half of our list of ten ways your hotel website may be insufficient and underperforming:

Read Part 1 Here

  1. You fail to showcase your special promos:   Hotel consumers have been conditioned to expect a deal. Groupon, Travelzoo, the OTAs, dozens of other flash sale and deal-of-the-day players have made travel consumers less loyal and more price-conscious than ever before. Fight Back! Showcase your best offers prominently… not only on your website, but also across all your digital channels: mobile, search, social and email to past guests.
  2. Your photography is boring:   We live in a world where image is everything. On the web, people look at images first and read only if they like what they SEE! Simply “taking” photos of your rooms and amenities is not enough… you need to MAKE photos. Check out this photo from Four Seasons Mumbai as an example of how compelling a photo can be. Not every property has the blessed locality of this one, but every property deserves to look its best to engage website viewers. Hire the best photographer you can afford and a stylist. This investment will come back many times over.
  3. You fail to delight meeting/event planners:   If your property has no meeting facilities and receives limited revenue from groups/weddings/events… feel free to skip to #9. But if you depend on those market segments for any substantial amount of revenue, you need to make sure you are delighting meeting and event planners when they arrive at your site. Do you have content to engage these demanding folks? 360º videos of your facilities? Diagrams and spatial dimensions of the meeting rooms? Photos of previous weddings? Sample menus? Maps to nearby entertainment venues? All these and more will make the difference between getting a lead or missing out on lucrative business.
  4. You are not optimized for all devices:   Virtually every travel consumer (especially if they are affluent) uses two or three different screens in their purchasing cycle. If your website is not utilizing fully responsive website design best practices (ie, auto-reconfiguring itself depending on the screen size of the visitor) you are losing bookings. Your site needs to be stunning on big screen desktop computers, easy to navigate and read on a tablet (both portrait and landscape) and of course on any smartphone. Recent data shows exponential growth in tablet bookings, so make sure your tablet experience has been vetted, optimized and tested.
  5. You are overspending on traffic until you fix conversions:    The push to shift dependency on OTAs and increase direct bookings has inspired hotels of all sizes to spend billions on driving traffic to their own website. Sadly, its mostly wasted… hotel owners and their marketing teams would be better served by focusing instead on CONVERTING a higher percentage of their existing visitor stream, no matter how small it is. From architectural link/URL planning to “big-data” personalization and “smarter” booking engines, there are important new innovations and techniques available to catapult your website conversion and capture more direct revenue.

Improving your website “look-to-book” conversion rate should be at the very top of every hotel marketer’s list in 2014.

Your website is the first impression guests have of your property, it will shape their perception of your value and determine if they will buy from you, surf away to your competition or book your property through a costly OTA.

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


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