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Speed Kills: Five Ways Your Hotel Website Slows Revenue

June 1, 2016


We live in a world of instant gratification. Where people grow impatient over anything that isn’t lightening fast. Where sluggishness is the cardinal sin of any business online. Where travelers ruthlessly abandon any hotel website that makes them wait more than three seconds to load.

That’s right, three seconds.

A slow website is not only inconvenient and annoying for your guests, it can cause you to lose massive amounts of revenue. While three seconds of waiting may seem quite trivial at first, in an instant those three seconds of waiting drastically lower your brand perception, damage your reputation and make you lose sales.  And with the growth in mobile web usage, the problem is exacerbated even further, as mobile users want instant access to website info.

With so much emphasis on social media, design and content, it’s common for hoteliers to overlook the significance of their hotel’s website speed performance.

There are five key things at risk if your hotel website is prone to slow load times, crashes or errors:

1. Your Bookings

For your guests, a fast loading hotel website isn’t a luxury – it’s a necessity. Research shows that modern consumers expect websites to load in two seconds – max. Think about it. Your hotel isn’t the only property vying for room revenue. Travelers are researching travel options on-the-go. If they go to your hotel’s website and find it slowly struggling to upload, do you think they are willing to stick around?


Once their waiting time hits three seconds, they’ve left and gone to your competitor (or OTA site) without looking back. Plus, research shows that 80 percent of those visitors will never come back to give you a second chance.

2. Your Search Ranking

Google’s search ranking formula depends on many things, including your hotel website’s load times and speed. Google has been known to downplay speed’s importance by paying more homage to relevant content. But your site speed can absolutely have an impact on your hotel’s search engine ranking. Having a faster site means Google can quickly crawl more of your pages. And, the more Google crawls, the more of your hotel content will be stored in their massive library. In other words: the more hotel content you have stored, the more chances you have to get found online.

3. Your Group Sales Revenue

Meeting planners are busy individuals. They’re not only sourcing venues, but a lengthy list of peripheral suppliers like transportation, event rentals, speakers, off-site activities, etc. This is where a slow-loading website can be a sore spot for your group sales department too.

Planners don’t have the time, nor the patience, to wait for your site to load or deal with website malfunctions. Dawdling websites can leave planners irritated and impatient, with the belief that your hotel staff will also lack in efficiency, speed and be just as idle when it comes to meeting execution. Ultimately, this can lead planners to sign a contract with another property, causing your hotel to lose out on thousands, even millions, of dollars in meeting and events revenue.

4. Your Bottom Line

No time is a good time for your hotel website to get sluggish, crash or produce the dreaded 404 error message. The worst moment is when a customer has already decided to stay with you, inside your booking engine environment, and they encounter slow load times. The relationship between conversions and website loading can be shocking. Amazon analyzed their website speed and purchases and found that every second of site idleness resulted in a loss of 10 percent of potential revenue. Loading time is one of the biggest reasons why travelers abandon their room reservations online. And, as stated before, once they leave, they usually won’t come back.

5. Your Hotel Owners

Your ownership is relying on you to trump your comp set in every and any way possible: in guest experience, in sales, in F&B quality, in customer service and in marketing. When reviewing your website’s performance, your owners are expecting their investment in the hotel’s site to drive as much direct bookings as possible. And, they’ll be holding you and your marketing team accountable for providing that ROI.  Your website is your profit center, so it needs to run at top-speed and optimal levels each and every time.

 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:

The 25 Most Important Features Of Your Hotel Website

May 2, 2016
Your hotel website is THE most important asset in your entire marketing arsenal. It’s the least costly channel of revenue and most likely the first impression prospective guests have of your property, so it makes sense to invest in getting it right. Make sure you don’t forget these 25 must-have features!


 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:

Get out of your comfort zone and copy these 3 OTA secrets

July 1, 2014


It’s so frustrating.

It makes hotel marketers want to rip up all their OTA agreements.

But it wouldn’t help.

The OTAs charge you big fees. And you never feel good about how they represent you. But you can’t seem to break free. You know guests flip back and forth from their websites to yours. Yet when it comes time to book they head back to the OTA to complete the purchase.

Why do guests go back to the OTA to book?

Because OTAs do something that is so against every hotelier’s nature, I’m almost afraid to tell you. You will rebel against this idea. You won’t want to do it. But hear me out. This is important.

Unlike you, OTAs love making guests uncomfortable. And to compete, you must make them uncomfortable too.

Wait! I know the words “uncomfortable guest” causes a little indigestion. Of course, you want them to have comfortable stays. However, while they’re booking, they should be uncomfortable with their own indecision. That is where OTAs excel, and hoteliers often fail. When you spend your life focusing on comfort, this mind shift is difficult. You know direct booking is best for you and your guest. So, think of it as the little discomfort you cause them upfront that helps them in the end.

3 Tips to Make Guests Uncomfortable

(Bet you never thought you’d see that line on a hotel marketing blog)

  1. Limit their booking page options: Once a traveler reaches your initial booking page, you should start eliminating choice. Remove your menu bar from these pages. Make going through with the booking process the only option. They’ve already made their decision. Encourage them to stick to it (Tambourine CRS, a fast-growing CRS/hotel booking engine, does this well). Expedia uses a popup. After hitting ‘Book’, you have two options: Pay now or Pay at hotel.  Orbitz gives you one option: ‘Continue booking’.
  2. Make it cutthroat: Travelers are doing more than booking rooms on OTAs. They compete with other guests. tells the guest who else is looking at the room. Orbitz has a bubble that tells you ‘Two Rooms Left’. This isn’t booking. This is a battle and your hotel website is the frontline. Even if you can’t imagine inundating your guests with pop-ups and brightly colored buttons, add a line to the top of your booking page that states, “While you’re online booking travel plans, it’s likely someone else is too. Our rooms book up quickly. We’d hate for someone else to get your room. Book now to guarantee your spot.”
  3. Push them to checkout: You advise your guests to checkout on time, so they don’t incur a fee. Consider doing the same when they checkout of your website. Although they may pay the same wherever they book, remind them that they will enjoy more flexibility and better customer service when they book direct. Include the word, ‘Now’ on your booking page. Explain the benefits of booking immediately. Expedia warns guests to “Hurry! Prices and inventory are limited.” You may want to tone it down to match your brand. However, you need to create urgency. Remind your guests that it behooves them to book now.

Are you ready to celebrate your independence?

If so, share this post on social media. Let them know you ready to stand up and fight for your guests—even when it’s a bit uncomfortable.

 About Tambourine

Tambourine uses technology and creativity to increase revenue for hotels and destinations worldwide. The firm, now in its 30th year, is located in New York City and Fort Lauderdale. Please visit:

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