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8 hotel marketing trends & how properties can prepare
8 hotel marketing trends & how properties can prepare

8 hotel marketing trends &
how properties can prepare

In 2023, the hospitality industry reached record-high ADRs as travelers from around the world got back out to explore, and lodging operators worked hard to keep up with demand (despite lingering staffing shortages).

Capturing travelers’ attention will become even more important in 2024. With restrictions to third-party data and new AI tools, lodging operators must familiarize themselves with the different hotel market trends and strategies to stand out from the crowd. 

Here, we look at how the travel landscape is evolving and the latest trends to shape your hotel marketing strategies this year.


Drive more reservations in 2024 with a comprehensive hotel marketing plan.


2024 hospitality marketing trends

1. GA4: A fundamental shift in advertising

GA4 is the latest evolution in Google’s advertising and analytics platform. It’s more than just an update: it’s a fundamental shift in the digital advertising landscape. This new version is built to meet the dynamic needs of businesses in industries such as hospitality that rely on personalized experiences and extended nurturing campaigns. 

GA4’s core strength lies in advanced analytics and data tracking. It has a more comprehensive view of the customer journey, integrating various touchpoints across apps and websites to collect deeper insights about behavior, preferences, and engagement. 

What hoteliers and hosts can do to prepare. 

To prepare for this powerful marketing tool, lodging operators should familiarize themselves with the update to understand how it impacts their data interpretation and decision-making. Since data collection is more event-based with GA4 than session-based, you must adjust your data collection strategies to capture the most relevant data points. 

At Cloudbeds, we’ve taken measures to include GA4 in our booking engine and digital advertising processes to ensure proper results for our customers.


See Cloudbeds’ award-winning booking engine in action.


2. AI for streamlining marketing activities

The explosion of artificial intelligence (AI) was monumental in 2023. While it hasn’t made as big of a splash as predicted in hospitality, it has proven beneficial in the automation of specific tasks, especially around digital marketing. Under the supervision of your team, AI can significantly reduce time spent generating creative or repetitive content on your website, channel pages, social profiles, and more.

What hoteliers and hosts can do to prepare. 

Don’t shy away from using AI in 2024. Utilize tools to craft engaging content for your hotel in real-time (but remember to always fact-check, proofread, and edit content before posting). Some great use cases for AI include:

  • Writing social media captions
  • Writing website copy 
  • Writing OTA channel descriptions 
  • Writing ad copy 
  • Writing copy for your email marketing strategy
  • Creating images for social media  
  • Writing SEO-optimized blogs (do section by section vs. the whole article at once for best results) 


Announced in May 2023 and gradually released for testing in different countries, Google’s new generative AI experience in search (SGE) aimed to enhance the search process by incorporating artificial intelligence and conversational functionality into Google’s search results. Besides providing a snippet of text describing the property, image link cards from various sources, and the Google Business Profile, SGE will also allow travelers to ask AI follow-up questions.

What hoteliers and hosts can do to prepare. 

Ensure that your property’s online presence is optimized for AI-driven search engines to increase the likelihood of your property being suggested to hotel guests. This involves three key steps.

  • Invest in SEO. Your website must be seen as trustworthy and relevant. To do this, create high-quality and original content for your target audience and post it on your website. Conduct keyword research to ensure you are ranking for the right terms. Lastly, ensure your website is technically sound. You should have a sitemap that lists all the pages on your website, internal linking, meta tags, and fast page speed.
  • Optimize your website. Content is king. Invest time on your hotel website , adding eye-catching images, short-form videos, reviews, and an easy-to-navigate interface. 
  • Optimize your Google Business Listing. Your Google ratings and profile can significantly impact visibility and conversions. Make sure you collect and respond to reviews, and double-check that all the information in your profile is correct.


4. Capitalize on experiential tourism 

Cloudbeds’ 2024 State of Independent Lodging Report identified a major shift in traveler preferences from destination-focused to experience-focused tourism. From concerts to memorable meals and splashy trips, travelers are drawn to unique experiences and are choosing accommodation providers that make these experiences possible. This shift represents a  significant marketing opportunity for lodging businesses

For example, when Beyonce visited Cardiff in May 2023, hotel occupancy reached 95.7%, and average daily rate hit GBP 200.15, an all-time high for each metric. Travelers are willing to pay to stay at hotels that provide convenient access to experiences.    

What hoteliers and hosts can do to prepare:

As part of your marketing plan, stay informed about local events happening in your city in 2024, including concerts, festivals, sporting events, conferences, and more. Once you’ve laid out a calendar of events, come up with creative marketing campaigns and tailored packages. Consider special hotel room rates, transportation, themed amenities, partnerships, and more. Utilize digital advertisements tailored to these events.

 For example, if Taylor Swift is coming to your city, you could have a pop-up on your website or social post that reads “🎶 “Are you ready for it?” 🎵 Book the Swift package, which includes complimentary shuttle service to and from the concert and a Late check-out so you can “Shake It Off” the morning after.” 


Check out Cloudbeds’ 2024 State of Independent Lodging Report.


5. The disappearance of third-party data

The threat that third-party data will disappear has been looming since Google announced this change in 2020. The update is expected to take effect in Q1 of 2024.

So what does this mean for the hotel industry? Online marketing, especially advertising, relies on third-party data to inform businesses of web visitors’ online behaviors, including frequently visited websites, interests, and browsing habits. This data is used to build targeted lists for hotels to advertise to travelers and increase conversion rates.

What hoteliers and hosts can do to prepare:

Hoteliers must prepare for its disappearance by implementing strategies to collect more first-party data instead. First-party data is generated when someone visits your hotel’s website and is responsible for remembering basic visitor data. Direct bookings will be crucial in collecting guest data to create segmented lists for future remarketing efforts.

Ensure your website is properly set up to collect first-party data and utilize your booking engine and chatbot to gather further guest details. Guest messaging solutions can also help with data collection during check-in and check-out through digital registration cards and post-stay surveys.


6. Price will prevail (so ensure yours is right)

Rising inflation rates and economic uncertainty will shine an even brighter light on hotel prices this year. When searching online, potential customers will look for the most cost-effective booking method across OTAs, metasearch platforms, and hotel websites. Business travelers may be the only segment where price won’t be the first consideration when booking trips this year.

What hoteliers and hosts can do to prepare:

Phocuswire found that nearly 75% of travelers use metasearch engines in their research process. As this number continues to grow among travelers for hotel bookings, lodging operators must ensure that rate parity is maintained across all channels. Metasearch sites provide a clear cost comparison between channels, and most travelers will choose the cheapest option when booking. Hotel management must closely observe rates to maximize the number of direct bookings through these channels as part of their revenue management strategies.


7. Rich content will become even more important

In 2023, Google made it abundantly clear that E-E-A-T (experience, expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness) would be crucial, with several updates throughout the year. It’s expected that high-quality content and correct schema and markup will continue to impact Google’s algorithm in a big way this year, so lodging businesses must prioritize these requirements. 

What hoteliers and hosts can do to prepare:

Focus on content marketing and social media marketing to increase brand awareness and streamline the booking process. Getting active on social media platforms and investing in resources to produce high-quality, short-form TikToks, Instagram Reels, and YouTube Shorts will be crucial for hoteliers’ video marketing strategy. To reduce the workload required to create video content, leverage content created by your guests. This is called user-generated content and is highly trusted among travelers.

Consider making influencer marketing a part of your plan, a new trend taking over the hotel industry. Find micro-influencers (those with 1,000 – 5,000 followers) on TikTok or Instagram that fit your hotel brand and offer them a complimentary stay for an endorsement on their channel. The right influencer can help you to create rich content and increase engagement across your target demographics.


8. Reputation matters

A hotel’s reputation is becoming increasingly important in the eyes of potential guests and search engines. 81% of travelers always read reviews online before booking, with 71% saying that reviews influence their decision-making. Search engines also incorporate reviews as part of their ranking criteria, with Google looking at the number and recency of a hotel’s Google Business reviews. According to Moz , reviews account for around 15% of SEO ranking credit. Online reviews are increasingly being pulled into metasearch platforms from sources like Google and Tripadvisor and can significantly impact the number of clicks and conversions a property sees.

What hoteliers and hosts can do to prepare:

If you don’t have a solid reputation management strategy or loyalty program, it’s time to get on it! Aim to secure a Google Business Profile review rating of at least 4 to ensure a higher ranking on local listings. To start, send out a post-stay email or text to guests as a reminder to leave a review, and make it part of your daily or weekly routine to read and respond to reviews.

Leverage positive reviews on your website, social channels, or paid advertisements to build trust and credibility with potential guests. Use bad reviews to help improve the guest experience and see what changes you can implement to enhance your property.


The future of hotel marketing

Hospitality businesses that dedicate time to their marketing efforts utilizing the latest in technology will reap significant benefits in 2024. From leveraging GA4 to mastering AI, there are a lot of exciting optimization opportunities for hoteliers to take their marketing efforts to the next level.


Drive more reservations in 2024 with a comprehensive hotel marketing plan.

Marketing plan templates

Get access to templates to help with your marketing plan, including a competitive analysis, objectives, activity calendar, and more.
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