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Mapping the Hotel Guest Journey

A traveller’s journey consists of a number of points of contact, each representing an opportunity for the hotelier to create a relationship with their guest. 

At each stage of the guest journey amongst the vast offer of travel tech, you can find:

  • The tools used by the guest whilst travelling
  • The tools used by the hotel to get in contact with their guest



Before preparing their journey, the traveller is inspired by a number of different sources like their friends or advertisements. This stage is the moment where one gets inspired to travel.

Generally, the destination is the driving force behind the journey. Some hotels have understood it well and use it to their advantage. 

More and more, holiday establishments are becoming active on social media so they can regularly post inspirational content by calling upon content creators (or not). The goal is to post examples of activities or attractive trips to hotels at the destination to motivate future travellers to plan ahead and book their trips. The sharing of posts by current guests is also a trend in the hospitality industry. 







Stage 2/7: RESEARCH

The future traveller has a list of destinations in their head and begins looking at the different options and prices available to make their choice.

This stage is going to determine the destination, and the time of the trip. The future travellers imagine themselves on the trip and already have a look at what they can do in each destination, the budget to keep in mind, the best time in which to travel, the time slots available, travel options,…  







Stage 3/7: SHOP, BOOK

The traveller has chosen their destination and date of travel, it is in this moment that they compare prices more seriously, especially to book their plane or train ticket. This stage can be confused with the research stage but crucially here the traveller compares prices more meticulously and wants to make sure they obtain the best quality to price ratio.

It is in this stage that the split between OTAs and the hotel’s site is at play. The future traveller is going to search for the best options depending on their own preferences (budget, reputation, location, recommendations,…) and make their choice. 

The comparison websites are particularly appropriate for destinations with a high concentration of hotels where it can be difficult to make a choice out of a large variety of options. The great advantage of OTAs is how they can display hotel prices in the chosen city as well as their parameters and filters. 







Stage 4/7: PREPARE

In the time leading up to departure, guests start to prepare their journey. They refine their itinerary, things to see during their trip, write their packing list and check that they have all their documents necessary to fly.

The traveller needs to be reassured, help them! Confirm that you are waiting for them, help them facilitate their arrival to the hotel by offering to check them in in advance, give them your address and itinerary so as to help them find your establishment, offer them a shuttle or a transfer from the airport, remind them of the opening hours of your Reception, whether they can leave their suitcase at your property to enjoy the city bagage free and offer them your local recommendations. 

Make the most of these exchanges to understand the reasons behind their travels, what they need during their stay, who they are travelling with, in order to get to know your guest better with a view to personalise your welcome and your entire relationship even after the stay. 








The stay begins! This stage is the physical experience inside the hotel, from the moment the guest checks in and what the traveller does during their stay right up until checkout. In this stage, they can begin to share their experience online. 

This stage does not only include the first physical contact the guest has with the hotel but the journey there as well. A bad experience at arrival (even if it has nothing to do with the hotel) can have an effect on the experience of the entire stay. It is therefore in the interest of the hotel that the journey to the hotel goes well! 

Make sure that your guests are able to arrive at your hotel without any obstacles: Remind them of your address, the route from the airport to the hotel or offer them a transfer for an even smaller chance of obstacles, and on site, make sure the check-in experience is hassle-free. 

Your guests should arrive in good humour to begin their stay in the best of ways, but also finish it with a streamlined check-out.







Stage 6/7: SHARE & REVIEW

Upon returning from their trip, the guests can remind themselves of the good moments spent on their stay and share their thoughts with their friends and family online or in person. 

It is in this stage that the word of mouth concept plays its role. A guest who is happy with how their stay went will speak about your hotel to their close friends, becoming a promoter for your establishment by sharing their experience on online platforms. 

Indirectly, this increases the amount of bookings. 








Every hotel has their regular guests, but there is always an opportunity to get more out of them. This type of guest can be reminded of the perfect stay they experienced at the hotel or of the hotel brand, and they therefore keep it in mind for their next trips. 

A guest satisfied with their stay will always be pleased to come back to your establishment, give them the opportunity to do so! Be it by directly offering them the chance to come back at a discount price, by offering them your other hotels, or by reminding them of the great times they spent at your establishment. Your guests will always appreciate you being grateful to them for having chosen your hotel.

Personalise your reminders as much as possible, at least by varying the message between a one time guest (a foreign couple for example) or a potentially regular guest (a business traveller). To segment these deliveries, it is necessary for you to group their information in advance (the reason behind their travels, what country they come from,…).