For my weekend trip to New York I have been scouring hotel websites to get the best deal. I finally ended up getting a good deal via Priceline. I noticed the following about the hotel websites in general:
- None of them used any Ajax or Web 2.0 features. It was so hard to find the right room at the right price without hitting the back button a million times.
- Most of the hotels had very limited room pictures. They had pictures of lobbies, outside the hotel, restaurants, Gym BUT very few pictures of their rooms. I would love to see more pictures of each type of room they have available. Hate to see just a generic picture of a bed for each room type. Only some hotels had virtual tour videos.
- Why not recommend special events or festivals happening around the area during my stay or tour packages I can buy with my hotel room?
- Wouldnt it be nice if you can read reviews and ratings on the hotel website itself rather than a 3rd party website? Ratings and reviews would be a perfect way to get into the social networks.
Hotels just have to implement a few simple changes to their websites to make it more usable and increase their conversion rates. I think Jeremiah has hit the nail on the head with his What would the future of Hotel websites look like? post.