iPerceptions announced the release of its Hospitality and Tourism Industry Report for Q2 2011. Although the hospitality industry is seeing renewed enthusiasm to travel, the report shows that hospitality companies should improve website responsiveness in order to maximize travel purchases. Despite the volatile economic climate, there was an increase in bookers to hospitality websites since Q1 2011, as well as an increase in loyalty program members. Importantly, the metrics of Overall Satisfaction and Task Completion on websites improved significantly not only since the past quarter, but versus the same quarter last year, suggesting that hospitality providers are continually improving not only their online offering, but their overall brand experience as well. But the report also uncovered that website responsiveness, which involves interactive elements associated with the booking process such as calendar functionality, room selection, personal information input, etc., was both the lowest rated key driver of the visitor's overall satisfaction, and the most influential. Therefore, when it comes to prioritizing website enhancements, streamlining and optimizing, the booking process should be the area on which to focus in order to promote booking. "Hospitality companies' ability to provide a seamless, intuitive experience from beginning to end is the most powerful driver of visit satisfaction," said Claude Guay, President and CEO of iPerceptions. "Conclusive research shows that website responsiveness is more influential than a website's ability to save visitors money on room rates." The report indicates that price is still important. Visitors are still skeptical about the rates they see on a website and will shop around in order to find the best deal. However, many visitors are used to shopping around and therefore place more importance on issues related to the website, such as features and functions, when it comes to optimizing their experience. Other important findings from the report include: - Loyalty program members increased from 72% in Q1 2011 to 74% in Q2 2011. (68% to 71% for leisure travelers and 82% to 85% for business travelers). - Overall Satisfaction increased from 71 in Q1 2011 to 72 in Q2 2011 and Task Completion rose from 69% to 71% during the same period. - Leisure travel increased from 60% in Q1 2011 to 62% in Q2 2011, while business travel decreased from 32% to 29%. - Midscale hotel stays increased from 38% in Q1 2011 to 45% in Q2 2011. As a result, there was a decrease in visitors who stayed at luxury and extended stay hotels. The report analyzed immediate post-experience feedback from more than 130,000 people visiting over 100 hospitality and tourism sites to identify the most important online issues and trends facing this unique industry. Get the full report at iPerceptions