INTERVIEW WITH MR. PASCAL FREI, RESIDENT MANAGER AT ANDARA RESORT, PHUKET, THAILAND

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1. How do the social media change the booking behavior of your guests?
The effect of the social media on the booking behavior I would say is not direct. But indirectly it effects in so far that the potential guest have more access on information, previous guest feedback, but especially also have a very quick and informal way to contact representatives from a hotel. Further to that, the guest sees in what way the social media is used by the resort, by followers and by previous guests. All this results in a much shorter termed booking than in the past, but also in a much more informed arrival guest.
2. How many people book online through your website? (ca percentage)
Approx. 32% in 2013. Direct bookings are the most interesting booking category and the goal of each hotel is to increase direct bookings since the cost of obtaining is the lowest. For us it became already after 5 years of operation our strongest category, but of course we still keeping going to achieve 100% occupancy and 100% of it direct.
3. How many people book through travel agents or packages?

In 2013 we had 31% of our bookings through wholesale. Wholesale is not cheap but also very important since all relies on recommendations through wholesaler.

4. How important do you think that social media / blogs are important in the future? (next generation)

This answer goes approximately in the same direction as answer no. 1. It is getting more and more important to be strongly present on social media, online articles or blogs. The new generation doesn’t get their information anymore from books, brochures or magazines but all online. Further to that they don’t decide their holidays anymore based on a description with a picture in a travel magazine. The new generation will gather as much information as possible and then decide based on recommendation of friends, circle of acquaintances or travel writers.

5. How important are the social media to “yourself”? Are you using them for work and / or privately?
Social media has quite a high importance to me privately and for work. I use it frequently for both at the same time since in this industry private and work flow a kind like together.

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