Aligning Resort Marketing to Guest Expectations: Rethinking Content Strategy — Photo by Daniel Diosi & Partners

If you've recently booked a vacation, you might understand the frustration that can come with choosing a hotel. You're about to spend thousands of dollars and naturally, you expect a great experience. A recent study published by GuestRadar indicates that your potential guests share these same sentiments.

Many resort marketing teams unknowingly fail to align their communication materials to the actual expectations and preferences of their guests. According to a joint survey by GuestRadar and, approximately 73% of digital media used by hotels misrepresents the property and the experiences it offers, making the resort unattractive to prospective visitors seeking a relaxing getaway or vacation.

This explains why the remaining 27% of hotel brands that understand customer expectations continuously enjoy increased demand and popularity on OTAs, on social media, and all over the internet.

Such alarming stats indicate that it's time for the industry to look at its approach and make the necessary adjustments.

Understanding Real Guest Expectations

The majority of leisure travelers have simple but significant expectations for their vacations. They're looking for relaxation, good food, and an opportunity to unwind and engage in leisure activities. Yet, research by the American Marketing Association shows that only 40% of hotel marketing materials accurately showcase these offerings. 

An often-overlooked, or unspoken factor is intimacy. According to independent surveys by Psychology Today, more than half of vacationers anticipate enhanced intimacy with their partners during their holidays. This expectation should be subtly communicated in hotel and resort marketing content, perhaps through softly lit bedroom settings or sensual couple massage photos, and highlighting a high level of privacy.

Good food is a very important part of a hotel experience. According to a survey carried out by Market Sampler in 2020, people are overe 55% more likely to choose a resort over another based on food photos.

The Bragging Factor

In today's social media-driven world, the importance of bragging factors can't be underestimated. Over 65% of leisure travelers expect their resort to offer photogenic settings they can showcase on social media platforms. Your hotel photography, videos, and other marketing materials have to be able to showcase this. After all, who doesn't want to show off stunning vacation photos that induce envy among friends and followers?

What Marketing Communication Should Focus On

In a nutshell, the main expectations of vacationers are a pleasing room suitable for relaxation and intimacy, engaging activities, great food, and a resort environment that they can proudly share on social media.

Varios guest feedback reports suggests that aligning your marketing communication with these aspects will significantly enhance guest satisfaction, demonstrating that you understand and cater to these expectations.

The Reality Gap

According to over 5,000 recent travelers surveyed by GuestRadar, most hotel marketing videos are seen as generic drone shot edits, with pseudo-epic scenes, empty spaces, or dull property shots with uninspiring captions on social media.

No wonder this type of content does not trigger excitement. In the same survey, less than 20% of travelers said that such resort marketing content influenced their hotel selection.

"Selling the experience" has been a catchphrase in hotel marketing for nearly a decade, yet still, most hotels struggle to define and showcase their unique experiences.

Taking a Fresh Approach

By reevaluating their marketing strategy, hotels can align themselves more closely with guest expectations, leading to improved brand recognition, better product-market fit, and increased demand.

To improve marketing content, hotels must conduct targeted market research to understand guest expectations and motivations throughout the hotel selection and booking process.

Incorporating guest feedback into the marketing strategy ensures your hotel stays relevant and appealing to its target audience.


Embracing guest expectations in your marketing strategy is a must. By understanding and incorporating these expectations, hotels can craft compelling content that resonates with their audience, leading to increased bookings, improved guest satisfaction, and stronger brand loyalty. As the hospitality industry continues to evolve, staying in tune with guest desires remains crucial to become a sought-after brand.

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