Next week, L2 will release its second annual Digital IQ Index on travel. The 2012 report, unlike last year’s — which also included cruise lines and airlines — focuses solely on measuring the digital competency of hotel brands. From independent boutique properties to high-end regional chains to international resort icons, this report will offer an in-depth look at how all of the players in the hospitality industry measure against 350 data points across: website, digital marketing, social media and mobile.
Though specific brands and rankings can’t be revealed at this point, the general trends among hotels for 2012 are twofold: (1) brands that had either invested very little or nothing in a digital presence (i.e., Feeble brands) are no longer choosing that route. Last year, more than a third of the luxury hotels included in L2’s study fell into this bottom category; this year, just 4 percent earned the unfavorable distinction. (2) whereas last year, the majority of hotels (58 percent) were categorized as Challenged and Feeble, this year was much more a race to the middle, with 38 percent earning an Average score and just 33 percent in the bottom two categories. Because of this across-the-board increase in industry competition, those in the Gifted and especially those in the Genius groups will find it increasingly difficult to differentiate themselves from the pack.
Last year, the only three Genius hotel brands were (in order): W Hotels, Hilton and Westin. This year, there are also three in the top tier — can you guess which ones?