Hoteliers have started spending more money on keeping existing customers than on winning new ones, according to a survey by mailing technology company Pitney Bowes.
In 2003 the hotel industry devoted 48% of its marketing budget to existing customers, but this increased to 57% in 2005.
The cross-sector survey of 1,000 UK businesses found that although the majority of sectors were now doing this, hotels topped the table.
David Jefferies, marketing director of Pitney Bowes, said: "A steady swing towards existing customers in this sector indicates how tough the competition for trade has become in a recovering market."
Many hotel chains have started holding theme nights and fashion-show type events to boost mid-week trade, using direct mail to attract those that had attended similar events before, Pitney Bowes said.
by Amanda Smith