Revenue Management

Hoteliers wary of squeezed margins

Mar 21, 2019 / Customer Acquisition
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Shutterstock

Speakers on the “President’s panel” on the first day of the Hunter Hotel Conference talked labor solutions, margin erosion and more.

The opening day of the Hunter Hotel Conference raised some common talking points that permeate the hotel industry.

Beyond forecasting the end of the current economic growth cycle, owners warned of rising costs, and investors shared advice on how to navigate whatever comes next. Overall, hoteliers seem to be anticipating the changes needed to evolve their core business.

Related: Customer acquisition costs continue to rise

Distribution

How to save with Google Hotels

Mar 21, 2019 / Google
Google
Google

One area where Google seems to be changing the game is by releasing a “deals” feature that only shows customers hotels offering discounted rates.

By clicking into a property, you can get more information about the hotel and the surrounding area. An integration with Google Maps gives the hotel’s location a rating based on proximity to transit, popular attractions and things to do in the area.

Reviews are pulled in from a handful of sites like Tripadvisor and other booking sites, plus Google, to give plenty of information on each hotel.

Another major change to Google Hotels is that you can book directly within the platform for the majority of hotels.

Related: Google quietly launches new hotel booking experience

Products & Services

Why so many new hotel brands?

Mar 21, 2019 / Branding
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Shutterstock

Hotel companies are using new brands to fill their portfolios' gaps between pricing and service levels.

They also are trying to create brands that will attract Millennials but won't alienate previous generations.

Since the Starwood-Marriott merger, hotel companies have sought to compete not just on price and service but also on travelers' tastes, say for unique rather than prototype properties.

As brands proliferate, hotel companies seem to be trading in hotel brand recognition for parent company recognition.

Technology

Guesty raises $35 mln

Mar 21, 2019 / Guesty
Guesty
Guesty

Israeli property management software provider Guesty has raised $35 million in funding, bringing its total raised to date to $60 million.

Guesty provides property managers and management companies with a solution to simplify the needs of short-term rentals.

Guesty will use the investment to open new offices in growth markets, enhance product capabilities, introduce artificial intelligence and machine learning into the platform, and expand into markets adjacent to urban properties.

Products & Services

Blending technology and the customer experience

Mar 21, 2019 / Guest Experience
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Shutterstock

Guest-facing hotel technology can take many forms, and brand executives say it’s important to prioritize spending so it matches what guests want.

Seamless functionality and personalization are top on the customer-facing technology priorities list for many hotel companies, though how each interprets those trends depends largely on what their guests want.

The top tech demands for millennial travelers in particular is still fast and free Wi-Fi, followed by climate control capabilities, USB charging ports and a well-functioning hotel app.

Tech is seen as smoothing the hassle of processes, not replacing the human interaction.

Distribution

New data from OTA Insight highlights the root cause of rate parity issues

Mar 21, 2019 / OTA Insight (sponsored)
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Shutterstock

OTA Insight unveils key findings from infographic alongside Annual Hotel Parity Review for Europe and North America

Findings from the first-of-its-kind infographic outline key root issues surrounding rate parity for hotels, such as wholesalers that break the chain of contracts between hotels and Online Travel Agents (OTAs) by selling discounted rooms to non-contracted OTAs, effectively allowing them to undercut hotel room prices significantly.

Additionally, the Annual Hotel Parity Review provides a benchmark for hoteliers to understand parity performance in different markets across Europe and North America.

Market Data

Great hotel service, personalised offers win guests from Italy

Mar 21, 2019 / SiteMinder (sponsored)
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Shutterstock

According to the new study by SiteMinder, other strong influences on guest choice include hotel location, email promotions, packages with incentives, and practical use of technology.

More than 1,000 Italian travellers of different ages, educational levels and socio-economic backgrounds took part in the online study conducted in February. Of the participants, around six percent said they still used the expertise of a travel agent to make a hotel booking, while 77 percent said they now book online. One-in-four travelled for both leisure and business.

Assessing the value of technology to their trips, participants said technology such as hotel apps and voice assistants should be useful, but not intrusive, to enhance their stay.