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Hotel CEOs cautiously optimistic about corporate travel

August 18, 2017

Hilton CEO Christopher Nassetta described the corporate travel environment as “cautiously optimistic” and said he hoped there would be more activity in terms of tax reform to “help change the psychology with our corporate customers.”

He noted: “The impact of it would be positive in the sense of driving more free cash flow into people’s businesses, so they’d have more to play with to hire and invest.” Nasetta also noted that group business at his hotels was “weaker.”

Marriott CEO Arne Sorenson echoed similar sentiments, saying “companies…are being very cautious about travel and very cautious about managing expenses, and [there are] others which seem to be spending as if they’re having a great party.”

Get the full story at Skift

Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/hotel_ceos_cautiously_optimistic_about_corporate_travel

Who is the APAC traveler and what do they want?

August 18, 2017

It is part of the company’s initiative to better understand how customer demands can be met in a more personalised way, as technology continues to enable deeper relationships.

The investigation involved interviewing 6870 respondents in 14 key Asia Pacific markets. According to Karun Budhraja (VP of Corporate Marketing and Communications, Amadeus APAC), it was the company’s first time all markets were studied in a single survey, with the intention of highlighting just how diverse the region is in terms of their needs, preferences and travel behaviours.

The study reached four key conclusions:

There are many “Asias” in Asia

Perhaps the most logical but ever-important finding, Amadeus’ latest study found that there was no consistent profile of the quintessential “Asia Pacific traveller”. Much like the flawed assumption that traveller demographics can be categorised into age generations, travel preferences and styles varied widely across the APAC market – across age, gender, and culture.

For example, when asked how frequently those surveyed used sharing economy services, it was found that 48% of Indian travellers used it regularly, 70% of Japanese respondents reported that they never used them. Incentives and disincentives to travel also saw a great discrepancy between different markets. More interestingly, when it came to disincentives to travel, it was found that while 78% of Filipino travellers and 74% of Korean travellers would avoid a destination in light of recent terrorist attacks; only 45% and 48% of Indonesians and Australians would be dissuaded respectively.

Get the full story at WIT and download the report at Amadeus (PDF 3MB)

Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/who_is_the_apac_traveler_and_what_do_they_want

Alipay partners with Yelp to tap lucrative Chinese travel market

August 18, 2017

“Our partnership with Yelp expedites our goal towards a digital lifestyle and represents a substantial opportunity for US businesses to connect with the growing audience of Chinese travelers that would otherwise be difficult to reach,” Alipay North Americas president Souheil Badran said, according to Alizila.

Alipay, which is China’s biggest digital payments platform and operated by e-commerce giant Alibaba’s financial arm, Ant Financial, has been seeking to expand their offerings to international travelers beyond the borders of the People’s Republic.

Alibaba recently announced partnerships with other tourism-related corporations, including the Marriott Group, as it works to claim dominance over China’s huge tourism industry. Alibaba’s travel service, Fliggy, is currently locked in competition with other local players, including market leader Ctrip, owned by JD.com, and its rival Tencent’s Meituan Dianping.

Get the full story at Tech Wire Asia

Read also "Marriott, Alibaba join forces to tap into Chinese tourism potential"

Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/alipay_partners_with_yelp_to_tap_lucrative_chinese_travel_market

Airbnb plans to reinvent every aspect of travel

August 18, 2017

When asked about the vision for Airbnb over the next five to ten years, he said:

“The biggest evolution of the strategy is to become a platform the entire trip, so no longer just about the accommodation, really trying to reinvent every aspect of travel.”

Its only product other than accommodation is Airbnb Trips – which Blecharczyk described as “experiences”. He said that, by helping individuals to share their passions ,Trips “allows people to travel more authentically, which is what we are about as a brand, so as we enter other aspects of travel, we’ll be doing that.”

Get the full story at Tnooz

Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/airbnb_plans_to_reinvent_every_aspect_of_travel

Marriott enters category marketing with new campaign

August 18, 2017

The four brands in the campaign are collectively known as the company’s “classic select” brands and represent more than a third of the properties in Marriott’s 30-brand portfolio. Through television, cinema, in-flight, and mobile advertising in the U.S. and Canada, the campaign showcases the human connections that are facilitated at the hotels by Marriott associates. The centerpiece of the campaign is a 60-second anthemic spot that celebrates the relevance of this not only in Marriott hotels but across the hospitality industry.

“The ‘Golden Rule’ campaign personifies how our associates fundamentally go beyond making one’s bed to making someone’s day,” said Paige Francis, vice president of global brand marketing. “With these four brands comprising a third of Marriott’s portfolio, we use our powerhouse status to celebrate human connections, whether it’s in Seattle or Singapore. Beyond a campaign, this illustrates that the hospitality we deliver at these four brands can serve as a guiding principle of how all people should treat each other.”

Get the full story at Lodging

Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/marriott_enters_category_marketing_with_new_campaign

Travel marketing needs to be data-driven, not rules-driven

August 18, 2017

More sophisticated methods of refining data are now making it possible for marketers to deliver far more personalized, relevant messaging based on various subsets of the data. An amazing opportunity can arise from big data generated by users’ interactions while they search for the perfect vacation – this is a powerful tool that can be leveraged to target the right customer, at the right time, with an offer they simply cannot resist.

Datasets could include: number of visits, volume of pages visited, time since last visit, position within the sales funnel, a new versus existing customer, price range, and seasonality. These datasets can be integrated with travel specific data such as route, destination, duration, type of product, hotel ratings, travel class, type of flights (direct only vs stopover), and the distance from departure date.

So how can big data help to optimize a retargeting strategy? By bringing the power of big data into predictive analytics so that patterns are intelligently identified, with possible outcomes foreseen and used to attract customers based on their own unique interactions with a brand. The end result is a higher engagement of the user with the ad. Machine learning models that produce predictive analytics deliver more precise, non-clustered targeting because the solution is data-driven, instead of rule-driven.

Get the full story at Tnooz

Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/travel_marketing_needs_to_be_data_driven_not_rules_driven

Stats don’t lie: Is your hotel truly capitalising on guest booking behaviour?

August 18, 2017

With quality data you can better tailor your marketing strategies and target guests at a stage when they’re most likely to make a purchase decision.

This new SiteMinder infographic explores in detail how travellers approach the booking journey…

Get the full story at SiteMinder

Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/stats_dont_lie_is_your_hotel_truly_capitalising_on_guest_booking_behaviour

How to maximize RevPAR: An eBook for independent hoteliers

August 18, 2017

One key to increasing your RevPAR is finding ways to add value to your product and enriching the guest experience. We’ve compiled some of the most creative and industry-leading examples for driving incremental revenue:

Have Fun with Your Pet-Friendly Fees

Fairmont Jasper Lodge does a superb job of folding their pet-friendly fees into their brand and website. They donate a portion of the fees to the local animal shelter and also have their own canine ambassador. They also offer a number of complimentary pet-friendly additions, such as water bowls and biscuits - delighting any pet lover.

Get the full story at Sojern

Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/how_to_maximize_revpar_an_ebook_for_independent_hoteliers

Booking.com’s problem: too synonymous with hotels

August 17, 2017

Booking.com’s head of communication Leslie Cafferty speaks about the company's aspirations in an increasingly competitive market, the challenge of balancing global and local strategies, and the importance of collaborative culture for the brand in achieving its goals.

She acknowledges that brand marketing and communications has been late evolving, but says the focus has typically been on product. Maturity and the need to grow in key markets like Japan, China, India, and the U.S. were the driving factors.

Booking.com aims to build out its "long tail" of individualistic properties but is still synonymous with hotels. "We’re not the most well-known player, that’s for sure," Cafferty says. But the company is working to raise awareness of its services outside the field of hotels, and the fact that its listings are instantly bookable.

Cafferty says any online travel or tech company is a potential competitor, but that it’s important to focus on identifying gaps in the market and providing (and communicating) a "frictionless" service rather than making comparisons. "We’re constantly pushing to the point of ‘what doesn’t exist today?’, not ‘what’s Expedia doing? What’s Airbnb doing?’"

Get the full story at PR Week

The company is working to raise awareness of its services offering more holistic experiences and unique accommodation as opposed to hotel aggregation.

Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/booking.com_too_synonymous_with_hotels

New analytics product helps Airbnb hosts compete with hotels

August 17, 2017

In a simple, interactive dashboard complete with maps, charts, and adjustable filters, the tool allows vacation rental managers to make informed pricing decisions, spot peaks in travel demand, and better understand how their properties stack up against similarly sized and priced competitors.

After hosts have optimized their own rentals, the Market Minder also provides insight on the best locations in town in which to expand their businesses. With neighborhood-level analytics available in more than 1,000 major tourist destinations, the application allows users to explore different parts of town to discover where the most profitable short-term lodging can be added.

Market Minder empowers small operators with big data. "Airbnb hosts have been operating in an informational vacuum," says Scott Shatford, CEO of AirDNA. "We have created a tool that finally puts the business intelligence directly into the hands of these small business owners, allowing them to make more informed, data-driven decisions in an increasingly competitive marketplace."

The demand for hotel alternatives like Airbnb shows no signs of slowing. AirDNA projects that global revenue for all properties listed on Airbnb will exceed USD $40 billion in 2017 alone. Yet, despite the 1.7 million Airbnb hosts currently using the platform, no analytical tools have emerged to empower this new generation of entrepreneurs. With the release of Market Minder, these mission critical KPIs are available to any host who wants to optimize their listing for success and intelligently compete for tourist dollars in their own city.

Related Link: AirDNA Marketdata

Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/new_analytics_product_helps_airbnb_hosts_compete_with_hotels

Blockchains in travel, beyond the hype

August 17, 2017

Blockchain appears to excel when you need a clear and immutable record of any type of information (such as location or ownership) to be accessible to multiple parties who may not trust one another. We’re beginning to see blockchain prototypes emerging in the travel space:

- Webjet is piloting hotel room inventory on blockchain, to collect exponentially more data with each booking and en­sure prompt and complete payment to all parties.

- Startups are eyeing digital identity management on block­chain. Combining biometric identification with blockchain may provide more secure digital proof of identity, over traditional identity measures like a passport.

- Hotel and airline loyalty programs may transition to block­chain to help streamline tracking of loyalty points and sim­plify conversion and redemption across all players.

Get the full story at Sabre Labs

Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/blockchains_beyond_the_hype

Hotels find alternatives to room service

August 17, 2017

Hawthorn Suites by Wyndham late last year introduced Homemade @ Hawthorn, an in-room cooking program enabling guests to make easy meals. New York chef Hari Nayak and Top Chef competitor James Rigato have created an e-cookbook of recipes for the brand.

Hyatt Centric has partnered with food-ordering company Grubhub to let guests order from restaurants selected by hotel employees. Orders can be made through a customized landing page.

Residence Inn, part of Marriott International, leaves guests grocery-request forms in their suites. Employees will shop for the requested items, which are added to the final bill with no mark-ups. The rooms have fully equipped kitchens including refrigerators, microwave ovens and dishwashers.

Get the full story at USA Today

Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/hotels_find_alternatives_to_room_service

Which technology best suits the hospitality sector?

August 17, 2017

A big challenge in technology within the hospitality industry right now is balancing the timing to deploy guest-facing technology versus back-of-the-house technology enhancements - which are often less visible to the guests. No one has unlimited budget or people resources, so opportunity costs must be weighed with every technology-focused decision. Often, the technological enhancements that are the least flashy deliver the largest ROI and long-term benefit to the organization. We know, however, that we have to balance this drive for efficiency with changes in technology that can enhance people’s experiences.

"If I had a wish list for our technology providers, it would generally include easily accessible, highly-available, cloud-based services that scale in price and delivery based on our demand", says Jessie Burgess, Executive Vice President, CIO at G6 Hospitality LLC. "This would all be delivered in a secure environment that seamlessly integrates real time data collection for analysis and robust monitoring capability. In addition, we need our technology providers to build and deploy their software within an architecture that allows modular flexibility to plug in or unplug specific components of their software suite as business needs change. In order to achieve this, these providers would need to ensure their contract terms are also structured in a fashion that allows this flexibility for the customer."

Get the full story at CIO Review

Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/which_technology_best_suits_the_hospitality_sector

Building a marketing organization that drives growth today

August 17, 2017

From the rise of online shopping channels to ad campaigns created for an audience of one, consumer marketing has changed more in the past ten years than it did in the previous 30. Despite that level of change and disruption, if you had put a few typical marketers from the 1980s into a time machine and sent them into the marketing departments of today, they would probably feel right at home. There might be a new IT department and a few other changes, but the job titles, structures, approach to performance management—even the vocabulary—would be remarkably familiar.

That’s not a good thing. The truth is, while the proliferation of new channels and technologies has dramatically changed the environment in which marketers operate, the way they organize and approach their tasks has stayed more or less the same. Most marketing functions still develop and roll out large and infrequent campaigns, rely on agencies to make the same old media purchases, and are organized by geography or product.

As a result, few marketing organizations are able to take full advantage of new digital and advanced analytics tools that would enable them to be more agile, engaging, and effective. They are also missing out on growth. A recent McKinsey survey of executives found that 81 percent of high-growth companies outperformed in data and analytics.

Get the full story at McKinsey & Company

Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/building_a_marketing_organization_that_drives_growth_today

Why your hotel needs video marketing (with brilliant examples)

August 17, 2017

For hotel marketers, it should be looked at as a first priority when creating strategies to attract bookings. A quick look at YouTube and the one billion people watching more than six billion hours of video each month will tell you how popular videos are.

Humans are notoriously emotional animals and the best way to engage them on this level is through video. Consider that people remember 20% of what they hear, 30% of what they see, but 70% of what they hear and see.

It makes sense to use video in at least some of your marketing efforts, even if you don’t have the budget or time to go full scale.

Get the full story at SiteMinder

Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/why_your_hotel_needs_video_marketing_with_brilliant_examples

Hotel valuations and online reputations

August 17, 2017

With a background in investment banking and a solid portfolio of deals he has helped to facilitate, including the sale of the Danube hotel portfolio (seven intercontinental hotels in Europe) for MSREF to a private investor, the sale of four iconic luxury Concorde Hotels for Starwood Capital to Constellation Hotels and the sale of Hilton International to Hilton Hotels Corp, if there is one thing Nam Quach can spot excellently, it is value – particularly in the hospitality and leisure sector.

We decided to find out what attracted this Managing Director of the UK branch of merger and acquisition firm, DC Advisory, to working with hospitality and leisure clients, what he looks at when evaluating businesses in the sector, and what he believes the true value of online reputation is for hospitality and leisure brands.

Get the full story at GuestRevu

Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/hotel_valuations_and_online_reputations

Hotel industry’s highest priority: reduce cost of sales and customer acquisition

August 16, 2017

For the last 20-25 years, the hotel industry has been building up intermediaries, and it will take time and effort to change this relationship and reverse the trend. Brands are trying to wrestle back control, get more direct bookings, and depend less on intermediation.

As financial executives focus more and more on the costs of sales and marketing, there is a trend to optimize business mix while taking into account the costs of acquisition. Some companies are taking action by rethinking measurements for their sales and revenue management teams – rewarding revenue net of acquisition costs.

Other measures getting attention include COPE (Control to Operational Profit and Expenses). This measures the revenue left after direct costs triggered by the transaction are removed. These include retail commissions, wholesale commissions, loyalty costs, transactional fees, and channel costs.

Net Revenue subtracts sales and marketing expenses (payroll, allocations from the brands, loyalty costs), providing the total cost of customer acquisition including the direct cost of the transaction.

Sales people (along with marketers and revenue managers) must think about the relationship between revenue and its costs. For years customer acquisition costs were relatively static, but now they are very dynamic with more costs going to third parties for group and transient bookings. Until the industry can quantify, measure, and manage these costs, it will be difficult to find a solution.

Get the full story at HSMAI

Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/hotel_industrys_highest_priority_is_to_reduce_cost_of_sales_and_customer_ac

IATA: Air travel records fastest first-half growth in 12 years

August 16, 2017

The International Air Transport Association has announced global passenger traffic data for June showing that demand (measured in total revenue passenger kilometres) rose by 7.8 per cent compared to last year.

This was in line with the 7.7 per cent growth recorded in May, with all regions reporting growth.

June capacity (in available seat kilometers) increased by 6.5 per cent, while load factors rose one percentage point to 81.9 per cent.

Get the full story at Breaking Travel News and IATA

Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/iata_air_travel_records_fastest_first_half_growth_in_12_years

Uber debuts new Uber for Business with custom travel programs and rules

August 16, 2017

The new Uber for Business incorporates a lot of user feedback to provide easy setting of rules to ensure travel policy is followed, as well as group-based access levels and custom program creation.

Previously, a lot of the heavy lifting on employee Uber use policies had to be done manually: HR would basically tell employees what they were and weren’t allowed to do in terms of Uber usage, and hope that employees would stick to the letter of the policies in place. Now, however, companies using Uber for Business can set those rules ahead of time to streamline the process of expensing rides, and ensure greater compliance.

Managers can easily create programs that limit things like the type of car used, the total amount riders can expense, what time of day Uber can be used and even geographic limits on where it can be expensed. These rules can all be combined in custom programs, including things like First and Last Mile programs for commuters, recruiting and client travel programs, employee perks, and general travel transport expense programs.

Get the full story at TechCrunch

Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/uber_debuts_new_uber_for_business_with_custom_travel_programs_and_rules

Trivago’s ads are reaching plenty of consumers, but not necessarily the right ones

August 16, 2017

YouGov data reveals that among US adults who recall seeing a Trivago ad in the past year, 35% are between the ages of 18 and 49. On the other hand, 46% of consumers who report seeing an ad for TripAdvisor in the same timeframe fall within the 18-49 age range, as do 44% of those who saw a commercial for Priceline. As one might expect, older Americans aren’t as likely to book accommodations via an online travel site as their younger peers. Indeed, nearly two-thirds of Trivago’s current customers are 49 and under.

Age aside, however, there’s another problem. Additional numbers suggest that fewer than half (45%) of US consumers who’ve seen a Trivago ad in the past year say they’re likely to stay at a hotel in the next 12 months. For people who’ve seen an ad for either TripAdvisor or Priceline, their reported likelihood is above 50%.

So while the Trivago Guy might hold a peculiar popularity with many Americans, if his efforts aren’t converting viewers into paying customers, he might be better off entertaining a more targeted crowd.

Get the full story at Forbes

Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/trivagos_ads_are_reaching_plenty_of_consumers_but_not_necessarily_the_right

How to qualify group leads in a sea of RFPs

August 16, 2017

Right now, hotel sales departments are drowning in RFPs – qualified or not. This is caused by meeting planners casting out a wide net for proposals and sending them to the inboxes of 10+ hotels that may or not be the best fit.

As a result, sales managers spend a bulk of their prime selling hours sifting through this barrage of potential business simply trying to determine which are the BEST leads to pursue. Then, and only then, can they move forward in putting together a targeted proposal to win more business from those qualified leads.

Here’s how hotel sales managers can qualify group leads and determine which RFPs are worth their while.

Get the full story at Groups360

Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/how_to_qualify_group_leads_in_a_sea_of_rfps

Hotels must get social media savvy to tap into younger customers

August 16, 2017

The travel deals website has found that 55% of survey respondents born after 1996 – known as Generation Z – say how their holiday will look on social media is a top priority. And 42% of ‘Millennials’ (those born between 1987 and 1995) agree.

But only 10% of ‘Baby Boomers’ (born between 1946 and 1965) say it is among their major concerns.

The research also found a split in how social media influences bookings, with two-thirds of Generation Z respondents saying it does while 90% of Boomers say it has little influence on their decision making.

Instagram and Facebook proved to be the most powerful channels among Millennials and those in Generation Z, according to Travelzoo’s research.

Get the full story at Travolution

Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/hotels_must_get_social_media_savvy_to_tap_into_younger_customers

Creating hotel distribution strategies tailored to guests’ regional preferences: 4 key takeaways

August 16, 2017

The distribution strategy that led your hotel or chain to revenue growth last year won’t necessarily continue to be successful in the months ahead. And the strategy that led you to big wins in one part of the world may not translate well around the globe, even for the same brand and similar traveler demographics.

This is because many variables affect guests’ shopping and booking choices, including regional and cultural differences. While new technologies open up more opportunities for travel shopping, travelers’ willingness to embrace those channels varies by region as well as by demographic. At the same time, changes in economic and political environments also impact hotel guests’ travel needs and choices. These variables are constantly in flux.

These observations are among the key findings of our white paper produced in partnership with Phocuswright, Channel Optimization in Hospitality. In today’s ever-evolving marketplace, it’s better to see a hotel’s distribution strategy as part of a moving, changing playing field than as a stationary goal or target.

Get the full story at Sabre Hospitality

Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/creating_hotel_distribution_strategies_tailored_to_guests_regional_preferen

18 tips to boost hotel bookings and get more revenue

August 16, 2017

Adopting a tailored approach, and a flexible attitude that is susceptible to change will benefit your hotel in an immeasurable way, after all the technological landscape the hotel industry relies upon, is constantly evolving.

Understanding your target market, what their needs are and how they behave when it comes to hotel reservations is the first hurdle. Putting time and effort into a fast-loading and simple to navigate website will help convert these prospective customers by reducing friction – those little pauses that frustrate users and lead them to abandon their booking before completion. Getting an elegant website and relevant designs will give your brand a strong identity and always show off your property with flattering images in a gallery page.

Get the full story at Net Affinity

Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/18_tips_to_boost_hotel_bookings_and_get_more_revenue

Corporate travel undergoing metamorphosis

August 15, 2017

Corporate’s focus on safe and smooth travel for their executives, increasing demand from corporate travellers and consistent change in travel technology amongst others has further pushed this segment to become more evolved. “The corporate travel segment has shifted from generic to more individualistic approach in dealing with the traveller. The corporate have recognised the importance of their human resource talent pool and are trying to extend maximum support to them. The rise of terror activities and natural calamities globally has also given rise to issues surrounding duty of care for business travel. The need to find technology solutions to track employees on business trips has become a top priority for organisations around the world. We are seeing that the acceptance of travel technology solution for business travel has significantly increased. Players are focusing on making the business travel platform robust, simple, transparent and operationally efficient,” says Jyothi Varma, Regional Manager – SE Asia, Association of Corporate Travel Executive (ACTE).

According to her, all components of this segment be it suppliers or buyers are geared up. Airlines, hotels, OTAs, Travel Management Companies (TMCs), visa and forex service providers, car rentals, calling cards have started fine tuning their products, offering new products and services to suit to the business travellers. “Airlines have started offering services targeting business travellers for a small fee. Hotels are revisiting their corporate programme regularly. Others are also coming up with enhanced service facilities to make the process simple and travel safe and pleasant,” she adds.

Get the full story at Travel Trends Today

Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/corporate_travel_undergoing_metamorphosis

Changing demographics’ impact on hotel industry

August 15, 2017

Sacks noted that there are two separate trajectories of travel propensity: business and leisure. Business trips per employee have been declining, while leisure trips per employee have been increasing.

Several key data points about the travel industry were cited:

- Within household age groups, there has been a remarkable shift in spending on lodging: ages 25 to 34 (+20%), ages 65 to 74 (+23%) and ages 75+ (+24%).

- Seniors represented a greater share of households (42%) and lodging spending (45%) in 2015.

- Travel continues to take a larger share in consumer spending. Growth from 2011 to January 2017: lodging (+41.8%), F&B (+31.2%) and air (+21.5%).

- International tourist arrivals to the U.S. are growing between 3% and 4% year over year with 1.24 billion global tourist arrivals in 2016.

- International exposure ranks differently across top U.S. markets: Miami (46%), San Francisco (45%), New York (44%) and Los Angeles (39%).

Get the full story at HNN

Read also "HDC Day One: Future is as bright as hoteliers make it" at HNN

Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/changing_demographics_impact_on_hotel_industry

Lastminute.com’s growing pains show change in online travel retail

August 15, 2017

For Lastminute.com the problem is that agency fees for selling flights just aren’t at the same level they were at before. To make up there’s a need to add on ancillary products to improve margins.

“It’s true that bookings are becoming more commoditized and prices more uniform for stand-alone products. What matters is to differentiate and provide a balanced combination of bundled products, services and content,” said Chief Executive Fabio Cannavale.

Lastminute.com has realized that dynamic packages – where customers combine flights, and hotels together – is a much better bet.

Get the full story at Skift

Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/lastminute.coms_growing_pains_show_change_in_online_travel_retail

UK hotels post record H1 performance

August 15, 2017

Compared with the first six months of 2016, the U.K. recorded a 1.7% increase in occupancy to an actual level of 75.1%, a 4.7% increase in ADR to GBP89.33 and a 6.5% increase in RevPAR to GBP67.12.

According to recent figures published by VisitBritain, total visits to the U.K. were up 9% from January to May 2017. While arrivals from Europe were up just 5% during the first five months of the year, arrivals from North America increased 22%, and visits from the rest of the world were up 25%.

VisitBritain’s findings also show that visitor spending increased 14% for the January to May period, indicating that many travelers are taking advantage of the more favorable currency exchange rates. This aligns with the country’s hotel rate growth, which was particularly high in London, up 6.2% to GBP143.57 in H1. The U.K. capital continues to post performance growth, despite experiencing terror attacks in March and June.

Get the full story at HNN

Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/uk_hotels_post_record_h1_performance

Israeli consumer watchdog fines Booking.com

August 15, 2017

The Israel Hotel Association notes that the website has begun revising the prices it lists for reservations by adding VAT, but "It is necessary to continue to make sure that this will remain the case." Booking.com is not an Israeli company; the fine imposed by the Consumer Protection and Fair Trade Authority applies to the website's Israeli office.

Hotel Association president Amir Hayek said, "The Hotel Association issued a warning about this matter not long ago, and we know and are confident that together with the Consumer Protection and Fair Trade Authority, we will put an end to this problem for the sake of complete price transparency."

Get the full story at Globes Online

Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/israeli_consumer_watchdog_fines_booking.com

Google Hotel Search prominently numbers hotel results

August 15, 2017

Google is showing the number either between the map view or list view and the actual results.

Google is very active about testing local and hotel search results user interfaces, so I am not sure if this one will last or not.

Get the full story at Search Engine Roundtable

Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/google_hotel_search_prominently_numbers_hotel_results

Where hotels are increasing & decreasing marketing investments

August 15, 2017

The mission of HSMAI’s Digital Marketing Council is to inspire success for HSMAI members and those they serve through the creation, curation and promotion of relevant knowledge in the digital marketing space.

As part of this mission, the Council is attempting to provide frequent (at least quarterly) statistical and sentiment data to help hotel marketers benchmark their results and understand how their peers feel about key digital marketing topics.

Benchmarking surveys are sent to all HSMAI members, and members are encouraged to invite their industry peers to participate as well. Here are the results of the latest survey on marketing investments.

Get the full story at HSMAI

Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/where_hotels_are_increasing_decreasing_marketing_investments

Meliá Hotels partners with Duetto to transform revenue strategy

August 15, 2017

Meliá, one of the largest hotel companies in the world with seven brands and more than 370 hotels across 43 countries, has undertaken several initiatives to elevate its Revenue Strategy and digital-marketing and distribution capabilities. Its adoption of Duetto’s price optimization application, GameChanger, and revenue intelligence application, ScoreBoard, confirms the two companies are aligned on a long-term vision for innovation.

“We are thrilled to partner with Melia, one of the industry’s leading companies, and it’s gratifying they saw our company as a change agent that could help their transformation,” said Patrick Bosworth, Co-Founder and CEO of San Francisco-based Duetto. “We look forward to helping Meliá remake its revenue organization into one that proves the power of Open Pricing, the strategy that drives GameChanger, which will also enable Meliá to leverage new tactics and data sources that continually disrupt the industry.”

Get the full story at Duetto

Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/melia_hotels_partners_with_duetto_to_transform_revenue_strategy

TripAdvisor’s Instant Booking, dead or alive?

August 14, 2017

Douglas Quinby, senior vice president of research with Phocuswright, said that TripAdvisor has been "signaling this awhile -- de-emphasizing Instant Booking and refocusing on metasearch. I think the challenge is conversion, convincing customers that [TripAdvisor] is a booking site, not a review site. ... The key question is: How best can they monetize their enormous user base as the marketplace migrates to mobile?"

Brian Hoyt, TripAdvisor's senior director of corporate communications, said Instant Booking continues to be an option for users, but it will likely appear more prominently for users who have already demonstrated a propensity for using the service.

"We continue to be focused on helping the consumer book the right hotel for them, and should they choose to use our Instant Booking channel, it is available," he said.

Get the full story at Travel Weekly

Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/tripadvisors_instant_booking_dead_or_alive

OTA groups hit back at B&B complaints

August 14, 2017

The UK B&B Association has filed a series of complaints to the UK Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) against Booking.com and other OTAs.

It alleges ‘rate parity’ clauses “imposed” on accommodation providers in contracts are driving up prices and that OTAs are misleading consumers with “false discounts” and “false availability claims”.

The association has also complained about “manipulated default search rankings” and “forced bidding” by OTAs on hotel and B&B names, and it has demanded Booking.com cease a consumer advertising campaign promoting ‘Free Cancellation’.

Get the full story at Travel Weekly UK

Read also "Comment: Don’t bite the hand that feeds" at Travel Weekly UK

Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/ota_groups_hit_back_at_bb_complaints

UK closes OTA gap in consumer protections

August 14, 2017

The regulations will protect holidaymakers if one of the firms that they are booking with collapses or in the event that the holiday is not as advertised.

Margot James, the consumer minister, said: "While consumer laws protect millions of holidaymakers from the fallout if a travel company goes into administration, the way we book holidays has changed significantly in recent years and it is important that regulations are updated to reflect this.

“On average UK households put aside £100 every month for their holidays. The proposals outlined in this consultation will ensure that an extra 22 per cent of holidays can be booked online with holidaymakers safe in the knowledge that they will get their hard-earned money back if something does go wrong.”

Get the full story at The Telegraph

Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/uk_closes_ota_gap_in_consumer_protections

Why affordable luxury hotels brands are heading to Asia

August 14, 2017

These affordable luxury hotel brands are making headway in the region as they embark on a spate of new launches across many of its most popular destinations.

CitizenM, which blazed a trail in European cities for its trendy vibe at pocket-friendly room rates has welcomed its first guests in Taipei this month and is already expanding its footprint with outposts in Kuala Lumpur and Shanghai next year. Meanwhile Yotel, which defines modern luxury as having everything guests need at their fingertips, is focussing on Singapore. Its Orchard Road hotel will be launching in September and its first Asian airport hotel will open at the city state's Changi in 2019.

Joining these sizeable players is Azerai, a new brand by legendary hotelier Adrian Zecha who's behind the gilded Aman hotels. Azerai made his debut in Luang Prabang in Laos in May with rooms going for US$250 a night.

Get the full story at JLL Real views

Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/why_affordable_luxury_hotels_brands_are_heading_to_asia

Tackling GDPR compliance before time runs out

August 14, 2017

Europe is on the brink of a sea change in its data-protection laws. In fact, when the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) takes effect on May 25, 2018, the effects will reverberate far beyond the continent itself.

The GDPR goes further than harmonizing national data-protection laws across the European Union and simplifying compliance; it also expands the reach of EU data-protection regulation and introduces important new requirements. It seeks to ensure that personal data are protected against misuse and theft and to give European Union residents control over how data relating to them are being used.

Any entity that is established in the European Union or that processes the personal data of EU residents in order to offer them goods or services or to monitor their behavior—whether as customers, employees, or business partners—will be affected. Any failure to comply with the regulation could incur severe reputational damage as well as financial penalties of up to 4 percent of annual worldwide revenues (see sidebar “The GDPR: Key facts” for a synopsis of the new rules).

Get the full story at McKinsey & Company

Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/tackling_gdpr_compliance_before_time_runs_out

Infographic: Facebook marketing for hotels

August 14, 2017

Given more than 2 billion people now use Facebook, it's fast-becoming an essential platform for all business types, if it's not already. But the opportunities in the travel and hospitality sector are particularly significant, and all businesses within this segment should definitely have some presence on The Social Network.

As Facebook notes, our travel choices are heavily influenced by recommendations from other people, people we know, like and trust - recommendations that used to be delivered in person, but which we can now access for any business, at any time, via Facebook. Via your Facebook connections, you can get quick feedback on travel ideas, places to stay, things to do - and you don't even need to ask them, you can just do a quick Facebook search and look up a location to see posts your connections have made about it, enabling you to easily gather relevant opinions.

And that's before you consider Instagram, another part of Facebook's family of apps - on Instagram, there are over 160 million Instagram posts using the hashtag #travel, and up to a million travel-related searches on the platform each week.

Get the full story at Social Media Today

Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/infographic_facebook_marketing_for_hotels

How to optimize your hotel’s Facebook page to drive more direct bookings

August 14, 2017

Facebook continues to dominate as the world’s largest social network. In June 2017, Mark Zuckerberg announced that the Facebook community had reached 2 billion users. User engagement is also growing. The average user now spends 50 minutes per day on Facebook’s 3 major platforms (Facebook, Instagram and Messenger). That’s roughly one-sixteenth of our waking day, and up from 40 minutes per day in 2014.

A major reason for this uptick in user engagement has been Facebook’s improved search functionality. Users are no longer using Facebook just to connect with friends, but to search for information about businesses, current events, or to support social causes – remember the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge?

Facebook search is helping users find the information they’re looking for and keeping them in the Facebook ecosystem for longer. That includes travel shoppers researching destinations and accommodation options.

Get the full story at Leonardo

Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/how_to_optimize_your_hotels_facebook_page_to_drive_more_direct_bookings

Sojern, travel’s direct demand engine, earns Google Partner status for search, mobile

August 14, 2017

This distinction recognizes Sojern for our success in delivering high-value campaigns. It also gives us access to additional services, products, and information. Since Google provides these only to their badged Partners, we can further support and exceed our clients’ expectations.

Sojern’s badge includes specializations in Search and Mobile advertising. Specializations recognize companies that earn Partner status and demonstrate increased performance and product expertise in AdWords products.

Get the full story at Sojern

Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/sojern_travels_direct_demand_engine_earns_google_partner_status_for_search

Expedia launches new suite of software and technology products for hotel partners

August 11, 2017

Originally introduced as a series of test-and-learns based on feedback from partners, the offerings have evolved into bespoke products for select strategic hotel partners, and reflect Expedia’s increased focus on partner value beyond distribution.

“Expedia Powered Technology was born from rethinking how we work with our hotel partners – through listening to their needs, and leveraging our technology as a driver for industry solutions,” said Cyril Ranque, president, Lodging Partner Services. “We are working to ensure we can not only provide distribution and new audiences for our partners, but also help solve for other challenges they may have. As we make the shift to strategically focus on needs of evolving business solutions, we are committed to using our resources and technology to create new product offerings that help our partners reach their goals.”

Expedia Powered Technology is a robust and growing suite of products that includes:

Private Label Packages: Originally a test-and learn solution for hotel partners looking to grow their business through the powerful package path, product development for Packages has grown to now offer Expedia’s best-in-class dynamic packaging technology to other multi-property partners, including Barceló and Vacations by Marriott.

Omni Hotels & Resorts is the latest partner to take advantage of Expedia’s package solution. “Omni Hotels & Resorts is excited to further leverage our marketing partnership with Expedia to bring our guests the option to book their total vacation experiences directly with us,” said Peter Strebel, chief marketing officer and senior vice president of sales for Omni Hotels & Resorts.

Partner Loyalty Enrollment: Initially tested with Red Lion Hotels Corporation last fall, the technology has advanced to now allow hotel partners to enlist and sign up users from Expedia sites for their brand loyalty programs. This program has grown to include three other chains.

MICE Booking Technology: The MICE solution is the first tool that truly automates the booking process for meeting organizers and hotels in real time, making RFPs (requests for proposals) a thing of the past. Hotels can increase MICE sales efficiency by integrating the MICE online booking engine on their website, allowing customers to configure and directly book their meeting, including group lodging, online. This technology further enables hoteliers to yield prices for meetings and groups, based on multiple dynamic criteria to increase revenue. The MICE solution is currently live with Best Western Central Europe and the NH Hotel Group in Germany with promising results. A global rollout will begin soon.

TravelAds Direct: Expedia is currently testing more digital marketing opportunities that directly address partner feedback and needs. Last year Expedia began offering TravelAds Direct, a link-off version of its popular pay per click program that puts hotels in front of one of the largest online travel audiences in the world. The link-off sponsored listing product offers a direct click-through to the advertising hotel’s website, resulting in easier price comparison for consumers, and more potential brand touch points, bookings, and loyalty for hotels. Expedia is currently testing more media solutions that directly address partner feedback and needs. For example, when Loews was looking to promote its Cyber Sale, it ran a TravelAds Direct campaign with Expedia Media Solutions during Black Friday & Cyber Monday. As a result of the campaign, Loews had an overall return on ad spend of $5.43:$1.

Rev+: As part of Expedia® PartnerCentral (EPC), the company’s partner portal which helps hotels manage their properties and rates, Rev+ is a revenue management tool designed to provide actionable data and insights to empower partners to make smart decisions to optimize their revenue. Rev+, an essential tool for revenue managers, comes at no additional costs for hotel partners, and doesn’t require additional sign-up.

Get more information at Expedia's Discover EPC website

Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/expedia_launches_new_suite_of_software_and_technology_products_for_hotel_pa

OTAs and hotels aren’t bidding as much on TripAdvisor as they used to

August 11, 2017

Even TripAdvisor officials don’t know exactly how to interpret the softness in the July hotel auctions, which can have some volatility - or they aren’t extensively elaborating and naming advertisers.

Asked whether the softness was TripAdvisor-specific or might be related to wider trends, CEO Steven Kaufer said the company doesn’t have insights into individual companies’ marketing-spend decisions, adding that he doesn’t believe the wrinkle was purely a TripAdvisor phenomenon.

He said TripAdvisor saw the softness in cost-per-click bidding globally - so not in one specific market or region - and that it wasn’t a consistent trend among a broad swath of clients. Kaufer said it is very possible that the weaker bidding might reverse itself.

Get the full story at Skift

Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/otas_and_hotels_arent_bidding_as_much_on_tripadvisor_as_they_used_to

Online travel prepares for long road

August 11, 2017

TripAdvisor said the acceleration in mobile hotel shoppers is a short-term challenge, though it may become a benefit in the long run as people are likely to have more opportunities to shop online.

"On the one hand, it highlights our increasing engagement on this strategic platform," the company said. But less revenue per shopper "exacerbates the near-term revenue growth headwind." The company declined to elaborate on comments it made in the earnings call.

Priceline Group said it is still seeing healthy demand for global travel. On an earnings call Tuesday, Chief Executive Glenn Fogel said the slower growth projections were "consistent with our long-term trends and expectation for the business given our size now."

Get the full story at WSJ / Fox Business

Read also "TripAdvisor reports falling earnings, but hopes for better times ahead" and "Priceline reports better-than-expected Q2 earnings"

Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/online_travel_prepares_for_long_road

Carloson Wagonlit CEO shares more details on RoomIt

August 11, 2017

This is what Carlson Wagonlit's CEO Kurt Ekert had to say about RoomIt in a recent interview with Tnooz:

On a property level basis, it’s sourcing unique inventory similar to what an online travel agent or bed-bank does, bringing that into a rules engine and then present that to the user. The user can do that offline, they can do that through third party corporate booking tools who can shoot that through our XML. And we now have a hotel-only browser platform, which basically is an extension of the CWT To Go mobile app. And so what that does for the user is it gives us an experience that’s akin to being in perhaps a Trivago or a Kayak.

And we now have a hotel-only browser platform, which basically is an extension of the CWT To Go mobile app. And so what that does for the user is it gives us an experience that’s akin to being in perhaps a Trivago or a Kayak.

In hospitality, there’s massive content fragmentation and there’s great arbitrage that happens, which is why booking and Expedia are the two largest hotel companies in the world.

We’re basically bringing that arbitrage into the corporate market. We provide personalization of that experience to the end user. What that should do, is give the user a much greater confidence in the content set and in the UX. We think we’ll be able to dramatically improve the attachment rate of hotels, and save the company significant amount of money. From our perspective, it’s a pretty unique and different offering than what’s there.


Get the full story at Tnooz

Read also "CWT rebrands hotel division, plans midmarket booking tool"

Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/carloson_wagonlit_ceo_shares_more_details_on_roomit

Cost controls drove hotels’ profit growth in 2016

August 11, 2017

The competitive market conditions faced by U.S. hotels in 2016 have been well documented. The results of the 2017 Trends report show the impact that the modest revenue gains had on the bottom line. Facing the threat of stagnant or declining occupancy and slow ADR growth, U.S. hotel managers reacted by controlling expenses. The 3.7 percent increase in profits is the lowest observed since the Great Recession, but it was a commendable accomplishment given the upward pressures on labor and distribution costs.

Trends in the Hotel Industry is CBRE Hotels’ Americas Research’s annual survey of operating statements from thousands of hotels across the nation. The 2016 operating data collected for the 2017 survey was compiled in accordance with the 11th edition of the Uniform System of Accounts for the Lodging Industry.

Get the full story at Lodging

Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/cost_controls_drove_hotels_profit_growth_in_2016

Turning the 80/20 rule on its head in hotel CRM

August 11, 2017

If your desire is to innovate. If you want to be a disruptive force in your industry. Try inverting the 80/20 rule by figuring out what to do with the 80% of your customers who account for only 20% of sales.

Here’s an example from the hotel industry. We delved into the CRM databases of multiple hotel brands to understand how many guests had booked only once in the past five years. In every case it was a big number. We looked deeper.

The average value of those stays was higher. They were more likely to have booked direct than through a third party. And they were less likely to have booked under a discounted corporate rate.

Many even enrolled in the loyalty program. They behaved like model customers. The only problem is they booked only once and never returned.

With these additional facts what strategy would you pursue?

Get the full story at Tnooz

Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/turning_the_80_20_rule_on_its_head_in_hotel_crm

RFP Season is coming: Is your data ready?

August 11, 2017

Here are some steps you should take, questions you should ask, and data you should review prior to making a decision to bid on the business.

1. Has this account produced room nights at your property in the past? If so what nights of the week did they produce room nights on? Did they stay on nights when you were sold out? What was the difference in the rate they paid versus what you were selling as your best available rate? Is there group and meeting opportunities with this account?

2. After you have had a chance to review the data and answer the questions above to the best of your ability, it will be important to sit down with your sales, revenue management, and hotel leadership team to think about what the budget, goals, and sales strategy are going to look like for next year, and how bidding on and winning this business would help or hurt the property.

Get the full story at rainmaker

Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/rfp_season_is_coming_is_your_data_ready

Why promoting your hotel room features could seal the deal

August 11, 2017

The answers behind these questions can offer valuable insights that you can use to make improvements and increase your hotel’s revenue.

Often, a lack of bookings can be put down to your promotion efforts, rather than any quality deficiency in your property. This is something you need to fix quickly, but it can be done easily with a few minor adjustments to your website and social media.

All it takes is a change in focus to put a stronger emphasis on promoting your hotel room features.

Get the full story at SiteMinder

Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/why_promoting_your_hotel_room_features_could_seal_the_deal

TUI Group CEO downplays overtourism threat

August 11, 2017

While TUI Group’s Fritz Joussen acknowledges that the continued growth of tourism in Spain is presenting “a little bit of a challenge,” he believes most people are happy because of the overall benefits to the economy.

Spain is arguably the epicenter of the overtourism debate with campaigners in Barcelona and the Balearic Island of Majorca stepping up their attacks on tourism in recent months. The problem in Spain is being exacerbated by the country’s continued tourism growth. Terrorism in North Africa and the Middle East has persuaded Europeans to head to perceived safe destinations. Figures recently released by the UNWTO, show that the number of international arrivals to Spain increased by 10.3 percent in 2016, cementing its place as the world’s third favorite destination.

And Spain is not alone in having to face up to the challenge: Amsterdam, Reykjavik and even the Scottish Isle of Skye are all wrestling with the idea of too many tourists.

Get the full story at Skift

Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/tui_group_ceo_downplays_overtourism_threat

The battle between hotels and Airbnb escalates in NYC

August 11, 2017

The ad sets the stage for fear-mongering, stating that NYC remains the number one target of terror in the world, citing the NYPD police commissioner, and reminding viewers that there are 40,000 Airbnb listings in NYC.

The ad even goes so far as to say that Manchester bomber Salman Abedi was staying in a short-term rental apartment when he staged and executed the attack, being sent massive packages.

Airbnb has said that Abedi’s unit was not an Airbnb listing, and has rightly called the ad “an outrageous scare tactic.”

Get the full story at TechCrunch

Read also "New York City’s hotel industry links Airbnb to terror in harsh ad"

Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/the_battle_between_hotels_and_airbnb_escalates_in_nyc

Customers aren’t quite where hotel brands want them to be

August 10, 2017

Both in the E.U. and North America, around one in five will download their app, but only one in 20 will book through it. "Not making yourself visible on third-party sites also cuts down on the chances of someone discovering you on another site and then looking you up to book direct,” said Rick Garlick, global practice lead for travel and hospitality at market researcher JD Power.

The hotel brands are right in seeing the mobile app as a means of improving customer experience, he added, because the research firm has found high customer satisfaction ratings are linked to an app users find useful. However, he warns technology might not be the only answer because helpful staff and great customer service are always the best ways to build strong loyalty.

Garlick also pointed out how, in America, most hotels are part of a branded chain and customers like a predictable “cookie-cutter” experience. The same does not apply in the E.U., particularly the U.K. In Britain, fewer than half of hotels are part of a well-known chain, so customers tend to be less brand-conscious.

Get the full story at CMO by Adobe

Read also "Hotel direct booking campaigns not taking meaningful share from OTAs"

Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/customers_arent_quite_where_hotel_brands_want_them_to_be

TripAdvisor reports falling earnings, but hopes for better times ahead

August 10, 2017

Looking more closely at the numbers, TripAdvisor once again got its best results from outside the hotel arena. Non-hotel revenue jumped 31% and now makes up almost a quarter of the company's total sales. Hotel segment growth was limited to 3%, with stronger performance in click-based and transactional revenue offsetting weaker gains in display-based ads and subscription revenue. Other hotel revenue was down 12%, reflecting weaker performance from non-branded sources.

TripAdvisor retained its popularity in the U.S., seeing its overall fraction of sales rising by 2 percentage points to 58%. European revenue held its own, with the boost domestically coming at the expense of the rest of world segment.

The company kept improving its internal resources. User reviews were up nearly 40% from year-ago levels to hit 535 million. TripAdvisor covers 1.1 million hotels and other accommodations, along with 800,000 vacation rentals, 4.4 million restaurants, and 830,000 activities and tourist attractions. As we've seen in past quarters, vacation rental counts were down even as other reviews became more voluminous.

CEO Steve Kaufer focused on long-term efforts from the company and the progress it made during the quarter. "We successfully launched our streamlined hotel shopping experience," Kaufer said, "and our new multi-year brand advertising campaign and have seen some nice early signs." The CEO also pointed to solid results in click-based revenue.

Get the full story at The Moetley Fool

Read also "Priceline and TripAdvisor shares battered on concerns the online travel market is peaking" and "TripAdvisor turns to advertising to lift its sagging hotel business"

Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/tripadvisor_reports_falling_earnings_but_hopes_for_better_times_ahead

Priceline reports better-than-expected Q2 earnings

August 10, 2017

On a year-over-year basis, both agency and merchant business showed strong momentum. Room nights and Rental cars performed impressively. The only point of weakness was airline tickets.

At the call, management stated that the company’s ongoing investments in people, technology, product and marketing are contributing significantly.

However, weaker ADRs, macro headwinds, increasing advertising spend and occupancy tax-related litigation remain overhangs.

Get the full story at Zacks

Read also "Priceline and TripAdvisor shares battered on concerns the online travel market is peaking"

Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/priceline_reports_better_than_expected_q2_earnings

Marriott CEO: Starwood buy helped make Alibaba deal happen

August 10, 2017

"When the Starwood transaction was announced, Alibaba was one of the companies that saw it and said, 'We are very intrigued by the size of this portfolio,' particularly with luxury and lifestyle and sort of the aspirational kinds of hotels that are in our portfolio," Sorenson said. "Working together, just the two of us, we can accomplish a lot that's good for us and they can accomplish a lot that's good for them."

Marriott last year worked on a targeted marketing program with Alibaba in which it signed 600,000 Marriott loyalty members in eight weeks. Bringing more guests into Marriott's loyalty system not only lowers customer-acquisition costs but also provides additional customer data, which Marriott can use to enhance its marketing. The joint venture does the company one better by allowing Marriott to leverage Alibaba's massive IT and marketing infrastructure and offering a link between Marriott's and Alibaba's loyalty programs.

Get the full story at Travel Weekly

Read also "Marriott, Alibaba join forces to tap into Chinese tourism potential"

Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/marriott_ceo_starwood_buy_helped_make_alibaba_deal_happen

What If? Imagining the future of the travel industry

August 10, 2017

The result is not an attempt to predict the future. Rather, it is a look at possible ‘what if’ scenarios that are the result of a number of factors. These include the most relevant global political and economic trends, technological advances, regulation, demographics and social change, and how they interact with each other.

These scenarios, and their implications for the global travel ecosystem, are the object of this paper.

Download the report at Amadeus (PDF 730 KB)

Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/what_if_imagining_the_future_of_the_travel_industry

Marriott announces shortlist for its 2017 European accelerator program

August 10, 2017

The shortlisted start-ups are:

Reward Technology – a UK start-up that has developed a digital engagement platform using smart card detection. Reward Technology offers guests personalised communication and services based on the detection of their loyalty and/or room key card.

Umbo – a US start-up that has developed a device that turns surfaces into interactive interfaces by projecting information and using gesture recognition to navigate. Umbo could be installed in guest rooms, meeting rooms and/or public spaces and allow guests to interact with content that is projected onto surfaces.

HiJiffy – a Portugal-based start-up that has created an AI powered chatbot designed for the hospitality sector. Through the use of chatbots, Marriott Hotels can offer a variety of services to its guests using Facebook Messenger at any place and time, in an effective and efficient way.

My Brain Technologies – a French start-up that has created 'Melomind' - a brain training headset that uses neuroscience to combat stress and anxiety to help individuals relax. 'Melomind' would offer guests a single stress-relief session or a personalised coaching programme that could be developed over a series of stays.

Mymanu – a UK start-up proposing 'Click' - wireless earbuds that offer live voice translation in 37 languages. 'Click' offers the ability to communicate with guests in their native language and make their interaction with Marriott associates feel more seamless and natural.

New'ee – a French start-up that has developed a device that wirelessly turns furniture into speakers, allowing guests to broadcast music without the need for speakers. New'ee could be used in guest rooms or public spaces to enable a more efficient and focused diffusion of sound.

Phaceology – a US start-up that has developed a platform enabling analysis of emotional responses in real time, to improve employee performance and customer experience. It offers the ability to track associates' communication performance and help to improve it.

Optishower – a Portugal-based start-up that has developed smart meters to measure water and electricity consumption and the ability to provide associates and guests with analysis of usage. Marriott Hotels could use 'Optishower' both to reduce wastage as well as offer its guests the ability to track their own consumption and be rewarded for sustainable energy use during their stay.

Key insights from the application process

Travel apps and concierge services continue to be the main focus of start-ups in the travel-tech sector, accounting for over 33% of applications for the 2017 programme.

Most travel apps looked to capitalise on the growing trend for experiential travel, offering diverse solutions for travellers to discover, curate and share experiences. Shareability was a recurring theme, with over half of the travel apps based on social media and the ability to enable travellers to share their discoveries with others.

Mobile served as the main touchpoint in a third of the applications; particularly those offering concierge services, of which two thirds were mobile first/only solutions. Several start-ups already offering online booking/mobile key solutions were looking to expand their offering to a full-service customer journey, providing seamless experiences from booking to check-out.

IOT and wearable tech featured in approximately 20% of the products put forward, suggesting a growing trend towards technologies that can be used 'on the go'. This is up on last year, where IOT and wearable tech accounted for just 3% of submissions.

The adoption, implementation and widespread use of Artificial Intelligence and machine learning is still nascent.

For more information on the accelerator program, visit http://www.marriotttestbed.com

Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/marriott_announces_shortlist_for_its_2017_european_accelerator_program

Koddi wins Digiday Signal Award for best marketing automation platform

August 10, 2017

Our winning case study demonstrated how the Koddi platform helped one of our clients, a Fortune 500 hotel company, launch a successful Dynamic Ads for Travel campaign on Facebook, tripling their direct bookings as a result.

Digiday Media’s awards programs are the leading media and marketing industry awards, celebrating excellence and achievement in innovation. The Digiday Awards programs celebrate overall excellence and breakthrough achievements in media, marketing, advertising and technology in the U.S. and Europe.

Get the full story at Koddi

Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/koddi_wins_digiday_signal_award_for_best_marketing_automation_platform

Coast Hotels and Sojern drive over $28k in direct bookings in one month using dynamic creative

August 10, 2017

Here, we explain how long-time Sojern partner Coast Hotels used Dynamic Creative to deliver more bespoke offers to in-market travelers, driving over $28k in direct bookings in a single campaign.

Imagine, if you will, visiting Portland, Oregon for the first time. You probably begin your hotel search on a meta or OTA site, not knowing what’s available. Imagine then, that later on, you see an ad for The Benson, a Coast Hotels property in Portland. The ad contains images of the property and current room rates for the exact dates you had been searching. How helpful is that to your travel planning? Through Dynamic Creative, ads are tailored to the user’s preferences, driving them to the Coast Hotels site to book direct.

Get the full story at Sojern

Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/coast_hotels_and_sojern_drive_over_28k_in_direct_bookings_in_one_month_usin

TripAdvisor turns to advertising to lift its sagging hotel business

August 09, 2017

The branding blitz comes in light of company’s need to turn around its hotel business, which drives a majority of its revenue despite the company’s efforts to diversify into other segments, such as restaurants, and tours and activities.

TripAdvisor’s branding effort comes after the company began to downplay its initiative to persuade customers to reserve hotels via its “instant booking” option instead of via its older price-comparison tool, which sends customers off to third-parties to complete bookings.

The ad blitz is partly designed to counteract weakness in its hotel booking business. The company has faced a challenge over several years in that its users, like the users of most consumer services, are switching from desktop to mobile phones.

Get the full story at Skift

Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/tripadvisor_turns_to_advertising_to_lift_its_sagging_hotel_bus

Why the “network effect” is crucial for TripAdvisor

August 09, 2017

A network effect occurs when a company's product or service becomes more valuable as more customers use it. Often times, it grants the first-mover a perpetually dominant position in that industry. In the case of Facebook, as more users came onto the platform, Facebook became more valuable as the default social networking platform. It now boasts two billion users and has a $500 billion market capitalization. In the case of eBay, its early lead as the premier online auction site attracted more sellers because there were more buyers, and more buyers because there were more sellers.

Tripadvisor has a similar advantage. Founded in 2000, it was an early mover in travel reviews and is now the dominant destination for researching and planning vacations. It too benefits from a network effect: the more reviews on the site, the more valuable it is to hotel and restaurant shoppers. The more shoppers on the site, the more hotels and restaurants want to list on Tripadvisor, which makes the site more valuable to customers, in a virtuous circle.

One would think with this much supply and demand on the site, the company's stock would be doing better. Whereas Facebook and eBay generate revenue from just about every type of product (Facebook sells ads, eBay's auctioneers sell every type of good), Tripadvisor gets paid only by its hotel suppliers or the OTAs. Not only is this somewhat limiting, but the suppliers also indirectly compete with Tripadvisor, resulting in a complex relationship.

Get the full story at Madison

Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/why_the_network_effect_is_crucial_for_tripadvisor

Hilton testing incentives to encourage earlier cancellations

August 09, 2017

Hilton Hotels is testing “incremental opportunities” arising from new cancellation and pricing policies.

The company is thinking about a range “from the 48-hour, 72-hour mark out to seven days,” Christopher J. Nassetta, chief executive officer, said during Hilton’s second-quarter earnings call.

Hilton is eyeing the creation of “fully flexible pricing structures and semi-flexible pricing structures,” he said, enabling its hotels to manage inventory more intelligently.

“What we find as we’re testing it is the large majority of our customers actually do know within those time frames whether they need to cancel or not,” Nasseta said.

Get the full story at Tnooz

Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/hilton_testing_incentives_to_encourage_earlier_cancellations

Millennials driving travel agents’ resurgence

August 09, 2017

Whether it’s the fact that most millennials are still priced out of homes or the allure of social media that creates some serious FOMO (that’s “fear of missing out” or “wanderlust" for millennials), young people are increasingly deciding to spend their money on travel rather than what traditionally served as status symbols for building a life: cars, homes, “stuff” in general.

Travel agents, in particular, are learning to love millennials as well.

Yes, the generation that very literally grew up online and helped launch the sharing economy is also helping the travel agent resurgence that we’re currently experiencing.

Get the full story at TravelPulse

Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/millennials_driving_travel_agents_resurgence

OTAs fundamentally breaking guest communication and hotels accept it

August 09, 2017

Once that first-time booking is done, the OTA should have played out its role, and it should be time for you to start getting to know the guest and help her form new habits for the next booking.

Missing the opportunity to maintain the dialogue with the guest implies that you prefer to fight for the guest on the OTAs’ terms next time as well - instead of fighting on your own terms, focusing your efforts on better service and price.

While the OTAs thrive from this guest disloyalty (with silent acceptance from many hoteliers), taking a closer look at the guest communication can help you alleviate most of the pains that come with growing OTA dominance.

Get the full story at Loopon

Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/otas_fundamentally_breaking_guest_communication_and_hotels_accept_it

Priceline and TripAdvisor shares battered on concerns the online travel market is peaking

August 09, 2017

The online travel sector went through a period of consolidation in 2015 as bigger players snapped up rivals, creating a landscape dominated by Priceline Group Inc. and Expedia Inc. The two leaders have a roughly 95% share of the online travel agencies market, according to a July report from Harvard Business School.

But new niche players are still emerging, including room-sharing services like Airbnb and HomeAway, and even search giant Google with its Google Flights service, adding to the worry about saturation.

“Priceline’s guidance will inevitably divide investors into two camps: those that view this as structural headwinds from market saturation/competition (bears) and those that view this as transitory headwind from tough comps (bulls),” Raymond James analysts wrote in a note.

“We remain on the sidelines on TripAdvisor as the strength in non-hotel and less severe margin erosion are offset by a slow recovery in hotel monetization,” Raymond James analysts wrote in a note. “Mobile monetization and international competition are headwinds that we do not foresee abating in the near term,” they wrote, reiterating a market perform rating.

Get the full story at MarketWatch

Read also "Why Priceline, TripAdvisor Are Getting Hammered After Earnings" at 24/7 Wall St.

Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/priceline_and_tripadvisor_shares_battered_on_concerns_the_online_travel_mar

Is marketing-as-a-service the future of marketing?

August 09, 2017

Not surprisingly, the role and requirements of the CMO (Chief Marketing Officer) have undergone equally dramatic changes. What used to be a position akin to the head of a marketing or advertising agency is now one requiring equal expertise in product management, corporate marketing, product marketing, and IT — a combination of skills that has led recruiters to refer to qualified candidates as “unicorns.”

The requirements of a modern CMO are numerous and complex:

1. Product management: They have to understand the technology in its earliest stages so they can interact with the market and customers to shape the product plan for Engineering and Product Development teams.

2. Corporate marketing: They have to understand how to build and differentiate their core solutions and then manage a variety of disciplines (website design, content, demand generation) to launch the company, build market awareness, and create sales preference.

3. Product marketing: They have to be able to continue to define and reinforce the product advantages for the market (channel, end user, specifier) to blunt the competition and build market traction.

Get the full story at VentureBeat

Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/is_marketing_as_a_service_the_future_of_marketing

New concepts of luxury are changing what high-end travelers expect

August 09, 2017

In this new landscape, “luxury travel” can mean flying by helicopter to a remote desert peak for an exclusive yoga class. Or, it could mean passing up the comfort of a resort stay for a once-in-a-lifetime dive to the wreck of the Titanic – a “vacation” that requires specialized training in addition to the ultra-premium price.

The report reveals five trends that have immediate implications for the hospitality industry, showing how luxury brands and innovative startups can attract high-end travelers by providing fresh, unique opportunities and experiences. Here’s a sneak peek:
Luxury drives growth in wellness tourism: A major driver of this growth will be luxury travelers looking for opportunities to better themselves.
Low-key luxury: Increasingly, luxury travelers identify themselves as “post-status” – choosing subtle indulgence over prominent logos and showy opulence.
Indulgence without guilt: Another factor driving consumer choice is a desire for guilt-free luxury.

The Future of Luxury Travel report provides in-depth examples of all five trends across multiple industries, along with guidance to help hoteliers prepare to leverage these trends.

Get the full report at Sabre Hospitality Solutions

Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/new_concepts_of_luxury_are_changing_what_high_end_travelers_expect1

Is it really technology that makes a smart hotel?

August 09, 2017

As Brian McGuinness of Starwood notes, there was a time when travelers were drawn to hotels because hotels were better than home, but then “’people started doing great things to their houses and hotels needed to catch up’” (Travel and Leisure). Hence, the move in recent years to make hotels more interesting and innovative than the average home.

To do so, hotels have gone one of two ways: giving guests total control (e.g., control over lights, air, and so forth all from a mobile app) or making sure they don’t have to control anything by doing it for them, usually behind the scenes (e.g., nightlight sensors by the bed that light up automatically when they sense someone is moving in the night).

While all of this technology is super cool, true tech intel actually comes from how you integrate the technology and what you do with what you learn. This makes a hotel smart with a capital S. Let’s look at some examples.

Get the full story at SnapShot

Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/is_it_really_technology_that_makes_a_smart_hotel

rategain

August 08, 2017

Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/rategain

The future of GDS Distribution

August 08, 2017

Today, three main players still dominate the North American and European global travel distribution system landscape: Amadeus, Sabre, and Travelport. Amadeus is the largest player in the travel agent air booking market, with a self-reported 43.5 percent market share in Q1 2017, followed closely by Sabre’s 36.3 percent.

They also offer travel technology services like airline information technology products, travel agent interfaces for connecting to their global distribution system network, and revenue management tools for hotels and airlines to help price and merchandize their products.

These three companies make the bulk of their money off air bookings; in particular, they earn huge margins by charging license fees, service fees, and transaction fees for bookings and access to their networks. Hotel bookings comprise a small portion of their booking business, about 10 percent, due to the complexity and fragmentation in the global hotel distribution marketplace.

Get the full story at Skift

Read also "So much airline tech talk is ‘nonsense’, says GDS chief" at Travel Weekly UK

Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/the_future_of_gds_distribution

Marriott, Alibaba join forces to tap into Chinese tourism potential

August 08, 2017

The joint venture will leverage Marriott International's global portfolio of brands and unparalleled hospitality expertise to revolutionize the travel experience as well as Alibaba's digital retail leadership and its role as a gateway for international brands to reach over 500 million mobile monthly active users across its platforms. Drawing on resources from both Marriott and Alibaba, the joint venture will manage Marriott's storefront on Fliggy, Alibaba's travel service platform. It will also market directly to Alibaba's customer base, provide a link between Marriott's loyalty programs and Alibaba's loyalty program, and support Marriott hotels globally with content, programs and promotions customized for the Chinese traveler.

As incomes rise, China's middle class is looking for higher quality products and travel experiences. This new venture is designed to satisfy consumers' expectations for seamless, integrated, personalized, and convenient travel solutions that connect travelers directly to Marriott's portfolio of international hotel brands. The travel industry is an important growth opportunity as China's travelers are expected to take an estimated 700 million trips over the next five years. Marriott's owners and franchisees globally will benefit from the joint venture by capturing a greater share of this growing Chinese travel market and lower distribution costs associated with the joint venture.

"We are proud to join forces with Marriott International – combining our large-scale consumer base, leading-edge technology and consumer insights with their unparalleled hospitality expertise," said Daniel Zhang, Chief Executive Officer of Alibaba Group. "Together, we are elevating and redefining the travel experience for Chinese consumers to be more seamless and personalized as they embark on adventures to discover the world."

Get the full story at Marriott

Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/marriott_alibaba_join_forces_to_tap_into_chinese_tourism_potential

Airbnb’s director of experience design on using ‘stories’ to design

August 08, 2017

She also dives into the significance of using tools of design - intentionality, research, iteration, and collaboration - to help shape the internal structure and strategy of an organization - a concept she believes isn’t used enough in the corporate world.

Airbnb’s approach to adaptability starts with finding the principles and values that should remain constant. Once a steady foundation is established, Dill says assessment and collaboration are the keys to evolving.

A key element of Airbnb’s design strategy is to use storyboarding. Dill says storyboarding real-world experiences with Airbnb helps the team to fulfill its mission of “creating a world where anyone can belong anywhere.” It does so by helping designers better empathize with the personalized experience of end-users.

Get the full story at TechCrunch

Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/airbnbs_director_of_experience_design_on_using_stories_to_design

Travel brands ready to rock emerging tech boat

August 08, 2017

On the other hand, consumers want that access with a minimum of friction. Accustomed to the ease and convenience offered by brands such as Amazon, Netflix, and Starbucks, consumers expect mobile check-ins for their hotel rooms and brands that recognize them when they walk into their lobbies.

Like other industries, travel and hospitality companies have been working to employ digital interfaces to help streamline interactions and offer consumers more control over such experiences. This year, industry players continue to integrate mobile while taking early steps to assimilate the internet of things (IoT), robot-manned front desks, virtual reality, and other innovative, emerging tech into the experience.

CMO by Adobe takes a closer look at their efforts.

Get the full story at CMO by Adobe

Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/travel_brands_ready_to_rock_emerging_tech_boat

Nine tech trends shaping the travel landscape

August 08, 2017

“We are in the midst of increasingly rapid and dramatic technological change, poised to revolutionize how and where we travel,” said Mark McSpadden, Vice President of Emerging Products and Technologies for Sabre Corporation. “Technologies like artificial intelligence, neural interfaces and quantum computing each have the potential to produce change as dramatic as the growth of the Internet.”

Here’s a sneak peak at what’s included in the Radar Report:

Blockchain – Being hailed as the new “Internet of Trust,” blockchain is awash in innovators looking to transform industries, governments, commerce and culture. We look at short and long term effects most likely to change the travel landscape.

Neural interfaces – When it comes to the mind, there are two very different challenges: extracting information out and transferring new information in. Neural interfaces attempt to address one or both challenges, and can do so in either an invasive or non-invasive way.

Space tourism – Mars is the final frontier of human travel for our lifetimes, but closer to home, commercial and government competition is heating up as a 21st century “space race.” It’s not just promising orbiting hotels, but trickle down technologies that will bring all corners of the earth closer together.

“The next generation will see a radical transformation of how we live, work and play,” said Mr McSpadden. “We see tremendous opportunities for businesses to start experimenting with and implementing technologies like blockchain, augmented reality and trusted presence to help shape a more seamless, safe and personalized future for travel.”

Download the report at Sabre Labs

Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/nine_tech_trends_shaping_the_travel_landscape

The new Google image badge and how it can help you drive quality traffic

August 08, 2017

Google made an announcement on August 1 that it added badges to the images that appear in mobile image searches. These simple badges let the user know the type of content they will find on your website when they click through from the SERP. Currently Google has badges for recipes, videos, products, and GIFs, but it has left open the question about whether they will develop more badges in the future.

Google said in its announcement that site owners who want to take advantage of this new feature will need to make sure their content has the appropriate schema markup. For example, if you have a recipe page, you will want to make sure your page has the recipe schema. This will provide Google with the information they need so the algorithm appropriately adds the ‘recipe’ badge to any images that appear from your site. You will also find the needed markups for products and videos on the schema website.

After you have marked up your content, you will want to use the Google Structured Data Testing Tool to make sure that your content has the correct markings. If your image can bring you valuable traffic, you do not want your image to be the one in the search results without the badge. Customers will quickly realize that these badges let them know what they will see when they click. Sites that do not have a badge, therefore, will likely get overlooked when customers seek a particular type of information.

Get the full story at Brightedge

Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/the_new_google_image_badge_and_how_it_can_help_you_drive_quality_traffic

Hoteliers demand cloud, open APIs from tech partners

August 08, 2017

Early on, IT teams would frequently debate the challenges and opportunities, masking their fear of the unknown. Then technology leaders began discovering many additional benefits to operating in the cloud. Smaller, more aggressive tech startups became the early adopters and, as they gained traction, disrupted laggards in the space.

Those who dragged their feet are now left kicking themselves. Today, brands, owners and operators understand that an open, cloud-based supplier community better serves hotels and the overall industry.

At the 2017 Revenue Strategy Summit in Washington, D.C., a panel of hoteliers and suppliers collectively called for industry partners to open up their programming interfaces. To do this more easily, legacy systems must move their data, applications and operations above property, where systems can talk with one another and share data in a fast and secure ecosystem.

Get the full story at Duetto

Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/hoteliers_demand_cloud_open_apis_from_tech_partners

Is Facebook the next Google? Facebook’s search functionality explained

August 08, 2017

In the last 3 years, Facebook has made it easier to find information by indexing more than 2 trillion posts in their network. So, that update you shared on the 5 best restaurants located within a 10 minute walk of your hotel can now be found in search results.

Users clearly like the improved search functionality of Facebook. It now handles more than 2 billion searches a day, up 33% from 2015 when there was 1.5 billion daily searches. That puts Facebook well ahead of Bing and only behind Google as the most used search function.

So, while your regular Facebook posts may have less visibility in Facebook’s News Feed, if you are producing and sharing useful content for travel shoppers, they will still be able to find it and ultimately get directed back to your hotel’s Facebook page.

Get the full story at Leonardo

Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/is_facebook_the_next_google_facebooks_search_functionality_explained

US hoteliers, pay attention to Chinese shopping trends

August 07, 2017

Here are four takeaways from McCabe on why U.S. hoteliers should pay attention to Chinese travelers and how to better understand their shopping habits, which includes shopping for travel:

1. Retail in China is driven by e-commerce, not bricks-and-mortar stores

China historically had a weak retail environment because of the lack of space, McCabe pointed out.

“In China, there’s about 6 inches of retail space per person,” he said. “In the U.S. it’s 24 square feet per person. That’s ripe for e-commerce.”

Because so much shopping is done online, China has developed not only a robust logistics network, McCabe said, but also a strong and secure online payments network as well, which enables fast and secure online transactions - vital when booking travel.

Get the full story at HNN

Read also "Chinese travellers more demanding" at TTR Weekly

Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/us_hoteliers_pay_attention_to_chinese_shopping_trends

India’s digital travel sales will top $22.5 billion this year

August 07, 2017

The effect of last year’s demonetization effort - which led to a dramatic drop in India’s retail ecommerce sector - has helped to drive digital travel sales in the country, and as a result has led eMarketer to increase its estimates since the previous forecast.

Online travel agencies (OTAs) such as MakeMyTrip and Yatra have not only managed to overcome the impact of demonetization, but have also capitalized on the changes to the currency laws. As a result, consumers in India have embraced buying their travel tickets online.

Digital travel sales in India - which include airline, car rental, cruise, hotel, accommodations (including Airbnb) and transportation - are expected to continue an upward growth trajectory, increasing by a third this year. By 2021, sales will reach an estimated $39.09 billion.

Get the full story at eMarketer

Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/indias_digital_travel_sales_will_top_22.5_billion_this_year

Webjet acquires JacTravel

August 07, 2017

London-based JacTravel is one of the world’s biggest suppliers of online hotel bookings and inbound travel services to the tourism sector.

Established in 1975, JacTravel is one of the world’s leading suppliers of hotel accommodation for the global travel industry.

The company is a global provider of wholesale online accommodation, including rooms in more than 12,000 hand-picked hotels worldwide, with an additional aggregated portfolio of over 165,000 properties.

Get the full story at Travel Weekly Australia

Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/webjet_acquires_jactravel

Sabre cutting 900 jobs, reports 2Q loss

August 07, 2017

Sabre, a provider of technology services to the travel industry, had 10,000 employees at the end of 2016, so the cuts amount to about 900 jobs.

The job cuts are part of a cost-trimming and reorganization program that the company said will save $110 million a year.

Sabre said its revenue rose 6.6 percent to $900.7 million in the period. It expects full-year revenue in the range of $3.54 billion to $3.62 billion.

Get the full story at The New York Times

Read also "Sabre sued for data breach of Synxis hotel res system"

Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/sabre_cutting_900_jobs_reports_2q_loss

What GDPR changes mean and how to stay compliant

August 07, 2017

The General Data Protection Regulation is being brought in to strengthen and unify data protection for all individuals within the EU. It will supersede the Data Protection Act 1998 and other data protection regulations.

The legislation will come into effect on May 25, 2018, regardless of Brexit. It has customer privacy at its heart and is widely regarded as much more robust than existing rules.

Organisations will have to keep records of all personal data, prove consent was given, show what it is being used for, how it is being protected, and how long it is kept for. Failure to comply could lead to a fine, which would be based on the turnover of the business.

Get the full story at Travel Weekly

Read also "GDPR: How to create best practice privacy notices"

Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/what_gdpr_changes_mean_and_how_to_stay_compliant

6 digital trends are poised to transform how we work

August 07, 2017

Artificial intelligence

Artificial intelligence (AI) is already in use throughout the web and increasingly within the enterprise, handling everything from initial call screening for sales prospects to scheduling.

Chatbots are evolving into more complex virtual assistants, interacting with humans to replace phone calls, emails, and texts. Online virtual assistants, such as Amy or Andrew at x.ai, schedule meetings based on calendars and preferences, propose a range of times by email, negotiate with (human) administrative assistants as needed, and send invitations. This type of help has a high return on investment: x.ai estimates that it takes humans an average of 17 minutes to schedule one meeting, while virtual assistants cost less than $100 per month.

Eventually, this will evolve into virtual assistants speaking to each other, communicating, and negotiating several orders of magnitude faster. Suddenly, being able to schedule a meeting with eight senior executives in three different time zones - all without interacting with a human being - will be easy and completely invisible to the human user.

Get the full story at Harvard Business Review

Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/6_digital_trends_are_poised_to_transform_how_we_work

How the guest journey can help your hotel hit the revenue bullseye

August 07, 2017

Typically, the journey describes three main phases: pre-stay (or search & booking), onsite, and post-stay. When building or iterating on your hotel tech stack, take a step back and think about how your technology and solutions fit in the guest journey. Are the processes and solutions you have in place setting you up for success during each phase? Much like a game of darts, if the two pieces are strategically aligned, there’s no way you’ll miss your mark.

When it comes to revenue management, the information and data points provided can ensure hotels are strong across the entire guest journey. Revenue managers are leveraging these solutions to encourage more bookings, create a lucrative on-site stay, and boost loyalty among their best guests.

Here’s how you can do the same:

Get the full story at rainmaker

Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/how_the_guest_journey_can_help_your_hotel_hit_the_revenue_bullseye

5 insights travel marketers need to know for the fall

August 07, 2017

1. Solo travelers dominate short-haul travel

Across the globe, we see the majority of short-haul travel searches for a party of one. This trend is especially prominent in North America and the Middle East & Africa, seeing solo searches as a whopping 72% and 75% of all short-haul searches, respectively.

2. American travelers are already planning for a long Labor Day weekend

So far, the two most popular departure dates searched for the month of September are the 1 and 2, indicating American travelers are already contemplating starting their holiday weekend a day early.

Get the full story at Sojern

Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/5_insights_travel_marketers_need_to_know_for_the_fall

TripAdvisor’s food delivery expansion pressures hotels to adapt

August 04, 2017

The trend’s popularity is represented at TripAdvisor, which in May integrated Grubhub’s restaurant network in the U.S. and Canada into TripAdvisor’s website, mobile Web and app, and most recently expanded the meal-delivery service globally with London-based Deliveroo.

TripAdvisor’s newest partner claims a roster of some 20,000 restaurants and 30,000 delivery riders in 140 cities across 12 countries, including the UK, Ireland, France, Germany, Spain, Italy, Belgium, the Netherlands, United Arab Emirates, Singapore, Hong Kong, and Australia.

With a familiar source like TripAdvisor, travelers may be further encouraged to dine in while previously they might have hesitated because of not knowing the local restaurants or who’s best at delivering food in the market. In Singapore, for instance, aside from Deliveroo, there’s Foodpanda, UberEATS, Food Matters or What To Eat, to name a few.

Get the full story at Skift

Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/tripadvisors_food_delivery_expansion_pressures_hotels_to_adapt

Kayak acquires Brazilian travel metasearch site Mundi

August 04, 2017

Mundi will continue to operate as a separate brand, a short statement from Mundi said.

Brazil’s online travel market is “soaring,” according to Phocuswright, and distribution companies describe the market as healthy.

Kayak entered the Brazilian market, which is becoming increasingly competitive, in May 2014.

Get the full story at Tnooz

Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/kayak_acquires_brazilian_travel_metasearch_site_mundi

Why online travel firm Luxury Escapes is opening shopfronts

August 04, 2017

Luxury Escapes has grown rapidly as a purely online business selling discounted luxury travel packages to destinations such as Dubai, Thailand, Bali and the Maldives.But four years after it was established, the group opened its first shopfront in Melbourne's Little Collins Street and has plans to roll out more across other capital cities around Australia.

In doing so Schwab, a Young Rich List member and chief executive of Lux Group, owner of Luxury Escapes, is part of another trend starting to take hold in the tech sector.

His business is following in the physical footsteps of other online disrupters ranging from Amazon and Catch Group in establishing a retail presence years after building purely e-commerce businesses.

Get the full story at The Australian Financial Review

Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/why_online_travel_firm_luxury_escapes_is_opening_shopfronts

AccorHotels.com launches a series of gifs to interact with internet users

August 04, 2017

These 18 gifs, created for AccorHotels.com by the agency WNP 909c, each illustrate an emotion through scenes in which the hotels and their employees play the starring role. AccorHotels.com has therefore chosen to make use of the option now offered by Facebook to comment with gifs in order to continue rolling out its experience of welcoming guests and services expertise in the digital world. These gifs inspired by the world of hospitality allow the brand to begin an even more personalized conversation with Internet users, by creating the conditions for a genuinely "Feel Welcome" exchange - simultaneously warm, human and heartfelt.

For example, a nod from a receptionist at the front desk of the MGallery Boutet Bastille now replaces the "simple" emoji; the sense of wellbeing is illustrated by the gif of a guest snuggling under the soft sheets of their hotel bed, etc. The gifs are available on the platform Giphy so that Internet users can freely use them to enhance their conversations with the hotel-based gifs of their choice.

Get the full story at AccorHotels.com

Read also "AccorHotels finds competing with Expedia is harder than expected"

Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/accorhotels.com_launches_a_series_of_gifs_to_interact_with_internet_users

Eight examples of top-notch copywriting from travel brands

August 04, 2017

So, how exactly do you sell a destination without reverting to clichés? What’s more, how do you adapt this copy to different channels? Here’s a run-down of some of the most inspirational brand travel copywriting and the reasons why they work.

Mr & Mrs Smith

Mr & Mrs Smith is an online travel agency that specialises in boutique and unique accommodation around the world. Its USP is that it is not your bog-standard travel agency – and it uses copywriting to continuously reflect this ‘exclusive’ nature.

It calls itself a ‘travel club’ and its customers ‘members’, building on the fact that each hotel is personally chosen and approved by the company. Meanwhile, its hotel descriptions use a conversational and almost intimate tone that’s designed to forge connections with consumers.

Mr & Mrs Smith describes itself a brand that cares about the little details, and this definitely comes across in the language it uses.

The ‘Smith Extra’ sections are particularly effective, evoking the idea that you’re getting an extra special service by booking with the brand.

Get the full story at Econsultancy

Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/eight_examples_of_top_notch_copywriting_from_travel_brands

Google’s European nightmare

August 04, 2017

This is just the beginning of Google’s competition battles in Europe. Beyond the ongoing back-and-forth over compliance with this order, Google has another series of antitrust-related probes on tap in Europe.

As noted in its press release, the European Commission has already come to the “preliminary conclusion” that Google abused a dominant position in two additional cases.

- the Android operating system, where the Commission is concerned that Google has stifled choice and innovation in a range of mobile apps and services by pursuing an overall strategy on mobile devices to protect and expand its dominant position in general internet search; and

- AdSense, where the Commission is concerned that Google has reduced choice by preventing third-party websites from sourcing search ads from Google’s competitors.

And here is where things could cascade quickly for Google: the Commission will also continue examining the behavior of other “specialized Google search services.” Google uses the same basic strategy and conduct (which European regulators already found illegal) to integrate other services into its search results. With the legal bar effectively lowered based on the facts of this case, it’s only a matter of time before mapping, travel, weather and reviews services are also in the Commission’s crosshairs.

Get the full story at Vrge Strategies

Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/googles_european_nightmare

5 perks of using search keywords in display advertising targeting

August 04, 2017

In an effort to have our search and display campaigns work more symbiotically, we’ve been utilizing search terms in our display prospecting campaigns. While bidding on paid search terms can be quite costly, our display platform allows for the ability to target up to 10,000 keywords to include or exclude for a lower average CPM than paid search efforts. While there are many advantages of using keywords for display advertising, here are a few:

Get the full story at GCommerce

Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/5_perks_of_using_search_keywords_in_display_advertising_targeting

When are the highest value leads generated on Google Hotel Ads?

August 04, 2017

We expected to see spikes in click and booking volume around two times of the day:

- During the typical lunch hour
- In the late afternoon/early evening (after 5:00 PM)

The basis for this belief was that consumers would search for hotels and ultimately book during either their lunch break or after work in the evening when they have the time to sit down at a desktop. We set out to quantify the highest booking hours of the day.

Get the full story at Koddi

Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/when_are_the_highest_value_leads_generated_on_google_hotel_ads

Is Airbnb finally being welcomed by corporate travel?

August 03, 2017

While CNN's Richard Quest managed to garner healthy applause from the audience by bringing up Airbnb's duty of care shortcomings on a lodging panel that featured the company's global head of business travel, David Holyoke, Airbnb reps nevertheless seemed downright cozy on the expo floor last week. (And it's not just because their booth was designed to look like an industrial-chic apartment.)

Travel managers and industry professionals posted images of themselves sitting in the Airbnb booth on various social media channels. GBTA executive director and COO Mike McCormick tweeted a photo of himself smiling alongside Holyoke in the GBTA Studio. An education session about risk management and alternative accommodations included Airbnb Business Travel rep Jason Beckham and featured a testimonial from Meritor manager of global travel and meetings Jack Reynaert, who said Airbnb was the only alternative accommodations provider that "offered the level of security and risk management that we were looking for."

Consider how different all of that is from two years ago. In 2015, there was no booth. There were no selfies. Overall engagement among corporate travel professionals was nonexistent beyond a passionate few.

Get the full story at BTN

Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/is_airbnb_finally_being_welcomed_by_corporate_travel

Are preferred suppliers a thing of the past?

August 03, 2017

It's common understanding that corporate managed travel programs require the use of preferred suppliers. After all, isn't that the purpose of corporate-supplier negotiations – to obtain special rates for the corporation, and guaranteed business for the supplier? But in reality, the consistent use of preferred suppliers is likely lower than we think.

This means that 80% or so of managed business travelers always or usually stay within policy. However, looking at this another way, more than half of them have "gone rogue" at least once to book a non-preferred supplier – and nearly 20% have done it most or all of the time.

So how do they get away with it? Nothing is really holding them back. Only about 10% of managed travelers said they won't get reimbursed if they book outside of policy.

Get the full story at Phocuswright

Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/are_preferred_suppliers_a_thing_of_the_past

New York City’s hotel industry links Airbnb to terror in harsh ad

August 03, 2017

It cites media coverage that bomber Salman Abedi used a short-term rental apartment he found through a local online real estate agent and had “massive packages” sent to him at that location - which was not an Airbnb unit.

“Are you at risk?” text in the ad reads.

The ad, which has no voices, just ominous music and text, goes on to state that Airbnb has refused to provide the addresses of the 40,000 city apartments it lists on its site to law enforcement, even though it does so in cities such as Chicago, San Francisco and New Orleans.

Get the full story at NY Daily News

Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/new_york_citys_hotel_industry_links_airbnb_to_terror_in_harsh_ad

Mandatory resort fees are on the rise, again

August 03, 2017

The average resort fee, which covers everything from "free" WiFi to access to exercise facilities, now stands at almost $21, a jump of 8.7 percent from last December.

The biggest increases came in large metropolitan cities, including New York, San Francisco and Los Angeles, where resort fees are up by a whopping 70 percent in six months. "Until recently, most hotels in these cities didn't charge a fee," says Randy Greencorn, publisher of Resortfeechecker.com.

No wonder, then, that frustration with resort fees is reaching a boiling point. They're difficult to fight once they've been added to a bill. Government action on the fees, once thought to be inevitable, has stalled.

Get the full story at the Chicago Tribune

Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/mandatory_resort_fees_are_on_the_rise_again

Technology, health drive millennial food-and-beverage habits

August 03, 2017

According to the report, 66 percent of millennials say spending money on an experience like dining at a restaurant or some other activity is more important to them than purchasing an item from a store.

So what makes a millennial choose one restaurant over another? Here are a few discoveries discussed in the report:

- Technology is a big draw. Millennials are more likely than gen Xers or baby boomers to take advantage of and use technology when deciding where to dine.

- The ordering process. Millennials are more willing than older guests to use electronic kiosks or tablets to place orders at limited-service and sit-down restaurants.

- Looking at the menu online is key. Seventy-four percent of millennials and 68 percent of gen Xers claim that option drives their choice of one restaurant over another.

Get the full story at Hotel Management

Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/technology_health_drive_millennial_food_and_beverage_habits

A traveler’s guide to using Google Maps

August 03, 2017

Before you head to your next destination, it’s simple to log in to Google and save a spatial list of the cafés you want to try, and how to get from one to the next, and finally home to your new AirBnB pad. You can even check the information box on the left to see how busy a café, bar, or library is right now, to be sure of snagging a power point and a comfy chair.

And if you’re hoping to catch up with an old friend in town but you both have busy schedules, it’s easy to keep them abreast of where you are by sharing your location via Google or other social networks – so they always know where to drop in for a cup of tea and the latest international gossip.

Expedia’s great new visual guide offers a full rundown of how it all works, and what else is available - and importantly, from a marketing standpoint, it highlights the various ways in which people are using these tools, which can help guide your thinking on how to increase your business exposure.

Get the full story at Social Media Today

Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/a_travelers_guide_to_using_google_maps

Trend digest – hotel loyalty programs in 2017

August 03, 2017

We take a look at the trends emerging in 2017, and how hoteliers can adapt to the evolving world of loyalty programs.

What to expect from hotel loyalty programs in 2017 – US News

Personalisation is the name of the game in 2017, according to top loyalty executives in the hotel industry. And with this increased focus on individualised value, loyalty members can expect more flexibility, earning opportunities and better options for redeeming points.

Get the full story at GuestRevu

Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/trend_digest_hotel_loyalty_programs_in_2017

Back to the futurecasting

August 03, 2017

“Roads? Where we’re going, we don’t need roads!”

Those famous words were spoken by a confident Doc Brown as his time-travelling DeLorean careened into the future. Doc and Marty McFly were quite the dynamic duo and, thanks to some seriously cool inventions and a great deal of intuition, these two always achieved their desired outcome in the end.

There are some interesting parallels between the adventures of Doc and Marty, and that of hotels optimizing profits through their marketing and revenue management strategies.

Get the full story at IDeaS

Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/back_to_the_futurecasting


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