To print this page, select "Print" from the File menu of your browser.

Business travelers increasingly book direct

March 29, 2017

The study, Booking Behaviour II, conducted in partnership with Concur, found nearly one-third of business travelers in each country expect to use “alternative channels” more often in the next year. However, this growth in direct bookings will not necessarily come at the expense of booking through an online booking tool (OBT). A good share of these same business travelers also expect to rely on an OBT more often in the next year. Travelers are split, however, when predicting their use of online travel agencies (OTA) in the next year.

“As alternative channels are increasingly used, travel programs may have reduced visibility into booking over time facing greater difficulty ensuring duty of care and achieving cost savings,” said Monica Sanchez, GBTA Foundation director of research. “It’s important for travel professionals to plan for this growing trend in their programs – ensuring they capture and manage employee travel no matter where or how it was purchased.”

“This GBTA study highlights the fact that EMEA business travelers who are required to use corporate OBTs continue to book directly with suppliers and expect to do so more frequently in the future, which creates significant challenges for businesses,” said Mike Koetting, executive vice president of supplier and TMC services, Concur. “Unmanaged direct bookings can undermine travel program benefits, policy enforcement, duty-of-care obligations and supplier contracts. With traveler behaviors unlikely to change, new solutions are necessary to capture and manage corporate travel spend.”

Get the full story at GBTA

Read also "GBTA study shows travel managers audit hotel rates infrequently"

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

Travelzoo boss sounds warning ahead of Article 50 being triggered

March 29, 2017

The warning came from Travelzoo UK managing director Joel Brandon-Bravo.

His comment follow Virgin Group founder Sir Richard Branson declaring that travel has already been severely damaged by the fallout from Brexit.

Invoking Article 50 will mean a move “from a period of travel uncertainty to the definite unknown” as the UK enters negotiations with Brussels, Brandon-Bravo said.

Get the full story at Travel Weekly UK

Read also "Branson: 'The travel industry would be foolish not to speak out on Brexit'" at TTG and Travel Weekly

Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/travelzoo_boss_sounds_warning_ahead_of_article_50_being_triggered

Cvent unveils 2017 lists of top meeting hotels in the U.S., EMEA, and Asia Pacific

March 29, 2017

The company also announced it has expanded its European rankings, announcing its Top 50 Meeting Hotels in Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA). Cvent also produced the inaugural Top 50 Meetings Hotels in the Asia Pacific (APAC) region.

Get the full story at Business Wire

Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/cvent_unveils_2017_lists_of_top_meeting_hotels_in_the_u.s._emea_and_asia_pa

Luxury travelers ‘becoming more demanding’

March 29, 2017

Luxury travel is no longer predicated by ostentation but high-end consumers are becoming more demanding, new research reveals.

In tandem with less ostentation, “higher spiritual and emotional motives” are now coming more into play – such as the need for inner fulfillment, creativity, self esteem, belonging and contentedness.

“In short, experience transcends dollars at the higher end of luxury travel,” the study by MyTravel Research.com says. “The consequence – demand for luxury experiences seems to be growing faster than the demand for luxury goods.”

Get the full story at Travel Weekly UK

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

5 tips for crafting an Instagrammable hotel

March 29, 2017

In an age when social media is king, many hotel guests are eager to post photos from a hotel stay to Instagram if the vibe is right, the food is well-presented and the design is thoughtful throughout.

Hotel News Now spoke with industry experts to get a feel for how hotels are being designed in a way that could become a travel moment shared by guests on Instagram.

Here are five takeaways from the conversation.

Get the full story at HNN

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

SXSW: The future of work

March 29, 2017

How can we stay in touch with our humanity in an increasingly automated work environment?

Evernote took the notes at this year's SXSW conference so you can enjoy 30+ sessions in the SXSW Workplace Track about the future of work.

Get the full story at Evernote

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

SiteMinder’s Global Hotel Business Index 2017

March 29, 2017

The finding, documented in SiteMinder’s Global Hotel Business Index 2017 released today, is based on more than 2,100 survey responses from hoteliers at both independent properties and hotel groups around the world.

According to the report, the ability to increase direct bookings and grow online presence is a higher business priority for hoteliers than mobile bookings or personalisation to enhance the guest experience. The paradox, SiteMinder says, is that in spite of 95 percent of respondents ranking ‘driving guests to book direct’ as a challenge, only 37 percent nominated ‘exploring new hotel technology and systems’ as a high priority for their hotel business.

“The results of SiteMinder’s inaugural Global Hotel Business Index is, again, evidence of the desire among hotels to maximise online channels and grow their business, but also the contradictory hesitation among them to try new technology that can support that effort. What hoteliers struggle to realise is that you can’t prioritise one without the other,” says Mike Ford, managing director at SiteMinder.

Get the full story at SiteMinder

Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/siteminders_global_hotel_business_index_2017

The newest shiny object for hotel marketers: Facebook City Guides

March 29, 2017

While not in every market today (the rollout is in 20 markets), or super robust in the markets it is in, it does opens the door for a lot of potential (whether for Facebook or hotels depends on your point of view). Added to Google’s already existing guide program, there are suddenly very big players on the scene between hotels and their guests.

How should you be thinking about this new development? Consider these thoughts from HSMAI’s Digital Marketing Council.

Get the full story at HSMAI

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

U.S. travel industry fears a ‘lost decade’ under Trump

March 28, 2017

Like many Washington lobby groups, the U.S. Travel Association was quick to congratulate the new president on his victory last November.

“We are encouraged that Mr. Trump’s extensive business and hospitality background … will make him a ready and receptive ear,” the trade organization said. Upon the Republican’s inauguration, the USTA’s chief executive, Roger Dow, pledged the industry as a “capable, willing partner.”

But almost immediately, things started to go sideways. A steady drumbeat of news and policy proclamations seemed likely to damage America’s $250 billion travel industry and its roughly 15 million U.S. employees.

Get the full story at the Portland Press Herald

Read also "Travel ban proposals making California tourism industry nervous" at the Long Beach Press Telegram and "Virtuoso survey reveals hesitant travelers" at Travel Weekly

Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/u.s._travel_industry_fears_a_lost_decade_under_trump

Marriott buys stake in tours/activities search engine

March 28, 2017

PlacePass offers listings and price comparisons for more than 100,000 tours and activities in 800 destinations. The Cambridge, Mass.-based company was co-founded in 2016 by Ethan Hawkes, a former consultant with McKinsey & Co., and Emily Bernard, former vice president at Foreign Policy magazine.

Eamples of activities listed by PlacePass are a picnic in the Grand Canyon, a tour of U.K. filming sites of the TV series "Downton Abbey," and the chance to cook pasta with an Italian chef in Italy's Tuscany region.

Marriott appears to be taking a cue from companies such as TripAdvisor and Airbnb, both of which have branched outside of their core businesses to invest in in-destination listings services.

Get the full story at Travel Weekly

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

Hilton launches 1,000th hotel featuring Digital Key technology

March 28, 2017

Today, marks the official introduction of the Digital Key technology at their 1,000th hotel – Hampton Inn Manhattan Grand Central in New York City.

Since its launch in 2015, Hilton Honors members have opened more than 6.4 million doors using Digital Key. Among them is Alan Corcoran, a Hilton Honors Lifetime Diamond member, technology consultant and occasional guest pianist at the Palmer House in Chicago. He joins a growing list of guests who’ve single-handedly opened more than 500 doors with Digital Key since launch. “When you stay at hotels as frequently as I do, personalized technology like Digital Key helps you feel more at home,” he said. “As a previous guest of the Hampton Inn Manhattan Grand Central, I know this technology will help other travelers like me have a smooth and streamlined experience.”

And that’s why reaching 1,000 hotels – and plans to reach 2,500 by the end of this year including debuts in the United Kingdom, China, Malaysia and New Zealand – is so significant. For guests like Alan, they soon can count on a consistent technology experience with Hilton regardless of where they travel. And the time saved makes a difference, giving Hilton Honors members extra moments to speak with loved ones back home, prepare for the big business meeting or plan the local excursion with the hotel concierge.

The Hilton Honors app is designed to be guests’ remote control for their stay at Hilton. From their smartphone, guests can check in, select their room and choose when to arrive. Digital Key can also be used to access the fitness center, pool and other hotel areas that traditionally require a key.

“Simplicity and consistency in experience is paramount for us. Digital Key is just one way we’re delivering that – from Anchorage to Yonkers, you can count on Digital Key supporting your adventure,” said Geraldine Calpin, chief marketing officer at Hilton.

By New Year’s Eve, Hilton will toast to 2,500 hotels live due to advanced deployment technology and lessons learned in countless installations.

“At the beginning of rollout, we could bring Digital Key to 100 properties in six months,” said Joshua Sloser, senior vice president of Digital at Hilton. “Today, we are able to bring 100 properties live in an average of 24 days. Our Team Members appreciate how this technology can personalize the guest experience and they love being part of something that is progressive and game changing.”

Related LInk: Hilton Digital Key

Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/hilton_launches_1000th_hotel_featuring_digital_key_technology

Small hotels tailor amenities to upscale guests

March 28, 2017

They want immersive experiences in local culture, according to luxury trend reports and luxury agents.

The “Experiential Explosion,” as Forbes put it, in its 2017 luxury trends report, are the new buzzwords describing what up-market clients are after.

“Guests not only seek experiential travel, they consistently want that experience to be taken to the next level. So, while the market can expect more luxury dude ranches, eco lodges and tented camps, guests are also demanding a personally curated stay that is particularly unique to them and to the destination. Think private blessing by a shaman in Peru or foraging with the hotel chef followed by a cooking lesson in France,” the report says.

Get the full story at Travel Market Report

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

Baby Boomer travelers ignoring print as online and word of mouth dominates, survey finds

March 28, 2017

Print has long been regarded by the travel industry as fertile ground for reaching and influencing baby boomer travellers.

Research carried out for Mumbrella by leading online retirement platform YourLifeChoices found three quarters of the more than 6,000 respondents – 70% of whom were aged between 50 and 70 – head online when they first begin planning a holiday. Just 9% visit their travel agent, 7% use guide books, and only 3.5% turn to newspapers as their first port of call.

Furthermore, asked what most influences their travel decisions, less than 5% said travel editorial, behind advertising with 12% and online travel reviews on 27%. Almost 40% said personal word of mouth recommendation was the biggest influence.

Get the full story at Mumbrella

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

Facebook demographics analysis reveals several startling truths

March 28, 2017

As a result, brands relying solely on demographic targeting will be reaching many people who claim to be a certain age, but who, in reality, are not in the brand’s desired audience at all. This will likely result in less effective campaigns, and reduced returns on investment.

It’s important to stress that this issue is specific to demographic targeting though. Facebook still offers one of the most effective and efficient ways of reaching nearly 2 billion people around the world, but in order to make best use of this opportunity, my counsel to marketers is to significantly reduce dependence on demographics, and to adopt alternative methods of identifying and targeting relevant audiences.

Ideally, marketers should engage audiences based on people’s actual behaviour, or at least based on their declared interests (e.g. the pages they have ‘liked’ on Facebook). These approaches are less likely to suffer from the distortions we’ve detailed above, and critically, they’re likely to drive more targeted and relevant engagement too.

Get the full story at The Next Web

Read also "Facebook: Traveling companion for the next decade?"

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

From mobile app to personal butler: Five hotels getting personalisation right

March 28, 2017

A combination of factors – a disrupted marketplace where alternative lodging options like Airbnb are flourishing, hotels finding themselves relying on online travel agents to keep rooms full at the expense of exorbitant commission and the dilution of brand identity, and the proliferation of technology developed for the hospitality industry – has led to something of a revolution among hoteliers; they are realising that you need to offer guests something special in order to remain competitive, and for many hoteliers, this something special is personalisation.

Not all personalisation efforts are created equal, however. Personalisation comes in many guises, and can be incremental, technology driven, or rely solely on the human touch. Here are a few examples of hotels going above and beyond to ensure that their guests are treated as individuals and their stays are tailored to their particular wants and needs.

Get the full story at GuestRevu

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

6 reasons your hotel should be using cloud technology to increase bookings

March 28, 2017

Given its flexibility and adaptability, more hotels should be assessing the available hotel technology if they want to boost their business revenue.

Cloud technology can be an especially useful and affordable tool for independent hoteliers who don’t have large budgets.

Here are 6 benefits of using cloud technology at your hotel.

Get the full story at SiteMinder

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

How Marriott became a storytelling powerhouse

March 27, 2017

Marriott wants to become the largest producer of travel lifestyle content. It set up an in-house content studio, focusing first on short films and premium storytelling. For example, "The Two Bellmen" series featured scenes from LA, Dubai and Seoul, showcasing the brand with a story "that entertains people" before selling to them.

"Now that consumers are in charge," Marriott's David Beebe says, "we have to shift to not talking about ourselves, but what does that consumer want? How do I entertain them? How do I solve their problems? How do I build a relationship with them and provide value? Then, they're more likely to pay attention to what I'm actually trying to sell."

But not all content worked equally, and Beebe learned that the why behind the content was ultimately more important than the what.

Get the full story at AdvertisingAge

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

Airbnb keeps making money and controversy

March 27, 2017

So said Leigh Gallagher, the assistant managing editor at Fortune and author of the newly released book "The Airbnb Story: How Three Ordinary Guys Disrupted an Industry, Made Billions ... and Created Plenty of Controversy" (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt).

Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky, having joined then-president Barack Obama last March on a trip to Havana as part of a delegation of American entrepreneurs marking the reopening of U.S.-Cuba business relations, was singled out in onstage remarks by the president, who highlighted Chesky's relative youth, Airbnb's innovativeness and the company's then-estimated market value of $25 billion -- "with a b!" Obama emphasized.

The Obama reference is one of a number of notable passages, recollections and anecdotes in the 214-page book, which points out that the privately held company, which continues to be led by the three men -- Chesky, Joe Gebbia and Nate Blecharczyk -- who hatched the idea in a San Francisco apartment in 2007, is at once a success story and very much a work in progress.

Get the full story at Travel Weekly

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

Most travel categories seeing search growth, says Google

March 27, 2017

Also performing well was holiday rental and cruise, both up 5%, and camping, up 3.7%. Hotel was up marginally at 0.1% and air was up by 2.9%.

Ruairidh Roberts, industry head at Google, said growth on February was predominantly driven by searches for overseas holidays.

Domestic trips search volumes were flat, while short-haul was up 6% and long-haul 10%.

Get the full story at Travolution

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

Finally a faster way to find better hotel rooms: Search by image

March 27, 2017

You can search for typical hotel experiences like a rooftop bar or a view on the beach or a spacious room, with a canopy bed and much more. Even a yellow room if you prefer.

Yellowroom uses artificial intelligent algorithms to extract intelligent information about what is happening in the images and text and create visual and textual insights in "holiday experiences".

The compa y custom trained image classifiers like Rooftop bar, Romantic dinner on the beach, Kids family and fun and more, together with the University of Amsterdam. Besides that it has 4000 travel related image detectors, and develops more as we speak. Text algorithms are used to extract sentiment out of reviews and match it on sentiment in images.

Get the full story at Hospitality.Net

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

Kayak expands to new platforms as A.I. assistants proliferate

March 27, 2017

Since mid-2015, Stamford, CT-based Kayak has made its travel-search service available to consumers on Apple Watch, Slack, Facebook Messenger, Microsoft Teams, Apple TV, Amazon Alexa devices, and Google Home.

The integrations with these outside platforms illustrate how businesses are adapting to changing consumer habits and trying to figure out the right ways to interact with users across an array of apps and devices. The moves also speak to the growing emphasis by consumer-focused businesses on deploying products and services powered by artificial intelligence-related technologies, such as chatbots on Facebook Messenger and Slack, and voice-controlled virtual personal assistants like Amazon’s Alexa, Google’s Assistant, and Apple’s Siri.

“We have to be where the consumer is,” says Giorgos Zacharia, Kayak’s chief technology officer. “The consumer should be able to use Kayak in whatever their platform of choice is.”

Get the full story at Xconomy

Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/kayak_expands_to_new_platforms_as_a.i._assistants_proliferate

Elon Musk’s billion-dollar crusade to stop the A.I. apocalypse

March 27, 2017

At the World Government Summit in Dubai, in February, Elon Musk cued the scary organ music, evoking the plots of classic horror stories when he noted that “sometimes what will happen is a scientist will get so engrossed in their work that they don’t really realize the ramifications of what they’re doing.” He said that the way to escape human obsolescence, in the end, may be by “having some sort of merger of biological intelligence and machine intelligence.” This Vulcan mind-meld could involve something called a neural lace - an injectable mesh that would literally hardwire your brain to communicate directly with computers. “We’re already cyborgs,” Musk told me in February. “Your phone and your computer are extensions of you, but the interface is through finger movements or speech, which are very slow.” With a neural lace inside your skull you would flash data from your brain, wirelessly, to your digital devices or to virtually unlimited computing power in the cloud. “For a meaningful partial-brain interface, I think we’re roughly four or five years away.”

Get the full story at Vanity Fair

Read also "Why artificial intelligence is the future of travel" and "The impact of artificial intelligence on the travel industry"

Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/elon_musks_billion_dollar_crusade_to_stop_the_a.i._apocalypse

The smart hotelier’s action plan to capitalize on Facebook City Guides

March 27, 2017

Facebook recently began rolling out a new feature that further positions the platform as a travel planning tool: City Guides. Available on the mobile app, City Guides serve as Facebook-curated destination guides, complete with recommendations of places to go and things to do. This functionality was first launched back in December, but is now being rolled out on a larger scale.

How Do Facebook City Guides Work?

There are two ways to access a City Guide: by tapping “City Guides” in the app menu or by searching for a particular city in the search bar. When you access City Guides through the app’s menu, you will see various cities listed and friends who have been there. At this time, only some major international cities have a City Guide, but this could change if Facebook continues to build out the feature.

Get the full story at HeBS Digital

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

eBook: Revenue management ingredients

March 27, 2017

Pairing quality ingredients with innovative touches of flavor and flair yields an impressive and classic cuisine, while mixing unproven ingredients into a dish may leave you with more of a mess instead of a masterpiece.

Combining proven best practices, you can mix together the right ingredients, proportions and flavors into the right revenue management recipe for long term revenue performance. These recipes will complement and incorporate the customized elements that are unique to your hotel’s strategy, culture and assets.

Download the eBook at IDeaS

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

Inventory Management: The achilles heel of hotel distribution

March 24, 2017

Many years ago, the hotel industry accepted the “inventory parity” and “rate parity” strategies in the online world. Back then it seemed reasonable and many people think it still is today. Everyone will face the same conditions and may the best man (or channel) make the most sales. What has happened since? Large OTAs and, in holiday destinations, large bed banks (who mostly sell on the Internet) ate almost the whole pie. What happened to profits? Weren’t hotels going to make more money with the arrival of the Internet? Where does that leave direct sales?

The main duty hotels have is to acquire the know-how that will allow them to maximize profits from their most prized asset, the only thing that sets them apart from distributors: their rooms. They must decide where and at what price they are going to sell rooms on each of the channels, burying the mantra of “inventory and rate parity” once and for all.

If hotels are to compete against distributors on a level in which they are far superior, they are destined to fail. The large amounts of money that they assign to SEO, SEM (brand or generic) or meta-search engines confirms that the focus is still wrong. Few hotels understand that inventory management is the better strategy.

Get the full story at Mirai

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

Google Travel exec details changing consumer behavior

March 24, 2017

Oliver Heckmann, vice president of engineering for Google Travel, says one takeaway so far from its Google Trips app, which debuted in September, is that more than one third of the app’s users download destination data so they can use it offline later.

“Offline access is essential,” Heckmann says. “We see that more than a quarter of travelers do not have a stable connection when they use Google Trips in-destination.”

Travelers also like to build their own itineraries and download, on average, 12 starred items saved on Google Maps to refine their planned wanderings, he says.

Get the full story at Skift

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

Hotelbeds to connect to IHG’s central reservation system

March 24, 2017

Carlos Muñoz, managing director of Hotelbeds Group’s Bedbank business said: “We are excited and honoured to forge a partnership with IHG that demonstrates our shared confidence in the future growth of the B2B industry.

“Partnering with IHG, one of the world’s largest hotel companies, will generate significant incremental revenues and will consolidate Hotelbeds Group’s position as the world’s leading Bedbank. This collaboration will give our client partners access to a leading product portfolio featuring more destinations than ever before – numbering in excess of 120,000 hotels worldwide.”

Andrew Rubinacci, senior vice president, distribution and revenue management at IHG stated: “This is a landmark deal for us and helps further our wholesale strategy by moving towards dynamic pricing and away from property based static rate agreements. Hotelbeds is the right partner for us and we’re excited about our new agreement with them.”

Get the full story at Travel Daily Asia

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

Best Western launches ‘Better Book Direct’ campaign

March 24, 2017

Thanks to the group’s new ‘Rewards Rates’, bookers will be offered discounted rates unavailable anywhere else in the market.

Sarah Fussey, Director of Marketing at Best Western Great Britain said: “HSBC’s recent report on the Anatomy of the Consumer states that 51% of people asked say they think booking through an Online Travel Agent presents them with the best deal. What’s frustrating is that that we know this is isn’t the case and that’s a perception that our Better Book Direct campaign is looking to break. We want to reward our most loyal customers with giving them the lowest prices.

“As Great Britain’s largest collection of independent hotels, everything we do is focussed on making the product and service right for our customers, and this latest campaign will give customers the confidence to trust that we can offer them the lowest price in the market when they book direct.”

Get the full story at Travel Daily UK

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

Airbnb just learned, it’s really hard to localize your brand name for China

March 24, 2017

Among the nastier commentary, one said the name sounded like a "copycat porn company." (The second character of the name sounds similar to slang for a female anatomy part.) One user of microblogging platform Weibo wrote: "My god. Better to have no Chinese name at all."

Airbnb is doubling its investment in China, a country where most Western tech companies have been shut out or failed, and the brand name is part of a push to grow there. Chinese consumers can't talk about a brand if they don't have a name for it in their language.

Airbnb's brand agency Labbrand is a specialist in Chinese names, having created them for Marvel, LinkedIn, Booking.com, TripAdvisor and many others. It has developed a process that includes legal checks, a methodology to check for possible negative associations across dialects and tests with consumers.

Get the full story at AdAge

Read also "Airbnb rebrands as Aibiying in China"

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

Google’s mobile-first index is (still) months away

March 24, 2017

Don’t freak out. That’s what Google’s Gary Illyes repeated this week — at least three times — to SEOs and webmasters who might be concerned about the upcoming switch to a mobile-first index.

“The team behind the mobile-first index wants it to launch this year,” Illyes told our SMX West conference on Wednesday. “We’re still experimenting. We don’t have a timeline. It could be a few months or quarters, but it’s definitely not weeks [away]. Don’t freak out, especially if you have a responsive site.”

Illyes first revealed plans to create a separate mobile-first index back in October and said at the time that it was “months away” from becoming reality. Five months later, that’s still the case.

Get the full story at Search Engine Land

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

TravelClick wins more than 130 awards for website design in 2016

March 24, 2017

TravelClick and its clients also won 22 Interactive Media Awards for the highest standards of excellence in website design and development in the Hotel / Resort Website category, as well as 33 W3 Awards, eight Davey Awards, six Mobile WebAwards, seven Travel Weekly Magellan Awards and two 2016 Adrian Awards.

Lastly, in recognition of exceptional websites – with nearly 13,000 entries received – the Webby Awards honored TravelClick and Four Seasons Jackson Hole as an Official Honoree in the Advertising and Media – Tourism and Leisure category.

“We are excited to share these wins with our clients and honored to have received such notable awards for our digital capabilities throughout 2016,” said Curtis Brewer, Senior Vice President, Reservations and Web Solutions, TravelClick. “We recognize the immense impact a website has on our hotels’ success and aim to continuously enhance the online presence of our clients.”

Get the full story at TravelClick

Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/travelclick_wins_more_than_130_awards_for_website_design_in_2016

GCommerce increases Vantage Hospitality’s paid search revenue by 75%

March 24, 2017

A well structured, intelligently targeted and continually optimized paid search account is the cornerstone of a successful search marketing campaign. Partnered with advanced programmatic bidding technology, our strategy goes beyond basic campaign optimization to utilize machine learning to achieve maximum budget and revenue efficiency.

GCommerce’s goals were to achieve an optimal return on advertising dollars spent while maintaining the promise to give every single hotel location representation through paid search traffic. These goals guided our approach to ppc campaign structure, budget allocation and ongoing paid search optimization.

GCommerce knew the unique structure and budget at Vantage would benefit from smart implementation of programmatic, so we set out with the Vantage team to evaluate options. We knew that with the right programmatic bidding platform, we could achieve more efficiency out of their budget.

Get the full story at GCommerce

Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/gcommerce_increases_vantage_hospitalitys_paid_search_revenue_by_75

Expedia on how to transform guest reviews into actionable insights

March 23, 2017

Guest reviews are valuable to both hotels and potential guests, but extracting actionable insights from them can be time consuming and costly, leaving many hotels without a complete and detailed understanding of what guests love about their property today and what are possible detractors to keep an eye on.

According to Phocuswright, 53% of travelers don’t commit to a booking until they read reviews. Understanding online reviews can increase a company’s online brand reputation with past and future guests and can positively impact online bookings.

With Guest Review Insights, hundreds, or sometimes even thousands, of reviews are organized and analyzed automatically to provide hotel partners with actionable insights: hotels can quickly understand what amenities and services guests are raving about as well as guest experience opportunities moving forward.

Aggregated Reviews Analysis: The Guest Review Insights tool automatically reads every guest review Expedia has received in the past year, summarizing guest sentiment by amenity and service offerings.

Categorized Pre-Filtered Insights: Hotels can filter favorable and unfavorable guest sentiment for the most popular amenities mentioned across all their guest reviews, such as breakfast, pool, gym, customer service, cleanliness and many more.

Competitive Comparison: Hotels can compare their amenity insights and scores against competitive hotels of their choosing to assess which services are relative strengths or represent areas for improvement. This targeted competitive view can help inform future investments.

Trend Identification: Trend graphs enable hotels to track guest feedback over time, allowing them to view how changes to their property, service levels or policies impact the overall guest experience. For instance, if a property has a negative gym score, they might make improvements to their gym facilities or equipment, and immediately see how this impacts the guest experience.

“We’re constantly developing our platform to best meet partner needs, which in this case, is helping hoteliers make the most of guest feedback and drive action accordingly for the most impact and highest return,” said Benoit Jolin, vice president, lodging product at Expedia, Inc. “By providing intelligent review insights, hotels are more informed and in a better position than ever to manager their online reputation.”

Guest Review Insights is available through Expedia® PartnerCentral (EPC), the Company’s robust, self-service partner portal. The initial rollout of Guest Review Insights is underway to English speaking properties in early 2017.

To find out more about transforming guest reviews into actionable insights, check out the Discover Expedia blog post

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

Google Flights gains popularity among Millennials as it adds booking sites

March 23, 2017

One in 10 frequent flyers on average in North America start their airfare shopping on Google Flights, according to a survey of nearly 2,500 frequent travelers by airline data firm OAG.

But frequent travelers between ages 18 and 32 years old are more than twice (21 percent) as likely as the average traveler to start their search process with Google Flights, says OAG’s research.

Surveys such as OAG’s show that customers are more likely to book when they feel they’re looking at a full list of the possible options. But that isn’t likely the only factor. It could also hinge on Google getting more aggressive with using the real estate near the top of its pages for Google Flights.

Get the full story at Skift

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

HotelTonight raises $37 million to expand its same-week hotel booking platform

March 23, 2017

The Series E funding round, which was led by venture capital firm Accel Partners and valued the San Francisco-based company at roughly $500 million, brings it one step forward to an eventual initial public offering, though the company has yet to outline such plans. HotelTonight had $500 million in sales last year and is turning a profit.

Users of HotelTonight can use the app to book hotels up to a week in advance, often at a discount. It has 25,000 hotel partners in more than 30 countries, which unload their unused rooms onto the platform.

HotelTonight is counting on its sleek mobile interface to compete against its much larger booking competitor, Expedia Inc.

Get the full story at VentureBeat

Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/hoteltonight_raises_37_million_to_expand_its_same_week_hotel_booking_platfo

Online hotel booking scams cost Americans $1.3 billion annually

March 23, 2017

At a hearing dedicated to examining the cost of scams on U.S. consumers and the economy, as well as the efficacy of law enforcement and prevention efforts being implemented to combat them, Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) questioned Maureen Ohlhausen, Acting Chairman of the Federal Trade Commission, for an update on what was being done to address the specific issue of online hotel booking scams from a regulatory standpoint.

"One of the trends that we've seen threaten this huge industry, which, of course, has so many jobs in our country…is the rise of deceptive online companies that imitate the websites of hotels or airlines in order to attract booking," Senator Klobuchar said.

In fact, some 15 million online hotel booking scams occur every year, translating to $1.3 billion in bad bookings. With most consumers searching at least seven to ten websites before booking a reservation, it's become more common for rogue third-party online booking sites to find ways to piggy-back on legitimate hotels. These rogue sites trick consumers by mirroring the look and feel of the actual hotel website – using copyrighted images, trademarked logos and many times, even similar URLs – and essentially charge them for a service they never intend to provide.

This is why, Senator Klobuchar said, Congress developed bipartisan, bicameral legislation requiring third-party hotel booking websites to clearly disclose they are not affiliated with the hotel for which the traveler is ultimately making the reservation, as well as implored the FTC to investigate the issue.

Get the full story at AHLA

Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/online_hotel_booking_scams_cost_americans_1.3_billion_annually

Marriott testing Siri and Alexa to decide which will control devices in its hotel rooms

March 23, 2017

Marriott International is testing devices from the two tech giants at its Aloft hotel in Boston’s Seaport district to determine which is best to let guests turn on lights, close drapes, control room temperature and change television channels via voice command. In December, Wynn Resorts Ltd. became the first hotel company to install Alexa-powered Echo devices, starting with suites at its flagship Wynn Las Vegas property.

Marriott expects to decide whether to adopt the technology for one or more of its chains as early as mid-year, potentially boosting sales for the device of choice. More important, it will increase the winning company’s exposure in the market for voice-activated devices, which are gaining more mainstream traction.

“Those two players are in the game right now,” said Toni Stoeckl, who oversees the Aloft, Element, AC and Moxy chains as global brand leader for lifestyle brands at Marriott. There are almost 130 Aloft hotels in the U.S., and more than 100 additional ones planned.

Get the full story at Bloomberg

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

What creativity in marketing looks like today

March 23, 2017

What makes marketing creative? Is it more imagination or innovation? Is a creative marketer more artist or entrepreneur? Historically, the term “marketing creative” has been associated with the words and pictures that go into ad campaigns. But marketing, like other corporate functions, has become more complex and rigorous. Marketers need to master data analytics, customer experience, and product design. Do these changing roles require a new way of thinking about creativity in marketing?

To explore this question, HBR interviewed senior marketing executives across dozens of top brands. We asked them for examples of creativity in marketing that go beyond ad campaigns and deliver tangible value to the business. Their stories - and the five wider trends they reflect - help illustrate what it means to be a creative marketer today.

Get the full story at Harvard Business Review

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

HeBS Digital’s parent company, Hotel360 Technologies, acquires Serenata

March 23, 2017

Serenata will operate as the “CRM Division” of Hotel360 with HeBS Digital’s President & CEO, Max Starkov, as Hotel360’s Global President & CEO. Serenata’s Management Team, including CEO Johann Deil, President Dieter Dirnberger and CTO Manuel Deil will continue in their current roles.

The combination of HeBS Digital and Serenata under Hotel360 is part of a bigger overall strategy to accelerate global expansion and provide the hospitality industry with best-of-class hotel technology, products, and services fundamental to engage and retain past/future guests, increase direct bookings, and lower acquisition and distribution costs.

Get the full story at HeBS Digital

Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/hebs_digitals_parent_company_hotel360_technologies_acquires_serenata

Elevate your revenue strategy and take the lead with future demand data

March 23, 2017

Historically, the hospitality industry has had a limited view with access only to booking and lost business data from brand.com when building demand forecasts. Now, thanks to an exclusive partnership between nSight for Travel and IDeaS Revenue Solutions, hoteliers can elevate their revenue strategy by going beyond the property’s regrets and denials data to utilize the most relevant and forward-looking demand intelligence from multiple digital sources, gaining actionable insight into pricing.

Get the full story at IDeaS

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

Why hotel chains’ loyalty programs don’t pose a threat to OTAs

March 22, 2017

Bookings through OTAs will likely continue to rise as the online channels’ share of total travel bookings keeps rising in the future. A recent Phocuswright report states that in the U.S., the online channels accounted for around 45% of total gross bookings in 2016. This figure might be lower for developing markets, but with increasing internet penetration globally this proportion is bound to grow in those markets as well.

Around 80% of direct booking customers for hotels are enrolled in their loyalty programs, and half of those bookings are done by Elite members. This implies that – other than elite members – most travelers do not prefer to book through hotel websites, especially if they do not fall under a loyalty program.

Many travelers do not seem to care much about the hotel brands, as long as they can get good value by booking through OTAs. The OTAs, on the other hand, offer a wide range of hotels to choose from within their preferred price range. With the inclusion of more and more properties on their platforms, the OTAs’ power to compete with hotel chains will likely keep getting stronger over time.

Get the full story at Forbes

Read also "Priceline thinks it has the ‘muscle’ to offer private rates"

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

GBTA study shows travel managers audit hotel rates infrequently

March 22, 2017

A larger 22 percent audit the rates every couple months. Thirty-three percent check only once, when rates are loaded. "Anyone who deals with a hotel program knows that that's not when rate complaints stop," said HRS head of corporate sourcing for the Americas Jeff Hillenmayer.

GBTA research manager Kate Vasiloff said that before conducting the survey, GBTA had no real sense of how and how often programs were conducting audits, "not even a finger in the air sense," she said. "It really depended on who you talked to, how mature their programs were. There are just too many factors."

Of the 13.5 percent of travel managers who don't audit hotel rates, 27 percent don't think it has a significant impact on their hotel rates, so it's not a priority. "Not only are people not doing this," Vasiloff said, "part of the reason they're not doing this is they don't think it's important enough; they don't realize how much money they're leaving on the table."

Get the full story at BTN and Tnooz

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

Airbnb rebrands as Aibiying in China

March 22, 2017

First up, Airbnb China, the standalone company that raised funding from China Broadband Capital, Sequoia China and others, is renaming its local service to “Aibiying” (爱彼迎)which the company said means “‘welcome each other with love.”

Trips, meanwhile, is a service that helps give Airbnb customers ideas for things to do and see whilst they are traveling. It is now live in Shanghai, its first stop in China, having recently gone live in Delhi, India - another market of focus - this month.

Airbnb claims three million homes on its platform from some 191 countries. It said it has around 80,000 listings in China, where it has catered to close to 1.6 million arrivals.

Get the full story at TechCrunch

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

Marriott to open a hotel every 14 hours

March 22, 2017

In its presentation, Marriott will outline plans to accelerate its growth, adding 285,000 to 300,000 rooms worldwide by 2019, which could yield a record $675 million in annual stabilized fees from these rooms. The expansion would also allow the company to further capitalize on its industry leading loyalty programs – Marriott Rewards, which includes The Ritz-Carlton Rewards, and Starwood Preferred Guest. The programs now have over 100 million members – growing at a record pace of roughly one million net new members per month since the company's historic acquisition of Starwood Hotels and Resorts in September 2016.

"We are more optimistic than ever about our future," said Arne Sorenson, Marriott International president and chief executive officer. "Marriott has made a significant leap forward in distribution and scale with its once-in-a-generation acquisition of Starwood. With global travel estimated to increase at a 7 percent compounded rate over the next 10 years and international trips expected to top 1.8 billion by 2030, Marriott is well positioned to benefit given its strong global footprint now in 122 countries and territories and an unmatched portfolio of 30 lodging brands."

In its three-year growth plan, the company expects to earn $675 million in stabilized fees from hotel rooms added to its system in 2017 through 2019. In addition, non-property related franchise fees, largely credit card branding fees, should increase by $100 million during the three years. The plan assumes, but does not forecast RevPAR (Revenue per Available Room) growth of 1 to 3 percent compounded annually through 2019.

Starwood Integration Brings Meaningful Savings and Revenue Opportunities

Marriott has already made great progress on integrating Starwood, including immediately linking loyalty programs, integrating its development organization, and rolling out its unified guest feedback system, guestVoice, across legacy-Starwood properties.

Looking ahead, with broader distribution and applying the company's operating expertise, Marriott can offer enhanced guest choice, a more powerful loyalty program, improved sales and marketing efficiency and effectiveness, and meaningful cost efficiencies. In addition, with anticipated increasing loyalty program participation, number of credit card holders, and credit card spend, Marriott expects to see an increase in payments from its co-brand loyalty credit cards benefiting loyalty programs, Marriott's hotel owners and Marriott.

"While the acquisition has provided us with enviable distribution, scale and global footprint, Marriott's strategy hasn't changed," said Leeny Oberg, Marriott International executive vice president and chief financial officer. "We remain focused on growing our superior brand portfolio through signing long-term, high quality contracts with minimal investment. We expect to deliver significant free cash flow and sustained earnings growth as we expand our footprint strategically around the world. Our integration plans are on track and we are excited about the potential we see for additional benefits still being developed and not included in today's plan."

Premium Global Footprint, Unmatched Portfolio Drives Unit Growth

The Starwood acquisition had a transformative impact on Marriott's global footprint. Marriott went from operating in 87 countries and territories at the end of 2015 to 122 by the end of 2016, taking a significant lead in market share over its next largest competitor. Marriott now has over 8 percent of worldwide hotel rooms when including existing hotels and the signed new construction pipeline, with leading market share in North America, Asia Pacific, and the Middle East and Africa. Over the next three years, the company expects net room growth to accelerate to an annual compound rate of 6.5 percent, compared to a 5 percent annual compound rate over the last three years (including the legacy Starwood brands).

Record Unit Growth Fuels Marketing and Loyalty Efforts

With over 100 million unique members, the company's loyalty programs are Marriott's most powerful marketing platform. The company is investing in marketing partnerships and innovations designed to make loyalty programs even more valuable and scalable. Earlier today, the company announced an investment in a strategic, technology-based partner called PlacePass. This partnership will allow Marriott to offer guests and members more experiential opportunities when they travel.

Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/marriott_to_open_a_hotel_every_14_hours

HelloGbye launches in Apple app store

March 22, 2017

HelloGbye enhances the search and booking process by eliminating the restrictive forms and fields that plague existing online travel providers. Instead, the platform offers a rich, user-friendly real-time conversational experience that allows users to search and book multi-city, multi-passenger trips in seconds by using their voice or typing.

“HelloGbye’s new groundbreaking search and scheduling technology dramatically simplifies the booking experience for travelers who do not have hours to waste with complicated online travel services. Unlike the traditional, time-consuming methods largely available online today, HelloGbye’s users can book intricate travel itineraries best suited to them, faster than ever before. With HelloGbye, users can spend less time planning and more time traveling,” said Jonathan Miller, founder of HelloGbye.

While some other services rely on call center agents, HelloGbye has fully digitized and personalized the search and booking process and is available 24/7/365. And in an industry first, HelloGbye has simplified post-booking changes, allowing users to change booked flights and hotels within the platform at any time without people.

HelloGbye is also excited that its service integrates one of the most advanced hotel search and booking selection tools in the travel industry, in partnership with American Express. This capability now offers the best hotel selection to each user for each itinerary, every time harnessing American Express’ advanced analytics.

In addition to a free option, HelloGbye’s subscription model unlocks access to a slate of must-have features. For a low monthly fee, HelloGbye subscription member users enjoy no change fees, 2 percent cash back on hotels and preferred hotel rates.

Related Link: HelloGbye

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

How travel fraud culture is on the rise

March 22, 2017

While whiplash claims have been subject to a government clampdown, conversely, the number of claims firms specifically targeting tourists have soared in the last 12 months.

In particular, cowboy firms are systematically coaching British tourists to lie about holiday sickness to win thousands of pounds in compensation – a practice that experts have said is costing the industry millions.

While claimants are promised up to £5,000, we usually see payouts of between £500 and £2,000. While this may seem small, the numbers are growing, and the uncapped legal fees make it a lucrative market for claimant lawyers, adding significant costs on top.

Get the full story at Travel Weekly UK

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

Video: Watch what happens when OTA users actually shop online

March 22, 2017

Everybody has theories about why so many people prefer to shop for hotels on OTAs… but have you ever actually seen them do it?

To find out why so many guests prefer booking hotel stays on an OTA instead of a hotel brand/direct website, we hired UserTesting.com, a well-known website testing company that records unbiased (but demographically relevant) consumers while they search and book hotels online.

Get the full story at Tambourine

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

How Fairmont and Sojern drove 20% more revenue with Facebook’s Dynamic Ads for Travel

March 22, 2017

Fairmont initially managed Facebook ads in-house, but with frequent changes and expanding complexities of the Facebook ads platform, the team began looking externally for expertise in setting up a range of new tests and optimizing campaigns to expand on their results.

A long-time Sojern partner, Fairmont was already familiar with Sojern’s team of experts, rich set of traveler audience profiles and path-to-purchase insights, and consistency in delivering new bookings. “One of our favorite things about partnering with Sojern is the team. They are willing to test and try new things, fully transparent, and always go the extra mile to help us,” said Chris Georgas, Manager Digital Marketing FRHI Hotels & Resorts. So, when they were looking for someone to manage their Facebook efforts, they knew Sojern was ideally equipped.

Get the full story at Sojern

Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/how_fairmont_and_sojern_drove_20_more_revenue_with_facebooks_dynamic_ads_fo

Why independent hotels are thriving

March 21, 2017

Now, we find ourselves at the point in the lodging cycle where the non-branded universe is showing stronger growth rates than the chains. This is excellent news for investors and owners of non-branded hotels.

To put this into context, brands and chains dominate the U.S. hotel industry. Of all available rooms, approximately two-thirds are chain-affiliated. The remaining third (more than 1.5 million rooms) are independently owned and operated. Growth rates for independent hotel supply increases were only 0.2 percent, compared to the total U.S. supply growth rate of 1.6 percent. Clearly, branded hotels continue to be more attractive to developers.

That said, in 2016, independent hotels showed an occupancy growth of 0.8 percent, ADR increases of 3.8 percent, and a RevPAR acceleration of 4.6 percent.

Get the full story at Lodging

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

In bed with Airbnb: Travel distribution in the age of disruption

March 21, 2017

Some of the possibilities being debated include:

Sharing services: Hotels do offer some services that short-term rental owners would value. Potentially, hotels could offer services to nearby rental locations and share in their growth and success. Sometimes, for example, check-in is a challenge for an absentee property owner. Hotels, on the other hand, often have 24/7 check-in capability; they could provide a key collection or drop off service. And when it comes to cleaning, hotels, of course, have large well-trained teams that could potentially service nearby properties as well.

Harnessing hotel RM: Innovative travel start-up ‘Beyond Pricing’ offers revenue management services to short-term rental properties – and projects a 40% increase in revenue for property owners. Indeed, the application of hotel RM algorithms to rental properties can add tremendous value to the owners. But one argument is that nearby hotels could add even more value than a centralised RM provider. After all, hotels likely understand the local market better and potentially local hotel RM departments could even offer RM services to nearby properties.

Participating on Airbnb: Distribution is one of the key strengths of some short-term rental providers like Airbnb, which customers increasingly rely on to identify available properties all over the world. So, why not hotels too especially in places like New York City, for example, where Airbnb is facing intense pressure from regulators? Indeed, hotels could participate in this channel with their own product, particularly if they offer something unique in terms of location, stylish living space, or local atmosphere – each of which might position it favourably versus short-term rentals. Airbnb recently announced that its customers could also participate in local activities or tours – and another suggestion in Atlanta was that this too could be a collaborative effort between hotels and the short-term rental business. This is arguably a win-win for Airbnb and hotels.

Get the full story at EyeForTravel

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

Is booking travel through a site like Expedia worth it?

March 21, 2017

While these sites say you can get a better deal if you combine your flight and hotel, most hotels come with a "Best Rate Guarantee," meaning if you can find a cheaper deal online, just give them a call and they will match it.

Plus, you also get better customer service if you book directly through the hotel. I once checked into a hotel I booked using a travel app, and the hotel manager joked, "You booked on HotelTonight? We're going to give you the worst room."

Get the full story at LifeHacker

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

Curated hotel rates: Using relevant content to boost bookings

March 21, 2017

Imagine that you have multiple offers for your guests as they search, depending on your revenue strategy, and these offers all have certain discounts off your best available rate (BAR). You might have an advanced purchase rate where they get 10% off. Or a discounted rate based on length of stay at a 12% discount. Or you may have an email campaign promotion aimed at previous guests for a 15% discount.

But what happens when someone, for whom all these criteria apply, is browsing on your site? Traditionally, they end up having to wade through often long lists of available rates, deciding on their own what their most relevant rate (content) might be. This puts the burden squarely on the guest, which can prove to be a frustrating experience at best, and one that leads to increased booking abandonment at worst.

Get the full story at Hotel Online

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

Why travel agents own the luxury market

March 21, 2017

There are many reasons you are thriving in the luxury arena. The rich have the wherewithal to hire people to do time consuming tasks for them, be it managing their finances, keeping their lawns and gardens pretty, or decorating their homes. While it’s possible to do those things themselves, they prefer to pay someone a fair price to do it better than they can.

The fact that consumers prefer to use agents, planners, counselors, designers, advisors, etc. for their trips doesn’t stop the OTAs from spending a considerable fortune (over $3 billion annually) churning out commercials that claim they cannot only find the lowest price at hotels, but can also create unique experiences. Frankly, I wouldn’t use them to buy an airline ticket from New York to St. Louis—but then again, I spent a considerable amount of time researching their awful record of consumer complaints, including numerous muck-ups that would have been funny if they didn’t ruin someone’s vacation or business trip.

Suppliers naturally have to keep their feet on both sides of the fence. While they would love for customers to book directly, many find the rates they sell on their own websites are lower than what you sell. The OTAs provide reach to anyone who has an Internet connection, of course, but they attract the price shoppers—and their distribution costs are as much as 300% higher than when you sell the same product for them.

Get the full story at Travel Market Report

Read also "Travelers turning to travel agents" at Lodging

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

A hotel-specific Google eye-tracking study

March 21, 2017

Travel Tripper worked with new biometric platform Sticky to run tests on three different Google SERPs using different hotel names. We wanted to find out:

- Whether the “F-model” still held true for these new pages

- Whether the design would influence which links users were inclined to click

Instead of the signature F shape, where users started from top left and went across and down, the results resembled much more like a backwards C, with users starting from top left and moving to the right and down, before going back to the left column where the organic listings were.

Get the full story at Travel Tripper

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

eMarketingEye celebrates 10th anniversary by reaching new heights

March 21, 2017

The company is a Google AdWords and Analytics Certified Partner Company that offers the total range of online marketing services including Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Web Development, Pay Per Click Marketing (PPC), Social Media Optimization, Online Marketing Consultancy, Content Development, Internet Booking Engine, E-Mail Marketing, Web Analytics and Hotel Fact Sheet Development.

eMarketingEye is the only digital marketing agency in Sri Lanka specialising in the travel and hospitality industry. It provides integrated marketing solutions for a diverse range of clients and has garnered an impressive portfolio in this 10-year period. A majority of eMarketingEye’s client list includes leading international travel and hospitality brands such as The Ascott Limited, Berjaya Hotels & Resorts, InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG), Anantara Hotels, Resorts and Spas, COMO Hotels & Resorts, Starwood Hotels, Oaks Hotels & Resorts, Chatrium Hotels and Residences and The Fullerton Hotel. The company also has an impressive array of Sri Lankan travel and hospitality clientele such as Jetwing Hotels, Aitken Spence Hotels, Cinnamon Hotels and Resorts, Theme Resorts, Uga Escapes, Cantaloupe Hotels, Serendib Leisure, Asia Leisure, Mosvold Hotels, Mount Lavinia Hotel, 98 Acres Resort & Spa and The Blue Water Wadduwa, among many others.

Get the full story at eMarketingEye

Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/emarketingeye_celebrates_10th_anniversary_by_reaching_new_heights

Its upgrade time at roomsXML.com

March 21, 2017

roomsXML has always been at the forefront of API technology for hotel distribution. In 2007 it was the pioneer in multiple supplier single feed API distribution. Hundreds of travel agents and wholesalers globally are connected to the roomsXML API which gives real time access to its inventory at competitive net rates.

Recently, roomsXML has launched its new version of API, which brings significant upgrades to its already reliable API. By upgrading the API, clients now have the ability to search for multiple hotels of their choice in a single request. This allows them complete freedom to only search for hotels they wish to sell.

With use of advanced database technologies and inventory customization, the response times for availability searches is below 1 second. roomsXML has also worked on optimizing the API structure, which significantly lowers the data size and processing times on the client system.

For travel agents using roomsXML B2B panel, its popular Q-Push feature gets a makeover. Travel agents can email quotations directly to their customers from roomsXML system, which is now equipped with better quality images and standardized content. Travel agents can now select the rooms and rates they want to include in the quotation which brings in new level of customization.

“It is an exciting time at roomsXML with the roll out of all the new upgrades. We have completed 10 years, but we do not like to stop and rest on the laurels. We want to continue being innovative – that’s the DNA we were born with. There are already quite a few projects in the pipeline which will get rolled out over the course of the year to truly give unparalleled user experience to our travel agent partners”, says Prakash Bang, Founder & Executive Chairman, roomsXML.

roomsXML has recently been crowned at the World Travel Awards as ‘World’s Leading Hotel Booking Solutions Provider’. roomsXML is ISO 9001:2008 certified and has also secured high credit worthiness rating by CRISIL, an S&P Global company.

Related Link: roomsXML

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

Priceline thinks it has the ‘muscle’ to offer private rates

March 17, 2017

Boyd, speaking along with CEO Glenn Fogel at the Bank of America Merrill Lynch Consumer and Retail Technology Conference in New York City Wednesday, said hotels have opened these sorts of loyalty tools for their guests, and online travel agencies likewise are capable of enticing customers to register on their own sites and make prices available that are lower than the published rates generally available to the public.

Booking.com has been experimenting with a loyalty program, Booking.com for Business, but hasn’t emphasized it in marketing.

The Priceline Group is “doing better” with major international hotel chains and has a “solid position,” Boyd said. Prevailing wisdom has been that Expedia would be hurt more by the hotel-direct initiatives than Booking.com because the latter is more Europe- and independent-hotel focused.

Get the full story at Skift

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

TripAdvisor unveils new chatbot for Facebook Messenger

March 17, 2017

Now you can send TripAdvisor a message via Facebook Messenger asking where to stay, eat, or what to do any time, anywhere. TripAdvisor will scour our millions of reviews to instantly provide you with the best recommendation – all within the Facebook Messenger platform experience. TripAdvisor’s bot will eventually learn what you like in the perfect trip. In fact, the more questions you ask, the better, as it gets smarter with each new inquiry.

Let’s say you’re in New York City and craving sushi. No problem – just log on to Facebook Messenger and simply send the TripAdvisor bot a message asking for sushi restaurants nearby your current location. If you are in the West Village for example, the bot might recommend Morimoto, Blue Ribbon Sushi or Sushi Samba – you will be enjoying a delicious spicy tuna roll in no time!

The bot is also a great way to help you make decisions about what flight to take or where to stay, eat or go with friends or family. Anyone you invite to the chat can review options you suggest and “like” their favorites, allowing for quick consensus on plans.

Key features

- Instantly discover new places to eat and things to do all around the world
- Quickly shop and compare prices for hotels and flights
- Easily collaborate on travel planning with friends and family
- Share flight, accommodation, activity and dining recommendations with just a touch of a button

How to begin chatting with us

1. Visit http://m.me/tripadvisorbot on your mobile or desktop device. Alternately, logon to Facebook Messenger through the mobile app, or on desktop at Facebook.com or Messenger.com, open a new message and type @TripAdvisorBot into the “to” field.

2. Ask us a question about where to stay, what to do or where to eat. For example, you could ask us to find sushi restaurants nearby your current location, or museums in New York City for an upcoming trip. You can also ask to find the best hotel and flight deals for a future vacation.

3. The TripAdvisor bot will instantly respond with a list of recommendations, or may ask a follow-up question to gain clarity on your request.

4. Mobile app users can click the “share” button to send recommendations to friends or family.

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

TripAdvisor sees ‘hotel-like’ commissions in tours and activities business

March 17, 2017

TripAdvisor co-founder and CEO has talked previously about tours and activities, built on the foundation of its 2014 acquisition of Viator, could be TripAdvisor’s next $1 billion business. But Kaufer hasn’t compared with hotel commissions, which are generally considered to be the highest-margin portion of the travel industry — with the exception of the advertising sector.

“The margins that we see in that [tours and activities] business, the commission rates look very favorable, hotel-like, and we believe that business can have an attractive margin structure for us going forward,” Teunissen told attendees at the Raymond James Institutional Investors Conference in Orlando earlier this month. “So with the $1 billion revenue in the future an attractive EBITDA contribution, as well.”

Get the full story at Skift

Read also "Why TripAdvisor might be looking out for buyers"

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

Hotels.com research reveals price inflation for UK outbound travelers

March 17, 2017

The average price paid by British holidaymakers for accommodation in 2016 at top outbound destinations was £100, compared to £92 the year before as the value of the pound fell to a six-year post-Brexit vote low against most major currencies.

Many of these increases affected travelers to Europe, with top cities including Dublin (up from £95 to £114), Barcelona (from £97 to £112) and Reykjavik (from £96 to £130), all showing significant price increases from the previous year.

The US, Spain and France ranked as the top three most visited countries from the UK last year.

Get the full story at Travel Weekly UK

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

Facebook’s head of travel on hotels going mobile

March 17, 2017

Warner recently spoke with Skift about opportunities for hotels in the mobile space, and — not surprisingly — the importance of using mobile platforms like Facebook and its Instagram unit to not only increase brand awareness but, in some cases, also convert users into guests, too.

Skift spoke to Warner prior to Facebook’s roll out of its new City Guides feature, which allows Facebook users to connect to hotels to book rooms through the Facebook app, albeit the link takes them directly to the hotel’s website. We did ask Warner if Facebook would ever consider becoming its own online travel agency or booking platform and this is what she told us at the time:

“Facebook, as you know, is committed to helping advertisers from all industries drive their business objectives,” said Warner. “We often say that we want to be our partners’ best minute and dollar spent. The travel industry really accepts this. We know that people are spending more time on mobile, and we’ll continue to help our travel partners capitalize on this shift.

Get the full story at Skift

Read also "Facebook launches city guides with booking for hotels and restaurants" and "Reach highly engaged customers with Facebook Dynamic Ads for Travel"

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

How marketers should be thinking about voice search

March 17, 2017

Marketers need to be thinking about this shift, because voice search will have a significant impact on content discovery through search. Although currently there is no simple or precise way of identifying voice vs. non-voice queries, “Okay Google” queries are becoming far more common in search query reports for our clients, and they’re even showing up as rising terms in Google Trends.

To be successful in this shifting landscape, marketers need to start fine-tuning their strategies across media and content types, including text, image and video.

For website content, it may be in your best interest to have specific natural language pages that come from CRM (customer relationship management) exchanges so that search engines can index them and return more accurate information to consumers based on past conversations. Queries like “best running shoes” will start to fade, and hyper-specific requests tailored to that individual, like “Okay Google, I need a size 10 and a half running shoe with a 5-star rating that’s on sale in-store on Newbury Street,” will start to increase.

Get the full story at Marketing Land

Read also "Voice search optimization tips for hotels"

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

Stand out in a crowded market with GDS media

March 17, 2017

Sabre’s team has the knowledge to help you navigate the complex landscape of distribution, guiding you in reaching the most powerful travel audience in the world – 425,000 travel agents who book hotels every day – making sure that you get the highest return on your marketing investment.

In fact, now is the perfect time to make sure you have a sound strategy in place. The further ahead you plan, the better job you’ll do of identifying and anticipating key periods and, in turn, the more prepared you’ll be to implement well-planned and well-targeted marketing campaigns.

We know that successful hotels play to their strengths. For instance, research shows that hotels in the top one-third of a travel agent’s availability display get selected almost 60 percent of the time. One of the best ways to grow your footprint in the market and get an edge over your competition is to capture bookings further in advance, the better to reach your maximum revenue potential.

Get the full story at Sabre Hospitality Solutions

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

How to increase guest bookings at your hotel when travelers don’t want to travel

March 17, 2017

America may be facing many challenges at this point in time, but one in particular is causing concern for the tourism industry.

It seems that one of the biggest domestic and international travel markets in the world..doesn’t want to travel. And when they do, it’s for a short period of time and the potential revenue overseas hotels are losing out on is uncalculated.

In fact, the lack of vacationing by Americans boggles the mind and is perhaps the result of an attitude that is starting to creep into the greater workforce of other nations.

Get the full story at SiteMinder

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

Digital trends that are transforming the travel industry in 2017

March 16, 2017

Digital breeds disloyalty. Before it came along, Judy from New Jersey went to her local travel agent to book her yearly family holiday to Barbados. She knew the providers she trusted and face to face contact with her rep gave her piece of mind that she was making the right decision. Today, Judy’s glossy brochure is the web, where she can hunt around to find the ‘best’ deal. Hoteliers, airlines and home accommodation providers all battle for Judy’s attention, often having to unbundle their prices to win Judy over.

As well as price and choice, there are a number of other external factors that are changing the travel marketing industry. Only with a complete understanding of these factors through data can you ensure your travel marketing is on target.

Here are some ways digital can help your business get ahead in a cluttered market.

Get the full story at The Huffington Post

Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/digital_trends_that_are_transforming_the_travel_industry_in_2017

UK consumers save and sacrifice to afford to travel

March 16, 2017

Based on a survey of 2,000 consumers ages 18 and older across the UK—nearly two-thirds of whom had annual incomes of less than £30,000 ($40,491)—the “Anatomy of the Consumer” study found leisure travel was respondents’ most popular discretionary spending category, followed by eating out and buying clothing or footwear.

But when it came to cutting back, eating out was the category most likely to be cut, mentioned by 30.2% of respondents, followed by travel (19.2%) and drinking out (15.2%).

Despite currency changes following last year’s Brexit vote that have hurt the value of the pound compared with foreign currencies, the study found the percentage of respondents who would spend their main vacation for the year in Europe - still the most popular choice even with a stronger euro - rose to 34.2%, up from 33.8% who did so last year.

Get the full story at eMarketer

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

Metasearch helps hoteliers drive direct bookings

March 16, 2017

For those of you who are unfamiliar with hotel metasearch, think of it as a search engine. It consolidates key information from accommodation providers and booking websites to display the results on one transparent platform for travellers to review and compare.

Gone are the days of low-tech bookings and last-minute foot traffic. The modern traveller is a social media addict and a seeker of instant gratification. However, the concept of digital booking is nothing new. It's been around for decades and drives a lot of traffic for hotels. That said, the landscape of hotel distribution is changing.

Get the full story at Trivago

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

Dressing for access: Wearable technology and travel

March 16, 2017

Recently, however, the constraints have begun to fade, and with the adoption of wearables on the rise, they are poised to invade the industry, both from a consumer perspective and behind the scenes at airports, hotels, theme parks and cruise ships.

Some proprietary technologies -- notably Walt Disney World Resort's MagicBand -- have met with success in recent years. That, in turn, has inspired other wearable devices, such as Carnival Corp.'s Ocean Medallion and Universal Orlando's TapuTapu, which enable highly personalized guest experiences. Those technologies are all location- or vacation-specific devices.

Meanwhile, applications that work anywhere on smartwatches and other wearable third-party devices have been limited by slow consumer adoption. But with the rate of consumer acceptance increasing and new types of wearables coming onto the market in the form of everything from device-embedded clothing to earbuds, location-agnostic devices are starting to come into their own.

Get the full story at Travel Weekly

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

Understanding guest experience and loyalty

March 16, 2017

From the 108,000 reservations Experience Hotel analysed mainly to independent hotels or hotels of smaller chains in larger European cities, 51% traveled for leisure and 26% travelled for business.

Of those 26% that travelled for business almost half of them booked using private email addresses (Gmail, Hotmail, Yahoo etc). Many hotels use the professional emails as a way to know the guest better and know if they are coming for business or not. In this case there is no way to predict what kind of guest is staying at the hotel.

Experience Hotel also found that 30% of the profiles in the hotel’s PMS lacked guest email addresses, which makes it quite difficult to communicate with them or even identify them on future reservations.

Get the full story at Experience Hotel

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

16 hotel booking secrets you need to know to get the best deals

March 16, 2017

We all know it’s a great idea to shop around and compare prices. But do you know the best places to look for deals? Do you know where you should book your hotel room? And do you know how you can ask for the best prices and get what you want? Read on to check out our favorite insider tips for getting the best deal every time you book a hotel room.

1. Book at the right time
Travel + Leisure reports that “timing is key” when you’re looking for great deals on hotel rooms. The publication recommends using tools, such as OneTwoTrip. They help you check how room prices will fluctuate over the next month. And they enable you to compare a rate you’ve found against the hotel’s average cost. That way, you’ll be able to figure out whether a deal is really worth it.

Get the full story at The Cheat Sheet

Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/16_hotel_booking_secrets_you_need_to_know_to_get_the_best_deals

What hoteliers need to know about personalisation technology

March 16, 2017

According to research by Samsung, nine out of 10 hoteliers believe guests will expect their stays to be personalised by 2020, and, if you’re worrying about guests feeling uneasy about the invasiveness of technology, don’t – Software Advice, an online technology reviews firm, discovered that even technology as powerful as facial recognition software would be welcomed by 41% of guests if it was used to personalise their stays.

Your guests expect you to know them before they arrive, they assume that you know what they want and are ready to provide it, and they expect to be treated as individuals – the best (and possibly only) way to do this is with data analytics. The data on your guests is everywhere – in their social media accounts, in their interactions with your website, in their IP addresses, and, if you ask them for it directly in pre- and post-stay surveys.

Many hoteliers have begun to take advantage of the ease with which modern technology allows them to collect and interpret data to enhance efforts at personalization, so what kinds of tools and resources are available to help hoteliers implement personalisation?

Get the full story at GuestRevu

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

GCommerce debuts new website with innovative no strings attached program

March 16, 2017

NSA offers hoteliers the opportunity to work with GCommerce’s experienced team to solve hotel digital marketing needs in a single platform exclusive of fees and contracts.

“The digital marketing space is ever-changing. For hoteliers, navigating these waters can be challenging,” said Chris Jackson, President and Partner of GCommerce. “Hoteliers face digital challenges every day, leaving them frustrated and confused. GCommerce has always sought to provide guidance and professional expertise to hoteliers who might not be getting such expert guidance and problem solving with their current agency or in-house team.

Get the full story at GCommerce

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

Expedia expects hotel commissions to come down

March 15, 2017

Speaking at the International Hotel Investment Forum (IHIF) in Berlin last week, Khosrowshahi said Expedia has been lowering industry commissions over the last 10 years as its business grows.

“As we scale our fixed costs relative to demand, we want to make sure we pass on those economics not just to our shareholders but to our partners,” he said.

“We’ve been in the business for 20 years and we wouldn’t be without (our) partners… We don’t have thousands of people working in the field but we get to market the products of our partners and the partnership is growing.”

However, Khosrowshahi believed the industry must change its pricing structure, specifically unbundle its pricing the way airlines have unbundled airfare pricing, so prices won’t “differ wildly” when a customer books through a franchise, Expedia or Booking.com, etc, and so that the pricing would truly reflect its value.

Get the full story at TTG Asia

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

Egencia innovates towards a bigger share of corporate travel

March 15, 2017

Rob Greyber, president of Expedia Inc.’s corporate travel arm Egencia, has overseen the travel management company as it has worked to more quickly create innovations and refinements that make life easier for users. Most recently, Egencia revamped its expense connectivity to simplify the process of submitting receipts for travelers.

Greyber spoke to Skift about consumerization that won’t put you to sleep, the similarities between different generations of business travelers, and how the corporate travel technology arms race has the potential to buoy the entire industry.

Get the full story at Skift

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

Ctrip goes offline with 5,500 stores across China

March 15, 2017

Ctrip claims 250 million registered members and an app with 2.3 billion accumulated downloads. The company ranked first in the Chinese online outbound travel and domestic travel markets by market share and it is reportedly the largest online tourism channel in China. With the 5,500 integrated stores, Ctrip is now also expected to become the largest offline tourism retailer and services provider in China.

Those 5,500 stores are mostly located in provincial capitals and economically developed second- and third-tier cities, where citizens can find a Ctrip or Traveling Bestone store. Consumers can enjoy the convenience of tourism consulting, travel booking, and foreign visa application in those stores.

Get the full story at ChinaTechNews.com

Read also "Ctrip’s strategic threat to Expedia and Priceline"

Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/ctrip_goes_offline_with_5500_stores_across_china

Why TripAdvisor might be looking out for buyers

March 15, 2017

Despite investing aggressively on upgrading the platform, spending in technology and marketing, and roping in some of the best names in online travel, TripAdvisor still couldn’t warm up to users.

Some reports claim that it might be because the booking features on the Instant Booking platform are sometimes confusing or inconsistent, while others suggest that users still viewed TripAdvisor as a travel metasearch and review platform and hence they’d use all those functionalities to select a hotel before booking it through another OTA or directly through the hotel’s website.

Strangely, the suppliers of the travel industry placed more confidence on the Instant Booking platform than the buyers ever did. Hence, both the global OTA leaders, Expedia and Priceline, are present on Instant Booking as are nine out of the top ten hotel chains in the world. Yet, TripAdvisor’s revenue per hotel shopper fell significantly lower than those of its peers due to the lack of traction on the Instant Booking platform. Most of its peers are earning almost 4-5 times more revenue per shopper than TripAdvisor. Instant Booking is the primary contributor of TripAdvisor’s Hotel Revenues that accounts for around 80% of the company’s total revenues.

Get the full story at Trefis (free registration)

Read also "TripAdvisor chairman’s takeover comments not a vote of confidence"

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

Facebook: Traveling companion for the next decade?

March 15, 2017

Facebook has been hovering around in travel for some years. Every now and again the question of whether it could challenge Google hits the headlines. Expedia CEO Dara Khosrowshaki said only a few months ago that it could. He was quoted as saying that travel is such a significant portion of e-commerce that Facebook would have a travel-specific product.

Earlier that same month Facebook introduced Dynamic Ads for Travel, which allows travel companies to target Facebook users based on a range of data, including search history. Yet, analysts at brokers RBC doubted if this was sufficient to trounce Google’s supremacy.

“While Facebook's recently launched Dynamic Travel Ads are unique in that they retarget potential customers across devices, we're sceptical as to whether Facebook will be a real threat to Google in digital travel ad dollars, because Facebook is just not able to capture commercial/travel intent in the way that Google is," they wrote in a report.

Get the full story at EyeForTravel

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

Reach highly engaged customers with Facebook Dynamic Ads for Travel

March 15, 2017

With its 1.8 billion monthly users, Facebook has the unique ability to reach customers in a native environment without interruption. In order to maximize campaign performance, it is important to have a fundamental understanding of the auction environment. The DAT system has been designed to combine the needs of both advertisers and customers. This approach improves user engagement while providing much-needed cost controls.

How does the Facebook Auction Work?

Facebook used an economic theory called VCG (Vickrey-Clarke-Groves), to create a second-price auction environment. Essentially, the winning bid does not pay exactly what was bid, but rather a bid slightly higher than the second highest bidder. The primary benefit of this model is that it mitigates the risk of sharp jumps in spend. Ultimately, it is a win for advertisers as it creates a stable auction environment.

Get the full story at Koddi

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

Webinar: Driving demand that leads to direct bookings - best practice strategies for 2017

March 15, 2017

Key topics include:

- Creating stronger connections to your guests through content marketing

- Using contextual marketing to create upsell opportunities

- Utilizing business intelligence for data-driven optimization

- Leveraging personalization to drive guest loyalty

More information and registration at TravelClick

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

A hotel marketing lesson in Mexico’s rapid ADR growth

March 15, 2017

Sales and marketing professionals are constantly exposed to the pulse of the industry as they gather information from hoteliers, travel agents, DMC and clients, whether at trade shows, events or through their networks. PR teams are up on trends and what is being published by the media, providing relevant data that can contribute to Revenue Strategy.

Just as importantly, the revenue management team can help hotel marketers use their budgets more effectively and run more targeted campaigns. A DORM can comb through the hotel’s performance numbers - as well as website traffic analytics and web shopping data from the online booking engine - to know which source markets are driving the most interest and booked reservations.

With that data, a hotel could know, for instance, if more people than usual from the United States or Brazil are looking and booking. As another example, if a favorable currency fluctuation in Argentina caused more travelers from that country to search online for vacations in Mexico, hotels there could send direct-marketing campaigns with competitive room rates to drive business.

Get the full story at Duetto

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

Google & Facebook move to shorten the distance between discovery and booking

March 14, 2017

We’ve probably all shared our bucket list ideas through Facebook or email, but mostly in a haphazard way and, ironically, these often remain as firmly on the to-do list as many of the trips themselves.

Now Google Maps' users can build bucket lists of places they’ve visited or plan to visit and share these lists with friends. Users benefit by learning about interesting new destinations from each other and Google benefits – as always – by gathering more data about our preferences. This is further proof of Google's self-confessed move up the trip-planning funnel which has strategic implications for the travel industry, something we will be looking more closely at later this week on Eyefortravel.com and at this year's upcoming events.

Google is claiming that the biggest winners will be travel brands, which can use the new bucket list features as part of an advocacy campaign to attract new business. What they have done is make it really easy. Users don’t need to download a new app to use it; instead it simply adds new functions to the popular Google Maps app that most travelers already use.

Get the full story at EyeForTravel

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

Ctrip’s strategic threat to Expedia and Priceline

March 14, 2017

When you consider the world’s three largest online travel agencies, Priceline focuses on hotels and is very global; Expedia is a full-service travel agency and is trying to get more international, and Ctrip has a wider array of services than all of them.

Expedia is fond of referring to itself as the largest full-service online travel agency. That’s true since its revenue is much larger than Ctrip’s, but the Chinese online travel agency’s services are more wide-ranging.

“If you look at Expedia, they have two products mainly,” Ctrip's CEO Jane Jie Sun says. “One is hotel, one is the air ticketing business, but for us, we want to make sure we start with China and Chinese customers because they have a language problem … If we know they’re going from Shanghai to Paris, we will push a Paris hotel. For example, Ritz-Carlton in Paris if they’re taking first-class or business-class tickets. We know they’re staying at Ritz-Carlton, then we calculate the distance between the hotel and airport, and we’ll push a rental car or chauffer service to them.

Get the full story at Skift

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

Hotel rooms departments struggle to control expenses

March 14, 2017

Changes in rooms revenue per available room (RevPAR), and RevPAR penetration receive a lot of attention from hotel managers. This is because the monies hotels receive from renting guest rooms is the major source of revenue across all property types in the U.S. According to the 2016 edition of Trends® in the Hotel Industry, rooms revenue averaged 68.1 percent of total operating revenue in 2015. This metric exceeds 97 percent at limited-service and extended-stay hotels. Alternatively, rooms revenue comprises only 51.8 percent of total revenue at resorts.

Even more impressive than the contribution of rooms revenue to total revenue, is the influence of the rooms department on hotel profitability. On average, the profits generated by the rooms department made up 81.7 percent of total department profits in 2015. This ratio ranged from 68.2 percent at resorts to 99.1 percent at limited-service properties. In short, as the rooms department goes, so goes the hotel.

To gain a better understanding of the profitability of hotel rooms departments, we examined the performance 1,809 properties that submitted data to our Trends® survey each year from 2007 to 2015. This allows us to analyze changes in rooms department expenses and profits through the latest industry cycle.

Get the full story at Hotel Online

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

OTAs remain the dominant booking force for hotels around the world

March 14, 2017

The survey of consumers in eight major markets found that OTAs is the preferred method in every market for the last booking made on a leisure trip.

Yet there are a number of interesting difference around the world and also by age, Phocuswright found in its collection of the results.

For example, in Brazil, more people called a hotel to make a booking that used its own website or mobile application.

Get the full story at Tnooz

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

Why is the travel industry so interested in millennials?

March 14, 2017

As there are different definitions of what a millennial is for Expedia they have defined them as those between 1982 and 1999. And they are also holding back on previously perceived life landmarks like marriage and mortgage and seeking instead experiential moments.

Another finding that emerged which might surprise some people who think millennials being young might be more adventurous and less averse to risk. Concern for personal safety stood out more so for Asia-Pacific travellers in contrast to Westerners. Malaysians were slightly more concerned about safety compared to Singaporeans, 60% versus 59%.

Millennial risk- aversion extends beyond just bodily safety to even the “risk” of having a bad time. The Report observed that to this generation, the verified authenticity – peers vouching for both safety and success, was imperative. A travel experience without such ‘warranty’ was not of interest to this group.

Get the full story at Star2.com

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

Why employees at Apple and Google are more productive

March 14, 2017

“Our research found that these companies have 16% star players, while other companies have 15%,” he says. “They start with about the same mix of star players, but they are able to produce dramatically more output.”

It’s what they do with these high performers. Executives from large companies across 12 industry sectors worldwide said three components of human capital impact productivity more than anything else: time, talent, and energy. And the top quartile organized its business processes in a way that they’re 40% more productive than the rest and consequently have profit margins that are 30%-50% higher than industry averages.

“They get more done by 10 a.m. Thursday morning than the others do in a week, but they don’t stop working,” says Mankins. “This difference compounds every year; over a decade, they can produce 30 times more than the rest, with the same number of employees.”

Get the full story at Fast Company

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

Reduce your reliance on OTAs by understanding customer expectations

March 14, 2017

Whether you love them or hate them, most people would say that the OTAs have become a dominant force in the industry because of their sheer size and because they have infinitely more resources at their disposal than a single hotel property can ever imagine. Some may also say that OTAs have not helped increase the total volume of travel and therefore have become a totally unnecessary middleman – a middleman that does nothing more than suck the profits of the hotels. The truth is that OTAs arouse out of the ashes of a very broken economy. We were in a major recession, travel was in decline, and hotels were desperate to drive new business. To be fair, at the time, the OTAs probably saved a lot of properties from bankruptcy.

Back then, search engines weren’t nearly as sophisticated and neither were consumers. For years, hotels had relied on aggressive marketing to their existing guest history database for business. They found themselves in a scenario where they needed to drum up an increase in new business and they had limited ability to do that on their own. They had no choice but to turn to their knight in shining armor, the OTAs. But, that was then and this is now.

Fast forward to 2017, and now hotels have the ability to control their own destiny. They have the ability to build a cutting-edge website at the fraction of the cost of only a few years ago. They can put their rates and inventory out for the world to see on hundreds of channels, they can invest in cost-effective and targeted advertising across the entire Internet, and they can build massive social following and huge email databases. Best of all, they can track every penny they spend and figure out exactly what is working and cut the stuff that isn’t.

Get the full story at Fuel Travel

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

Highlights from the best ever HSMAI digital marketing conference

March 14, 2017

Leonardo was proud to be a Platinum Sponsor of the event, which drew a quite a collection of Execs in Hospitality. Roughly 60% of attendees were representing individual properties, 20% were from hotel brands, and 20% were technology vendors.

I had the pleasure of introducing Scott Brinker, co-founder & CTO of i-on interactive, and author of “Hacking Marketing.” His thought provoking presentation titled “Hacking Marketing: The Amazing Convergence of Marketing and Software” spoke about the growing similarities between both disciplines in a digital age. As eCommerce professionals, it’s increasingly difficult to keep up with technical advancements happening around us. In 2011, for instance, there were 150 different marketing technology companies. Fast forward to 2016, and it was over 3,500, and in 2017 it will be even more. But while computer science is advancing at a breakneck pace, organizational change is not. And in hospitality – an industry notorious for not innovating fast enough – this represents a legitimate problem.

The reality is, marketing must move swiftly, adapt more rapidly to market feedback, and manage an increasingly complex set of customer experience touchpoints. All of these challenges are shaped by the dynamics of technology and at its rapid evolution it has created a scenario in which what a student learns in university is almost irrelevant by the time they enter the workforce.

Get the full story at Leonardo

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

The difficult coexistence between Booking.com and your hotel website

March 13, 2017

Facing such high OTA fees, particularly from Booking.com, hotels decide to once again boost their direct sales. In some cases, they want to take them to levels achieved in the past and, in others, they simply want to make it grow since it was residual. In any case, conflict is guaranteed. The reason is no other than the hotel website and Booking.com are competing for the same clients. In other words,

- If you want to capture a booking on your website, you have to “take it away” (I prefer calling it a “recovery”) from another channel and, more often than not, that other channel will be Booking.com

- There won’t be any client who books on your website without having also checked Booking.com (and many other OTA and price-comparison websites)

Get the full story at Mirai

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

TripAdvisor chairman’s takeover comments not a vote of confidence

March 13, 2017

That wasn’t exactly a vote of confidence in TripAdvisor’s transition into becoming a hotel-booking site, a changeover that Maffei characterized as “crossing the chasm.”

Speaking in his role as CEO of Liberty Media at a financial conference earlier in the week, Maffei asked himself a rhetorical question and then answered it.

“Would potentially another owner of this business see more value in the 375 million unique travel visitors per month? Perhaps. I think that to some degree puts a floor on value.”

Get the full story at Skift

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

Hotelplan goes ‘untraditional’

March 13, 2017

Bedfinder was one of the first to sell directly to US customers on Book on Google which went live last September in the US, enabling US travelers to book travel on Google Search, Google Maps and Google+ without having to leave the sites featured.

Hotelplan Group CEO Thomas Stirnimann told TTG Asia that bedfinder offers US customers best rates and availability from its 400,000 hotel contracts worldwide. In “no time at all” after going live, it generated some US$5 million in bookings, he said.

While bedfinder currently offers only hotels to the US market, its next aim is to offer full packages.

Get the full story at TTG Asia

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

How travel brands are capitalising on YouTube adventure search trend

March 13, 2017

According to Hitwise, search interest for destinations associated with adventure has grown rapidly across social and video platforms of late, with YouTube in particular seeing a spike. Searches for Iceland have grown 118% on the platform since 2015, closely followed by the destinations of Vietnam and Sri Lanka, which both increased 75% and 72% respectively.

So, what does this tell us about consumers?

First and foremost, that people are looking for unique experiences rather than standard getaways. Instead of typically popular European locations, travelers appear to be showing a greater desire to explore unusual or unfamiliar locations.

Secondly, it also shows that video is an increasingly powerful tool for engagement. Now, consumers are turning to sites like YouTube for the sole purpose of discovery, rather than starting their journey on Google or travel websites.

Get the full story at Econsultancy

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

Hitlist, the new face of travel?

March 13, 2017

As online travel agents like Kayak become overcrowded with ads, a new generation of apps aims to offer a more curated experience.

Founder and CEO Gillian Morris was inspired to launch Hitlist after her years working abroad, when she routinely sent friends the best airfare deals in efforts to convince them to visit her.

In this article, Morris shared with L2 some insights gleaned from the business.

Get the full story at L2

Related Link: Hitlist

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

Mobile apps are changing the future of loyalty

March 13, 2017

The main function of loyalty programs, whether card-based or digital-based, has not changed. They are a way to identify customers, especially repeat customers.

But with the evolution of technological data being used to reward correct consumer behavior, it also affords customers greater control in how they interact with retailers and brands.

Retailers, for their part, engage in an exchange: they provide value by encouraging customer trust and, in doing so, make the customer’s life easier by improving the shopping experience. Therefore, the loyalty program should extend to every aspect of the customer touch point.

In an increasingly mobile world, repeat customers are all about engagement.

Get the full story at Mobile Commerce Daily

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

Channel optimization in hospitality: Secrets of data-driven hoteliers

March 13, 2017

Today’s hospitality marketplace is fragmented. Different goals across departments, emerging consumer channel preferences and regional variations make it difficult to create a “one size fits all” channel strategy.

We’ve partnered with the travel industry research authority, Phocuswright, to produce Channel Optimization in Hospitality: Secrets of Data-Driven Hoteliers. This just-released whitepaper gives you an in-depth look at the industry’s distribution landscape, plus immediate recommendations for creating an optimal channel distribution strategy.

Leverage this new data to make informed decisions on how to effectively convert traffic into profitable transactions.

Download the report at Sabre Hospitality Solutions

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

The relationship between higher review scores and Net RevPAR

March 13, 2017

The findings indicate that there is a clear link between all three and that guest reviews impact net revenue performance dynamics.

ReviewPro’s Global Review Index (GRI™), the industry-standard online reputation score calculated from review data from 175 OTAs and review sites, was used in conjunction with monthly channel and revenue performance data from Kalibri Labs. Professor Enz combined all of the data points to identify correlations between review scores, review volumes, booking channel share and net revenue performance.

Get the full story at ReviewPro

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

New study shatters Airbnb homesharing myth

March 10, 2017

The American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA) released a new report today that examines the rise of commercial activity taking place on Airbnb nationwide. This study, Hosts with Multiple Units – A Key Driver of Airbnb Growth, reveals that Airbnb's business is moving even further away from true home sharing: 81% of Airbnb's U.S. revenue – $4.6 billion – comes from whole-unit rentals (those rentals where the owner is not present during the time of the rental). Airbnb has allowed the growth of "illegal hotels" that are often unregulated properties operating in residential neighborhoods, and as others have pointed out, are disrupting communities, impacting affordable housing and jeopardizing safety and security for guests and neighbors alike.

The study, conducted by a leading real estate research company CBRE Hotels' Americas Research and funded by the American Hotel & Lodging Education Foundation, echoes a growing body of research that shows Airbnb "hosts" renting out two or more entire home units are the fastest growing segment of Airbnb's business in the U.S., generating nearly $2 billion in revenue nationally in 2016, or 40% of Airbnb's entire-unit national revenue, and 37% of entire-unit revenue in the 13 markets studied (over $700 million). This comprehensive national review of Airbnb operations covers October 2014 to September 2016, with a spotlight on 13 of the nation's largest markets: Austin, Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, Miami, Nashville, New Orleans, New York, Oahu, Portland, OR, San Francisco, Seattle, and Washington, D.C.

What's more, hosts listing multiple homes for rent are the fastest growing segment of Airbnb's business. Strikingly, hosts with 10 or more properties are generating a quarter of all multi-host revenue, roughly $175 million in the 13 markets studied. The analysis also indicates this troubling national trend is getting worse, although there are some signs in key markets that stricter short-term rental regulation may be effective at curbing illegal hotel activity.

Key findings:

- In the U.S., hosts renting out two or more entire-home units generated nearly $2 billion in revenue in 2016. In the 13 markets highlighted, revenue reached $700 million.

- 81% of Airbnb's U.S. revenue – $4.6 billion – comes from whole-unit rentals (those rentals where the owner is not present during the time of the rental), rising from 78% in the prior year.

- Each of the 13 cities studied saw an increase in the total number of listings by multi-unit hosts. In Nashville, Seattle, Oahu, and New Orleans, the growth of the number of units managed by multi-unit operators more than doubled -- and Nashville saw an increase of more than 160%.

- The markets with the highest share of total revenue derived from multi-unit hosts are Miami (57.9%), Oahu (53.5%), and New Orleans (42.3%).

- In almost every market examined in the report, the percentage of revenue from multi-unit hosts increased from 2015 to 2016, with the two notable exceptions being New York City and San Francisco, where policymakers have enacted regulations to limit abuse by commercial operators and ensure short-term rentals represent true home sharing.

- Revenue growth for entire-home properties increased by an average of 76% in the 13 markets studied. Nashville (+283%) was the fastest growing market followed by Oahu (+187%) and New Orleans (+144%).

"Once upon a time Airbnb might have simply been a home sharing company, but this analysis shows that's just a fairytale now," said AHLA President and Chief Executive Officer Katherine Lugar. "This report provides a stark contrast to the picture that Airbnb presents to policymakers and the public and sheds light on why the company has largely refused to take even basic steps to stop illegal hotel operators, because these actors drive the overwhelming – and growing - portion of its revenue. Indeed, it appears that Airbnb is actively supporting this commercial activity rather than trying to operate within the boundaries of the law. Today we are calling on Airbnb to finally come clean, tell the truth to the communities where it operates and crack down on the illegal hotels that it facilitates."

"This report confirms a devastating national trend that is exacerbating the affordable housing crisis in cities across the country," said Peter Cohen, Co-director of the Council of Community Housing Organizations. "Affordable housing advocates from coast to coast agree: Airbnb in particular and the short-term-rental industry in general is facilitating a housing crisis by incentivizing property investors to convert homes and apartments into illegal hotels, thus decreasing the available housing stock and driving rent prices up. This is clearly no longer a mom and pop "hosting" activity—it's become a profitable commercial enterprise. Rather than rein in this "hotelization" of our housing, Airbnb lets them flourish – and everyday working families pay the price."

"Businesses belong in commercially-zoned areas – not in residential neighborhoods," said John Stern, President and Chairman Emeritus of Nashville Neighborhood Alliance, Inc. "By enabling these businesses, Airbnb and all Short Term Rental Properties are hurting our neighborhoods and damaging our communities. Some areas are now practically ghost-towns with investors buying houses just to rent them out to partiers on the weekends. And parents that want to raise their families in a close-knit neighborhood instead face a revolving door of strangers causing mayhem. We want to keep the neighbors in neighborhoods."

Download the full report at AHLA

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

Airbnb profitable as of 2H 2016, no plans for IPO

March 10, 2017

The company has been tipped as one of the outsized tech startups that would go public this year, although this latest round gives it a lot more runway as a private company. TechCrunch source say that Airbnb has “no plans to go public anytime soon.”

Airbnb - which started as a marketplace for people with spare beds to connect with travelers who needed a place to stay but didn’t want or couldn’t afford a hotel — has expanded massively with a huge global network not just of spare beds but whole homes covering all budgets, as well as a new line of “experiences.”

Launched in November last year, this new category takes the company beyond accommodation into events that let users “experience a city like a local.” Airbnb also moved into an end-to-end experience by letting users book their travel through the Airbnb platform. It’s also made a couple of key acquisitions that speak to how it hopes to widen its commercial net, including the group-focused Tilt funding platform and Luxury Retreats to bring in more properties (and clients!) at the higher end of the market.

Get the full story at TechCrunch

Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/airbnb_profitable_as_of_2h_2016_no_plans_for_ipo

TMCs reiterate travel reduction to U.S. in response to travel ban

March 10, 2017

Fifty-five percent said the executive order had heightened their sense of threat toward their U.S.-based travelers who travel abroad.

Nine percent of respondents said their companies had canceled meetings in the United States in favor of finding a more genial location abroad. One reason for this spate of relocations is the claim by 22 percent of survey respondents that their travelers had been saddled with delays during the immigration process or even had faced harassment when entering U.S. borders.

Likewise, U.S. and European polls conducted by GBTA following the release of the new executive order showed similar results to ACTE.

Get the full story at BTN

Read also "Trump travel ban begins to deter foreign tourists from U.S."

Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/tmcs_reiterate_travel_reduction_to_u.s._in_response_to_travel_ban

Expedia is wrong: a better direct price does make money for the hotel

March 10, 2017

In April, Skift published this interesting and complex graph with which Expedia allegedly proved an 8% decrease in the hotel’s net RevPAR.

In the supposed starting scenario, the hotel/chain’s website (Brand.com) sells three times more than OTAs. This ratio varies from one hotel to the other and the final result would be affected subject to each ratio.

We accept Expedia’s 3:1 scenario. It’s important to remember this proportion to understand the calculations: 75% website – 25% OTA. This ratio, albeit unrealistic in Europe, seems reasonable for the large American hotel chains it’s directed towards.

Expedia posed an apparently correct mathematical analysis and almost all variables were considered, but the numbers are based on unrealistic assumptions. Let’s analyse them.

Get the full story at Mirai

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


Copyright © 2011 HOTELMARKETING.COM All Rights Reserved.