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Amazon launches Alexa for hotels

June 20, 2018

The system can be customized to include key guest information, like checkout time or pool hours; allows guests to request services like housekeeping or room service; and can be configured to control “smart” hotel room functions, like adjusting the thermostat or raising the blinds.

Marriott is Amazon’s launch partner on the new platform, which is notable not only for the potential scale of this rollout, but also because the hotelier had been testing both Siri and Alexa devices ahead of today’s news.

According to Amazon, Marriott International will introduce the new Alexa experience at select properties in Marriott Hotels, Westin Hotels & Resorts, St. Regis Hotels & Resorts, Aloft Hotels, and Autograph Collection Hotels starting this summer.

The system will also be available by invitation to other hospitality providers beginning today.

Get the full story at TechCrunch and "Alexa for Hospitality"

Read also "What Amazon’s ‘Alexa for Hospitality’ means for hotels, guests, and marketers" at GeoMarketing

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

Fake hotels becoming a massive issue for OTAs

June 20, 2018

In recent months, the travel industry has witnessed a tidal wave of fake chalet websites, with one website, Alps-stay.com, conning unsuspecting holiday-makers out of tens of thousands of euros.

It’s no wonder fraudsters are targeting consumers booking holidays – hotels in Europe saw an increase in bookings of 6% in 2017 compared to 2016. However, it’s not just consumers suffering the monetary blows, OTAs are too.

How? A fraudster will list a fake hotel and then use stolen credit cards to make a booking via the OTA’s website. The OTA will then receive chargebacks for bookings after making a payment to the fake hotel. By this point, the fraudster will have withdrawn all the funds paid by the OTA and won’t respond to any contact attempts, leaving the OTA with a financial loss.

Get the full story at Travolution

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

MMGY detects possible softness in leisure travel

June 20, 2018

MMGY's survey asked travelers about their intentions to travel more, less, or the same in the year ahead compared to the previous 12 months. Twenty-one percent of travelers indicated an intention to take more vacations, while 30% said they plan to take fewer, resulting in a 9-point negative variance in vacation intentions.

This is the first time that variance has been negative in the 12 years the question has been asked, and it raises a concern about a softening of the leisure travel market in the months ahead.

As for the number of leisure trips people are taking, last year people took an average of three, while the previous year they took 3.3. In the next 12 months, travelers intend to take an average of 2.9 vacations.

Get the full story at Travel Weekly

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

The changing face of the travel agency business

June 20, 2018

When airlines stopped paying high commissions back in the 1990s, travel agents started to lean heavily on add-on services such as hotel and transport for commissions.

With services such as Airbnb and Uber now available in almost every major city, commissions from these services too are likely to dwindle in future.
At present, travel agents depend on two categories of travelers for their revenue. A good number of corporate business travelers still rely on partner agencies for their tickets.

In the consumer segment, holiday packages and custom itinerary planning services have been taking off with an increase in international holidaying. The drop in commissions is mostly made up for by the corresponding rise in the scale and value of such bookings.

Get the full story at tnooz

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

Retro motels make a chic comeback

June 20, 2018

More hotel companies and independent owners are gravitating toward the basic motel model with exterior corridors and rooms that guests can drive up to. But they are introducing a modern twist, with whimsical décor and better food and beverage options.

Motels “are really the icons of family travel and friendly road trips back in that time,” says Amanda Marcello, senior vice president of brand strategy for RLHC. “They were fun and they were easy and people had a great experience there. You could park your car right in front and walk into the door.”

Miami, New Orleans, Austin, Napa Valley, and New York are among the many destinations that hotel companies have targeted for this retro hotel model. The chic motels are a hit with two all-important demographics--nostalgic Baby Boomers and Millennials, those travelers in their 20s and 30s who are looking for non-cookie cutter experiences when they travel.

Get the full story at USA Today

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

How Alibaba’s ecosystem is set to simplify travel buying

June 20, 2018

A mobile phone isn’t just for shopping. It is about living better – taking care of mundane tasks, curiosity around new and exciting things, being playful, paying bills and more.

And that’s where Alibaba chips in. By eradicating the boundaries between the offline and online world as part of the New Retail strategy, and letting consumers indulge in things they haven’t done before – all via a mobile device – Alibaba is ensuring it is going deeper into the lives of nearly 620million mobile monthly active users on its China retail marketplaces.

Imagine these scenarios – scanning a travel merchant’s logo at the airport for an interactive game or redeeming a coupon, buying something that a model is wearing during a live fashion show just by swiping a finger on the mobile screen, opening the lock of a bike hired via an app etc. All of this maintains the stickiness of an ecosystem.

Get the full story at China Travel News

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

TravelClick unveils latest version of hotel loyalty solution

June 20, 2018

Hoteliers today recognize the effectiveness of customer loyalty programs. Loyalty customers can spend twice as much as non-loyalty customers, stay 60 percent longer and book 120 percent more often, according to a TravelClick analysis. With the release of TravelClick’s Reward and Redeem, hotels can quickly choose and implement the loyalty solution that best fits their needs – from POS upgrades and cashback programs to robust rewards programs with tiers and status for future bookings.

This latest loyalty feature allows guests to clearly see how many points they’ve earned, select the room that they would like to book and use some or all of their points to pay for the room, with no need to call the hotel or enter a special code. Guests will be able to convert points into cash and pay for all or part of their stay, enabling instant gratification.

“We’re very excited to be using the innovative offering, Reward and Redeem, as it helps us to promote our disposable room inventory as rewards, while building loyalty among repeat guests,” said Vibeke Raddum, CEO, First Hotels, a leading collection of 57 unique hotels in Scandinavia and Iceland. “Moreover, guests can redeem points digitally at the time of booking – there is no need for vouchers or coupons – giving them instant satisfaction and a cash-back solution.”

Get the full story at TravelClick

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

SiteMinder solves hotel system connectivity

June 20, 2018

Enabling a seamless transfer of hotel data between PMSs and applications, SiteMinder Exchange provides much-needed relief for creators of hotel technology who have long considered connectivity to be the single-most crippling challenge for the industry to date.

“Arguably more than any other, SiteMinder has grown to understand how costly and time-consuming it can be to build integrations. We know PMSs and applications want to go back to focusing on their core products, not connections, but while we’ve seen fantastic efforts in the industry to standardise messaging, we’ve failed to see practical solutions that ease the burden for those providers whose days remain consumed building point-to-point connections to each other,” says SiteMinder’s managing director and founder, Mike Ford.

“SiteMinder Exchange is about enabling those players to effortlessly integrate, and to build only once to access a multitude of partner systems. By breaking down these integration barriers, we are all one step closer to achieving our shared vision, which is helping hoteliers to access the integrated setup and rich guest insights they need to make their hotel business successful.”

Get the full story at SiteMinder

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

Behold a new era of digital marketing in travel

June 19, 2018

Online search is now the first step for a majority of travelers, with some consumers visiting up to 38 sites before booking a ticket.

Yet the travel industry must adapt to newer digital marketing strategies to win over potential customers.

The key to success is delivering ultra-precisely targeted content, leveraging personalized retargeting combined with AI and deep learning.

Get the full story at PhocusWire

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

Marriott on why Europe needs more hotel brands

June 19, 2018

“The fragmented nature of the European market is why we launched Moxy,” Tina Edmundson, global brand officer for Marriott International, said.” When we looked at the midscale segment we saw that there was such a dearth of a branded product.”

Some of Marriott’s soft brands such as the Autograph Collection have a lot of elasticity were previously independent and brought into the company’s fold, said Edmundson.

“Hotel owners also want growth and having multiple brands in one market helps us to do that,” said Edmundson. “Just as we do on the consumer side, it’s important that we allow for growth in our owner community as well.”

Get the full story at Skift

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

Hotel brand explosion continues as good economic times roll

June 19, 2018

To date, hotel research firm STR says there are nearly 1,100 global hotel brands or hotel affiliations that include eight properties or more. STR said it was unable to offer a comparison to the number of global brands a decade ago. But the brand proliferation trend is one that began with the rise of boutique and lifestyle properties more than a decade ago, before the Great Recession, and one that picked up steam even more rapidly in what has become one of the longest recoveries in hotel industry history.

So what is driving the nonstop push by companies large and small to create so many different products? The increasing desire by consumers for new and varied experiences as well as a variety of choices, depending on whether they are traveling for business, as couples, with family or with friends, experts say.

"Companies announce new brands, I believe, to address changing consumer demands and shifting changes in demographics," said Adam Weissenberg, global leader of Deloitte & Touche's transportation, hospitality and services division. "But I also think companies want to be able to offer their owners the full range of brands from economy to luxury so that owners will be able to build any kind of hotel with them."

Get the full story at Travel Weekly

Read also "IHG launches new upscale brand, Voco"

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

CWT: Corporate clients concentrating on buying at less hotels

June 19, 2018

Carlson Wagonlit Travel president and CEO Kurt Ekert talked with BTN about the competitive landscape and the digital innovations his mega travel management company is working on for customers.

BTN: How's business?

Ekert: We're filling the equivalent of 260 Boeing 787s and 100,000 hotel rooms each day, and we handle 105 to 110 corporate events. We are seeing very healthy transaction growth of 3.5 percent or so. We are seeing revenue growth in our RoomIt hotel distribution business in the mid-teens. We're now up to 1.1 million users of our mobile app, CWT To Go, so we're really beginning to see our strategy take hold. This year, we have already sold over $1 billion of new business.

Get the full story at Business Travel News

Read also "Business travel by the numbers" at Business Travel News

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

How RevPAR growth translates into profits

June 19, 2018

One major reason for this is the availability of revenue-per-available-room data, which is directly linked to the success of STR at aggregating rooms revenue data across a substantial portion of the industry. Alternatively, profitability data is much more difficult to amass because hotel ownership and management groups are much more fragmented than hotel brands.

There is, however, a clear relationship between top-line performance (RevPAR) and overall profitability (gross operating profit per available room). Generally, profit growth tends to be between 1.5 and 2.0 times the growth in revenue. So a 10% increase in revenues equates to a 15%-20% increase in profits (GOPPAR).

Currently, with profit margins near peak levels and significant profit growth tough to come by, this ratio tends to be lower than in past years. If we look at individual hotel performance growth, the relationship is immediately apparent.

Get the full story at HNN

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

Creating and managing a single view of the guest with data

June 19, 2018

Not long ago, the only data that resorts collected were guest’s names and emails. Today, the hospitality industry is much more interested in big data and its impact on the guest experience. Most hotels and resorts have begun collecting unstructured data from both traditional and electronic sources. But creating and managing a single view of the guest requires more data, and a shift in focus.

Hotels are on the brink of having more information about guests than ever before. However, using that data in a meaningful way remains a challenge, due in part to the volume of data provided, collected, managed, and analyzed. To get the most value, it’s important to structure it in the right way.

This is where modern analytics solutions allow hotels and resorts to harness their collected intelligence and turn it into actionable insights. These data analytics can be used in numerous ways - one of the most compelling uses is offering relevant guest incentives for room upgrades, dining, or gift shop discounts based on the guest’s historical purchasing preferences. With time-sensitive, personalized offers, hoteliers effectively target travelers in ways that are proven to grow guest satisfaction and drive revenue.

Get the full story at Lodging

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

How AI will bring the human touch back to hotels

June 19, 2018

The problem with all new hotel technology, unfortunately, is that innovation gets turned into buzzwords quickly, usually in order to sell more products and services. Even worse, all these buzzwords are thrown into the same marketing pot, creating a vast confusion that only “experts” can understand.

This guide was created with the intention of clarifying the most important terms and concepts related to artificial intelligence and shedding some light on what AI really means for hotels, without technicalities and by providing easy-to-understand industry examples.

Get the full story at Avvio

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

IDeaS breaks the rules with new superior agile pricing approach

June 19, 2018

Hoteliers unanimously agree: the distribution landscape is more complicated than ever before. As the consumer buying experience evolves and adapts to new interfaces like voice-enabled artificial intelligence, hotels seek the same level of sophisticated innovation in their revenue technology. Dynamic pricing and personalized offers are as pertinent as ever to compete with OTAs and the sharing economy to boost direct sales and profitability.

Solving this complexity, IDeaS Revenue Solutions has taken revenue strategy to a new level with the introduction of Agile Rates—a fundamental change in pricing strategy designed to incorporate flexibility and simplicity into a hotel’s revenue productivity engine. Available on the hospitality industry’s most widely-adopted revenue technology, IDeaS G3 Revenue Management System (RMS), Agile Rates provides the ability to price and distribute key linked or independent products for the wider market or specific guest micro-segments.

Get the full story at IDeaS

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

Google: Travel’s closely watched obsession

June 18, 2018

Since the very beginning, Phocuswright has carefully tracked the evolution of Google travel products and their growing role in travel's search-shop-buy funnel. Phocuswright's 2017 deep dive on metasearch revealed two clear trends:

- Google is gaining ground, but especially so in flights, where it appears to have overtaken Kayak in overall traffic and referrals.

- Google Flights and Hotels send a great deal more traffic to airline and hotel websites than they send to OTAs.

Get the full story at PhocusWire

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

Google on Flight Search, Hotel Ads, book button and shopping services

June 18, 2018

In contrast to Google Flight Search, Google Hotel Ads is much more of an overtly commercial enterprise. It is now launched across the planet and Google has been working on ramping up the customer experience both on mobile and desktop. This has seen a doubling of engagement with photos, for instance.

However, the product performs best in the US and Google is looking at ways to better localise the product for markets like Japan and Germany and other regions of Europe.

“Right now we are not finding as deep engagement with the content in parts of Europe as we think we should. We are investigating why that is. There are some local differences in the product we need to introduce to make it perform well in all markets,” Richard Holden, vice president product management, said.

Get the full story at Travolution

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

Curating customers biggest challenge in luxury hospitality

June 18, 2018

"A hotel should be a temple, and you need to have it occupied with true believers, or you will not get the rate you want," LE Miami's founder, Serge Dive said. "Hotels with great hardware and service should also have a nightclub mentality where, in a sense, the person at the door selects the right crowd."

Dive thinks that guests are looking for a strong point of view that will "optimize and amplify" their lives: optimize in terms of making the best use of their time and amplify what is best in life.

"Best" is not a reference to traditional luxury but rather creating an environment that will help guests become the best version of themselves. A hotelier can "raise the right questions" about life. "No single-use plastic," for instance, represents "not participating in the destruction of the world."

Get the full story at Travel Weekly

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

Hotels deal with influx of influencers

June 18, 2018

A recent article in The Atlantic attempted to lift the curtain on the often fabulous (and sometimes annoying) Instagram posts we see from influencers staying at luxury hotels.

The article mentioned some strategies hotels have used to cope with this problem. For example, one boutique hotel in Ireland banned all influencers (and got some good headlines out of it). The Ace Hotel and Starwood Hotels Hawaii have formalized the process with intake forms that qualify influencers, aiming to help cut down the noise and ensure a proper fit between influencer and hotel brand.

Gartner L2’s report on influencers finds that 82% of luxury hotel brands work with influencers, above the 70% average for other sectors covered by Gartner L2 research. However, only 4% of luxury hotel brand posts mention influencers, below the 10% average for other sectors covered by Gartner L2 research.

Get the full story at Gartner L2 and The Atlantic

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

Marketers struggle to track audiences after Facebook and Google scale back data for GDPR

June 18, 2018

Marketers said they now struggle to comprehensively measure their targeting across the platforms within their own data management platforms, forcing some to turn to third-party measurement partners and others to be complacent with piecing together the data they do have strictly within Google and Facebook. Say a marketer ran a campaign across Google and Facebook. Now, they can no longer see if an ad reached the same person on Google as well as on Facebook.

Google’s changes to its data sharing came ahead of the GDPR enforcement deadline on May 25. The Google DoubleClick IDs once let buyers transfer files of DoubleClick impressions from across Google’s ad products from Google’s DoubleClick Campaign Manager to their own DMPs. At the end of April, Google disallowed ad buyers from using the Google DoubleClick ID to export data.

Facebook made a similar move, citing the need to protect people’s privacy. As a result, their view tags are no longer usable by other platforms such as Google’s DoubleClick. Already, some marketers’ say that within their DMPs, they cannot measure views across their Facebook buys, only clicks.

Get the full story at Digiday

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

Google gives users more control over ad experience

June 18, 2018

Users can select which topics they want to receive ads around and remove unwanted topics.

Currently, ads are tailored based on users' activity while signed into Google accounts, information added to a Google account or information provided by advertisers, including whether a user has visited a certain site or signed up for a newsletter. Turning off an ad criteria means that ads targeted around that subject will not be served to users while they are using Google services or sites and partner apps while they are signed into their accounts. Ads can still be targeted based on general factors.

Google also unveiled a feature called “Why this ad?" that appears next to ads and offers information about why a user is seeing that ad and lets them access Ad Settings more easily. The tool is available across platforms that show Google Ads, including YouTube, Gmail, Maps and Search, as well as websites and apps that partner with Google to show ads.

Get the full story at MarketingDive and Goolge

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

SnapShot announces new strategy

June 18, 2018

SnapShot’s Hospitality Data Platform is unique in that it isn’t tied to a specific brand or software provider. This means that every hospitality company, hotel, or hotel chain can adopt it as a solution that will collect and harmonise their data independently and securely.

“We believe this is a huge step for the industry,” said Carson Booth, SnapShot’s recently appointed CEO. “CIOs for hotel brands and hospitality technology consultants have been wanting a neutral and standard data platform for years, SnapShot has built it, and it is now available for all hotel groups and chains.”

With data from over 6000 hotels secure on the platform and more than 45 PMS and data partners, the platform has already proved itself a robust and secure solution. With the opening of the Data Platform to enterprise clients we’re bringing together our three pillars of Analytics, Marketplace and Data Platform.

Get the full story at SnapShot

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

What modern hotel marketers can learn from advertising of the past

June 18, 2018

In the lightning pace of today’s society, it may seem like guests are shouting at you to constantly provide something new, something upgraded, or something that excites them. And only a fool would fail to listen to their customers.

However, the way in which you deliver what your guest wants doesn’t always have to be completely reimagined. New marketing strategies aren’t always the answer – and aren’t always necessary. Yes, new technology and data gives you greater insight and more potential to impact prospects, but there’s a lot to be said for sticking to tried and true advertising principles.

We’re talking about taking lessons from ‘Mad Men’, Mexican street vendors, and vintage travel posters. Here’s what you could do with your hotel advertising now – that worked perfectly in the past.

Get the full story at SiteMinder

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

Amazon, Facebook and the future of travel tech booking

June 14, 2018

OAG asked more than 2,000 travelers which social and consumer platforms they would consider booking with, if offered the option. The big winner was Amazon, with 44 percent of travelers saying they would consider booking travel with the e-commerce giant. The next most viable alternative, based on the travelers surveyed, was Facebook, where just 14 percent of the population said they would be willing to book – 30 percent less than Amazon. Other social media platforms – including Pinterest, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn – did not fare as well.

Beyond the specific providers, the future of how travelers book is also evolving:

- 28 percent of travelers say they are comfortable booking through an automated chat agent on a website
- 25 percent are comfortable booking through mobile assistants like Siri and Okay Google
- 20 percent are game to book via text message
- 9 percent would be comfortable booking through social messaging apps, like Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp

Given the size of the online travel sales market – it’s expected to reach $817.5 billion by 2020, according to Statista – change and disruption are a formality. And while direct bookings with hotels and airlines, and the popularity of online travel agents, will continue to lead the pack, the field is changing.

OAG’s latest report – The Future of Travel Booking and Payments – evaluates this disruption and the integration of modern payment methods like Bitcoin and Apple Pay, the evolution of blind booking and the opportunity for a smarter, more connected booking ecosystem.

Download the report at OAG (free registration)

Download also "Predictive Intelligence: The rising Star in travel tech adoption" at OAG

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

Airbnb legislations do little to dampen growth in five European cities

June 14, 2018

The analysis demonstrates that guests continue to book Airbnb accommodation in the respective cities, with its share in the overnight stay market increasing by up to 3.4% since 2016.


Market share increase:
London: 5% to 6.9%
Paris:13.4% to 15.2%
Amsterdam: 10.7% to 11.8%.
Berlin: 5.3% to 6.5%
Madrid: 6.7% to 10.1%

Marc Finney, Head of Hotels & Resorts Consulting at Colliers International commented: “In all cities, it’s clear that Airbnb is here to stay and has become a mature alternative for traditional hotels. With Airbnb, guests have more options to choose from and it’s also a cheaper alternative to hotels.

“As the scale grows, the lack of regulation becomes a greater concern to many, and rightly so. It is interesting though that despite the growth, we’re seeing relatively little negative impact on the hotel sector with London hotels achieving similar results to last year. In a lot of ways, Airbnb is a different product offer, and one that now benefits from better visibility. Despite its growing influence, we’re still finding strong business cases for proposed hotels in our development advisory work.”

Download the report at Colliers (PDF 230 KB)

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

Expedia gets super-serious about activities

June 14, 2018

The company wants to grow bookings in its own unit selling such products to $2 billion a year - a five-fold increase from its current level of around $400 million.

One of the core elements to the strategy, according to Jen O'Twomney, vice president of Expedia Local Expert, is the creation of a self-service platform for suppliers to add and manage their own inventory being distributed to travelers.

This will work in tandem with the connections that the company has with existing third party technology providers such as Rezdy, Rezgo and others, she says.

Get the full story at PhocusWire

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

How a Danish hotel portal wants to go global with no marketing

June 14, 2018

50 percent of Goodwings’ commission for every sale goes directly to one of the 31 NGO’s of your choice affiliated with the platform. In 2,5 years, that strategy has attracted 320 companies to use Goodwings when their employees travel. Now, Christian Møller-Holst wants to double that number by twenty and get the number of NGO’s up to 200 before 2019.

“Today, when companies book hotels for the employees it is only an expense. If they book a hotel on our platform that expense can create value both inwards and outwardly. It’s all about spending your money wisely. Both private and companies can make a difference by booking hotels on our platform without it getting more difficult or more expensive,” says Christian Møller-Holst.

Get the full story at Business Insider Nordic

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

Booking.com: Instant gratification is changing the way we deliver services

June 14, 2018

Messaging, particularly in the developed world is still in its infancy when it comes to the features being offered in the chat environment. Increasingly, WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger are the most important platforms in the developed world and they provide a gateway to businesses through APIs. The impact of this cannot be understated. Consumers can now connect with brands in a way they have never been able to before and can start asking questions directly.

In a world where Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp are responsible for 60 billion messages daily, there is no doubt that messaging is thriving – often with the expectation of an instant response. Pepijn Rijvers, Chief Marketing Officer at Booking.com, shares his thoughts on how this behaviour is changing service delivery.

Get the full story at Booking.com

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

What traditional marketers need to know about SEO

June 14, 2018

Just as many SEOs and digital marketers seem to be unaware that brand advertising and creative campaigns are very much alive and well, traditional marketers need to know that digital channels and tools are now necessary in integrated marketing communications.

As a recent Searchmetrics study found, getting found in Google search results is more relevant than ever. Statista also projects the that SEO spending will increase to $79 billion by 2020:

So, it’s time to fix the promotion mix by recognising and adding search engine optimisation to that collection of tactics because appearing in search engine results is another promotional method that can extend the reach of one’s marketing efforts.

Get the full story at The Drum

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

Airbnb on OTAs: “We have a community model as opposed to a commodity model”

June 14, 2018

To give you a taster of what you can expect from the upcoming "Direct Booking Summit: Europe" in Amsterdam (June 27/28), Triptease is interviewing Robin Clifford of Airbnb.

Triptease: What are Airbnb's main goals for 2018?

Robin: We want to build a community that is for everyone. There have been over 300 million guest arrivals at Airbnb listings, but we want to do more to make it easier for everyone to find the home or experience that works for them.

Just one example, we will soon be making it easier for people to search for the exact type of listing they require by introducing four new property types including Vacation Home, Unique, B&Bs and Boutiques and we are also adding new Collections for family and work to offer inspirational content for different genres of travel.

For Trips, we recently added a further 7,000 experiences and in the last couple of months have launched in a further 15 cities. As we expand and enhance the platform to include all these new innovations, we will continue to work to achieve our mission - creating a world where anyone can belong anywhere.

Get the full story at Triptease

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

Protel and TrustYou collaboration enables automated survey and guest data processes

June 14, 2018

Protel clients, who are not yet TrustYou users, can sign up for TrustYou’s free survey lite version to benefit from the state-of-the-art solution and start a free 14-day-trial to test the other features. TrustYou’s recently awarded guest feedback platform offers solutions to manage, monitor, and analyze guest feedback with reputation management, guest messaging, survey and review marketing tools.

“We believe that this new partnership is of immense benefit to our and protel’s clients,” says Michael Menzel, Chief Revenue Officer at TrustYou. “The cooperation with protel will automate processes like the upload of guest data and will help to collect more guest surveys in a very time-saving and efficient way. We’re very excited about this new opportunity to make our hotel’s lives easier and frictionless.”

"We help hotels to get the most out of technology, but the significant difference is our pre-integrated, and collaborative platform," says Jeremy Armes, VP of Marketing at protel. "This exciting partnership with TrustYou demonstrates how protel encourages opportunity from across a trusted and diverse vendor base, to deliver vendor-neutral, best-of-breed functionality into all hotels on protel.I/O."

Related Link: TrustYou

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

How AI will make hotel distribution smarter

June 13, 2018

Because of its vast complexity and reliance on a large quantity of data, hotel distribution is one area of the travel sector that has the potential to be greatly improved by artificial intelligence.

In today’s hotel distribution landscape, inventory information such as rates and availability data are passed from one party to another through a variety of methods, including manual data entry, channel manager, and direct connectivity. As a result, the hotel distribution systems today are like a bunch of old and new machines duct-taped together.

Artificial intelligence has the potential to change this by improving communications, discovery, and customer service among travel providers, travel agents, and travelers they’re looking to reach. Artificial intelligence also creates an incentive to consolidate data. And while the current AI technology is still in an early stage, it’s moving faster than many realize. Soon, thanks to Google Cloud AutoML and other efforts, companies of all sizes will be putting cutting-edge AI algorithms to use.

Get the full story at Skift

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

U.S. Hotel Industry Outlook - June 2018

June 13, 2018

Consequently, stocks in the Hotels and Motels Industry have put on an impressive show in the past year, handily outperforming the broader market, as a reflection of this positive backdrop. The Zacks Hotels and Motels Industry has rallied 20.2%, surpassing the S&P 500 index's gain of 14.5%.

The industry looks attractive, owing to rise in occupancy rate and gain in commercial transient demand. Further, we note that rising employment, higher real income and increased household net worth reinforced consumer confidence and sentiment. This has resulted in a steady rise in business and leisure travel, and higher transaction volumes, which are likely to continue.

Going forward, consumer and business spending are expected to keep the mood upbeat, suggesting that the U.S. economy will remain on solid footing in 2018. In fact, the Atlanta Federal Reserve's GDPNow model forecasts healthy 4.8% (annualized rate) GDP growth in second-quarter 2018.

Get the full story at Nasdaq.com

Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/u.s._hotel_industry_outlook_june_2018

IHG launches new upscale brand, Voco

June 13, 2018

The roll-out of voco will begin in IHG’s Europe, Middle East, Asia & Africa (EMEAA) region, with plans to take it to the Americas and Greater China over time. The new brand will drive significant incremental growth for IHG, with an expectation to open more than 200 voco hotels in attractive urban and leisure locations over the next 10 years.

IHG announced plans last month to expand its luxury and upscale estate in the UK through a conditional agreement with Covivio (formerly Foncière des Régions) to rebrand and operate 12 high quality open hotels and one pipeline hotel into its portfolio across the UK. This deal will establish an important presence for voco in the UK with a number of these properties converting to the new brand in the coming months.

Today, IHG has confirmed the first signing for the voco brand outside of Europe will be the Watermark Hotel & Spa Gold Coast, Surfers Paradise, Australia. The 388-room hotel is located at the heart of Surfers Paradise, a few steps away from the beach, and offers guests two swimming pools and 800sqm of meeting space. The property is shortly to be acquired by IHG’s long-standing partner, SB&G, which currently owns five other IHG hotels in Australia. The hotel is due to open under the voco flag in late 2018.

Get the full story at IHG

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

TripAdvisor most widely used for restaurant reviews

June 13, 2018

Survey respondents were “consumers registered with TripAdvisor who agreed to complete company-sponsored surveys through CVENT.”

TripAdvisor says results show it’s the most widely used and trusted restaurant review and discovery site across all five countries surveyed. In the US market, here’s the usage breakdown:

At home:

TripAdvisor: 78%
Yelp: 41%
Google: 28%
Facebook: 12%

While traveling:

TripAdvisor: 93%
Yelp: 32%
Google: 24%
Facebook: 7%

Get the full story at Search Engine Land

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

Google testing “similar hotels” feature

June 13, 2018

Search Engine Roundtable was not able to replicate the search results but shows screenshots taken by Brad Brewer.

The feature would definitely make sense, if the similar hotels are really similar and not just the ones with the highest bids. It could not only inspire travelers to check out alternative hotels that meet their search criteria, but also help promote hotels that don't benefit from strong search brands.

Get the full story at Search Engine Roundtable

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

Facebook to ban advertisers with poor customer feedback

June 13, 2018

Customers can now send feedback directly to Facebook about their experiences with businesses. The system is being introduced due to frustrations customers have after purchasing things from Facebook advertisers.

A short one-tap survey will be available after a user completes a purchase that was initiated through a Facebook ad. Users can rate their experience with a sad face, a neutral face, or a happy face. A questionnaire will then appear so the user can provide more information.

Feedback will be shared with businesses only if they receive a large volume of negative feedback. Facebook will give the business a chance to improve before taking further action.

Get the full story at Search Engine Journal and Facebook

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

The impact of rate blending on parity

June 13, 2018

For the uninitiated, rate blending is a technique whereby OTAs can ensure they're providing the customer with the best rate by mixing different rate plans to meet the search parameters.

Confused? Let's break it down with an example.

Hotel A is promoting a two-night special whereby guests get a 50% discount when booking a two-night stay on particular dates. This special is also available on Booking.com. Now, imagine a guest searches for Hotel A on Booking.com for the dates June 19-20th. The special rate applies to the night of the 19th, but not to the night of the 20th. Where Hotel A's website would show the guest two nights at the full rate (because the search dates do not meet the conditions of the offer), Booking.com would take one ordinary rate and one night's worth of the 'special' rate, add them together, and serve the guest a cheaper offer.

Get the full story at Triptease

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

Metasearch: is it right for your hotel?

June 13, 2018

OTAs are indirect booking channels that own the relationships with your guests. Metasearch sites, on the other hand, are primarily not booking channels. They are advertising platforms on which hotels (and OTAs!) can market their inventory. From the price-sensitive consumer perspective, metasearch sites have the distinct perceived advantage of being a one-stop shop—it’s a way to research hotels available during their desired travel dates, read reviews and compare prices between different booking channels (including the OTAs).

However, we’ve recently seen a blurring of the lines between OTAs and metasearch sites. First, a sweeping trend of industry consolidation has led to acquisitions; like Kayak by Priceline and Trivago by Expedia. Also, much like the OTAs, TripAdvisor and Google have integrated inventory into their search results with a Book Now button, leading many to wonder whether a hybrid OTA/metasearch model is on the way.

Given this information many hoteliers are asking, do I really need to invest time and money in metasearch?

Get the full story at Tambourine

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

How Booking.com plans to keep its edge over Airbnb

June 12, 2018

Booking.com is the biggest travel company in the world focused on accommodation - what CEO and president Gillian Tans calls “the most crucial part of the trip.”

But in recent years, the more than 20-year-old brand - the largest part of Booking Holdings, which also owns the likes of Priceline, Kayak, and OpenTable - has started to feel some serious heat from U.S. upstart Airbnb.

In April, Booking.com said that it had hit 5 million non-hotel listings, a figure that had grown 27% in the last year. Airbnb, meanwhile, is hot on its heels with 4.85 million listings.

Get the full story at Fortune

View also "How disruption keeps booking.com one step ahead" at Fortune (Video)

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

Expedia throws a wrinkle into travel packages

June 12, 2018

Expedia on Wednesday will introduce Expedia Add-On Advantage, enabling customers to essentially create a travel package without having to buy the components at the same time. The hotel can be booked any time before their trip begins.

Aaron Price, senior vice president of global marketing for Brand Expedia, called booking a package "a great way to save," but that booking the components at the same time "requires more planning and money up front than adding on a hotel at a later date."

"We want to alleviate that pressure so travelers can take their time researching neighborhoods, comparing hotel amenities, reading guest reviews, etc. So our rationale for the Add-On Advantage is really an adjustment to our current offering with the aim to better serve travelers," he said.

Get the full story at Travel Weekly

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

Business Travel: Using advanced analytics to save on hotels

June 12, 2018

In most agreements, there is a buyer willing to make purchase commitments and a seller or supplier willing to provide a product or service for a price, plus the appropriate discounts. But with hotel negotiations, neither party makes a hard commitment.

Instead, buyers make soft commitments for room nights and suppliers make soft commitments for price and product, supplementing with loosely defined terms such as last room availability. Room night commitments are rarely met because companies struggle to control hotel spend among travelers or to shift share to preferred suppliers. On the other side of the equation, the negotiated price or product is only realized on average 60 percent of the time.

In other words, six to nine months of effort is wasted each year across the industry for a company to maybe obtain a discount and for a hotel to maybe obtain additional volume.

Get the full story at Business Travel News

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

Is the travel research faff half of the fun?

June 12, 2018

According to Rod Cuthbert, former chairman of Viator and founder of Rome2rio, an online travel planning and booking agency, spending weeks researching a family trip is half the fun.

“I’m constantly amused by technologists in the travel industry who want to shorten the search and discovery time for consumers,” he told the EyeforTravel Europe summit in London last week. “It’s a crucial part of the satisfaction, looking at hotels while they are sitting at their desk at work three weeks before their trip. They want it to take days, to look at a dozen sites. People don’t want the answer in 300 milliseconds and they will avoid those products.”

“If I’m a business person in London wanting to go to Manchester yet again and can talk to an assistant, that’s fantastic,” he added. “But if I’m taking the family on a three-week trip to Sicily, then I want to stretch out that search and discovery process.”

Get the full story at EyeForTravel

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

Almost 700 travel agents went out of business in the UK last year

June 12, 2018

The shift to digital continues relentlessly: almost 700 high street travel agents closed their shutters in the UK last year, due to stiff competition with online rivals, according to a new report from the Local Data Company (LDC).

LDC’s retail and leisure trends report found that 679 travel agency outlets closed in 2017, accounting for the third highest number of business closures among high street sector operators. Pubs saw the biggest decline with 747 outlets shutting their doors, followed closely by banks which closed 711 branches.

Ian Bell, head of travel and tourism at RSM, said: “The competition from online travel firms is not a new phenomenon but the pace of decline among high street operators is still quite alarming. Consumers are still choosing to visit the high street in large numbers, but the overwhelming majority prefer the ease and convenience of booking their holidays online.”.

Get the full story at Travel Daily

Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/almost_700_travel_agents_went_out_of_business_in_the_uk_last_year

A best practice guide to PPC for hotels

June 12, 2018

To ensure your PPC has a sound foundation, consider these five best practices.

Space and time targeting

Consider where users are at the time of the search and which device they are using. Queries such as “Hotel near me” are more relevant to your business if users are within a few miles away from your hotel rather than if they are many miles away. Include a GEO-local campaign into your strategy so you can manage budget and bids independently from other campaigns.

“…near me” searches can have different levels of urgency if users search these terms in the morning or in the afternoon. Include different messaging in your strategy based on the time of the day and distinguish your business from other brands by being more relevant.

Queries such as “Where I can find a Hotel near me” are more likely to be used on a mobile device or home assistant, rather than desktop. You can enhance your account by adapting ad copy content based on device. If you know that people are favouring one device over another, make the most of it.

The best way to capture mobile device users’ attention is to provide a special offer just for them. For example, a promotional offer on rates via PPC on mobile devices could boost ROI from online mobile bookings.

Get the full story at Tnooz

Read also "The ultimate guide to website design for hotels" at Tnooz

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

How do Instagram’s new features compare to Facebook for hotels?

June 12, 2018

Once all hotels can implement this, it could prove even more effective than Facebook in driving bookings, as organic reach for businesses on this channel continues to dwindle.

The growth of Instagram and potential reach could start to far outweigh Facebook – especially considering the young audience of the photo-sharing platform.

Travel companies and destination pages are some of the most popular on Instagram, with images of destinations, hotels or restaurants frequently receiving hundreds of thousands of likes. Marriott Hotels’ Instagram account has 287,000 followers while Hilton Hotels & Resorts has 226,000 followers, and IHG’s InterContinental brand has 146,000 followers.

Get the full story at SiteMinder

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

The cost of direct sales. Part I: calculation

June 12, 2018

Few basic issues of hotel marketing are surrounded by so much lack of knowledge and are subject to so many manipulations. We hear hoteliers say that “It costs nothing”, reports funded by OTAs which reach the conclusion that they incur the same high costs as intermediated ones and others which state that nobody knows the cost.

Most independent hoteliers would not be able to respond with an exact figure. Knowing it will justify and allow you to quantify your direct sales boosting actions at the expense of other channels, which comes with the savings estimate it entails.

Get the full story at Mirai

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

Hotel CEOs discuss demand, disruptors and data

June 11, 2018

The CEOs of AccorHotels, MGM Resorts International, Hilton and Marriott International had a lot to say on the topics of demand, disruptors and macro travel trends at the NYU International Hospitality Industry Investment Conference last week, and they set a positive mood for the rest of the conference when they took the general session stage on Monday.

“Think about being here a year ago on this stage,” said Chris Nassetta, president and CEO of Hilton. “Maybe ‘fear’ is a strong word, but there was quite a bit of trepidation about where the industry was going from a fundamentals point of view. I think the biggest change over the last 12 months is that while we certainly have things to worry about, my guess is everyone in the room feels a lot better than we did a year ago.”

“I think we’re in an absolute war for who owns the customer,” Marriott International President and CEO Arne Sorenson said. “We have disruptors who are without a doubt trying to take ownership of our customers. I think less about Airbnb than I do about Google and Facebook and these digital empires who own all of us for some things—you can add Amazon to that list, too.”

Get the full story at HNN

Get the full story at "Hotels consider tech giants their biggest threat"

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

Airbnb suffers blow in APAC with new legal rulings

June 11, 2018

Japan and New South Wales in Australia have put a cap on the number of days that people can rent their properties. In Thailand, the court ruled that it is illegal to rent out a room on a daily or weekly basis.

Supporters of the regulations argue that, while the service provides a wider range of lodging options for budget-conscious travellers, Airbnb is detrimental to housing prices and supply as well as the identity of the community.

These hurdles are nothing new for the home-sharing company. A number of cities like Paris, Barcelona, Berlin, New York, and San Francisco have in the past set up special regulations to short-term rentals and it seems that APAC is simply catching up.

Get the full story at Travel Daily

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

eBook: Insights about American Boomer and Millennial Travelers

June 11, 2018

When it comes to online travel, it’s no surprise that Millennials are going mobile with 62 percent of them looking for travel inspiration via their mobile device. On the other hand, while less likely to use mobile devices, Boomers are following in Millennials’ online footsteps, with nearly half of them spending almost 11 hours a week online.

With so much online traffic, you may be wondering where can you reach these two generations while they are looking for travel inspiration? As it turns out, the two best places to reach them are through OTAs and search engines. Both generations scour for deals via these two types of sites so advertising with OTAs and making sure your site is SEO friendly are both important tactics.


Get the full story at Egencia and eBook "American Boomer Versus Millennial Travelers" at Egencia (free registration)

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

Hotels in dire need of a payment revolution

June 11, 2018

Secure payment, also known as ‘3D Secure’, is the only way to charge on a credit card without the possibility of a chargeback by the client. A ‘secure payment’ implies the confirmation of identity through the use of a validation PIN number which the client always introduces on the bank’s website (never on the hotel’s website) and this, for legal purposes, is as good as if the client was at the hotel, showed his identification and signed the paper.

On the other hand, we have ‘unsafe payments’, in which the client has not validated his identity in which the client has not validated his identity and which can easily be charged back with, for example, a police report. Furthermore, the client has a deadline of around 120 days to do so, so until this whole time has passed, you cannot be sure that you will receive the money.

An added problem is that not all credit cards support ‘secure payment’ and only accept ‘unsafe payments’. At the tail end of the implementation of secure payments is almost the whole of Latin America and the United States. However, in Europe and Japan, secure payments enjoy a widespread use. Therefore, when configuring a payment gateway on your website, do it properly so that you demand ‘secure payment’ if the card supports it but also allowing ‘unsafe payment’ in order not to lose out on bookings with cards that don’t support it. Only accepting ‘secure payments’ will mean that you will lose out on bookings made by users whose cards don’t support it.

Get the full story at mirai

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

Worried about big tech? Chinese giants make America’s look tame

June 11, 2018

Tencent Holdings and the Alibaba Group are ratcheting up their no-holds-barred contest to dominate the ways 770 million internet users communicate, shop, get around, entertain themselves and even invest their savings and visit the doctor.

The two titans long ago branched out from their core businesses - games and social media for Tencent, e-commerce for Alibaba - to duke it out in ever more realms of Chinese life. They have competed in messaging, microblogging and delivering takeout. They go head-to-head in video streaming and cloud computing.

Today, their fiercest fight is over digital money kept on smartphones. Mobile payments have transformed the Chinese economy. Both giants, plus Ant Financial, an Alibaba sister firm, are spending big to gobble up pieces of the action.

Get the full story at The New York Times

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

Social media engagement is the new social media marketing

June 11, 2018

Here are a few reasons why social media engagement is a vital part of any social media marketing strategy.

1. Simply broadcasting content results in low reach and referral traffic

Over the last few years, organic reach (on Facebook in particular) has dropped so dramatically that some people have questioned the viability of organic posting at all.

In 2018, Facebook also announced that they would change their post ranking algorithm to prioritize personal posts over brand page posts in the News Feed. A key part of the change is that they are using “meaningful engagement” as an important signal that a post should be prioritized.

In other words, posts with more active and thoughtful interactions will get more reach.

Get the full story at Buffer

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

Webinar: How top-performing hotels maximize revenue

June 11, 2018

The webinar, “How to Evaluate and Select the Right Hotel Revenue Technology,” will take place Wednesday, June 13, at noon EST. Click here to learn more and to register for the event.

Not only can next-generation technology provide an accurate window into future hotel demand; it also can automate pricing decisions to maximize room occupancy and overall revenue performance. For hoteliers, the investment in upgraded revenue management capabilities generally pays off in spades, with a RevPAR increase of 10 percent or higher for some types of hotels, according to Starfleet Research.

The webinar will delve into several important questions, including:

- How can hoteliers maximize the value of their investment in Revenue Strategy?
- What are the biggest pitfalls with Revenue Strategy, and how can they be avoided?
- What are the must-have technology capabilities and data sources?
- What organizational resources, business processes and performance metrics should be used to maximize success?
- How do hoteliers drive continuous performance improvement?

Register for the webinar at Duetto

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

RateGain integrates with IDS Next For effective channel management

June 11, 2018

RateGain Technologies, the market leader in hotel channel and revenue management, today made a key announcement of its integration with IDS Next, a leading provider of ERP and technology solutions for the hospitality and leisure industry. This connectivity will enable RateGain to manage and distribute all three: Availability, Rate and Inventory for all its partner hotels. With this enhanced connectivity, RateGain’s channel manager is the first to have successfully connected to IDS Next on all the parameters of distribution.

The partnership would enable the hotels connected with RateGain and IDS to experience a more automated process of rates and inventory distribution. This would further drive higher levels of efficiency leading to revenue maximization for hotel partners. The upgrade would eliminate the need for any manual intervention, enabling RateGain to improve its distribution experience for all hotel partners.

Get the full story at RateGain

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

Securing last minute hotel bookings during peak season

June 08, 2018

Every hotelier and property has to deal with peaks and troughs in demand, but if rooms need to be filled at the last-minute, being able to think beyond dropping prices and taking a more strategic approach could give you that crucial competitive edge.

“Offering resort credit or a room upgrade can help persuade late bookers without denting your bottom line too much,” says Katerina Santikos, Business Development Director of Santikos Collection in Skiathos, Greece. “If your room rate is €200, for example, and you offer a 40% discount, you’ll lose €80.

“But if you instead offer a 40% resort credit [for instance] or an upgrade to a suite, the guest will get a 40% deal, but the cost to you will be much less than the €80 value the guest is getting – and you’ll get the full €200 for the room.”

These sorts of ‘value-adds’ can draw in last-minute bargain hunters, agrees Katherine Anthony, a luxury resorts marketing director. But she advises thinking carefully about the ones that will appeal to your typical guests, such as free high-speed Wi-Fi, parking or laundry if you tend to welcome business travellers.

Get the full story at Booking.com

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

Booking Holdings eyes opportunities to acquire firms for profitable growth

June 08, 2018

Todd Henrich, senior vice president of corporate development at Booking Holdings, the parent of Booking.com and KAYAK, cited the recent $50 million acquisition of FareHarbor as a good example.

Although Booking remains in the market for more spectacular deals, as last year’s $550 million buyout of Cheapflights parent Momondo Group showed, Henrich indicated it was more interested in “tucking opportunities” allowing specialist firms to scale globally within the larger group.

FareHarbor was a Hawaiian-based B2B platform for tours and activities which has been relocated to Amsterdam and now drives the firm’s activity in that sector for booking.com, said Henrich.

He said a decade ago as Booking was scaling it was looking for strong firms that could stand alone which he said “works to a certain point”, but you end up with a “loose affiliation of brands”.

Get the full story at Travolution

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

What makes business travelers book in or out of policy

June 08, 2018

Location (to be closer to the meeting or event venue, to stay in a saver location, and to stay in a more convenient location) is the main reason, business travelers book outside their travel policy. Followed by "safe the company money" and "to be at the same hotel as the client."

"A percentage of savings going into travelers paychecks" incentives business travelers the most to book within policy, followed by "bonus paid time off" and "earnings credit towards a gift or future travel."

Get the full story at Business Travel News

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

Egencia on why you should book your next business trip hotel with them

June 08, 2018

Of course you save time and money booking your business travel with Egencia, but according to the company there are more reasons how booking your hotel with Egencia makes your trip an altogether better experience.

1. Earn loyalty points: You’re earning your salary on your trip and you can be earning loyalty points too! With Egencia it’s easy to add your loyalty programmes to your profile so you’re earning all the points you can.

2. The choices are yours: We know business travel begins with you… but sometimes your colleagues are there too. If you’re hoping to join them for dinner, or are trying to avoid them, we can tell you which hotel your colleagues book most during the year, so you get to have that choice!

3. Get some extra sleep: Sometimes being close to the office is the most important part of planning your trip. With a booking map that shows your office locations, you’ll be able to easily find the closest accommodation and know you are staying within your company’s business travel policy, all while being on time to your first meeting and getting some extra sleep.

Get the full story at Egencia

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

The travel industry is not prepared for blockchain

June 08, 2018

This question dominated many discussions at EyeforTravel Europe this week where 90% of delegates attending a blockchain workshop, and numerous C-Level executives over the course of the two days, admitted to being unprepared.

For David Brillembourg, CEO of Brillembourg Group, who has launched STEP, a simple travel ecosystem protocol for the hospitality industry, the answer is clear. “It is happening. Don’t try to doubt it. There are 100s of problems to solve. Will they be solved? Yes. Absolutely,” he told EyeforTravel.com in an interview.

Joerg Esser, a theoretical physicist and Roland Berger consultant, who ran the workshop, argued the blockchain discussion to date has become too focused on the technology. Instead the focus should be: what does blockchain actually mean for companies?

In Esser’s view, it requires businesses to radically simplify, which is a very tough task because “you can’t simplify unless you really narrowly define what you stand for”. Secondly, businesses need to team up like never before with a completely different take on partnerships.

Get the full story at EyeForTravel

Read also "Is blockchain overhyped?"

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

OTAs dominate paid search on Google UK in Q1

June 08, 2018

The research, by Kantar Media, found each spent over £7 million on search with the dominant global search engine on the keywords that were monitored. Unsurprisingly global OTA Booking.com was found to have splashed out the most – almost £20 million.

The study identified TripAdvisor as the clear leader when it came to organic search in the first three months of the year. TripAdvisor saw over twice as many impressions and almost twice as many clicks as lastminute.com, its nearest rival in the travel sector, with an estimated PPC value of over £120 million.

Of the three biggest PPC spenders, only Booking.com features amongst the top six sites for organic search impressions.

Get the full story at Travolution

Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/otas_dominate_paid_search_on_google_uk_in_q1

Debunking the impact of blockchain on hotel distribution

June 08, 2018

Any blockchain player has to tackle the complexity of hospitality technology, consisting of many moving parts, including old legacy systems that are barely functioning, co-existing with ultra-modern, next-gen apps and promising AI and blockchain implementations. Where do you start? Deep integrations/two-way APIs are needed with legacy systems like PMS, CRS, Hotel Switches, GDS, and Channel Managers in order to build real-time hotel inventory availability and pricing connectivity with hotel chains, mid-size and smaller brands, and independents.

To achieve any “commissionless” distribution, the blockchain system needs to replace all of these legacy systems, not just interface with them. Who will pay for this huge investment? Where would a blockchain distribution system recuperate its investments in APIs, ongoing API management, or completely replacing the legacy distribution systems?

Get the full story at HEBS Digital

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

5 ways of optimising your email marketing strategy

June 08, 2018

The use of email marketing is one of the most economical and valuable methods of connecting with an audience. It allows you to build a relationship with both past and future guests, as well as providing you with the opportunity to have multiple touch points with them. However, we are all aware of how many emails we get bombarded with on a daily basis.

How can your email stand out from all the rest? Keep reading for five, effective ways of optimising your email marketing strategy and consequently increasing your email’s click-through rate.

Get the full story at Net Affinity

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

How TripAdvisor ranks hotels

June 07, 2018

The latest update was designed to provide a fairer and more consistent form of ranking that looks at “performance over time”.

TripAdvisor hasn’t explicitly described how the algorithm has been tweaked, but indicates that a hotel that’s received consistently good ratings for a decade will outrank a hotel that’s gained excellent reviews over a few months, but been less popular before. As a result of this algorithm update, some hotels have seen their ranking move up, while others have gone down.

The current version of the algorithm is based on assessing three areas: quality, recency and quantity. Let’s look at how each of these work in more detail.

Get the full story at Travel Tripper

Read also "TripAdvisor’s narrative is changing"

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

HomeAway adding hotels via Expedia Affiliate Network

June 07, 2018

HomeAway is adding hotel suites and home-like lodging from Expedia under the theory that expanding the number and types of properties improves conversions of lookers to bookers on HomeAway’s sites.

So HomeAway’s VRBO site Tuesday was offering stays at Sonesta ES Suites Chicago-Lombard in Highland Hills, Illinois, and The Historic Powhatan Resort by Diamond Resorts in Williamsburg, Virginia - both of which came through HomeAway’s relationship with the Expedia Affiliate Network.

Apparently, HomeAway is mostly looking to fill gaps by adding hotels from Expedia in markets where HomeAway doesn’t have a lot of offerings, such as in some urban locations. That’s where Airbnb is particularly strong, and HomeAway is weak. HomeAway can add any hotels from sites that have Expedia Affiliate Network agreements.

Get the full story at Skift

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

How smaller OTAs find ways to grab customers

June 07, 2018

According to Phocuswright's U.S. Online Travel Overview 17th Edition Report published in February, OTAs' market share rose to 19% in 2017 from 17% in 2015. Booking Holdings brands Priceline and Booking.com accounted for 23% of the U.S. OTA market share last year, while Expedia brands (excluding Egencia and HomeAway) accounted for 69%.

That equates to a massive 92% of the OTA market share, leaving 8% for smaller players. Still, the non-Expedia and Booking market share did increase 1% in 2017.

"It's definitely difficult to compete with companies that are as large and as successful as many of the OTAs are," said Dakota Smith, head of growth and business at Hopper, an app that analyzes billions of flights to help users find the best deals. "Travel is a very interesting space, but it's also a very competitive space."

Get the full story at Travel Weekly

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

Skift’s top travel startups to watch 2018

June 07, 2018

Skift only included startups that have raised less than $25 million in venture funding. The reason? Skift reviewed hundreds of emerging travel companies over nearly six years, and have found that fundraising is a separate skill from building solid companies.

Bidroom - an Amazon Prime for hotel bookings
Booking Holdings and Expedia Group are squeezing independent hotels with commissions and costs that can total as much as 30 percent. Many owners are eager for alternatives. Bidroom aims to offer one, charging hotels zero commissions after a one-time $174, or €149, fee. It charges travelers $69, or €59, a year for access. Recent changes in contracts between the online travel giants and hotels allow each side to offer discounted rates via membership-based platforms. Credit card issuer Visa is marketing Bidroom to its users in Europe.

Fornova - helping hotels preserve rate integrity
Fornova got its start, essentially, as the world’s most sophisticated web scraper. It helped customers like Priceline and Expedia trawl online rates for hotels and compare how often hotels and other websites were undercutting them on price. The startup has since expanded with an array of technologies that help hotels maintain the integrity of their rates. So far, Marriott, Accor, and other hotel groups use Fornova to monitor and benchmark online rates and automatically react to ensure they sell every room in the smartest way.

Get the full story at Skift

Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/skifts_top_travel_startups_to_watch_2018

US business travel thriving

June 07, 2018

Though the raw numbers are in positive territory, the U.S. continues to trail other global travel heavyweights in capturing share of the booming international travel market.

The most noteworthy component of the April TTI was domestic business travel, which grew for a fourth consecutive month—the first four-month win streak for that segment since January-April 2015. Forward-looking bookings and searches for business travel appear to be on an upswing as well, leading to a strong business Leading Travel Index (LTI)—the forecasting portion of TTI.

"While travel overall is relatively healthy, particularly domestic business travel, the U.S. travel industry continues to register concern over a declining share of the global travel market," said U.S. Travel Senior Vice President for Research David Huether. "Business confidence was soft earlier in the economic recovery, but now we're seeing a resurgence that is attributable in part to the recent tax cuts and a more favorable regulatory environment."

Get the full story at U.S. Travel (PDF 345 KB)

Read also "US: Promising signs for group demand"

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

How a restaurants group makes the most out of influencer marketing

June 07, 2018

But for brands, particularly restaurants, a natural caution remains, as the ability to manage and balance the needs of regular customers while attracting people who can help a brand stand out on everything from Instagram to Google Maps is something eateries never had to deal before.

And as Influencers become more professional and powerful, knowing how to work with them is an essential marketing discipline that brands are learning through trial and error, says Julie Zucker, director of marketing and promotions for Branded Restaurants, which represents two multi-location New York City casual dining establishments, the retro diner Big Daddy’s and the southern roadhouse Duke’s.

Get the full story at GeoMarketing

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

These 10 things are probably broken with your hotel marketing

June 07, 2018

In order for your marketing to work at its potential all systems must be functioning, and when you built them… they were. Unfortunately, over time things break, stop working, change or are simply just forgotten.

One of the oft-forgotten aspects of a great hotel marketing effort is going back and checking what you “think” is working great. When you do this, you’ll more than likely find that what you thought was a fine-tuned marketing machine is in dire need of some maintenance.

In Fuel Travel’s history we have built and optimized hundreds of sites, booking systems, and marketing programs. We have also found (sometimes the hard way) several things that seem to just break on their own. We recommend you test all your systems at least quarterly and this checklist of hotel marketing fails will give you a great start of where to look.

Get the full story at Fuel Travel

Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/these_10_things_are_probably_broken_with_your_hotel_marketing

The new TrustYou HQ office in Munich

June 07, 2018

This week at TrustYou's HQ office in Munich, we’re celebrating again! Our team of around 70 adventurers has finally moved to our new office in the Sendling district, a neighborhood located southwest of the center of Munich. This area is filled with local shops, cute cafes, and multiple indoor and outdoor sports facilities, the perfect combination to make this space our new home.

Our new home has enough space to increase opportunities for our entire team to interact casually and naturally. Better yet, we now have more room and facilities to welcome our guests, partners, and the global TrustYou team - whether they are visiting us from our offices in San Diego, Cluj, Singapore, Tokyo, Madrid, or from our remote locations.

With more than 1,300 square meters (14,000 square feet), our office has doubled in size and now provides everything needed to continue our journey, the TrustYou Adventure, and continue our spot as the market leader in the field of guest feedback and online reputation management.

Get the full story at TrustYou

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

How Airbnb is growing with online marketing

June 06, 2018

Online advertising is one of the most effective ways to reach potential new hosts and to increase awareness about Airbnb. It includes email marketing, search engine marketing (SEM), social media marketing, and display advertising.

After extensive research, Airbnb has developed an internal online advertising system to expand its host base, and the number of hosts acquired through online advertising system has grown exponentially. During the system development, it found that abundant information is available about how advertising platforms such as Google and Facebook monetize with advertising, but there is only very limited information about how large marketplaces like Airbnb can fully utilize these platforms.

This post provides an architectural overview of the marketing system Airbnb built and discuss the main issues that were tackled in the system.

Get the full story at Airbnb

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

Competition increasing from hotels and OTAs for Airbnb

June 06, 2018

As a result, in its latest forecast on shared lodging users, eMarketer has lowered its projections for Airbnb usage.

In 2018, Airbnb will have 38.4 million users in the US, up more than 13% over 2017. However, in its last year, we projected Airbnb would have 43.2 million users this year. In fact, we're now expecting Airbnb to add just 6.1 million users in the US by 2021, far fewer than the 17.6 million previously predicted.

“Airbnb saw healthy growth in its infancy because it was often more affordable than hotels,” said eMarketer forecasting analyst Jaimie Chung. “However, user growth is plateauing as competition from online travel agents like Expedia and Travelocity grows. Travelers also have lingering concerns about security and privacy following several high-profile incidents.”

Get the full story at eMarketer

Read also "Airbnb continues to show strong growth. But an IPO is still a long way off" at SharesPost

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

What Accor’s interest in Air France-KLM means for the travel industry

June 06, 2018

Nothing is official yet, far from it. Or as AccorHotels CEO Sebastien Bazin said Monday: “A bit too early” to speculate. But the possibility of Accor buying up the French government’s 14.3 percent stake in troubled airline group Air France-KLM is garnering plenty of industry interest.

This potential investment, first reported on Sunday, suggests that travel brands are increasingly looking to complementary businesses - either to invest in directly or to partner with - to increase the engagement they have with travelers and to become experience platforms, and not just travel brands.

For a hospitality company such as AccorHotels, that means branching out beyond just hotels or even homesharing and, potentially, getting into aviation, or working with airline partners more closely than ever before.

Get the full story at Skift

Read also "AccorHotels sells AccorInvest, considers taking stake in Air France-KLM"

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

The future of ecommerce according to Mary Meeker

June 06, 2018

In a survey of 1,000 US consumers, 78% of 18-34-year-olds said they had discovered products on Facebook within the last three months that they were interested in buying. Fifty-nine percent also reported discovering products on Instagram and Pinterest, demonstrating the power of visual social media for retail discovery.

Even more impressively, 55% of respondents across all age groups (aged between 18 and 65) reported buying a product online after discovering it on social media – with 44% buying immediately, and 11% reporting that they bought the product later.

Meeker also noted that the share of referrals from social feeds to ecommerce sites is on the rise. According to data gathered by Adobe, the percentage of ecommerce referrals coming from social networks has risen four percentage points in three years, from 2% in Q1 2015 to 6% in Q1 2018.

Get the full story at Econsultancy

Read also "Here’s Mary Meeker’s essential 2018 Internet Trends report"

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

Web-based PMS Mews closes €6m Series A funding

June 06, 2018

Mews’ platform automates check-ins and payments as also covering booking management and staff training. It’s designed to be an open platform allowing other tools and apps to connect through its API. So, think ‘Slack for hotels’, perhaps.

Mews was founded in 2012 by entrepreneur and ex-hotelier Richard Valtr. Customers include Different Hotels, Machefert, Clink and Wombats, or 43,000 beds in 350 properties.

Valtr said: “Mews’ mission is to help hotels and hostels automate their operations so they can focus on their guests. We want to build the nervous system for hotels that all apps and tools for both guests and hosts can be plugged into. Until recently hoteliers were forced to rely upon a closed one-stop-shop PMS offered up by incumbent players who have held a luddite attitude towards the hospitality industry for years.”

Get the full story at TechCrunch

Related Link: Mews

Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/web-based_pms_mews_closes_6m_series_a_funding

How Instagram’s algorithm works

June 06, 2018

Instagram relies on machine learning based on your past behavior to create a unique feed for everyone. Even if you follow the exact same accounts as someone else, you’ll get a personalized feed based on how you interact with those accounts.

Three main factors determine what you see in your Instagram feed:

1. Interest: How much Instagram predicts you’ll care about a post, with higher ranking for what matters to you, determined by past behavior on similar content and potentially machine vision analyzing the actual content of the post.

2. Recency: How recently the post was shared, with prioritization for timely posts over weeks-old ones.

3. Relationship: How close you are to the person who shared it, with higher ranking for people you’ve interacted with a lot in the past on Instagram, such as by commenting on their posts or being tagged together in photos.

Get the full story at TechCrunch

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

How to create great destination content using Airbnb’s Guidebook approach

June 06, 2018

Airbnb Guidebooks let hosts put together a comprehensive list of destination recommendations and tips. Some cities also have city guidebooks, which are combined lists of recommendations that hosts have added to their own guidebooks.

Everything from restaurants, parks, attractions, grocery stores, tourist hotspots, and more are listed to give guests a reference point for every need they may have.

You can do the same at your property by providing a downloadable or printable PDF. Even going so far as to provide a description for each item will let guests know exactly what’s in store and where to go. Adding photos is also a great touch and every recommendation should come from a ‘local’ perspective.

Get the full story at SiteMinder

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

Radisson Hotel Group chooses ReviewPro for guest experience management

June 06, 2018

ReviewPro’s Guest Experience Improvement SuiteTM includes Online Reputation Management (ORM), Guest Satisfaction Surveys (GSS), Auto Case Management (ACM), and a Guest Messaging Hub (GMH).

This innovative solution allows Radisson Hotel Group to proactively turn guest feedback into actionable insight, increase guest satisfaction, and boost loyalty.

“Listening to our guest feedback, and effectively managing expectations, is critical to our business success,” says Eric de Neef, Executive Vice President & Global Chief Commercial Officer. “We tried and tested a suite of tools to help us get better insights, instantly, across our hotels, brands and at the group level. We found ReviewPro to be far superior and more immersive than any other tool. ReviewPro’s exceptional customer support mechanism has also helped our team get the most out of the solution, enabling us to better identify and prioritize operational and service improvements. This allows us to deliver memorable experiences to our guests consistently.”

Get the full story at ReviewPro

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

Hotels consider tech giants their biggest threat

June 05, 2018

Forget Airbnb and the sharing economy, the hotel industry's biggest nemesis today is tech giants like Google, Facebook and Amazon. That seemed to the consensus Monday during a panel of CEOs at the 40th annual NYU International Hospitality Industry Investment Conference.

"I think we are in an absolute war for who owns the customer, and it's a long-term war," Marriott International CEO Arne Sorenson said. "They are without a doubt trying to take our customers," he said. "They want to own our customers."

To be clear, he said, the hotel industry will be competing with Airbnb for years. But as Hilton CEO Christopher Nassetta noted, the "world is taking care of that" as governments have begun to adopt rules to level the competitive playing field between sharing companies and traditional hospitality companies.

Get the full story at Travel Weekly

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

Booking.com targeted by hackers with email scam asking customers for payment details

June 05, 2018

A spokesperson for Booking.com said that there had been no compromise on their systems, however.

“Security and the protection of our partner and customer data is a top priority at Booking.com. Not only do we handle all personal data in line with the highest technical standards, but we are continuously innovating our processes and systems to ensure robust security on our platform.

“In this case, there has been no compromise on Booking.com systems. A small number of properties have been targeted by phishing emails sent by cyber criminals and by clicking on those emails, the properties compromised their accounts. All potentially impacted guests have been notified and because we value our customers at Booking.com, we are supporting impacted guests to compensate for any losses incurred, and reclaim these from the property.

Get the full story at The Independent

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

Travel chatbots are having a moment

June 05, 2018

A bot is an application that performs an automated task, such as telling you the weather or conducting an online search.

Most of the bots I'm discussing here are referred to as chatbots - programs you interact with through chat. You send it a message and it responds automatically, sending you information, making a query on your behalf or booking a ticket.

Airlines are using bots to deliver boarding passes and itinerary information to customers.

The latest innovations automatically check your airline ticket to see if your fare has dropped and then negotiate a refund.

Get the full story at Dallas News

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

Report: The secrets behind Booking.com’s success

June 05, 2018

Booking.com is the most visited travel website in the world, averaging 426M visits a month. So, what digital strategies have contributed to this success?

Over the past 12-months, booking.com was able to increase global traffic by 8% - a helpful factor is the use of the same URL internationally. During this time period, Russia overtook the US as the country sending the most traffic.

As booking.com continues to compete with Airbnb, it is clear the brand is focusing on smaller international markets. We have noticed unique strategies for each market; Germany favors direct traffic, France is less direct than other European states, and Russia evenly distributed traffic sources.

Download the whitepaper at SImilarWeb (free registration)

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

Marriott unveils rehab for 81-year-old Sheraton brand

June 05, 2018

The company said 25% of Sheraton owners have committed $500 million to the renovations, which will transform the lobbies into town square-style gathering areas with what Marriott calls coffee bar-bars (the coffee bar will transform into a regular bar in the evening), partially open small meeting rooms, communal work spaces with locking drawers, and sound-proof privacy booths where guests can duck in to make quick phone calls.

The guestrooms will be modernized with a focus on larger bathrooms and a desk that can be raised or lowered to function as a sitting or standing work station, even a dining room table.

The renovation is the latest in a string of attempts to upgrade the brand, which Starwood admitted in 2007 it almost gave up on. But the brand constitutes 42% of the portfolio of hotels Marriott acquired when it bought Starwood two years ago and is now Marriott's third-largest brand.

Get the full story at Travel Weekly

Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/marriott_unveils_rehab_for_81_year_old_sheraton_brand

Apple takes direct swipe at Facebook over privacy at WWDC

June 05, 2018

During Monday's annual parade of new products and software changes, Apple said it will start asking Safari users to opt-in to the people tracking Facebook does well beyond its own borders through the like buttons and Facebook-enabled comment sections that appear on a galaxy of websites.

In other words: "We're shutting that down," said Craig Federighi, Apple's head of software engineering.

Instead of just allowing the social network to access data on internet users, a pop-up will appear in Safari asking, "Do you want to allow Facebook.com to use cookies and available data while browsing?"

Get the full story at AdAge

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

NextGuest Technologies to showcase integrated guest acquisition, engagement, and retention platform

June 05, 2018

NextGuest originally debuted this platform at HITEC Toronto in 2017. Since launching this platform, NextGuest has proven the necessity of utilizing past guest insights to inform strategy and acquire new guests while still engaging the traveler throughout every touchpoint of the travel journey.

“With the combination of the smartCMS from HEBS Digital and Serenta’s industry-leading CRM technology, NextGuest is perfectly positioned to help hoteliers completely transform their business,” said Jason Price, Executive Vice President of HEBS Digital. “We look forward to sharing our expertise with hoteliers at HITEC and to better illustrate how they can own their guest data and make smarter business decisions that ultimately maximize direct website revenue.”

Get the full story at HEBS Digital

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

TOP 100 Best Hotels in Bulgaria 2018 partners with ReviewPro

June 05, 2018

The ceremony is in its third year and winners will receive their awards in person during the event.

“To keep the awards as impartial and independent as possible, we decided to refrain from having any kind of jury”, said event director George Dutchev. “No jury can review all hotels in a selection, in contrast to the hotel guests, who book, stay and then comment and rate hotels at different review and booking platforms.”

R.J. Friedlander, Founder and CEO of ReviewPro commented, “We are pleased to have been selected by the team at HTIF as their data partner in this prestigious award ceremony”. Given the influence and importance of online reviews for hoteliers today, basing the awards on online guest ratings (the Global Review IndexTM) is the most objective approach to highlight best-of-class performers”.

Get the full story at ReviewPro

Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/top_100_best_hotels_in_bulgaria_2018_partners_with_reviewpro

Is blockchain overhyped?

June 05, 2018

Gartner surveyed 3,160 chief information officers worldwide between April and June 2017 and found that just 1% of respondents had adopted any type of blockchain technology, and only 8% planned to do so in the short term. About a third have no interest in blockchain. In the Gartner hype cycle, blockchain sits just past “peak of inflated expectations” and is on the downward slope toward “trough of disillusionment.”

Gartner researchers cited the lack of standards around blockchain as a factor that has slowed its adoption. They also noted that there’s a lot of misunderstanding among chief information officers as to how the different components of blockchain—encryption, distribution, immutability, decentralization and tokenization—function and differ from one another.

At the moment, the promise of blockchain centers more around what it may do in the future for companies rather than what it is doing right now.

Get the full story at eMarketer

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

Sabre’s CEO on going technology-first

June 04, 2018

Skift has interviewed Sabre CEO Sean Menke about his strategy and the evolving distribution landscape in the leadup to his appearance at the upcoming Skift Tech Forum on June 12 in Silicon Valley.

Skift: Sabre has been in the middle of a continued push into hotel services, among other areas. How important is it to provide a variety of different technology offerings across the sector?

Menke: When it comes to hotels, there are two customer segments that are most important to us. The first is what we call mid-market independents, which are chains that typically have anywhere from five to maybe a couple hundred properties in their system. A decade ago, these are the companies that realized they couldn’t keep up with the pace and cost of innovation, so we stepped in as a partner to drive technology solutions. Historically, this segment has been the core of our growth.

The other large segment is the enterprise space, which are the large global chains that you know well and probably frequent on your own travels. Historically the enterprise chains focused on developing their own technology, but especially now in an era of continued consolidation, we’re having conversations with every one of the large chains around their technology roadmaps and how we might partner with them to develop future technology. We saw something similar with the airlines roughly 15 years ago.

For both of those segments, I need to reiterate the importance of data and analytics – each of our solutions is more powerful when it’s driven by insights that come from data. If you were to visit a hotel’s website, log in with your loyalty number and book a room directly, they’d have a pretty good idea of your preferences as a traveler. But if you look at the other bookings that come through channels like the GDS or online travel agencies, ultimately the hotels know very little about you. That makes it very hard for hotels to create a customized offer and a guest experience that’s tailored to drive meaningful value for you personally. That’s why we believe the data that sits in our systems is a kind of fuel that powers the engine of next-generation retailing, including on the hospitality side of our business.

Get the full story at Skift

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

India among top five growing markets for Booking.com

June 04, 2018

Speaking exclusively to Indian media at its headquarters here in Amsterdam, Gillian Tans, CEO, Booking.com said, “We see India in our top five growing markets. With more than 47,000 listings, it clearly shows the amount of investment our company is making in the India market. It is a market that is fast growing and it is one that we have prioritised.”

She went on to add that the biggest change she saw in the India market is that more and more consumers are finding their way online. “Companies like MakeMyTrip have really helped open up the market. Even in the non hotel segment, a lot of models like Oyo Rooms have emerged which have professionalised the category. They have standardised the segment and bring a quality layer online,” she said.

Get the full story at The Financial Express

Read also "Indian startups are awarded the highest grants from Booking.com’s €2 million fund"

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

AccorHotels sells AccorInvest, considers taking stake in Air France KLM

June 04, 2018

For AccorHotels, the sale of its investment arm results in a gross cash contribution of €4.6bn.

“By completing the sale of close to 58% of the capital of AccorInvest, we have successfully finalized the transformation process begun five years ago. The deal enables us to further accelerate the development of AccorHotels by focusing our resources and energy on strengthening our brand portfolio and our leadership position in key markets, and on pursuing our strategy of delivering innovation and excellence to our guests and hotel owner partners. With our new, primarily asset-light structure, we will be able to deploy our ambitious and disruptive vision of ‘augmented hospitality’ to the full,” said Sébastien Bazin, Chairman and CEO of AccorHotels.

Regarding investing in Air France KLM, the company said over the past years it had held discussions with Air France KLM with a view to develop joint projects, including an acquisition of a minority stake. However the discussions are at a "very early stage" and "there is n0 certainty that they will lead to any agreement nor any form of implementation."

The French government is considering selling its Air France stake and has received interest from the management of AccorHotels.

Get the full story at AccorHotels (PDF 238 KB) and Reuters

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

Just how bad is business travel for your health? Here’s the data.

June 04, 2018

Compared to those who spent one to six nights a month away from home for business travel, those who spent 14 or more nights away from home per month had significantly higher body mass index scores and were significantly more likely to report the following: poor self-rated health; clinical symptoms of anxiety, depression and alcohol dependence; no physical activity or exercise; smoking; and trouble sleeping. The odds of being obese were 92% higher for those who traveled 21 or more nights per month compared to those who traveled only one to six nights per month, and this ultra-traveling group also had higher diastolic blood pressure and lower high density lipoprotein (the good cholesterol).

Although only about 12% of employees in the dataset traveled for business 14 or more nights per month, the clustering of all these health conditions among extensive business travelers is worrying, both for their own health and the health of the organizations they work for. Physical, behavioral and mental health issues such as obesity, hypertension, smoking, depression, anxiety, poor sleep, and alcohol dependence can create costs for employers through higher medical claims, reduced employee productivity and performance, absenteeism, presenteeism, and short-term disability. The effects of these issues have the potential to strain or sever relationships with clients and suppliers.

Get the full story at Harvard Business Review

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

Translation technology can help travel sites maximise their reach

June 04, 2018

Travel websites tend to be very region-specific, and are thus often only available in a single language. This prevents those sites from attracting more users and hinders those regions from attracting more tourism. It makes sense, then, that sites which translate information for multiple audiences will see increased returns. Content translation services are a valuable resource for teams within the travel industry that are looking to expand their global reach and appeal.

Major booking sites and travel blogs like Expedia and Lonely Planet only cater to English readers. Thus, a large number of potential guests are unable to take advantage of the information and services they provide.

Although any website benefits when it’s been translated into other languages, this is particularly beneficial to travel websites. By their very nature, they often serve international users. This trend is only growing more common in our ever globalizing world.

Get the full story at Travolution

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

Vanity metrics spread doubt about digital marketing’s effectiveness

June 04, 2018

In a March 2018 survey of 50 CFOs in the US, 36% of respondents said one of their biggest concerns about the digital marketing at their organization is that they measure in vanity metrics. The surveyed CFOs concluded that many data points they’re presented with by marketers don’t really matter to their ultimate goals.

Obsessing over how much incremental “engagement” a product drove may sound good in a marketer case study, but it won’t necessarily garner increased investment from clients.

The biggest issue CFOs had with their organization’s marketing efforts was that they saw digital marketing as a cost center. The surveyed CFOs perceived that digital marketing isn’t adding profit, but instead costs more money to operate than it brings in. They also took issue with how transparent marketers are in presenting their successes and failures and that their marketing teams don’t judge success based on concrete outcomes like sales.

Get the full story at eMarketer

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

6 tactics to improve your hotel’s website conversion rate

June 04, 2018

Duetto’s Gabriela Guevara, Regional Director of Customer Success & Strategic Consulting, attributes the industry’s low conversion rates to slow load times, designs that are not mobile first, poor site user experiences, insufficient content and confusing offers. Weston agrees, adding these additional reasons for why hotels might have low conversion rates.

Risk/Investment. Booking a hotel stay, especially for a longer period of time, is not often a spur-of-the-moment type of decision. Many guests shop extensively before booking. “If you purchase a t-shirt for $40 and it turns out to be of poor quality, that’s not the end of the world,” says Weston. “But if you book a hotel stay for $400 and it’s a poor experience, you are far unhappier about that investment. Guests tend to spend a lot of time researching and shopping.”
Choice and Information Overload. If hotels want to win the booking war, it’s critical to know how to differentiate from the competition. “There are 1,081 hotels in London, for example,” says Weston. “For you to sell a room at your hotel you need to have a better overall proposition than a thousand other hotels. And you need to make that very clear on your website.”

Confusing Offers. How you position your offers can have a big impact on conversion rates. “Hotel guests looking to book a stay on February 14th are more likely to want a romance-themed package,” says Weston. “Hoteliers that present standard offers on their website at times when guests are looking for special packages are going to see low conversions.”

Get the full story at Duetto

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

Coffee chat: Pure Salt & HEBS Digital

June 04, 2018

What are some of the highs and lows of your current role?

One of the greatest experiences in digital marketing is that most of the activities that are planned and actioned can be measured in great detail, thanks to data provided by some of the available marketing platforms. Having access to information about the performance of different campaigns enriches your knowledge about what is right and what is not working. That is why in digital marketing you don’t lose—you either win or learn.

In order to use many of the digital marketing platforms available on the market, there is a constant need of interconnectivity between the PMS and platform itself, and that is one the biggest restrictions we face.

What is a challenge you currently face in your role?

Keeping up with all the marketing platforms available on the market and choosing the most appropriate ones for our company.

Get the full story at HEBS Digital

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

Indian startups are awarded the highest grants from Booking.com’s €2 million fund

June 03, 2018

After three weeks of workshops and intensive coaching sessions led entirely by Booking.com employees and experts, the program culminated in a final pitch to receive grants of up to €500k from Booking.com's €2 million fund in order to help support the next stage of the startups' projected growth.

The 10 teams of finalists pitched their scaling plans to a live audience and panel of expert judges in Amsterdam, with Indian startups Sakha Consulting Wings: Women on Wheels and Global Himalayan Expedition being awarded this year's highest grants of €325k and €400k respectively. Sakha Consulting is a unique social enterprise, launched to offer safe transport solutions for women by women in selected cities in India, providing livelihoods with dignity through professional driving opportunities to resource-poor women as part of the 'Women on Wheels' (WOW) initiative. Global Himalayan Expedition (GHE) organizes impact expeditions to provide clean energy and digital education access to the remote mountain communities of the Himalayas, helping to put them on the map for future travelers to explore.

"The vision and passion that we've seen from all the startups this year has been truly inspiring," said Gillian Tans, President and CEO of Booking.com. "I was especially impressed with Wheel the World's moving mission to empower people with disabilities to explore the world within the adventure travel sector, Sakha's commitment to empowering women in India to take control of their livelihoods and of course with how GHE is literally bringing light to remote mountain villages through their Himalayan expeditions. We're all looking forward to seeing how their plans unfold over the coming weeks and months as we work together to bring their vision for a more sustainable travel industry to even more destinations worldwide."

Get the full story at Booking.com

Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/indian_startups_are_awarded_the_highest_grants_from_booking.coms_2_million

Why hotel brands should really be scared of Expedia

June 01, 2018

It’s not implausible. And for hotel franchisees who already pay fees to the brand on top of OTA fees, it sounds even better. According to HVS, hotel franchisees pay upwards of 11 percent of their rooms revenue to their brand or franchisor. This includes a royalty fee, a sales fee, a marketing fee, a loyalty fee, miscellaneous fees and an initial startup fee. That’s a lot of fees, which is why some hotel owners make the decision that operating an independent hotel is more profitable in the long run.

If those fees weren’t enough, hotels, in many cases, are subject to a commission fee when taking business through an OTA. Under the Agency Model, OTAs serve as agents for their merchants, listing the hotels, their services, and the prices. The OTAs receive commissions (generally between 10 percent and 30 percent) on bookings made via their sites, with the hotels paying the OTAs following receipt of payment. All of these fees add up, with, sometimes, only gristle left on the bone.

A natural evolution of OTAs is a product for traditional hotel owners. As evidenced, OTAs have gradually become more differentiated, offering similar products to those of traditional hotel companies. All that is missing are the flags. Should an OTA seek to enter the brand game, it would come down to this: convincing a hotel developer/owner to use its brand over another. And hotel companies going asset light and relying purely on their brands makes it that much more a compelling reason for OTAs to join the mix.

Get the full story at Hotel Management

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

The value of hotel-direct bookings is measured by more than numbers

June 01, 2018

The end-to-end guest experience is more hospitable when the hotel secures a reservation itself rather than through a middleman. With direct bookings, the hotel-customer relationship is deeper and begins sooner.

Hotels already have preference and spending data if a repeat guest is booking directly. The property can personalize a package or upsell in the run-time path, rather than putting that responsibility on a front-desk agent at check-in.

The hotel’s staff can take care of guests even before they arrive. If you’ve ever tried to change a booking that you made with an OTA, you know it’s more difficult when the hotel staff has only the minimal amount of data the OTA shares with properties.

Get the full story at Hotel Management

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


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