The hospitality, travel, and tourism (HTT) sector is an inherent data generator, creating millions of records about travel behavior on a daily basis. In the past, HTT data has largely been transaction based: Booking reservations, recording account balances, tracking points in loyalty programs. Customer engagement took place on these well- defined but fairly proscribed fields of play. Big Data elevates the HTT sector to new dimensions of customer care by not just managing transactions but by shaping the potential for interactions.
In this white paper, SOCAP International, the Society of Consumer Affairs Professionals, looks at the real opportunity of Big Data and how Big Data is changing the HTT sector. SOCAP represents over 100 brand name companies, many offering hospitality, travel and tourism services. This discussion begins with the big picture. How are Big Data and data analytics causing a paradigm shift in the HTT experience, and how are companies seeking to remain on the right side of business success adapting their operations to be competitive?
Next, the white paper focuses on the importance of personalization in HTT and how Big Data helps shape the type of interactions that foster customer satisfaction while allowing the company to learn and grow. Part of personalization is providing the consumer with the right information, in the right format, via the right channel. Attention will be paid to the burgeoning sources of data, how these must be gathered from both inside and outside the enterprise, and the need to harmonize disparate data types to create global views of customer care threats and opportunities. In this new world of hospitality, travel and tourism, contact centers are an important contributor to a complete and completely satisfactory HTT customer experience.
This white paper will look at what it means to become a customer-centric organization and how companies are using Big Data to elevate customer care from a cost of doing business to a core mission of the HTT business.
Get the full story at SOCAP International or downloaded it directly here (PDF 201 KB)
Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/now_arriving_big_data_in_the_hospitality_travel_and_tourism_sector
Travel meta-search sites are increasingly able to interpret what a traveller is thinking and find ways to differentiate between flights in a more human way. This is in their interests. After all as airline distribution evolves, many players are looking to highlight the amenities and services air passengers care about most in order to differentiate. This ability to be more than just any other search engines is a welcome change from what has become a somewhat commoditised experience. Rather than producing straightforward results, companies are now able to connect users with what they expect or even delight them with what they didn’t expect, thus lending a new dimension to search.
Flight search today is predominantly based on price and schedule which forces consumers to choose flights based on the lowest prices. “This is problematic for the airlines and consumers,” says Robert Albert, founder and chief executive, Routehappy, a new meta-search site that launched in April.
Consumers have been trained to treat flights as a commodity and are unable to choose flights based on the experiential factors that matter most - factors like seat comfort, entertainment, and WiFi. That’s where Routehappy steps in.
“Commodity based flight search blocks airlines from differentiating their products from competitors. What’s more troubling is that the airlines are spending billions of dollars upgrading amenities and services and purchasing new aircraft, plus refurbishing older planes. But until Routehappy, no travel site - not even the airlines - exposed this data in search results so flyers can find the best planes with the comfiest seats and most amenities,” says Albert.
The site’s mission is to help people fly happier for less. To do so, the team has built a new breed of meta-search site to expose the experiential factors flyers care about most such as seat size (pitch and width), Wi-Fi, and entertainment. “For the first time, a travel site is allowing flyers to compare comfort alongside price and schedules,” says Albert.
Get the full story at EyeForTravel
Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/when_big_data_meets_flight_meta_search_its_happy_routing_for_passengers
If you click on the images to find out more about one of the top attractions, Google leads you to a new search results page, which keeps the points of interest thumbnail band unchanged.
The search results will display first Wikipedia’s page about that specific attraction on the left, followed by the official site of the venue (if any), then other related sites. At the right, the picture of the venue, in thumbnail, near a thumbnail version of its location in the city on a Google map. Under these, a snippet from (again) Wikipedia’s description, followed by address, function, and a link to Google Local reviews.
As a site owner, you will see a significant decrease in hits, and all that content you worked so hard to put together, to present comprehensively to your target audiences, is rendered useless. Ask yourself this: why would any user scroll vertically to find your site, when all the top attractions are presented one click away, with beautiful imagery? Every image in the points of interest bar is a search button itself. It takes you to more Google search results, not to an official site presenting the venue. What, in theory, enhances Google searchers’ experience, is designed to kill competition, to eliminate travel guides one by one. Google has been eyeballing the travel industry for so long now – it was just a matter of time.
Get the full story at argophilia and everythingPR
Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/google_refines_top_city_attractions_search_results_designed_to_kill_competi
The good news: "Hotel prices in Europe are out-of-this world amazing," says Clem Bason, spokesman for Hotwire.com. The booking site crunched the numbers for the summer travel season and found deeply discounted hotel deals in several European cities, including five-star properties for less than $100 a night.
The bad news: Airfares from North America remain near historic highs. Rick Seaney, CEO of FareCompare.com and author of our Airfare Expert column, says you're unlikely to find any summer flights to Europe for under $1,000 round trip. Rather than greedy airlines, he attributes this to a fare structure in which each ticket starts with more than $600 in fuel surcharges and airport fees, even before airfare is added.
But if you're lucky enough to make it across the Pond in the coming months, your lodging dollars are all-powerful. Bason notes that the European economic slump has drastically reduced intra-Europe travel, leaving hotels in many cities scrambling to fill rooms. Among the best deals:
Get the full story at USA Today
Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/hotel_deals_are_hot_in_europe_but_flying_there_is_pricey
Yahoo is anything but. It's turning 20 next year ... that's like 1,000 years old in internet time. Think of Tumblr as a much-needed injection of youth serum -- Mayer figures she can breathe new life into Yahoo’s beleaguered brand by buying a big pile of those much-coveted 18-to–24-year-olds. If it costs a billion dollars, so what?
Yahoo’s biggest challenge will be how to wring money out of all those fresh young eyeballs. And they're starting off on the right foot because they're keeping Tumblr's branding as is. After all, those fresh young eyeballs probably won't take too kindly to Yahoo coming in and totally rocking their Tumblr world right off the bat. But if Tumblr hasn’t been able to make money, why should we think Yahoo can crack the monetization code?
Tumblr’s board came to the conclusion that Tumblr had gone as far as it could with its current leadership, so it arranged a marriage where both sides bring something the other needs. Tumblr is run by smart kids who built an audience, but don’t know how to make money. Yahoo is run by adults (though those mired in the Yahoo-work-from-home debate might argue otherwise) who built a machine that converts pageviews into dollars.
So maybe it all works out. Maybe in the short term Tumblr loses some cool kids who don’t want to be associated with Yahoo, but in the long term continues to grow. Maybe Tumblr becomes the third-biggest social platform after Facebook and Twitter -- one that’s younger and hipper. Maybe Yahoo finds a way to squeeze billions out of all those Tumblrers without ruining the experience and driving the audience away.
Get the full story at HubSpot and John Batell's Seach Blog
Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/can_tumblr_make_yahoo_cool_again
Pinterest is launching this program with a wide range of partners, most of which are major publishers, retailers and brands. They include Anthropologie, eBay, Home Depot, Nordstrom, Sephora, Target, WalMart, Bon Appetit, Epicurious, Real Simple, Whole Foods Market, Netflix and Rotten Tomatoes.
Arguably, there’s a much tighter connection between content and activity on Pinterest and purchase behavior than there is on a site like Facebook. There’s existing data that argues Pinterest does influence its users’ buying behavior. However, retailers and brands, in particular, are still exploring how to best utilize Pinterest and its community.
In its blog post announcing the new offerings, Pinterest said that rich pins “…is just the beginning and we hope to make all pins more useful in the coming months.” Pinterest isn’t making any money off these enhanced pins, but over time, it certainly could. Indeed, these enhanced pins could potentially evolve into ads. But Pinterest has many ad opportunities.
Get the full story at Marketing Land and Pinterest
Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/pinterest_introduces_rich_pins_with_more_content_to_drive_more_actions
Today’s travel agent needs to respond to changing consumer preferences by providing a one-stop service to travellers, particularly given the rising demand for ancillary options when travellers book their hotels. This translates to providing travellers with rich information beyond the traditional rate and availability, assisting travellers in making an informed choice best suited to their needs.
A recent Amadeus provided intriguing insight into how cross-selling add-on services are key to ensuring travel agents attract and retain customers who are pre-booking hotel rooms. Airport transfers and sightseeing tours represent the biggest cross-selling opportunities, with travel agents increasingly offering to help travellers rent cars, purchase concert tickets, make dinner reservations, and even buy metro passes. Nowadays, travel agents need to do more than book a bed for the night, by assisting with the booking of other elements of a trip.
Additionally, the survey revealed that hotel reviews by travellers have overtaken brand power. In comparison to 2010, these findings show a marked decrease in pure brand influence which has been overtaken by user reviews with 70% of travellers checking reviews prior to choosing a hotel. With increased use of social media and other online travel resources, travellers are armed with a great deal more information that before, hence the decline in brand power.
Overall, travel agents have also experienced a gradual decrease in the degree of influence that they have on a traveller’s final choice of hotel, with only one in three (32%) travel agents responding that customers heed their hotel recommendations without question, compared to one in two (51%) from 2010.
Get the full story at the Amadeus blog
Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/travel_agents_hotel_needs_have_evolved_its_not_all_about_the_commission_any
Today, 85% of Starwood's luxury guests are rich travellers from Generation X and Y, so the US hotel chain is positioning itself to cater to this group.
Starwood will aggressively invest to create, renovate or restore luxury hotels in anticipation of the growth of luxury demand.
Lothar Pehl, senior Asia-Pacific vice-president for operations and global initiatives, said Starwood spent time to develop the concept of "Generation LuXurY" because today's wealthy tourists are different from any generation before.
Globalisation and a more digitally connected world are creating business without borders and a change in customer demography.
"The world's wealthiest people are no longer just old elites. Wealth is moving east and south and from established to self-made families. The dotcom boom has encouraged a rise of travels by the new generation of global elites who are called Generation LuXurY," Mr Pehl said.
Get the full story at the Bankok Post
Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/starwood_caters_to_generation_luxury
Imagine these components like concentric circles on a target—the meeting starts with the outermost circle and involves relevant general information, then proceeds to move progressively to more detailed and specific property information until the meeting reaches the center of the target where strategies and tactics are finalized. The five key components include:
- marketplace dynamics and general economic climate;
- competitive information;
- property performance trends;
- sell strategy development; and
- a month-end postmortem plus a 365-day outlook (once a month).
Responsibility for these components should be assigned to different members of the revenue team, with marketplace information handled by the director of sales and marketing or, in a smaller hotel, the GM. This part of the meeting is all about the general economic climate, marketplace activities (conferences, sporting events or community events), city or resort seasonal promotions, public relations efforts, new or renovated properties, etc. The key is to highlight circumstances that have an impact on demand, and these may be demand generators or detractors. This discussion sets the stage for the next component.
Get the full story at HotelNewsNow.com
Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/the_five_components_of_an_effective_hotel_revenue_meeting
Customer satisfaction extends beyond the human interaction. Customer satisfaction is affected by your digital online presence. With customers getting their first information about hotels online, the most successful hotels have stand-out websites that are also easy to navigate. Websites with numerous photos, clear directions including maps, nearby points of interest, good restaurants and reviews will do better holding the attention of an online shopper. The online shopper should be able to look and book quickly with minimum hassle.
Customers often have special needs such as handicapped accessible rooms. The best websites provide a booking interface allowing the customer to make special requests, again with minimum hassle.
Customer satisfaction is about being available where, when, and how customers want. A direct phone number to the hotel is a must. Many customers research online but call to book. The availability of personal interaction is the key in this case. Personnel handling booking calls should be friendly, helpful and well versed in the policies and amenities the hotel offers. A high satisfaction level at this point can positively set the tone for the customer’s stay.
Get the full story at Business 2 Community
Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/start_online_to_improve_your_hotels_customer_satisfaction_levels
These updates will continue to roll out on Google Maps, Google Maps for Mobile, Google search results and Google+ Local in upcoming months.
Users who opt-in to the new Google Maps will rate businesses on a scale that ranges from one to five stars. The system maintains the precision of the former 30 point scale while improving the readability and accessibility of the business listings.
As a business owner, you’ll notice that past ratings have been translated to the five star system. Previously, users rated businesses from “Poor-Fair” to “Excellent” on several dimensions; these ratings were converted to numerical scores and expressed on a 30 point scale.
Your business’s overall rating is calculated from both old and new customer reviews as a 1.0 to 5.0 star rating. Old dimension ratings like “service” and “decor” will contribute to the overall rating. The new algorithm takes into account statistical uncertainty in the straight average of user scores to make the scores more reliable for places with only a few ratings.
Zagat reviews are still available throughout Google, and you’ll continue to see Zagat throughout Google products with editorial reviews and curated lists awarded to notable places
The changes will appear to some users today and will continue to roll out on Google Maps for Mobile, Google search results and Google+ Local in upcoming months.
Get the full story at the Google and your business blog and the Google and your business forum
Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/google_kills_zagat_scores_introduces_new_local_business_rating_system
Businesses planning today to improve their connection to customers in digital channels are increasingly looking at the discipline of mapping out what's being called the 'customer journey'. Over the last ten years, the fragmentation of customer engagement across dozens of channels has turned into both a highly vexing problem and an increasingly disruptive challenge to businesses that still keep doing what used to work, but are getting sharply falling off results from old touchpoints like TV, phone, and e-mail.
This fragmentation of customer touchpoints cuts across marketing, sales, customer service, and even product development. In short, customers have moved to the digital world en masse, and companies have not kept up. Yes, it's true that most businesses currently realize they need to evolve. They know they must acquire suite of capable mobile apps, an effective strategy for connecting with consumers in social media, a workable plan for inbound search, and a good way to stay connected with consumers so they can build strong, long-term relationships, instead of merely engage in still-vital yet far less strategic point transactions.
Get the full story at ZDNet
Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/the_new_digital_customer_journey_cross_channel_mobile_social_self_service_a
Boutique hotel groups like Ace Hotels, The Standard and Morgan’s are establishing the next generation of hotel trends with their product design and programming. Equally important, they’re proving it through visual storytelling on their websites and social media platforms. Their unique selling points (USPs) are not anymore described with catchy phrases but with constantly updated photos and videos across their digital channels.
Many hotel marketers are not comfortable with splitting their customer audience across two websites. Although, if done well, they can complement each other. In effect, a dedicated URL blog is just another social media space.
The best example of a single hotel website embracing a visual-first web experience is Four Seasons Hotels’ new $18 million portal, rebuilt from the ground up last year. The immediacy and impact of the hotel/destination photography site-wide sells you on the brand starting from hello.
Get the full story at the VFM Leonardo Blog
Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/hotel_websites_shifting_to_a_visual_first_experience
This technology takes the scores and feedback from sites like TripAdvisor, Yelp!, Google+ and more, and brings it into one, easy-to-read, centralized “TrustScore.” Content from over 250 sites go into the determination of this ranking. Instead of taking one site’s ranking as the representation of a hotel, or spending hours scouring the Internet to get a broader picture, travel agents now have a global representation of a property in a single view.
"To be part of our Sabre Red App Centre you must deliver creativity and innovation that will deliver real value to Sabre-connected travel agents," said Chris Kroeger, senior vice president for Sabre Travel Network. "The TrustYou Sabre Red App provides incredible time saving for agents while giving them a global, comprehensive look at what travelers have said with one simple click. This allows agents to dramatically reduce research time on a hotel’s reputation and invest more time on other important client needs."
Currently, the Red App Centre offers more than 100 different apps with many more in development from 80 certified Red App providers. Agents in 70 countries have used the Red App Centre, generating more than 30,000 app downloads.
“In addition to delivering a product that saves agents time, we are also increasing transparency,” said TrustYou CEO and co-founder Ben Jost. “Instead of looking at a site or two to get an idea of what other travelers have said this app allows agents to get an extremely detailed look at what thousands of people have said across hundreds of review sites. By having guest feedback at their disposal, the travel agent can make faster, more reliable booking decisions for their guests.”
For agents who would like greater detail on what the score represents the ratings can be further analyzed in a number of categories including location, staff, service, food, Internet. It also recommends the type of hotel, such as family friendly, good for a business stay or romantic getaway. TrustYou captures sentiment and opinions from millions of online guest comments on more than 400,000 hotels.
Launched in 2012, the Sabre Red App Centre is the first online marketplace to connect travel buyers, including travel agencies, travel management companies and leisure operators, with application providers from around the world.
Related Link: TrustYou
Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/sabre_travel_agents_get_access_to_hotel_reviews
Having Choice’s property management system housed in the cloud means owners and managers can access a property’s performance data from anywhere at any time.
The next phase of that operating system is a Web-based revenue management tool, launched this week at the conference that helps franchisees who can’t afford to hire a revenue manager set optimal rates and inventory. The cloud-based rate management tool, called Rate Center, sends alerts to GMs when their hotels aren’t optimizing their pricing strategy. For example, if the hotel has a high occupancy but hasn’t adjusted its rate upward, the GM will get an alert suggesting he or she raise rates.
On the mobile front, Choice set the stage when it was the first hotel brand to roll out a smartphone app. Joyce said Choice’s smartphone app had 1 million downloads before the next hotel brand unveiled a similar app. Mobile booking business was up 200% in 2012 and now represents 13% of Choice’s total online revenue, Pacious said. Three years ago, mobile revenue was only about 1% of the total business.
Get the full story at HotelNewsNow.com
Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/choice_hotels_looks_to_technology_as_differentiator
by Anne Sweeney
The Press Release is Dead. PR’s most time-honored tool will soon wind up in a virtual landfill, alongside video cassettes, Hostess Cupcakes and print newspapers. It’s electronic all the way. Press Releases are an anachronism, and the tweets the thing – your entire marketing message in 140 characters.
Most of the PR people who are expressing this view are of an age where they have not had enough experience with the “Old Media” to be declaring it DOA. The press release is not dying; it is evolving, expanding and interacting with “New Media” in many dynamic and effective ways.
Unfortunately, some hotels have stopped sending or posting press releases on their web sites, leaving the task of reaching out to media to their Facebook and Twitter pages. But social media does not replace a website or an on-line press kit. Travel reporters, food writers, business editors, meetings publications and weddings media – all the outlets a hotel wants to reach - will look first to a hotel’s website for current, concise information written expressly for journalists.
The operative words here are “expressly for journalists.” The Five Ws – Who, What, When, Where and Why – still apply. A press release needs to be written differently from marketing copy. It needs to be newsworthy, succinct, factual and to the point. It should avoid editorializing, overblown adjectives, jargon and clichés like "unique,” “cutting edge,” and “paradigm.” The good news is that your clients and partners will appreciate this direct approach, so the press release becomes a sales tool.
Every hotel website should have a Media Section with links to press releases with current and relevant information. There should be a press kit with a general release describing your property and services, a fact sheet and possibly releases on food, meetings, events, etc. These should be up-to-date. However, a recent survey of four- and five-star hotels showed that many did not have any kind of media outreach on their web pages, or worse, had releases on them more than a year old. A journalist accessing a site like this is not likely to do so again. And what does that say about your hotel? Nothing has happened since your Mother’s Day Brunch in 2012?
Press releases are key to gaining local news coverage and mention in relevant trade publications. Even if your property is part of a major hotel brand, corporate communications will not provide that kind of media outreach unless you have a really singular story.
Used properly, the press release is not an anachronism – it’s the launching pad for all your “new media” efforts. E-Mail your release to a targeted, current list of local, regional and national business trade and lifestyle outlets. Post it on your property’s website with a URL that links to the release on the site. Here is where your press release will do double duty on Facebook, Twitter, and other social media outlets. Post the link on your Facebook page with a quick comment and an attractive photo and it not only spreads virally but both the Facebook and the web link will show up on Google as two separate entries. Tweet the release out, or better yet, tweet out key statements in increments to extend the life of the release and spread it virally. That’s really the key to social media – the rapid spread of information.
For example, let’s say your Twitter Page has 500 followers. A number of them should be journalists who are familiar with your property and cover travel, food, business and events. They will also be on your Media List. Suppose you tweet out news about a food festival and the restaurant editor of a regional magazine picks it up and re-tweets it to her 2000 followers. Several of her followers pick it up and e-mail it to friends saying, let’s attend. Or, the item is picked up by your state tourism office with more than 100,000 followers on Twitter and even more on Facebook. They cross post to both sites. Do the math! You have over 202,000 potential readers of your press release and post.
The press release still has a few more tricks up its sleeve. Post the link on other Facebook pages with an audience that might be interested in your news. See if your posts would be welcome on the pages of your state tourism organization, the Chamber of Commerce, or the pages of various companies you do business with. These organizations should also be on your press release list.
A growing trend among short-staffed print and online publications is to make you, the sender, responsible for posting press releases, event announcements, and photos. At first, this practice was confined to smaller, local online news platforms such as Patch and topix. But recently, I posted four press releases on the business blog of our state’s largest newspaper. I will still send the releases to reporters and columnists, but this ensures that the news is out there and ready to be picked up by search engines.
The press release will continue to evolve in format and utilization. It may well outlive some of the more trendy social media sites. The Old and New Media, working in synergy, will deliver much more together than separately
Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/the_press_release_the_launching_pad_for_your_hotels_new_media_efforts
1. Related hashtags – this is likely the most important for content marketers. Hashtags are no longer just for Instagram and Twitter. The new, and optional, related hashtags feature lets Google+ analyse posts and in turn recommend hashtags.
2. Updated news stream – it’d be more accurate to say re-built, as this is a whole new experience. A new multi-column design allows users to scan multiple posts at once. Photos and videos can still span multiple columns, and new animations include a pop-out box when you want to share.
3. Hangouts App – a new standalone messaging app for iOS, Android and Google Chrome will encompass Google Talk, Google+ Messenger, and the original Google+ Hangout video chatting service. Designed to take on Apple’s FaceTime, maybe? The unveiling of Hangouts as a unified messenger service has been expected.
Get the full story at Smart Insights and the official Google blog
Read also "The changes to Google+ are great. But they don’t matter" at Mark Schaefer's Grow blog
Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/google_gets_41_feature_updates_here_are_the_top_five
Book on a discount site, get a discounte experience: Reservations made through Internet discount sites are almost always slated for our worst rooms. Does this seem unfair? First of all, we earn the slimmest profit from these reservations. And honestly, those guests didn’t really choose our property based on quality; they chose based on value. We were at the top of a list sorted by price. But the guest behind them in line, the one with a heavy $500 rate, she selected this hotel. When she comes to New York, she goes to our website to see what’s available. Since we have no reason to assume Internet guests will ever book with us again, unless our discount is presented to them, it truly makes business sense to save our best rooms for guests who book of their own volition.
There's one surefire way to get an upgrade: Here is one of the top lies that come out of a front desk agent’s mouth: “All the rooms are basically the same, sir.” Bull. There is always a corner room, a room with a bigger flat screen, a room that, because of the building’s layout, has a larger bath with two sinks, a room that fits two roll-aways with ease, a room that, though listed as standard, actually has a partial view of the Hudson River. There is always a better room, and when I feel that 20 you slipped me burning in my pocket, I will find it for you. And if there is nothing to be done room-wise, I have a slew of other options: late checkout, free movies, free minibar, room service amenities, and more. I will do whatever it takes to deserve the tip and then a little bit more in the hope that you’ll hit me again.
Never, ever pay for minibars: Most people are appalled at the prices. However, you never have to pay for the items in the minibar. Why not? Minibar charges are, without question, the most disputed charges on any bill. That is because the process for applying those charges is horribly inexact. Keystroke errors, delays in restocking, double stocking, and hundreds of other missteps make minibar charges the most voided item. Even before guests can manage to get through half of the “I never had those items” sentence, I have already removed the charges and am now simply waiting for them to wrap up the overly zealous denial so we can both move on with our lives.
Get the full story at Mental Floss
Read also "What the Hotel Industry Can Learn From “Heads in Beds” by Jacob Tomsky" at Words of Vikram
Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/10_hotel_secrets_from_behind_the_front_desk
By Asher Fusco, HeBS Digital
When Google rolled out its Panda algorithm update in February 2011, it upended search engine results pages (SERPs) in a major way, affecting 12 percent of all results. The algorithm adjustment essentially penalized low-quality sites and rewarded sites with engaging, high-quality content. Since the initial rollout of Panda, the search engine giant has introduced a number of updates and changes – as of late April 2013, the company has produced 25 Panda updates and a host of other updates, dubbed Penguin.
Because Google is always changing its algorithms in minor ways, the threat of another Penguin or Panda update might not seem like much to worry about. But Google is currently busy preparing a major Penguin update that will have a major impact on SERPs, according to SearchEngineWatch.
The Impending Penguin Update: What is It?
The second coming of Google Penguin – Penguin 2.0 – will address bad link-building and linking practices, penalizing sites that use unsavory techniques to help improve visibility within the SERPs. Google's team will evaluate a huge amount of data to learn more about "bad" – or non-organic – links, combing through the mountains of data on the Internet to locate the spots where bad links live.
Once Google locates these suspicious links, it will devalue them and remove their PageRank, thus negating whatever positive impact they had on search results. The links that stand out to Google as bad either come from locations on the Internet that Google deems untrustworthy or in places with high "link velocity" – the rate at which a site acquires inbound links.
What Does This Mean for Hoteliers?
Hoteliers should exercise caution in their link acquisition strategies and adopt a policy of quality over quantity. In the pre-Penguin landscape, search engines rewarded the pursuit of large quantities of less-than-relevant links. Post-Penguin 1.0 – and especially in the lead-up to Penguin 2.0 – it behooves hoteliers and digital marketers to be more selective about the inbound links they choose to pursue.
The days of search engine optimization (SEO) as the Wild West are long gone. Google values websites that provide relevant information about in-demand topics and provide added value for Internet users. Conversely, search engines punish sites that chase after large numbers of links with little regard for quality or context. Given these facts, it is important that hoteliers take care in assembling a link building action plan.
What Should Hoteliers Do?
The best thing hoteliers can do to prepare for Google Penguin 2.0 is to construct a quality inbound linking strategy. Adopting link building best practices will not only safeguard the hotel website from being punished by Google's algorithm updates, it will strengthen the site's link portfolio and boost its SEO value.
The best way to attract quality inbound links is through the creation of quality content. Ideally, the hotel website is a collection of linkable assets. A linkable asset is defined as a piece of content that will generate inbound links through its uniqueness, relevance and informative nature. This doesn't mean hoteliers must resort to gimmicks such as viral content creation to stand out online. In fact, several rather straightforward ways to attract links exist:
- Perform a Link Audit: It's crucial to know where your links are coming from, which of those links are beneficial, and which could be dragging your site's SEO performance down. Enlisting a hotel digital marketing firm to perform a full link audit can give you a great idea of your site's strengths and weaknesses in regards to its inbound link portfolio.
- Manage Links Through Webmaster Tools: The easiest way to ensure your link portfolio remains clear of any low-quality links is to use Google's Webmaster Tools. Through this interface, you can view all the links pointing to your site, sorting the quality links you attained through targeted strategy and the less valuable or negative links that latched onto your site without your knowledge. Partnering with a full-service digital marketing agency is the best way to harness the power of Google Webmaster Tools.
- Maintain a Blog on the Hotel Website: Building and maintaining a blog on the hotel website is an efficient and easy way to provide a unique value proposition to website visitors, potential guests and prospective linking websites. The key to utilizing a hotel blog as a potent inbound marketing tool is to post regular updates on upcoming events, happenings on-property, renovation updates and anything else that might attract the interest of other blogs or online publications.
- Build (Relevant) Links: Executing a robust linking strategy is the best way to build a strong support system of links. Effective link-building starts small and branches outward. Engage local sites that produce quality content and are of exceptional relevance to your site first to build a solid base of trustworthy links, while at the same time ensuring the hotel website is listed by and linked to from a variety of online directories and local listings services.
- Create Quality Website Content: Working proactively to stock your site with quality content is the easiest way to attract links from veritable sources. Regularly publishing pages written by professional copywriters can work wonders, attracting the attention of influential sites that have the power to boost SEO through inbound linking.
It is much easier to be proactive than reactive when it comes to SEO – rebuilding lost rankings can take a considerable amount of time and effort. Work with a digital marketing partner that can recommend proper preparations for important algorithm updates to keep your site from being penalized.
Asher Fusco is a Senior Copy + SEO Specialist at HeBS Digital, the hospitality industry's leading full-service digital technology and marketing firm, based in New York City.
Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/preparing_for_google_penguin_2.0_how_to_protect_your_hotel_website
The new merchandising capabilities will give Sabre agents the ability to sell products previously unavailable to them. Sabre’s Custom Offers is available to hotels and airlines, with “some slight differences,” Shelly Terry, vice president of supplier merchandising, said.
For hotels, “we’ve developed an offer-management engine,” she said. “Hoteliers can enter criteria by which they want to target offers.” They can use traveler criteria, based on the traveler’s loyalty program number and value score derived from their CRM systems.
They also can base offers on shopping criteria - when and where the customer is traveling - or a combination of traveler and shopping criteria. For example, a hotel might decide to target customers who belong to a particular competitive set.
Get the full story at Travel Market Report
Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/sabre_rolls_out_merchandising_for_hotels
As 2012 drew to a close – a rough year for many in the digital realm with its Penguin and Panda updates and requisite new content strategies formed accordingly – FHR, in collaboration with digital agency No Pork Pies, contacted a range of travel bloggers – with a survey to get a greater insight into the process of sponsoring travel sites. We got a total of 52 participants and created the infographic below based on findings.
It was a time-consuming task that involved a lot of painstaking email-gathering, sifting through data and, of course, design hours. But the value in it is that a huge element of content strategy for agencies and brands is now about having close collaborations and strong professional relationships with the owners of these increasingly powerful media outlets, so it’s worth getting a closer look at how they work with sponsors, how many blogs each website owner runs, if and how they monetise their sites, what brands they choose to work with.
The publication of The State of Travel Blogging 2013 brought on plenty of lively debate in forums, Twitter and blogs – many expressing surprise at the number of blogs that accept sponsored posts, and also the number of blogs some people run. We’re looking forward to tracking it long-term and finding out how much more the industry has changed by 2014.
Get the full story at Business 2 Community
Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/the_state_of_travel_blogging_2013
A picture has traditionally been worth a thousand words. Today, the right picture could be worth a thousand likes.
Social media has gone visual in a very big way, offering travel professionals unprecedented opportunities to promote their products and brands. Photo-based social media sites such as Instagram and Pinterest, in particular, have ushered in a visual revolution, taking the old adage "don't tell when you can show" to new heights.
Unlike words, photos can preserve visual memories when ours fade or fail to recount a great vacation from beginning to end. No one takes a vacation without taking photos, right?
But beyond sheer memories, a really great photo can influence a purchase decision.
Get the full story at Travel Weekly
Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/social_media_strategies_in_travel_show_dont_tell
Like a friend drawing you a map to her favorite restaurant, with only the roads and landmarks you need to get there, the new Google Maps instantly changes to highlight information that matters most.
And the more you interact with the map, the better it gets. When you set your Home and Work locations, star favorite places, write reviews and share with friends, Google Maps will build even more useful maps with recommendations for places you might enjoy.
In addition to a customized map, Google also made it easier to uncover the best local gems. Search results are labeled directly on the map with brief place descriptions and icons that highlight business categories and other useful information – like restaurants that are recommended by your Google+ friends. Info cards provide helpful information such as business hours, and ratings and reviews so you can quickly decide where to eat, drink and play.
Get the full story at Google Maps and VentureBeat
Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/google_rebuilt_maps_from_ground_up
Skift says that it will have more than half a million unique users this month, and that 25 percent of its traffic comes from mobile. It also says its readers are likely to be “executives and managers from leading brands” in travel and related industries, such as Expedia, Priceline, JetBlue, Starwood and others.
When asked how this growth compares to PaidContent, a news blog on the media industry that Ali launched in 2002 (it was acquired by Guardian Media in 2008 and is now owned by GigaOm), he said, “Just the velocity of how quickly you can make a mark, that’s changed a lot now.” Ali attributed much of the speed of Skift’s growth to social media — the company says 10 percent of its overall traffic now comes from Twitter.
Ali added that even though Skift’s topic is the travel industry, he thinks of it as a “business information” startup, rather than a travel startup. He said it’s a company where “media and data go hand-in-hand,” and where Skift’s news content can serve as a “funnel” to its other products.
Get the full story at TechCrunch
Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/skift_lands_1.1m_for_travel_publishing
While pricing is recognized as one of the key success factors, it is one of the most difficult things to get correct. Pricing is a very emotional process, it’s like marketing – everyone is an expert. In a Hotel, this means that from the Owners to the General Manager, the Finance Director, the Sales Department to the Reservation agent all have an opinion on how a Hotel should be priced. Reality is, you can never really get it right – and you can never get everyone to agree on what the right price should be. The best approach is to take the emotions out of the equation and to have a structured, measured and scientific – left brain - approach to pricing – which is often counter-intuitive with the service – right brain - culture in a typical Hotel.
The most forward looking hotel companies realize that a) Pricing is very hard b) It has to be done on an ongoing basis c) it has to be part of the culture. Gone are the days when you established your pricing structure once during budget season and then let it run its course. Competitive pressures are higher and technology is giving guests more pricing power than ever. So these companies have really worked over the last few years on putting their pricing in order. They have either invested in technology to be able to dynamically price, or they have increasingly reached out to specialist pricing companies to provide the analytical support they need to price optimally. This could be in the form of augmenting their own pricing technology or through analytical services which provide scientifically derived pricing recommendations. With a structured and proven approach and letting the data speak removes some of the emotional fuzziness and provides everyone with a better framework to work from.
The unbundling of the pricing has contributed hugely to return most of the Airlines to profitability – but at what cost to the customer experience? From a “left brain” - pricing and revenue management - perspective, it is definitely something which could be considered, however the conditions in the Hotel industry are very different. Hotels have a very different business model than Airlines. Margins are in general much higher and we actually see more bundling then less, especially in the segments of the industry where it make most sense to unbundle. It is still a mystery to many why guests are required to pay USD 30 for internet when paying USD 200 for a room, while paying nothing for a USD 50 room. Effectively, unbundling has always been a reality in the upper/luxury segment of the industry, while it is quite the opposite for the lower/limited service segment.
Get the full story at HSMAI
Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/finding_the_optimal_pricing_approach_for_your_hotel
An expansion of the popular Hotwire.com tool by the same name, Trip Watcher empowers travelers with control, value and flexibility by watching flight itineraries for next weekend, next month or even next year, all customized and stored in a simple "My Trips" section. Trip Watcher also shares these price-drops with subscribers immediately via email, Facebook or Twitter – often quicker than competitive products – to ensure travelers have the chance to book the lowest airfare possible.
Hotwire's constant goal is to help travelers secure deeply discounted getaways, often at the last-minute. However, scoring savings on airfare can be difficult as flight prices have risen over the past few years. Capacity hasn't kept up with increased demand, which has made it more difficult to find deals. But that doesn't mean discounts don't exist. Travelers just need more help to spot them. That's why Trip Watcher was originally developed, and has now spun off into its own, more robust site – to help deal-seeking travelers secure savings by alerting them the moment their flight goes on sale.
"We've all experienced it, we look and look for low fares and the day we decide to take a rest, we hear about a lower-priced ticket after it's already gone. So a couple of years ago, Hotwire developed the Trip Watcher tool to alleviate some of the guess work from getting a great deal," said Clem Bason , president of the Hotwire Group. "The tool quickly gained popularity, and we realized it was an increasingly valuable resource, which is why we decided to launch Trip Watcher as a separate, more sophisticated, flexible and fast-performing site. Using the site, travelers can rest assured they will get up-to-the-minute alerts when prices drop on their ideal flights, giving us all a chance to get the best deal."
How Trip Watcher Works:
- Users subscribe to Trip Watcher through their Facebook or Twitter accounts, or via a Trip Watcher-specific account registration on the site.
- Once on the site, users enter their desired trip details which can include dates, destinations, preferred airlines and airports. They can also watch trips up to a year in advance.
- Users then click on "Get price drops" and the trip will be added to their "My Trips" page.
- As soon as their trip(s) experience a price drop, the subscriber is sent an update via email, Facebook and/or Twitter. This alert also includes alternate dates to consider that may be even cheaper.
- Users can check the alerts or click on the deal of their choice to nab it before it's gone!
Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/hotwire_launches_tripwatcher.com
This represents a six percent and seven percent increase, respectively, in travelers that took a trip during the same travel periods in 2012.
Relief at the Pump
According to 93 percent of Memorial Day trekkers and 87 percent of summer vacationers, gas prices will not have an effect on plans this summer. As national average gas prices continue to decline year-over-year, so does the impact of gas prices on leisure summer travel plans among TripAdvisor survey respondents.
Steady Summer Spending
Fifty-three percent of those traveling this summer said they will spend the same on their trip this year, while 25 percent expect to spend more. Travelers are also looking for savings – 71 percent said they would take a spontaneous trip if they found a last-minute deal.
Hitting the Road
Cars are the most popular mode of transportation for leisure travel this summer, followed by air travel and train. Three in four (74 percent) summer travelers will be traveling by car, 64 percent will take to the skies and 11 percent will opt for the train.
Of those traveling for Memorial Day, 56 percent will be driving to their destination and 36 percent will travel by plane. The greatest amount of travelers (29 percent) indicated they will drive between 100 and 200 miles to their weekend getaway spot, 21 percent will go 50-100 miles and 11 percent will drive more than 500 miles.
The top five most popular summer destination types this year, according to U.S. travelers:
1. Ocean – 51%
2. City – 50%
3. Countryside – 29%
4. National park – 23%
5. Lake – 17%
According to the respondents, New York City tops the list again this year for the most popular U.S. destination for summer travel. Boston and Washington, D.C. took second and third, beating out Las Vegas and Chicago, which made the list in 2012.
The majority of travelers (70 percent) surveyed will stay in hotels for leisure trips this summer, followed by 27 percent that will stay at the home of family or friends and 20 percent who will spend their time in a vacation rental home.
Shopping Tops Summer Activities
Perhaps a reflection of increased consumer confidence, the most popular vacation activity this summer will be shopping, according to more than half (51 percent) of respondents.
Other top activities for this summer’s vacationers:
- 45 percent plan to go swimming
- 42 percent plan to go to a museum
- 37 percent plan to visit a national or state park
- 35 percent plan to attend a BBQ or cookout
- Zip-lining, paddleboarding and renting a bike from a share program are three of the most popular activities for travelers planning to try something new.
Summer Pros, Cons and Indulgences
Twenty-two percent say their favorite thing about summer is spending time outdoors, 22 percent most prefer the extended daylight hours and 18 percent appreciate the warmer weather. Larger crowds are respondents’ biggest aversion (44 percent) to summer travel, followed by high travel costs (19 percent).
When it comes to favorite summer food indulgences, 33 percent will splurge on ice cream, 13 percent will reach for a lobster, and nine percent look forward to fried seafood. To wash it down, the top summer beverage indulgences are margaritas (15 percent), beer (12 percent), and iced tea (nine percent).
“The survey indicates that more people are planning leisure trips this summer, notably as prices at the pump continue to decline year-over-year,” said Brooke Ferencsik, director of communications for TripAdvisor. “Whether they plan to shop, swim or just enjoy the great outdoors, prospects of sunshine and warmer weather have U.S. travelers looking ahead to summer trips.”
Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/tripadvisor_says_u.s._summer_travel_will_surge
Hipmunk today announced that its users can now book their hotel stay directly with Hipmunk through its web and mobile applications. In addition, Hipmunk has updated its iOS and Android mobile apps to provide a unified platform for one-click booking, and announced a partnership with two industry-leading online travel agencies (OTAs) to provide users with more choices of where to book flights and hotels.
"We founded Hipmunk because we wanted to provide travelers with more choices for booking their flights and hotels," said Adam Goldstein, Hipmunk CEO. "With our latest updates, we're allowing travelers to book with more partners, while also providing a one-stop booking destination for hotels if they prefer a more streamlined experience."
Hipmunk now enables travelers to purchase hotels directly, without leaving the site. In a hotel search, when a traveler clicks on a hotel for more details, a "Book on Hipmunk" button for certain hotels will be displayed. Additionally, users can save their billing information to a secure Hipmunk account, which will be synched across desktop and mobile devices for easy on-the-go booking. Existing options to book flights and hotels with users' preferred airline, hotel or OTA will remain.
Hipmunk also released updates to both its iOS and Android mobile applications, which are more popular than ever. The company found that 30 percent of its total searches are performed on mobile devices by travelers booking hotel stays. Additionally, 25 percent of Hipmunk's hotel bookings are made through the mobile app, and the company expects hotel bookings to increase through the new direct booking capabilities.
"Mobile searches comprise an increasing number of our total volume of searches, and instant booking will cater directly to those users," Goldstein said. "The Hipmunk app is now a seamless, one-stop purchase destination that will alleviate the hassle of typing billing information on a small, mobile phone keyboard."
Other updates to the mobile applications include:
- "Verified by Hipmunk" details each hotel property's WiFi, parking rates and any additional charges such as resort fees;
- Users can create a Hipmunk account, which saves a user's upcoming hotel bookings across web and mobile in the "My Bookings" section;
- Improved map functionality provides a less cluttered and more efficient experience.
Related Link: Hipmunk
Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/hipmunk_now_offers_direct_hotel_booking
- Word-of-mouth is quickly morphing into word-of-mouth-and-image: Kissmetrics reports that YouTube is second only to Google in Internet search engines, attracting 300 million users every week, while Facebook touts 2.5 billion photos uploads a month. Visual information, once reserved for very specific uses, is now common parlance, preferred by millions.
- Travelers never leave home without social media: More than half of today’s traveling population (52%, according to MDG Advertising) relies on social media for inspiration when planning a vacation, and even more get social once they arrive; A Marriot survey indicates that 74% of travelers use social media while vacationing. MDG Advertising tags Facebook as the most popular source of travel inspiration, with 29% of users, followed by Trip Advisor, with 14%.
- Facebook still reigns, but Instagram holds the key to the kingdom: Now that Facebook has acquired Instagram and integrated the platform, Instagram users, who post a daily 40 million photos, can direct all their “liked” photos to their Facebook feeds automatically; and 98% of the Interbrand Top 100’s Instagram photos have been shared to Facebook, according to Simply Measured.
The imperative is no longer simply to post photographs of your establishment. Social media is already saturated with routine images and users’ palates are quickly refining. The new imperative is to post select visuals that distinguish your establishment from all the rest while maintaining brand cohesion. Even expected images like rooms and amenities can be branded by a photographer capable of exploiting the medium, while unusual attractions, both in the establishment and the surrounding area, will help compel guests.
Creative video is equally essential. Guided tours should appear produced, filmed and narrated by professionals who highlight exceptional service everywhere they turn. A series of short films can also expand your brand’s utility from basic lodging to a traveler’s inspiration, guidebook and advisor. Complement videos with reviews of local restaurants, event listings, guest testimonials and fun facts about the area. Guests themselves can often produce exceptionally high quality visual testimonials; hold a photograph or short video contest for users across all social media channels.
Visual communication also offers new opportunities to leverage the connectivity that social media facilitates. Facebook has recently enabled businesses to create a “Fan Gate” through which exclusive content—and, done correctly, brand identity—can filter by differentiating a Fan’s experience from that of an average visitor. Turn Facebook users into Fans with a general promotion; reward Fans once they’re in with specials offers, exclusive content and premium design elements that emphasize your brand colors and logo.
Of course, like any marketing tool, Fan Gating is only as valuable as the people who apply it; it can be considered the 21st-century incarnation of a name and a handshake. That’s the irony of social media: the surge of digital information it delivers has amplified our need for personalized human contact. If nothing else, in hospitality that will never change.
Elise Redmann writes about hotel management and hospitality for U.S. News University Connection. You can follow her @EliseRedemann on Twitter.
Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/word_of_mouth_quickly_morphing_into_word_of_mouth_and_image
The OTAs that have plugged into the RDX channel connectivity platform are:
*Best Hotel Online - a Hong Kong based booking site primarily servicing South East Asia and representing more than 125,000 hotels in 248 countries. Ranked as one of the fastest growing OTAs in Asia, Best Hotel Online also boasts a new and popular iOS application for mobile
bookings – http://www.besthotelonline.com.
* Hotusa – a major Spanish reservations site representing over 2500 properties in 50 countries, with a focus on smaller, independent hotels in continental Europe – http://www.hotusa.com.
* PegiPegi - One of Indonesia’s largest OTAs for both business and holiday purposes – http://www.pegipegi.com.
* ImpulseFlyer – A membership based site representing hand-picked, luxury hotels in the Asia Pacific region – http://www.impulseflyer.com.
* Prestigia – A UK based site representing over 5000 luxury and boutique properties around the world – http://www.prestigia.com.
* Yuktravel – A major Indonesian site selling rooms for hotels worldwide – http://www.yuktravel.com.
SiteMinder Product Manager, Matt O’Kane, said connectivity challenges faced by fast growing OTAs and established wholesalers around the world had seen an increase in the number of booking sites plugging into SiteMinder’s RDX platform. He said the two-way access gives the booking sites a seamless connection to leading, global Property Management Systems (PMS) and Central Reservation Systems (CRS).
“These six new connections will help hotels around the world gain more efficient access to the growing markets that are serviced by each of these booking sites. On the flip side, booking sites will also find that more properties will connect into their platforms due to the simplicity and cost effectiveness provided by the SiteMinder solution” Mr O’Kane said.
Related Link: Siteminder
Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/six_major_online_travel_sites_partner_with_siteminders_rdx
Mobile is responsible for an increasing share of traffic to local search apps—like Citysearch, YellowPages.com and Yelp—as users turn to the app directories for on-the-go information. Research from the Local Search Association and comScore found that in December 2012, the share of traffic to these sites from mobile phones and tablets quadrupled over the previous year.
In addition, not only are these local mobile search app users accounting for a significant share of local internet directory traffic, they also have plenty of demographic and behavioral characteristics to further recommend themselves to marketers.
The study found that US smartphone users who accessed internet yellow page mobile apps (IYP users) - the generic name for these local search app services—were highly likely to be affluent consumers. IYP users were 51% more likely than smartphone users overall to have incomes above $100,000.
Get the full story at eMarketer
Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/affluents_drive_local_search_app_use
The program, introduced in July of last year, is officially called Expedia Traveler Preference because guests can choose whether to pay up front on Expedia or when they get to the hotel. The program was criticized early on by hotel owners and asset managers because of the potential to increase costs for hotel owners by way of additional training and credit-card processing fees.
But revenue managers on the ground level say the benefits of the program outweigh any additional costs it might bring.
Andrea Stigliano, reservations manager at The Lancaster Hotel, a historic hotel in downtown Houston, praised the program for allowing her associates to learn more about the guests before they arrive. Prior to hotel collect, Expedia - through its direct-connect platform - would typically give The Lancaster a name of the guest expected to arrive.
Get the full story at HotelNewsNow.com
Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/benefits_of_expedia_hotel_collect_program_to_outweight_additional_cost
Travelzoo is reversing the trend of online travel agencies getting into the world of media (by buying metasearch companies) and will soon start its own hotel booking service.
The new product is to be spearheaded by a recent addition to the team: Steven Rubin, previously of YOTEL, Kimpton Hotel and Restaurant Group, and Swissôtel New York, joining the company as vice president.
Travelzoo, which bills itself a “global media company”, has a current business model that includes travel, entertainment, local and vacation deals, and provides deep discounts to travel products all over the world.
The expansion of the business into direct hotel bookings is significant, as it will not only provide more revenue opportunities to the company, but also segment their subscriber base.
Get the full story at Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/travelzoo_to_launch_direct_hotel_bookings_for_vip_subscribers
The Shanghai-based company said May 8 that first-quarter revenue jumped 27 percent from a year earlier to $187 million, exceeding the $171.9 million mean of eight analysts’ estimates compiled by Bloomberg. Net income for the period also beat the average projection. Ctrip forecast sales growth of as much as 20 percent for the second quarter.
Ctrip appears to be turning around following heavy price competition last year and recent investments in product development and tech infrastructure, Juan Lin, an analyst with Wedge Partners, wrote in a research note on Thursday.
"Ctrip's Q1 results exceeded our estimate on both the top and bottom line. ... Furthermore, the company's Q2 revenue guidance and management's positive tone on the business outlook indicate a turnaround point for the company, after more than a year of heavy price competition," he wrote.
Get the full story at Investors.com Seeking Alpha
Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/ctrip.coms_q1_profit_down_26_on_expenses
The report surveyed more than 1,200 U.S. households with incomes of $150k+ in partnership with The Luxury Institute to evaluate their plans for travel, recreation and the purchase of vacation homes in the next 12-24 months. A copy of the full report can be downloaded at here.
54% of affluents both under and over 55 rated internet access #1, and High Net Worth households (net worth $1MM+) rated it even higher, at 57%. Affluents over 55 ranked Privacy second, while under 55s and HNWs rated the Beach as the second most desirable amenity.
“It’s clear that American luxury travelers want the option to connect as they please, whether to bring their friends up to speed on their activities on social media or touch base with the office,” says Resonance Consultancy President Chris Fair. “The luxury hotels and resorts of the future will not only have to provide free internet access throughout their property to meet the demands of these travelers, but also create mobile applications and a digital visitor experience that will become an integrated part of the hospitality offering."
Desired Hotel Amenities When Choosing a Hotel/Resort for Vacation
1. Internet Access
5. Close to Shopping and Restaurants
6. Unique Activities / Experiences
7. All-Inclusive Packages
8. Fitness Center
9. Online Reviews
10. Walking Trails
Get the full story at Luxury Travel Magazine and Resonance Report
Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/for_luxury_u.s._traveleres_internet_access_is_1_hotel_amenity
Hoteliers believe that both Google Hotel Finder and Facebook Graph Search are poised to positively impact their revenue per available room (RevPAR) according to a survey by hotel market intelligence provider TravelClick.
Almost half of respondents (45.7%) believe that Google Hotel Finder will most positively impact RevPAR with more than a third (35.5%) supporting Facebook Graph Search as the most positive impact.
Conversely, nearly a third of hoteliers showed concern that mobile app Hotel Tonight may have a negative impact on RevPAR.
Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/social_medias_influence_on_hotels_set_to_increase
Regardless of the prospective customers' confident demeanor, on the inside they are experiencing fear, uncertainty, and doubt while making their selection. The stress this creates serves as the key factor in determining whether or not a purchase will be made. Therefore, all salespeople need to understand this lowest common denominator of human decision making. They need to understand the nature of stress.
From a psychological perspective, stress shortens attention spans, escalates mental exhaustion, and encourages poor decision making. From an organizational perspective, when anxious evaluators experience too much stress it typically results in analysis-paralysis. They are too overwhelmed with information and contradictory evidence to make a decision. It's the salesperson's responsibility to anticipate and diffuse the main sources of customer stress during the selection process: budgetary stress, corporate citizenship stress, organizational stress, vendor selection stress, informational stress, and evaluation committee stress.
Get the full story at Harvard Business Review
Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/why_customers_dont_buy
The coming together of these once distinct disciplines has heightened the importance of revenue management because revenue teams are analysing the essential data needed by other departments to streamline their own operations.
In short, in this age of technological convergence, revenue management has become the lifeblood of the hotel organisation.
“Over the past decade, revenue management has arguably grown into one of the most developed and evolved departments in the hotel industry,” explained IHG vice president for revenue management, Brian Hicks. “Some of this development is due to an increase in the availability of data and the quality of the analytics. Marketing, sales and distribution departments are now looking to revenue management to inform and advise on demand and pricing decisions.”
Get the full story at Ideas (PDF 150 KB)
Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/hotel_revenue_management_in_the_age_of_big_data
There is an increasing dilemma between the opportunities given on multiple platforms, targeting different consumer segments in a variety of markets, and the resources available in a hotel. The opportunities increase, whereas the resources are limited.
Distribution managers today have to decide which channel to spend their time on, as they cannot invest their time on every available or possible channel.
In addition there is a widening gap between the knowhow required to work channels profitably and the knowhow available in hotels. Distribution managers with a sense for ROI and profitability are in demand. Also, in order to provide a coherent picture or message of the hotel and brand across all channels, distribution and e-commerce managers have to work very closely today with communications, marketing and revenue management. It is impossible today to prepare and launch a profitable campaign without close cooperation with the other departments.
Get the full story at EyeForTravel
Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/the_increasing_dilemma_between_opportunities_and_resources_in_online_hotel
Travelport is using Quickpay, its a fast-payment system, to speed up commission payments for agents.
Quickpay is now a standard feature of Rooms & More until further notice. Travelport will pay the indicated amount in advance of supplier payments, which can be slow to arrive.
Agents have to pay back Travelport only if the supplier fails to pay Travelport. This should cut commission payment time by 60 to 90 days, Travelport said.
Get the full story at Travel Weekly
Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/travelports_rooms_and_more_quickens_commission_payments
The program is designed to boost consumer awareness of both companies by exposing Yelp’s consumer base of 100 million unique monthly users to Choice’s domestic portfolio of 5,000 hotels.
Users can plot a destination and the Road Trip Guide platform displays the Choice Hotels available along the route (with the option to book rooms). The platform also highlights an array of Yelp curated and reviewed sights, places to shop and eat and various activities. The campaign also features a sweepstakes with road trip-related prizes.
"When we came up with the idea of a road trip tool, Yelp was a natural partner to approach,” said Melissa Romig, vice president, group account director, Havas Media. “They have reviews for every type of summer fun place we'd want to highlight and with thousands of hotel locations across the country, we needed someone that could provide content in just as many locations."
Get the full story at MediaPost
Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/choice_hotels_yelp_book_marketing_campaign
Amadeus claimed a gain in its global share of agency air bookings of 1.6 percentage points to 39.8%, and said overall GDS industry growth was sluggish.
Profit in the quarter was 7.5% higher at 153 million euros (about $211 million), while operating income was up 5.1%.
Amadeus' distribution revenue increased 2.4% to 612 million euros (about $784 million), while its airline IT business grew revenue by 9.8% to 183 million euros (about $234 million).
Get the full story at Amadeus
Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/amadeus_reports_higher_profit_and_market_share
The company increased RevPas by 6 percent, including a 20 percent growth in hospitality, payment processing and services revenue.
Also, it launched an airline merchandising platform in April, signed airline agreements, extended hotel rooms offers to more than one million and expanded operations in targeted growth regions of Africa and Russia. It's also successfully completed refinancing in April 2013.
"We are today reporting an increase in underlying revenue, a growth in underlying Adjusted EBITDA, and a significantly strengthened Travelport group balance sheet following April's successful refinancing," said Gordon Wilson, president and CEO, Travelport.
Get the full story at Travel Agent Central and Travelport
Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/travelport_posts_net_loss_but_positive_revpas_growth
Knowing that a well-thought out visual story on OTAs can increase engagement, bookings and ADR, why are some hoteliers shying away from OTAs?
It’s important to understand the travel shopping journey and that OTAs are not exclusively used for booking. Travel shoppers do their hotel research on a number of websites (including OTAs) before they’re even ready to book. Therefore, the way your hotel is presented on these sites impacts whether or not you make the travel shopper’s shortlist. If you don’t make their shortlist, they definitely won’t be visiting your hotel’s website, brand website or calling you to book directly. They won’t be booking your hotel at all. Not booking at all is worse than if booking through an OTA, isn’t it?
Visual stories give the consumer a better perspective of what your hotel offers overall, thus adding to your value proposition, justifying your price point and reducing the need to discount your rooms.
Get the full story at VFM Leonardo
Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/how_hotel_images_impact_ota_bookings_and_revenue
Priceline predicted second-quarter adjusted earnings of $8.87 to $9.45 a share on revenue growth of about 15% to 20%. Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters recently projected per-share earnings of $9.58 on revenue growth of 72%.
Priceline has recorded profit growth for years, driven by hotel bookings, and especially the expansion of its international bookings business in places like Latin America and Asia. Priceline's heavy reliance on the hotel business has insulated it from a pullback in air travel, which makes up a smaller share of its sales.
The company agreed in November to buy Kayak Software Corp. (KYAK) in a deal valuing the online-travel aggregator at $1.8 billion. The purchase, which is expected to close later this month, should give Priceline a leading source of online-travel advertising and a large base of new site traffic.
For the latest quarter, Priceline posted a profit of $244.3 million, or $4.76 a share, up from $182 million, or $3.54 a share, a year earlier. Excluding a charge of $20.6 million on travel transaction tax rulings in the latest quarter and other items, earnings rose to $5.76 a share from $4.28. Revenue increased 26% to $1.3 billion.
Get the full story at Reuters
Read also "Hotel Bookings Will Maintain Priceline’s Growth Momentum" at Trefis and "Priceline Plans To Pare Expedia's Lead In U.S. Online Bookings" at Seeking Alpha
Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/priceline_q1_net_jumps_24_disappointing_q2_forecast
Inspired by the power of technology and ways to transform meetings for the people attending, Marriott Hotels is introducing Red Coat Direct. With this first of its kind app, meeting organizers can now adjust and edit their meeting requests and preferences with a touch of a button and without ever leaving the meeting room. Red Coat Direct is the first branded hotel app to grant any meeting wish (within reason) from room temperature adjustments, to coffee refills or having lunch served earlier with an additional vegetarian dish. Rolling out at 350 Marriott Hotel properties in the US beginning in May, the Red Coat Direct app will be expanded to the brand's entire global portfolio of 500 hotels by the end of 2014.
"The way people work is more mobile and global, but until now, organizing meetings has been stuck in the past. We are rethinking all aspects of meetings from the physical space to the experience for both attendees and planners, and looking for ways to enable and inspire people to do their best work," said Peggy Roe , vice president, global operations services for Marriott Hotels. "Red Coat Direct's technology allows planners to continually adjust requests without missing a minute of their meeting or keeping other professionals waiting."
The app is personalized to the each organizer's specific meeting. Requests can be made up to three days before the meeting and then throughout the meeting. Once the request is made, it is routed to the event manager and the department that can fulfill the request. The app is available for all internet-enabled devices including iPhone, iPad, Android phones, Kindle Fire and laptops and will be available in 19 languages by 2014's global roll-out.
Marriott Hotels has been "re-imagining" the guest experience, transforming lobbies and public spaces by designing them for the next generation of travelers who blend work and play, demand style and substance, and require technology. As the industry leader in hosting meetings, Marriott is introducing new concepts designed for the new mobile worker.
Workspace On Demand powered by Liquidspace, an application to book meetings on demand, is further differentiating the customer experience at Marriott Hotels by allowing guests to book both free and paid spaces as easily as they book a guest room. Workspring at Marriott at the Redmond Marriott Town Center, the industry's first purpose-built suite of integrated spaces and common areas designed for small meetings, takes a holistic approach, bringing together seamlessly integrated service, technology and contemporary design. It was created in partnership with Steelcase to support collaborative work, inspiring creativity and innovation.
Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/marriott_launches_mobile_app_for_meeting_organizers
Mobile apps can be about more than just advertising – Hyatt Hotels and Resorts is using its mobile app, launched at the beginning of this year, to integrate its guest experience.
“We’re doing 30 percent of all of our traffic through mobile, which includes mobile web, mobile apps and tablets,” said Bill Bernahl, VP of e-commerce and marketing technology at Hyatt.
While both Hyatt’s mobile website and app offer basic information, such as the ability to search for hotels, view photos and other basic information and book, the app offers a richer experience aimed at frequent Hyatt customers, Bernahl said. The app integrates with Apple’s Passbook, offers access to Hyatt’s Twitter concierge @hyattconcierge for customer service requests and can act as a card for Hyatt’s loyalty program.
Having a mobile website and a richer app helps Hyatt reach the broadest possible customer base. “While a lot of people have smartphones, there are a lot more regular feature phones, so if you use only apps you’d be leaving out a lot of people, especially in developing markets,” Bernahl said.
Get the full story at Hotel Management
Read also "The newly redesigned Hyatt.com, shaped by research and guest insights"
Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/hyatts_mobile_app_goes_beyond_booking
Participating hotels offer complimentary breakfast, early check-in and late checkout when available, and room upgrades when available.
Travel Leaders Group CEO Barry Liben said that agencies selling Select Hotels have “a proven track record of delivering high-yielding clients.”
Travel Leaders soft-launched its Select Hotel Program in January.
Get the full story at Travel Weekly
Related Link: Travel Leaders
Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/travel_leaders_launches_luxury_hotel_program
Ready to get your hands dirty with some Twitter advertising? Now's your chance! On April 30th, Twitter announced that advertising would finally be available to all users in the U.S. through the launch of its new, self-service ad platform. Previously, advertisers had to be invited to use Twitter ads -- and spend a minimum amount of money per quarter -- through the full-service platform.
With those stipulations no longer in place, now even small mom and pop shops and businesses with smaller marketing budgets can leverage Twitter's advertising platform using Twitter's self-service platform to give their organic Twitter presence a boost. All you have to do is go to your Twitter settings, and you, too can start setting up a Twitter ad campaign.
Some paid promotion can be a great complement to your organic inbound marketing efforts, so if you're new to Twitter ads, here is a primer on just how they work.
Get the full story at HubSpot
Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/twitter_opens_advertising_to_all_u.s._users_heres_how_it_works
“We sought out an executive that could not only offer the financial acumen required of a CFO, but who would also have the industry understanding to help lead us towards better client service and processes,” said David Millili, chief executive officer of Pegasus Solutions. “Temple convincingly demonstrated these skills, and brings critical results-oriented leadership that will serve us as we focus on growth.”
Most recently, Weiss served as executive vice president and chief financial officer of ACE Cash Express, Inc. in Irving, Tex. Prior to that, he was with LQ Management and La Quinta Corporation for more than 10 years. At La Quinta Corporation, he held various finance positions, ultimately serving as vice president, development. With LQ Management, he held the role of executive vice president, development and acquisitions, and later, executive vice president and chief financial officer. He began his career with Bristol Hotels & Resorts in Dallas.
Weiss earned his bachelor’s in business with a concentration in management and international business at Baylor University in Waco, Tex. He also holds a master’s of hospitality management with a concentration in finance and development from the University of Houston.
Related Link: Pegasus Solutions
Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/pegasus_solutions_names_temple_weiss_chief_financial_officer
The 4/5 Star hotel group of six properties has been able to introduce a substantial expansion of its product offerings from one room rate plan for four room-types to 16 rate plans for 6 - 7 room-types. The company achieved this across all locations in just 12 months through RateTiger channel manager, resulting in a surge in both bookings and revenue. LifeClass Hotels has also improved price positioning and rate parity through competitor benchmarking reports from RateTiger Shopper, a rate shopping tool, and thereby improved exposure in their 17 sales channels of distribution.
“LifeClass implemented RateTiger last year, which allows hotels to easily analyze the market,” said Casey Davy, VP EMEA, eRevMax. “Each property has been able to take control of its sales channels by updating rates and inventory across multiple distribution channels and travel portals in real-time. By utilizing shopper reports, the hotel can calculate better rate opportunities to improve market position.”
“RateTiger has certainly made it easy for us to set rates and update all the sales channels very quickly. We have been able to expand our online distribution channels, diversify product offerings, and reach out to a new audience. Direct bookings have also increased as a result of the enhanced visibility through different OTAs – and due to the strict maintenance of rate parity,” said Alen Milosevic, Revenue Manager, LifeClass Hotels & Spa.
LifeClass has been accessing Reservation Reports, a key module in RateTiger to monitor channel performance and map demographics of their customers. Through booking analysis, the group was able to identify the top-performing channels and offer customized packages to their key markets in Italy, Austria, Germany, Russia while continuing to cater to domestic tourists.
In recent months, LifeClass Hotels has also experienced a surge in repeat business by developing a post-stay, guest engagement through online guest review websites using RateTiger Review. This has resulted in 30% revenue growth in 2012. Each property assesses the information and responds to guest reviews from social channels like TripAdvisor, Facebook, Yelp, etc along with those associated with sales channels (like Booking and Expedia) multiple times a day.
“We have been actively monitoring guest reviews of our properties as well as those of our competitors. RateTiger Review has helped us to respond pro-actively to negative reviews, and address our product offerings,” observed Alen Milosevic.
Related Link: RateTiger
Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/lifeclass_hotels_doubles_direct_booking_with_ratetiger
“Our first quarter results are evidence that our underlying fundamentals are extremely healthy,” said Steve Kaufer, President and CEO of TripAdvisor. “Our traffic growth accelerated, and hotel shoppers, members and valuable content continue to grow at a rapid clip on a global basis. Integrating our new metasearch hotel pricing and availability engine has been a wonderful complement to our ongoing strides to make the site more engaging, personalized and social. We look forward to kicking off the busy summer travel season.”
- TripAdvisor’s travel community averaged more than 200 million monthly unique visitors for the quarter ended March 31, 2013, according to Google Analytics. At approximately 11% of the world’s monthly unique visitors in online travel, according to comScore, TripAdvisor remains the largest travel website in the world.
- TripAdvisor user-generated content continued to grow at a rate of more than 60 contributions per minute and reached the 100 million review and opinion milestone, covering more than 700,000 hotels and accommodations, 1.1 million restaurants and 260,000 attractions in more than 125,000 destinations throughout the world. TripAdvisor syndicates its content to more than 600 travel-related partners and TripAdvisor widgets can be found on more than 75,000 sites around the globe.
- TripAdvisor averaged more than 33 million monthly Facebook visitors to its website and Facebook app during the quarter, and remains the #1 travel app on Facebook, according to AppData, and nearly doubled its marketable members year-over-year to 48 million according to company logs.
- Downloads of TripAdvisor, City Guides and SeatGuru mobile apps doubled year-over-year to nearly 36 million and TripAdvisor’s average unique monthly visitors via smartphone and tablet devices grew 300% year-over-year to more than 62 million for the quarter ended March 31, 2013, according to company logs.
Get the full story at TripAdvisor Investor Relations
Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/tripadvisor_hotel_shoppers_accelerate_to_41_year_over_year_growth
The U.S. site isn’t fully rolled out yet, but TripAdvisor sites in the UK, Brazil, Canada, Germany, India, Ireland and Singapore already have the full treatment.
Once hotel metasearch, which brings TripAdvisor higher CPC rates and conversions than non-transactional traffic, is fully in place, TripAdvisor plans to launch its first global, offline advertising campaign, starting in the U.S. this summer.
Given TripAdvisor’s power and skills, the Kayak folks are definitely watching what TripAdvisor CEO Steve Kaufer yesterday referred to as TripAdvisor’s “big bet.”
Get the full story at Skift.com
Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/tripadvisor_readies_hotel_meta_search_as_natural_extension_to_reviews
Megan Danielson, head of industry, travel at Google, says hotels and other travel companies are increasingly using YouTube to gain exposure for their brands. For good reason: YouTube has 1 billion unique monthly viewers.
Studies show that more travelers are turning to videos online to plan their trips. A Google/Ipsos study last year found that 61% of business travelers used video to help them pick hotels, and 41% of leisure travelers used video to plan or book a trip.
They also are looking for deals on hotels' social networks. According to a Google/Shopper Sciences study released in December, 48% of social network users follow travel brands to learn about promotions and sales.
Get the full story at USA Today
Read also "DoubleTree/Google YouTube channel wants to reward you for overshared travel stories" at Digital Trends
Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/doubletree_by_hilton_and_google_launch_first_hotel_youtube_channel
“The vast majority of the top 25 North American markets are seeing steady, moderate growth in both occupancy and ADR” said Tim Hart, executive vice president, enterprise research and development, TravelClick. “The transient sector continues to outperform the group sector with business travel leading the charge.”
12 Month Outlook (April 2013 – March 2014)
When looking at the next 12 months (April 2013 - March 2014), overall committed occupancy is up 3.0 percent versus this time last year, and ADR is showing a healthy gain of 4.1 percent based on reservations currently on the books.
The group segment is showing an occupancy increase of 1.9 percent and an ADR gain of 3.8 percent compared to this time last year.
Transient bookings are up 5.7 percent year-over-year. For the transient segment, ADR is up—4.2 percent. Drilling further into the transient segment, room nights booked for the transient business segment is ahead of this time last year by 8.6 percent. The transient leisure segment is also up in room nights on the books, but by a more moderate 3.5 percent. In terms of ADR the transient leisure segment is up 4.9 percent, while the transient business segment is up 3.0 percent.
Get the full story at TravelClick
Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/us_hotels_continue_to_see_moderate_growth_in_both_bookings_and_rate
The photos can be shared on Facebook or Twitter, and they’ll also show up on a hotel’s profile page in the app, sorted by things like the type of image (so that you don’t end up with six pictures in a row of beds) and whether other users liked the photo. And the app will also start featuring a page with recent popular photos.
Shank argued that Share Your Stay allows users to capture their experience during their stay (as opposed to trying to remember it afterwards), and to do it in a quick, convenient fashion - he noted that you can take and upload all six photos with just 20 taps, whereas writing a review would take “thousands.” (Put another way: Typing out an in-depth review on your phone would be a pain.)
Now you might be thinking, “Hold on, that doesn’t really sound like a review. How do I explain that the staff was mean? Or that there were a lot of weird noises at night?” For now, at least, you can’t. HotelTonight already asks users whether they would recommend the hotel - HotelTonight describes that as a quality-control mechanism (a few hotels have been removed from the app for low ratings) and a way to make users feel more comfortable about their bookings. Meanwhile, he described Share Your Stay as a way to capture the experience, which will help other HotelTonight users decide whether a hotel is right for them.
Get the full story at TechCrunch
Read also "Interview: HotelTonight’s CEO on user photos, copycats and Priceline" at Skift.com
Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/hoteltonight_launches_a_more_visual_take_on_hotel_reviews
The partnership is the latest attempt by marketers to shower attention on consumers big footprints in social media, in hopes to earn mentions in their news feeds. The Palms Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas introduced the "Klout Klub" in 2010 to offer special amenities to people with high rankings on the service.
Klout scores are computed through a proprietary algorithm that weighs various elements in users' social-media profiles, including their follower count and engagement with their tweets. Periodic changes to the algorithm that cause some users' scores to drop have caused great hand-wringing.
Klout introduced its "perks" program -- which entails distributing free goods or services to users who meet the requisite criteria, including a certain score threshold and social "influence" in a specific area like technology or cars -- in 2010 and has distributed freebies for customers like Sony, Nike, Microsoft, Audi and Disney.
Get the full story at Advertising Age
Related Link: Klout
Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/american_airlines_opens_up_first_class_lounges_to_high_klout_scorers
SiteMinder’s Head of Sales for Northern Europe, Cassian Silins, said SiteMinder was proud it had been chosen as the online distributor for a major hotel group in Paris.
“In today’s highly competitive accommodation market, hotels cannot afford not to have their rooms available on the world’s leading booking platforms and via SiteMinder’s Channel Manager, Les Hotels de Paris will now ensure the groups inventory can quickly and easily be distributed to key reservation sites,” Mr Silins said.
“SiteMinder’s easy to use and powerful Channel Manager will effectively and efficiently broaden the global online reach for the properties in the Les Hotels de Paris group. Via pooled inventory, all rooms will be distributed all sites, optimising online revenue potential and when rooms are booked anywhere, our Channel Manager will automatically adjust the group’s inventory across all its booking platforms, cutting manual labour and solving the problem of over booking,” he said.
SiteMinder’s Channel Manager helps properties such as Les Hotel’s de Paris maximise their online exposure. Their pooled inventory model means all rooms are distributed across all booking sites. As soon as a booking is made on one site the inventory is adjusted across all sites. This helps to optimise online revenue, reduces manual labour and solves the problem of overbooking.
“As Paris is one of the world’s major tourist destinations, visitors have a huge choice in accommodation available to them but we are confident that SiteMinder can draw more of those tourists into the lobbies of Les Hotels de Paris properties.”
Head of Communications at Les Hotels de Paris, Sebastien Didelle, said: “We compared five companies to provide us with a Channel Manager that would underpin our distribution system and our strategic choice was SiteMinder because of its simplicity and effectiveness in managing and selling our inventory on the internet.”
Related Link: Siteminder
Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/siteminder_books_in_to_one_of_worlds_top_tourist_destinations
Many marketers and digital industry pundits contend that the Google+ user base—some 343 million internet users worldwide in Q4 2012, according to GlobalWebIndex—is smoke and mirrors, and that many people are not engaging the site like a traditional social network.
Whether that’s the case, the site’s nomenclature—regardless if it’s “officially” a social network—has little bearing on its influence for travel research. Google+ continues to integrate content—including photos from travelers, travel brands and destinations, along with user reviews from Zagat—into an increasingly larger space on the right side of the search engine results pages. When users click in that space, they’re rerouted to a Google+ Local Page, and they’re “using” Google+ whether they realize it or not.
Additionally, Google+ detractors tend to take a US-centric view, and indeed, penetration is quite low in the US, at only 6% of internet users, according to GlobalWebIndex data from Q2 2012. Worldwide, penetration goes much deeper. More than 25% of internet users in 17 different countries accessed or posted on Google+ at least once a month that quarter—that includes more than 100 million users in China, more than 40 million in India, and more than 20 million each in Brazil and Indonesia.
Get the full story at eMarketer
Read also "Google+ advantageous to business owners" at HotelNewsNow.com
Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/travelers_look_to_google_as_research_tool
Travel research firm PhoCusWright, which just released its U.S. Consumer Travel Report: Fifth Edition, collaborated with Monetate to explore travelers’ preferences for upsells and cross-sells when booking travel online.
Here are some of the key findings:
- People are not going to buy ancillaries for every single trip, it’s very situational. There’s a large portion of travelers that will sometimes be in-market, and sometimes not.
- Many people want to see ancillaries offered at multiple touchpoints. It’s not just at one point. They want to see it when
- Hotels are a bit stronger for interest in the ancillaries versus airlines. For a lot of people, the hotel piece is where they want to indulge.
Get the full story at Monetate
Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/upsells_and_cross_sells_in_travel_its_a_timing_thing
Increased engagement with travelers leads to strengthened relationships, which then leads to increased consideration when it comes time to buy. Consumers who are engaged with a brand socially are more likely to share their experiences online.
One strategy that has worked for Expedia is partnering with travel bloggers to help share experiences. In the past, Expedia partnered with a well-known travel blogger to take over the company’s social media handles for a day while she’s at a particular property and post about her experiences.
“Partner with a blogger and get them to experience your property and engage in a genuine fashion with your followers,” Graham said.
Expedia also has seen success hosting Twitter chats with partners because of the high amount of impressions that come from Twitter followers and retweets. For example, a hotel in a ski area could partner with a popular snowboarding brand for a Twitter chat.
Get the full story at HotelNewsNow.com
Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/how_hotel_marketers_use_search_and_social_media_to_build_loyalty
TripAdvisor announced the expansion of its suite of review collection services with Review Express, a powerful, free solution available exclusively on TripAdvisor. The new service makes encouraging fresh reviews easier than ever by giving registered businesses the option to send customizable, bulk emails to their guests asking them to write a review about their customer experience. Review Express has been developed with property owners in mind and has been enhanced based on user feedback following extensive Beta testing.
According to the TripBarometer by TripAdvisor, 87 percent of travelers globally say they use travel review sites to help them plan a trip and 95 percent say that other people's reviews on travel review sites influenced their plans. Review Express was built to help accommodations, restaurants and attractions build their reputation online and enhance their TripAdvisor presence while giving prospective guests the traveler feedback they need to plan the perfect trip.
Review Express enables owners to send free messages to past guests and customers on behalf of their property, which automatically include a link to the property's "Write a Review" page on TripAdvisor.
Key features of Review Express include:
- Customizable emails, including ability to add a logo, image and personalized message
- Bulk upload of up to 1000 email addresses, allowing businesses to target recent guests or customers with one easy send
- Processing of send requests within 24 hours and automatic notification of successful and unsuccessful sends
- Ability to send messages in the 21 languages that TripAdvisor supports
Reviews collected through the service will be published on TripAdvisor, and are subject to the site's policies. Additionally, reviews posted as a consequence of Review Express emails will be attributed as such on TripAdvisor – the review will include a short message to say that it was 'collected in partnership' with the hotel, restaurant or attraction. TripAdvisor will not store email addresses submitted through the service.
A groundbreaking study from The Cornell Center for Hospitality Research demonstrates that there is a financial reward for having a great online reputation -- and how reviews can influence a hotel's ability to increase prices, drive occupancy and maximize revenue.
"With Review Express, TripAdvisor aims to extend the relationship between businesses and their guests to encourage them to write reviews. This is a time-saver for owners, providing them with a powerful system to manage multiple emails and requests at no cost to the business," said Severine Philardeau, vice president of global partnerships, TripAdvisor. "Review Express has been developed and enhanced based on extensive user testing and is an invaluable service for hospitality business owners looking to build their online reputation. When used in conjunction with our free display offerings for owners, Review Express provides a great online marketing package for small and independent hospitality business owners to capture the value of user reviews for their property."
Sean Ames, General Manager at the Gem Hotel in New York City, said: "We're utilizing TripAdvisor's Review Express and what we noticed immediately is that the hit ratio is greater than any of the other mechanisms we had put in place to garner feedback from our guests."
To use Review Express, business owners should visit http://www.tripadvisor.com/reviewexpress or log in to the Management Centre, and click on "Get more reviews" from either the quick links or the main management centre menu to access the service.
View a video introduction to TripAdvisor Review Express or download the factsheet at TripAdvisor (PDF 380 KB)
Read also "TripAdvisor’s plan to get another 100 million reviews: Have hotels do the work"
Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/more_on_tripadvisors_new_hotel_review_collection_service_review_express
This finding comes from the recently released 2013 edition of Trends® in the Hotel Industry, the annual compendium of hotel operating statistics prepared by PKF Hospitality Research, LLC (PKF-HR) that dates back to 1937.
Based on a sample of operating statements collected from approximately 6,500 hotels during the 2013 Trends® survey, rooms revenue increased by a healthy 6.3 percent from 2011 to 2012; however, total hotel revenue grew by just 5.0 percent. This means that the combined revenue earned from food and beverage, other operated departments, and rentals and other income increased only 2.3 percent per available room (PAR), or a mere 0.5 percent when measured on a dollar per occupied room basis (POR).
"This finding is consistent with other research conducted by our firm," said R. Mark Woodworth, president of PKF-HR. "According to our annual survey of meeting planners for ConventionSouth magazine, as well as discussions with corporate travel planners, these professionals have reconciled that rising occupancy levels have led to more limited availability, thus requiring higher room rates. However, to keep control of their meeting and travel budgets, limitations have been placed on the amount conventioneers and business people can spend on ancillary services and amenities. We already have seen hotel owners and operators react to this trend by reducing the levels of food and beverage service at their properties, along with an enhanced focus on building select-service hotels."
Get the full story at Hospitality.Net
Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/u.s._hotel_guests_spend_more_on_room_rates_but_not_on_much_else
To Rob Brosnan, senior analyst at Forrester Research, these customer behaviors suggest something a little scary: No company ever interacts with the same customer twice.
By that, he means even if your brand interacts with the same individual across website sessions, email interactions, or in-store purchase, something about that customer has changed. Whether it’s the products they are interested in, or the questions that drove them to a particular interaction, or the device they are using, the customer’s needs and wants are almost constantly in flux.
If companies don’t understand how each of these factors impact the customer experience and adapt to these challenges or scenarios, says Brosnan, their marketing programs will likely be “out of date before they even get off the ground.”
And that’s where big data comes in. In order to remain relevant, organizations need to bring all of their data together in order to make the information actionable in the moment, responding to customers across all touchpoints. And while organizations have a lot of data, possibly too much data, that doesn’t mean it’s easy to compile it all and understand it.
Get the full story at Monetate
Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/customers_arent_a_fixed_problem_to_optimize_against
Independent hotels need leverage to better compete with branded properties, according to the 2013 International Travel Trends survey. The study, which polled more than 1,000 Americans ages 18 years and older, found that "When booking a hotel or resort, Americans like the safety of widely recognized brands when traveling domestically and internationally, over alternative lodging options such as . . . an independent hotel." To begin attracting and engaging with more travelers, Lodging Interactive and its subsidiary CoMMingle have developed a fully-integrated approach to online-marketing for independent hotel operators that levels the playing field and makes them viable contenders.
"Independent hotel operators may think that they can't compete with the big boys because they lack the resources and support system that a franchise provides -- but that's a huge misconception," said DJ Vallauri, Lodging Interactive Founder and President. "Lodging Interactive and CoMMingle provide the same, and in most cases more comprehensive, online marketing services offered by the brands.
"Want to give guests a place to post reviews but don't have the time to manage responses? Looking for an industry-leading booking engine but don't know which to choose? Confused by how to stay on top of the various social media channels? Unsure about your online reputation? These are just a few of the many challenges that our team of experts are tackling everyday for independent operators while providing a big return on their investment," Vallauri said.
Lodging Interactive is an award-winning, interactive and social media marketing agency exclusively servicing the hospitality industry. CoMMingle by Lodging Interactive is a fully managed social media marketing agency that develops customized solutions for hospitality entities. Together, the companies are providing powerful new ways for hoteliers to interact with their guests and prospects and better grow and manage their use of social media channels.
While the brands may offer a service, such as collecting reviews on each hotel's website, Lodging Interactive and CoMMingle go the extra step by actually managing the review process and informing the hotel when comments are posted that require immediate action. If the independent hotel doesn't have the manpower available to respond in a timely manner, CoMMingle will take on that task on behalf of the hotel and respond immediately and appropriately. Likewise, CoMMingle will monitor the various social media channels to see what is being said -- or not said -- and can communicate with bloggers, friends and fans on behalf of the independent hotel to maintain a stellar online reputation.
Lodging Interactive and CoMMingle are offering Independent hotel operators the flexibility and affordability to build their own suite of services from the following resources:
- Website design and management
- Social media marketing
- Reputation management
- Guest review system
- Email newsletter marketing
- Video production
- Hotel gift certificates marketing
- Full advertising agency services
- Seamless connectivity to the Global Distribution Systems (GDSs)
- Improved placement with the Online Travel Agencies (OTAs)
- Direct Connect, Net Rate and Merchant model programs
- Fully customizable booking engine with easy to use/understand analytics
- Mobile booking engine through smartphones and social media (Facebook)
- Measurement and accountability services
"Lodging Interactive and CoMMingle are bringing all of these resources to the table to enable any hotel to compete aggressively," Vallauri said. "Whether they need one service today or several, our team of experts can assist with any area of online marketing and reservations processing. It's time for independent hotels to get the recognition they deserve as a viable lodging destination. The best way to accomplish this is to have a consistent online presence with a relevant message that is being monitored and managed by true e-marketing experts. With Lodging Interactive and CoMMingle at the helm, problems associated with managing online reviews, giving up inventory to third-party administrators and OTAs, and even issues with impact seem to disappear."
Related Link: Lodging Interactive
Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/lodging_interactive_offering_independent_hotels_fully_integrated_online_mar
The data is sobering for travel suppliers, many of whom pride themselves on customer service, attention to detail, and customer relationships.
Though airlines and hoteliers have collectively invested colossal sums to build loyalty programs, the reality is that those programs have largely created repeat purchase, not true loyalty. Such "purchased affinity" can drive additional purchases from customers, but it does little to drive true evangelism - the bedrock of highly successful brands.
Deloitte's findings on abysmally low loyalty rates for airlines and hotels point to just one conclusion: Current marketing programs are simply insufficient.
The airline and hotel industries continue to be challenged in their ability to foster true customer loyalty - let alone evangelism. And it's easy to understand why that's so: Travel marketing has specific constraints that don't exist in most other industries.
But travel marketers do have available to them many tools and marketing approaches that are simply out of the reach of many of their non-travel colleagues. By focusing on what is in under the control of the supplier, and mating that to the true needs of their traveling customers, brands can meaningfully improve customer loyalty in the airline and hotel marketplace.
Get the full story at MarketingProfs.com
Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/todays_hotel_marketing_programs_insufficient_in_building_customer_loyalty
A first-mover in user-generated hotel reviews, TripAdvisor already has scale and a huge review lead over competitors, and Review Express — if it is adopted by large hotels — will widen the gap. That, in turn, would enhance TripAdvisor’s already-to-die-for SEO, and advertising revenue.
The hotels can’t offer incentives or solicit positive reviews in these Review Express emails, but nonetheless there are a lot of benefits for the hotels in this — and mega upside for TripAdvisor, too.
The Review Express emails provide a link to the hotel’s “Write a Review” page on TripAdvisor, which will boost the number of reviews a hotel gets. The more reviews a hotel gets on TripAdvisor, assuming they are mostly positive, the higher a property’s ranking would trend in TripAdvisor — and that turns into additional bookings and revenue.
Users will see a message underneath TripAdvisor reviews solicited in this manner that reads: “Review collected in partnership with (hotel name).”
Get the full story at Skift.com and TripAdvisor
Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/tripadvisors_plan_to_get_another_100_million_reviews_have_hotels_do_the_wor
Hospitality marketers already face myriad choices in how to reach their guests and targeted travel shoppers, whether through search, social media, display media, or email market- ing. And recent changes in how consumers access information only serve to compound this challenge. These changes have been driven by the emergence of new devices that allow con- sumers to access media and services where and when they want, using one - or more - of four key screens:
- PC (desktop or laptop)
- Mobile (specifically 3G, 4G, and Wifi-enabled smartphones)
- Tablet computers (such as the iPad, Nexus, Galaxy Note, or Kindle Fire )
This “4 screen” landscape offers a variety of challenges for hospitality marketers. However, the opportunities avail- able to marketers due to this “anytime, anywhere” access to information far outweighs the downsides—so long as you take advantage of them. According to recent research, nearly 90% of all media consumption every day occurs across these 4 screens. Televisions, PCs, mobile devices like smart phones, and tablets have replaced newspapers and magazines as many consumers’ go-to source for information and entertainment. Your ability to reach your customers going forward depends on your ability to reach across these 4 screens at the right time to engage and attract potential guests. This paper seeks to help you adapt your efforts to do just that.
Download the free whitepaper at Vizergy (free registration)
Read also "The Truth is in the Numbers: 2013 is Undoubtedly the Year of the Three Screens in Hospitality" at HeBS Digital
Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/digital_hotel_marketing_in_a_multiscreen_world
The amended complaint, filed May 1 in federal court in Dallas, also adds Wyndham Hotel Group, Carlson Hotel Group, Best Western, Choice Hotels, and Hyatt Hotels to its roster of hotel (Starwood, Marriott, Trump, Hilton and Kimpton), and online travel agency (Travelocity, Expedia, Hotels.com, Priceline.com, Booking.com, and Orbitz) defendants.
The amended complaint consolidates several similar lawsuits, which date to August 2012. They allege that OTAs and hotels conspire to fix prices in “rate parity” agreements, and that these practices violate federal and state antitrust laws. The impact is consumers get ripped off because they would otherwise be able to find cheaper room rates.
Under these agreements, hotels can’t offer lower rates on their own websites than they provide to online travel agencies, and hotels can’t rooms at cheaper rates through one online travel agency or another.
Get the full story at Skift.com
Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/hotel_price_fixing_lawsuit_adds_eyefortravel_hyatt_and_wyndham_as_defendant
The International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences (IADAS), which nominates and selects The Webby Awards Winners, is comprised of web industry experts, including media mogul Arianna Huffington , Skype CEO Tony Bates , Mozilla CEO and Chair Mitchell Baker , Instagram co-founder Kevin Systrom , mobile-phone inventor Martin Cooper , and StumbleUpon founder Garrett Camp .
Expedia Hotels & Flights provides users with a selection of more than 140,000 hotel properties, flight booking from more than 200 airlines and mobile-only deals. Expedia.com recently added itinerary functionality to the app giving travelers up-to-date info in their hands at every stage of travel using a set of rich visual cues.
"Expedia's Hotel and Flights app has set the standard for innovation and creativity on the Internet," said David-Michel Davies , Executive Director of The Webby Awards. "This award is a testament to the skill, ingenuity, and vision of its creators."
"Expedia works with millions of travelers every single day, so we have unique insight into their needs," said John Kim , Senior Vice President, Global Products, Expedia. "We listen to them and we've learned from them, and we brought our own insights and expertise to bear when creating Expedia Hotels & Flights. The results have been just as we hoped and the consumer reaction has been amazing. So to win a People's Voice Webby award is especially satisfying for us."
Expedia will be honored at the star-studded ceremony on Tuesday, May 21, 2013 at Cipriani Wall Street in New York City, where winners will have an opportunity to deliver one of The Webby Awards' famous 5-Word Speeches. Highlights from last year's 5-Word Speeches include: Pinterest's "Pinterest loves you Ryan Gosling "; Bjork's "A.E.I.O.U"; and Holocaust survivor Tibor Sands for The United States Holocaust Museum "Thank you for remembering me."
The show will be hosted by critically-acclaimed stand-up comedian, writer and actor, Patton Oswalt . Beginning at 9 a.m. on Wednesday, May 22, 2013, fans can watch the show in HD at watch.webbyawards.com. A full list of both The Webby Awards and People's Voice Winners can be found at winners.webbyawards.com.
Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/expedias_hotel_and_flights_app_named_webby_awards_peoples_voice_travel_app
To be successful in real-time marketing, marketers and their agencies need to rethink the creative process, according to a new eMarketer report, “Real-Time Marketing: Speeding Up the Creative Process.”
Marketers know that they must speed up the ways they produce content and advertising to capture consumer attention in today’s fragmented media and device landscape. Companies are using what they learn from rapid-response marketing in social media to create efficiencies in their broader marketing organization and to find ways to deploy real-time strategies not only in digital media but in traditional media as well.
How can marketers best embrace real-time creative? Mondelez’s Bonin Bough, vice president of global media and consumer engagement, sums up the mindset: “It’s not necessarily about developing creative in real time. It’s about having a creative approach that allows you to operate in real time.”
Get the full story at eMarketer
Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/the_real_time_marketing_drumbeat_gets_louder
With the help of other travel industry leaders, Hotels.com wil ask consumers to share their opinions with the #GuestCensus hashtag on the Hotels.com Twitter handle (@Hotelsdotcom). Hotels.com will then publish a series of votes on http://www.travelsmartblog.com/guestcensus over the following weeks to determine what is most important to travel consumers.
"We've taken learnings from our recent Amenities Survey and we are now elevating our research to further identify the top features and services hotel guests have come to expect," saidTaylor L. Cole, APR, travel expert for Hotels.com. "We hope these findings will help us along with our valued hotel partners, provide guests with an excellent customer experience."
To participate in the #GuestCensus Twitter chat and for the chance to win promotional giveaways, visit the @Hotelsdotcom Twitter handle on Tuesday, May 7from 3:00 to 4:00 PM ET.
Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/hotels.com_launches_guestcensus_crowdsourcing_campaign
For nearly 11 years, DeLollis was the hotel industry expert for USA Today where she covered the business travel beat. In 2009, the editors of USA Today tasked DeLollis to create, write and edit USA TODAY's Hotel Check-In blog as part of the news giant’s foray into new media. She successfully leveraged her extensive knowledge of the hotel and travel industry and Hotel Check-In quickly became a “must-read” for industry insiders. In fact, CEOs of many of the world's best-known brands such as IHG, Hilton, Starwood, Wyndham, Hyatt and Best Western guest blogged for Hotel Check-In, often making and breaking news in their posts.
Through her years editing Hotel Check-In, Barbara created a devoted following in social media channels including Twitter and Facebook. She is frequently included in roundups of top travel writers and bloggers on Twitter, most recently earning a spot on Cision's "Top 10 Travel Bloggers on Twitter" list. DeLollis has been a frequent speaker, moderator and panelist at travel events, such as hospitality design show HD Expo, New York University International Hospitality Industry Investment Conference, and luxury travel show Virtuoso Travel Week.
Company CEO R.J. Friedlander said, “With more than 5,000 clients in 83 countries, ReviewPro has clearly established itself as the product, technology and innovation leader in the marketplace. Barb will leverage her industry knowledge and relationships in communicating the company’s unique strengths that enable clients to better understand and improve guest experiences and profit from the social web. She will play a key role in expanding brand awareness for the company as she leads our efforts in the areas of content, social media and events. Based in the Washington DC area, Barbara will be working closely with both the company’s North American and international teams.”
Related Link: ReviewPro
Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/barbara_delollis_joins_reviewpro_as_director_of_marketing
In June Google will make a key change to the way advertisers can target specific devices through Adwords campaigns by allowing them to operate just one campaign. There will be one homogenised bid for tablet and desktop, giving advertisers the possibility to exclude mobile.
However, Google argues very strongly that irrespective of what your business model is or product you are selling there are consumers who are doing to vast majority of their interactions with your business on mobile phones.
On mobile the length of query is much shorter on mobile phone because of the difficulty you have in typing on a phone and there is more geo-specific activity around mapping and timetabling because people are on the move. They are not particularly commercial travel queries.
Get the full story at Travolution
Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/travel_search_growth_is_with_mobile_and_tablet_only_says_google
Via TomTom's Global Geocoding Service, the location of all hotels, accommodation, restaurants and bars that feature on the TripAdvisor website will be extremely accurate. Rather than using a postcode to show location, all addresses are now automatically converted into exact map coordinates, making locations precise and easier to find.
Nathan Clapton, Vice President mobile partnerships, TripAdvisor said: "With over 100 million reviews and opinions posted onto the TripAdvisor website, we believe it is important that all users are able to access the most accurate location-data for the reviews they are posting or reading. By working with TomTom's Global Geocoding Services, we are confident that this is the case and the location-based data offered via the TripAdvisor site can therefore be fully relied upon by our users."
The TomTom Geocoding Service supports house number, address point, street or postal level identification in over 50 countries, providing TripAdvisor with almost worldwide coverage of highly accurate location data that its users can rely on.
Get the full story at MarketWatch
Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/tripadvisor_taps_tomtom_for_location_data
“Mobile phones enable the convenience of booking hotels on the go. (There’s) no need to spend precious time on websites anymore, browsing through ratings and locations, while filtering for all kinds of attributes. We show best-rated hotels only, close by to a user’s location”, said chief sales officer, Raphael Cohen.
As the HotelQuickly app constitutes a private sales channel, with hotels only available for booking after 12.00 on the day of checking in, exclusive hotel rooms in the three- to five-star category can be booked at up to 30 per cent discount on the best price available online.
While existing locations such as Taipei, Hong Kong, Bangkok and Singapore have so far mainly targeted business travellers, the introduction of Macau has extended HotelQuickly’s offerings to leisure travellers from Hong Kong and Taiwan, its release said.
Get the full story at TTG Asia
Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/hotelquickly_enters_asian_last_minute_hotel_booking_market
Guest satisfaction and loyalty is growing for many mid-market brands (e.g., Drury and Hampton Inn in the US, Tulip Inn and Ramada in Europe, and BreakFree Resorts and Aston International in Asia). These value-priced competitors are delighting guests with a cadre of friendly, respectful staff and by offering free or low cost Internet access, clean facilities, and carefully chosen services and locations.
According to Dr. Jonathan Barsky, chief research officer at Market Metrix, “The recession pushed some guests into trying mid-priced brands, and many weren’t disappointed. This is because mid-tier brands are upgrading their services and amenities, such as offering free Internet and fancier toiletry lines, which can drive satisfaction, justify higher rates and blur the line between mid-scale and upscale. When guest expectations are lower, guests are more likely to be surprised and delighted with special amenity packages and other services typically associated with higher priced brands.”
MMHI data is collected from more than 40,000 travelers around the globe each quarter. Guests provide more than 200 details about their most recent hotel and casino experiences. The MMHI customer satisfaction score is based on the average rating of 14 product and service questions that are highly correlated with guest loyalty and recommendations.
Get the full story at Market Metrix
Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/satisfaction_loyalty_growing_for_mid_market_hotel_brands
The company sends triggered emails the day after a customer has abandonded their search. "It has to be timely," said Kay Kerman, director of email strategy at American Airlines, in a presentation at the Email Insider Summit today. "If you are shopping for airfare today, I can't give you an email in two weeks."
Technically speaking, the airline sends two email files daily to e-Dialog -- a files with a list of customers who have come to AA.com and searched but not booked and another file with flight pricing and airport information. e-Dialog creates the emails. Some emails have a single price point, some have dual. The single price point gives customers the price of the flight on the dates that they were searching for. The dual email gives two prices -- one on the exact date they were searching, another with different dates that offer a cheaper option. It can be a challenge since flight prices change regularly, but they try to send messages with prices that have at least six seats left at that price in hopes that it is still available when the customer opens the email.
Get the full story at MediaPost
Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/aa_sees_high_conversion_rates_on_abandoned_shopping_cart_emails
According to him, storyboards help bridge words and experience--a challenge that Airbnb, a marketplace for home rentals, faces on daily basis.
“So how do we bridge from our script to these real world experiences? We storyboard. And we storyboard like crazy. Last year we embarked on an ambitious project to map the entire guest and host terrain of Airbnb and we did it through illustration. We looked at key emotional moments of the journey and we drew them. We visualized them. And what it’s done for us, it’s allowed our entire company to achieve a whole new level of empathy with our customers. ”
Get the full story at Inc.com
Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/how_airbnb_uses_storyboards_to_understand_the_customer_experience
Swetman, who has more than two decades of experience in hotel sales, previously served as global director of sales for Open Hospitality, a division of Pegasus Solutions.
“It’s important that the people telling hotels what they ‘need’ are actually able to relate to the day-to-day challenges of hoteliers in today’s market,” said David Millili, chief executive officer of Pegasus Solutions. “In the year since I was named CEO, and as a former hotelier, we’ve taken measures to place actual hotel people in direct contact with our hotel clients and prospects. Mark is both a seasoned hotelier and consultative salesman who brings this kind of understanding to this important role.”
Before joining Open Hospitality, the 20-year veteran was the complex director of sales and marketing for Hilton Hotels of Parsippany in New Jersey. He has also served as the regional director of sales and marketing for Dolce International Hotels & Resorts.
Related Link: Pegasus Solutions
Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/pegasus_solutions_names_mark_swetman_vice_president_global_sales_americas
The MICROS hosted solution is available for new installations and Best Western hotel conversions.
MICROS’s OPERA PMS, OPERA Xpress and OPERA Lite systems are available in the MICROS hosting environment. This hosted solution is available to all Best Western locations in North America, offering Best Western enhanced control and management with tight security, and proactive monitoring for optimal performance. The hosted solution provides a lower total cost of ownership as installation and upgrades can be provided centrally.
“Best Western and MICROS have partnered for years,” stated Scott Gibson, Chief Information Officer for Best Western International. “We have had success working with MICROS, and are pleased to offer this hosted solution to our properties. We see a benefit in having mission-critical business services managed by a qualified and experienced business technology hosting team.”
Hotels with the MICROS OPERA hosted solution also benefit from 24/7 alert monitoring, daily system checks, reduced IT personnel required on location, and secure and enhanced security capabilities.
“We are honored to work with Best Western International as it expands its alliance with MICROS,” Dan Bell, MICROS Senior Vice President of Hotel Business Unit states. “The hosting of the entire property management system in our hosting facility demonstrates the confidence Best Western International has in MICROS and our industry leading OPERA Enterprise Solution.”
Related Link: Micros Systems
Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/best_western_selects_micros_as_preferred_hosted_pms_solution_provider
First, the brand manages content in one place. It has a central team that gets content to all digital communications channels.
The Web site is its foundation; it is the place where consumers know to go. But it is also the channel that drives people out to Four Seasons’ online magazine where content is fresh and category-specific.
Another part of Four Seasons’ content strategy is leveraging user-generated content, while another part is engaging experiences both on and offline. These parts of the strategy intersect as consumers are interacting with the brand during events such as its Virtual Wine Tasting.
The tasting was held via Twitter and hosted by sommeliers at five properties, bringing a vertical experience and the brand’s expertise to consumers in a really engaging way, per Ms. Pizzinato.
In addition, Four Seasons hosted concurrent tweet-ups at participating properties including the Virtual Wine Tasting.
The last two ways that Four Seasons leverages its content strategy is to have a point of view and a personality.
Four Seasons’ content strategy also has a point of view. Part of this is finding new distribution channels, such as a publisher would do, to make the product more widespread.
If consumers do not find the Four Seasons brand online, it would mean that the brand is not reaching them. Therefore, Four Seasons distributes its magazine not only through print and online, but also on Zinio and Flipboard.
One effort from which the brand saw much traction in terms of brand personality and consumer engagement was its bridal campaign.
Get the full story at Luxury Daily
Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/how_four_seasons_became_a_digital_storyteller
Total worldwide hotel bookings through global distribution system channels in January jumped 7.9 percent year over year before leveling off and remaining essentially flat in February and March, resulting in overall first-quarter growth of 2.4 percent, according to Pegasus Solutions. The average rates on those bookings maintained the modest growth rate that began in December, which followed six consecutive months of lower average rates, finishing the quarter up 1.7 percent.
"Slower business travel in the latter portion of 2012 is giving way to more decisive corporate travel spending in 2013," Pegasus wrote in its most recent update. "Slow but consistent rate growth reflects companies' increased willingness to raise their travel spend." The company cited an "overall ease of economic and political uncertainty" and resurgent international travel fueled in part by "more industrial production and retail sales in China."
Pegasus added that a longer average length of stay for hotel bookings—up 0.5 percent globally year over year in March to 2.15 nights—is "also a reflection of more international travel." At the same time, the average booking lead time also increased in March by 0.5 percent, to 19.19 days. That, according to Pegasus, "points to more group travel, driven by corporations capitalizing on international opportunities through meeting and conference attendance."
Specifically in North America, hotel booking volume in GDS channels "spiked" in January, dipped "slightly" in February (versus February 2012, which included 29 days) and rose by 0.6 percent in March, according to Pegasus data. Average rates in the region maintained a marginal growth trend.
Outside of North America, first-quarter results "reflect bumpy but improving overall business trends," Pegasus reported.
Looking ahead, the company wrote that "global GDS forward-looking data points to solid business travel ahead, with revenue being driven by growth in rates and longer stays. Booking volumes may rise compared to prior year in April, but will remain within range of prior year in general. Rates will continue to deliver modest but more consistent growth for arrivals through July."
Get the full story at Pegasus (PDF 1.9 MB)
Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/q1_gds_hotel_bookings_below_previous_year_with_higher_room_rates
For the first time, US fliers say they typically use airline websites to book airplane tickets more than they use online travel agencies (OTAs), according to PhoCusWright. The survey found that 36% of travelers used a supplier website to book tickets, compared with 33% who used an OTA.
PhoCusWright suspects that OTAs have been too focused on building out their hotel offerings, thus allowing airlines to gain a competitive edge when it comes to designing desktop and mobile experiences that better appeal to younger people.
The news is a victory for airlines who have been in a multi-year effort to direct passengers to make bookings direct through their website, aiming to avoid the commissions and fees of global distribution systems (GDSs).
Get the full story at Tnooz
Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/airline_websites_are_outselling_otas_in_the_u.s
This dynamic was only made possible when the low-cost ubiquity of the Internet combined with the rich media capabilities of the Web and user-friendly browsers. Those elements collapsed the switching costs and truly transformed the playing field.
Threat by substitution is also playing out in the hotel space. We know from the data that slow supply growth and a recovering economy are driving favorable supply-demand dynamics and, as a result, revenue per available room is expected to accelerate. But are we safe with this assumption when we consider the threat of substitutes? Can we depend on controlled supply growth when Airbnb has expanded to 19,000 cities across 192 countries, spawning dozens of copycats? Shouldn’t we view the 10 million roomnights booked through Airbnb as “new supply” and isn’t this new supply driven by an accelerating substitution effect fueled by plummeting switching costs thanks to the social web?
Although Airbnb’s bite is relatively small in comparison to the global hotel sector, the fact remains that switching costs are falling. Yes, leisure travelers tend to be the sweet spot for Airbnb, but are we so sure the model won’t extend to the lucrative business traveler anytime soon? As more and more travelers experience Airbnb and as the company’s supply base broadens and segments according to traveler type … well, we’ll just have to see.
Get the full story at HotelNewsNow.com
Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/more_on_how_airbnb_could_disrupt_supply_demand_equation
In early 2011, Milewise raised a $1.5 million seed round from Atlas Venture, Founder Collective, General Catalyst Partners, High Line Venture Partners, iNovia Capital and a long list of big name angel investors: David Cohen, Geoff Judge, Mitch Kapor, David Kidder, Josh Kushner, Alex Lloyd, Tom McInerney, Jacob Pechenik, Keith Rabois, Naval Ravikant, David Tisch and Kal Vepuri.
Self-dubbed “Mint + Kayak + Miles,” the company consolidates and tracks loyalty rewards from programs like frequent flyer miles, hotel points and credit cards. The overall loyalty industry is big, worth some $50 billion annually. A number of small startups, including, Belly, LevelUp and Square are attempting to make the messy situation of managing rewards and loyalty points easier to navigate for consumers. Milewise focuses exclusively on travel rewards.
Why would Yahoo want a product like Milewise? Well, it has been on a buying spree of small startups, snapping up Stamped, Summly, and this week, Astrid, in an attempt to reinvigorate its company culture and image. Some commentators scoffed at Yahoo’s $30 million price tag for Summly, considering the company’s product will be killed. The price tag for Milewise was not clear. It’s also not clear whether Yahoo will shut down the product.
Get the full story at Skift.com
Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/yahoo_in_talks_to_buy_travel_rewards_startup_milewise
"The cruise industry continues to grow in popularity and we are delighted to be able to further strengthen our Cruise Critic business with this move," said Steve Kaufer , co-founder and CEO TripAdvisor, Inc. "By integrating key elements of CruiseWise and the in-depth knowledge behind it, we will enhance our ability to help travelers find their perfect cruise at a price that suits them with seamless links to our booking partners."
Cruise Critic is published by The Independent Traveler, Inc., which was acquired as a subsidiary of TripAdvisor, Inc. in 2007.
Terms of the acquisition will not be disclosed.
Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/tripadvisor_acquires_cruisewise
As more and more travelers book their hotel stays based on free WiFi, hotels have begun to drop their nickel and diming ways.
Today, at least two thirds of hotels have realized that offering free WiFi is in their best interests. Progress! Furthermore, many of these hotels have doubled down to put in reliable, fast WiFi networks for their older hotels, even if it means a big capital investment.
However, the battle cry for free WiFi should not die out just yet. One third of hotels out there are still charging for WiFi, including many luxury brands who charge premium internet fees on top of their pricey room rates. But if the nefarious one third don't start offering free WiFi at a basic level (checking email, surfing the web), potential guests will make a reservation elsewhere.
Even when the WiFi is free, there are still some caveats such as requiring guests to join the hotel's loyalty program, offering it free only in the lobby or having it free for just a limited time (anywhere from 15 minutes to two hours) before a charge is incurred. Furthermore, the WiFi fees can vary wildly from property to property within a hotel brand. These gimmicks are just another reason for guests to join together and demand better standardization for hotel WiFi.
Get the full story at HotelChatter
Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/hotel_wi_fi_the_good_the_bad_and_the_practical
TripAdvisor launched its newly redesigned mobile app for all major platforms and mobile web, revealing a more refined interface with larger photos and new features to further inspire and engage its mobile community in all phases of their travel experience.
- Mobile users can now add a hotel, restaurant or attraction not yet listed on TripAdvisor to provide an immediate review on their experience.
- Travelers can easily switch currency displays when traveling abroad, making for a more personalized mobile experience.
- Mobile web users with iOS 6 or higher and Android 2.2 or higher can view and share videos of their travels, to provide more visual details of a hotel room, restaurant, or attraction.
"We are constantly enhancing our mobile experience for travelers worldwide, giving millions access to trusted TripAdvisor travel content at their fingertips," said Adam Medros, vice president of global product for TripAdvisor. "As one of the top travel apps in the industry, the newly redesigned interface and features will provide users with clean and simple navigation, together with the ease of viewing and sharing photos and videos on-the-go."
Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/tripadvisor_reveals_newly_redesigned_mobile_app
Building on insights gained in more than a year of intensive qualitative and quantitative research, today Hyatt Hotels Corporation launched a new Hyatt.com website designed to enhance the guest experience. The new Hyatt.com, the company's core digital platform and booking engine, marks a milestone of innovation and efficiency in the hospitality space.
"Hyatt.com plays a significant role in shaping many people's perception of Hyatt, so it was crucial to make that experience even more efficient, informative and visually engaging. We had the necessary functionality that allowed guests to do what they needed to do, but our research showed us that we could repurpose that information to allow consumers a more seamless experience," said Bill Bernahl, vice president, E-Commerce, Hyatt Hotels & Resorts. "This redesign is one of the largest E-Commerce initiatives we have ever undertaken, and we believe that the result has transformed Hyatt.com into a best-in-class website that will truly enhance the digital experience for today's travelers."
Hyatt asked more than 22,000 survey respondents questions about their overall Hyatt.com experience to determine what they liked best about the site and what they would change. As a result of that feedback, Hyatt built a new, more engaging and immersive hotel booking experience. Highlights include:
- A Better View – Guests can now experience galleries with 360-degree tours, photography and videos of each hotel and its guestrooms
- Hyatt Speaks Your Language – Hyatt.com is searchable and bookable in more than 10 languages, including English, German, Japanese, Korean, and Simplified and Traditional Chinese
- Social Sharing – New social media channel integration will allow guests to "like" or "share" a Hyatt-branded hotel or resort
- Simplified Shopping and Booking – A sophisticated, more efficient booking widget will bring information to the guest by clearly showcasing rate details, terms and conditions, and full rate disclosure with different currencies
- Easier Reward Booking – Hyatt Gold Passport point values are now displayed alongside hotel rates so guests can easily book using Hyatt Gold Passport points
Related Link: Hyatt.com
Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/the_newly_redesigned_hyatt.com_shaped_by_research_and_guest_insights
Getting More For Less: Consider buying your airfare and hotel room as a package from sites like Expedia, Orbitz, or Travelocity. A recent search saved 20 percent versus booking the two separately.
Be Tech Savvy: Use the new websites DealAngel, Tingo, and Room 77 to your advantage. DealAngel aggregates bargains, sorts them by price, and compares the offered rate with the hotel’s average to assess just how good a deal you’re getting. Tingo monitors your rate after you make a reservation: If the price goes down, Tingo automatically secures you a new reservation and cancels your old one. Room 77 scans prices and availability through numerous online travel agencies and automatically contacts the hotel you choose to request a room that matches your preferences.
Timing is Everything: Check in later in the day for a better chance of getting an upgrade (and don’t forget to ask upon arrival!). Hotel rates can also vary a lot depending on the time of year you’re visiting a destination. For example, prices in New York City drop in mid-July to mid-August, while rates in Park City, Utah are more than half-off winter rates from May through November.
Get the full story at Today.com
Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/secrets_for_booking_an_affordable_hotel_stay
Don't fall victim to Shiny Object Syndrome -- a malady that afflicts many otherwise talented marketers who tend to see new digital channels, trends and buzzwords as silver bullets that will blow away their target audience. I'm frequently approached by marketers hype-notized by this or that sexy, new digital marketing tactic -- from Facebook to gamification to Instagram to Vine.
This often occurs when we choose emerging media simply because it's "innovative," rather than helpful in achieving a particular goal. If used for the right reasons, emerging channels can be very powerful. But if used oafishly, they can flop magnificently. And not too many entrepreneurs have time for magnificent flops.
Fortunately, there is an antidote for Shiny Object Syndrome. Here are five questions to consider before taking the plunge with a new digital marketing tactic.
Get the full story at Entrepreneur
Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/are_the_latest_marketing_trends_worth_your_time
Facebook just announced Q1 2013 earnings. Revenue was nearly $1.46 billion, up 38 percent year over year (YoY). That beat financial analysts’ estimates. Net income was $219 million, which was below estimates.
Allaying fears of a decline in usage and engagement, Facebook saw 26 percent growth in daily active users (now 665 million). Monthly active users also increased 23 percent to 1.1 billion. Mobile active users were 751 million, a significant jump compared with 680 million in Q4 2012.
Ad revenues were $1.25 billion (85 percent of total revenue), which represented a 43 percent increase YoY. Mobile ads jumped to 30 percent of the total, up from 23 percent in Q4.
Get the full story at Marketing Land and Advertising Age
Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/facebook_30_of_revenue_now_comes_from_mobile_ads
“John has a nine-year history with Pegasus, and has been selling hotels and hospitality services for 25 years. His time with the company has afforded him both a unique understanding of our pivotal role in the distribution landscape, and strong relationships with both hotels and distribution partners,” said David Millili, chief executive officer of Pegasus Solutions. “His dedication translates to getting the job done, which is why we’ve chosen him to handle growing one of our key service lines.”
Owens most recently served as senior vice president, global sales for Pegasus, prior to which he was vice president, sales and account management; and director, strategic accounts. Before Pegasus, he was a regional director of sales for TravelClick, and vice president, global business development and sales for Lanyon. At the hotel level, he has held director level positions with Meristar Hotels in Arlington, Tex. and Washington, D.C., American General Hotels Inc. in Dallas, and Marriott Hotels Corporation in Dallas. He started his career with Aston Hotels and Resorts in Honolulu.
Related Link: Pegasus Solutions
Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/pegasus_solutions_names_john_owens_senior_vice_president_distribution_sales
RateTiger channel manager has been introduced to Leonardo Hotels’ properties in 2007 to improve rate management efficiencies across the business. The system provides benefits including immediate Online Travel Agent (OTA) updates of rates and inventory to a vast distribution network and the retrieval of market room rate data for business intelligence. This extended partnership will enable Leonardo Hotels to increase the effectiveness of all third party sales partners, thereby improving both bookings and revenue opportunities.
As a result of success in achieving key efficiency aims, Leonardo Hotels will be introducing the use of RateTiger into the newly acquired properties in the near future.
Further, the portfolio will benefit from real-time market rate data with RTCorp, RateTiger’s tailored price shopping solution for groups and corporations, to monitor rates for various properties and competitors across hundreds of selected sales channels. With RTCorp, Leonardo Hotels central office is able to see all offers on all channels in an instant, to make sure pricing policies are in place.
Leonardo Hotels has been established in Europe since 2007. With 44 hotels in Germany, Leonardo is represented in major cities such as Berlin, Munich, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Düsseldorf and Cologne. From the start, the management knew about the tough competition in its market. In order to achieve fast growth and reputation, it was essential to realize a well-thought-out pricing and sales strategy using the right technology. Shay Raz, Director of Revenue & Development in Germany, with over 20 years experience with channel management and price shopping sought functionality to apply the relevant strategy to each property.
<<< Click here to see Shay Raz, Director of Revenue & Development at Leonardo Hotels talk about online distribution and revenue management >>>
“RateTiger’s advanced features and excellent usability makes it stand out from the rest,” said Shay Raz. “The solutions have developed in-line with the ever dynamic market, which allows us to stay ahead. We don’t work with a channel, if it doesn’t work with RateTiger,” explains Shay. “RateTiger helps us implement and monitor our corporate pricing and distribution policies in a dynamic sales environment. It makes distribution a transparent and seamless process, saves a lot of time and reduces the risk of failure. As a result, we achieve better rates and increased bookings, and have seen our revenue increase.”
Today, more than 50% of the total bookings are generated via OTAs. The group increased its rates by approximately 25% in the past four years with daily price comparisons and rate updates helping to attain an excellent position, and support the current expansion.
“We are happy that we were able to help Leonardo in establishing themselves in Germany,” commented Casey Davy, VP Sales for EMEA at eRevMax. “Both Leonardo and eRevMax are expanding companies, aiming at staying ahead of the industry and setting new standards, and we look forward to continuing our partnership!”
Link to Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zl1os5g2msk
Related Link: RateTiger
Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/leonardo_hotels_extends_contract_with_ratetiger
Pinterest’s new redesign places content discovery at the forefront of a more streamlined user experience. Not only does this keep users engaged, but it increases the chances that they will see and engage with your content.
How can hoteliers leverage Pinterest’s new features and tools?
- Optimize your profile. Create a Pinterest business account or convert your existing user account if you haven’t already done so. Also, set the hotel logo as your profile picture, compose a compelling and keyword-optimized profile description, and link your Pinterest account with your Facebook and Twitter accounts. Remember to complete the website verification process as well. These steps will help you create a more official Pinterest presence while building brand awareness and driving traffic to your owned media.
- Promote your presence. Add the Pin It button to each of your website’s pages and implement the Follow button to encourage site visitors to pin your images and view your Pinterest profile for informative, creative, and inspiring content. Consider adding the Profile or Board widget to give visitors a sneak peek and further incentivize engagement that promotes viral awareness among other potential guests. Furthermore, promote your Pinterest content through other social media and marketing channels when appropriate.
- Do your research. Use Pinterest Web Analytics for valuable insight such as what type of content is most popular and which days of the week your content receives the most engagement. In addition, utilize the “related pins” portion of the new close-up view to gain a better understanding of your target audience’s interests, and adjust your content strategy accordingly.
- Provide value and drive engagement. With Pinterest, the goal is to curate useful, share-worthy content that contributes to the growth of your online community and ultimately generates business leads. When creating themed pin boards and Pinterest contests, keep in mind what value it will provide for your target audience. For example, if your hotel is a popular venue for summer weddings, create a pin board highlighting wedding décor ideas inspired by summer. Always optimize your pin boards and pins with relevant keywords and a link to a related page on your website. Not only will this deliver SEO benefits, but it will also help your customer segments discover your content on Pinterest and your hotel website.
Get the full story at the HeBS blog
Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/how_to_make_pinterest_part_of_your_online_hotel_marketing_strategy
Speaker after speaker at the American Express Publishing Luxury Summit, held here at the St. Regis Monarch Beach, underscored how an emerging class of relatively youthful, internationally minded, nouveau riche are roaming the world spending money and redefining service expectations.
“They look so casual, walking around a hotel in a swimsuit, but when they want service, they want it delivered flawlessly,” said John Vanderslice, global head of luxury and lifestyle brands for Hilton Worldwide. “They don’t want four people standing around them, waiting to pick up their handkerchief should they drop it. They want service on their terms.”
Starwood CEO Frits van Paasschen said the Ritz-Carlton ethos of “ladies and gentlemen serving ladies and gentlemen may be a credo for the ages, but it’s sure not for today.” Starwood’s St. Regis, W and Luxury Collection brands compete with Ritz-Carlton.
Being among the elite “used to mean being in the know,” van Paasschen said. “Today, it’s knowing what to know. Who decides that? I don’t think we’re the arbiters anymore.”
For the younger, wealthy consumer, what defines luxury is more diverse and personal, but the emerging luxury consumer exists side by side with more traditionally minded upper-upscale travelers. As a result, hoteliers like Starwood are offering different luxury experiences across several brands.
Get the full story at Travel Weekly
Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/as_economies_shift_a_new_luxury_traveler_emerges
Expedia® Affiliate Network (EAN), the private label arm of the world’s largest online travel company, today expands its share of the airline market thanks to a new partnership with Swiss International Air Lines (SWISS). The deal will see one of Europe’s leading international airlines use EAN’s Chameleon® hotel retailing platform alongside its Smart Cross Sell product to increase online revenues by offering travellers a targeted range of accommodation options alongside or after booking their flight.
SWISS selected EAN’s solution following a competitive tender. The Chameleon platform provides the airline with a targeted inventory from EAN’s global database of almost 160,000 hotels to ensure its customers can find the most relevant hotels in their chosen destinations. The solution also gives travellers access to user-generated content from TripAdvisor and area maps so they can choose the best accommodation for their individual needs.
By integrating EAN’s Smart Cross Sell product into the platform, SWISS will be able to ensure customers find the perfect match for their hotel needs after the purchase of their airline ticket. Smart Cross Sell’s intelligent sort locates the highest converting properties and the best deals, with user-defined profiling to match the right deal to the right customer.
Luca Graf, Head of Online & Direct Sales for Swiss International Air Lines, commented: “We chose to partner with EAN because of the huge choice its inventory offers across the 61 destinations we fly to, as well as its ability to integrate quickly and easily into our site. We’re confident that Chameleon and Smart Cross Sell will make booking travel easier for our customers and also improve ancillary revenues for us.”
Chris Wallis, Director of Transport for Expedia Affiliate Network, said: “The ability to accurately target customers with the right accommodation at the best price can really make an airline stand out from the rest. We’re excited to be working with such a well-established brand and look forward to helping SWISS grow its ancillary revenues.”
Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/expedia_affiliate_network_signs_up_swiss
When I remarket to those people who already visited my website, suddenly I have the benefit of several things:
1. Repeat impressions. The more often that someone sees your ad, the likelier they are to book. You get that somewhat with PPC ads, but it is diluted. If you use remarketing, however, you specifically target the people who have already been to your website, and you could make it based on viewing a particular page, such as a property that you rent to travelers, or your reservation page.
2. Focus. Your ads are shown to people who already expressed some level of interest in what you have to offer, not just to people who have put in certain keywords into a search engine.
3. Specific Ads for Specific Desires. You can display ads targeted at what the traveler is looking for. If you know that they are coming for a specific event, like Spring Break, you can choose that ad to display to them.
Get the full story at Blizzard Internet Marketing Part 1, Part 2, Part 3
Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/google_adwords_remarketing_for_hotel_marketers
Back in October, we announced the beta release of display remarketing from search ads, which allows advertisers to use insights from paid search clicks to remarket to audiences across ad exchanges via DoubleClick Bid Manager, or the Google Display Network (GDN) -- all with a seamless, tagless workflow.
According to some early usiers, display remarketing from search ads is proving itself to be a very valuable feature, often outperforming regular funnel remarketing and sometimes even search in terms of CPA.
Get the full story at the Google Analytics blog
Read also "How to Increase Sales and Build Brand with Google Remarketing" at the Search Engine Journal
Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/display_remarketing_from_google_search_ads_out_of_beta