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Distribution vs profitability – the future of hotel revenue management

August 29, 2016

Long periods of market uncertainty are becoming increasingly common in today's highly fragmented industry and hospitality professionals are always on the lookout for better ways to maintain consistent profitability. Revenue management strategies have played a critical role in enabling hotels to cover their operating expenses during periods of low demand. By employing dynamic pricing strategies based on market variables and accurate forecasting, properties began to witness significant improvements in the bottom-line.

However, guest trends and spending patterns are subject to a high degree of unpredictability in our current digital landscape. The rapid onset of smartphone technology has seen OTAs capitalize on mobile platforms by offering travelers an unprecedented level of convenience in the form of apps and mobile-optimized websites. Unsurprisingly, the online agencies now dominate a sizeable portion of global distribution. According to data released by the HAMA Study & Kalibri Labs, while industry-wide revenue had witnessed incremental growth over a three-year period, commissions grew twice as fast. In fact, revenue management leaders Duetto recorded customer acquisition costs as high as 40%! In light of these developments, it may be time for revenue managers to modify their approach.

Get the full story at Hospitality.Net

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

When hotels become hotel hell

August 29, 2016

Not surprisingly, Inattentive Parents as a category topped the list of the ten least popular behaviors to encounter in fellow guests during a hotel stay. Hallway Hellraisers took second place in a comprehensive questionnaire that brought attention to the most common peeves guests were likely to experience.

The study is detailed in the latest issue of Travel-Intel, a weekly publication sent to 103,000 travel agents in North America and posted on Tours.com for travel consumers to read.

The publication also looks at Wellness Travel, which is reaching new heights of popularity as a vacation genre and now representing some 15 percent of all global tourism.

Get the full story at Yahoo! Finance

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

Dispelling the travel booking myths

August 29, 2016

A key finding from the online surveys and discussions hosted with Exterion Media's urban panel of 11,000 consumers was that holiday bookings are not weighted to the winter months.

The research revealed holiday bookings are almost equally split between seasons. In fact, 38% of people said that they didn't book holidays at any particular time during the year - quashing the myth that most holidays are booked in the winter months. Short trips bookings in particular are not weighted towards the winter, with 76% saying they booked mini-breaks throughout the year.

While more than half agreed they start planning their holidays early in the year, bookings are more likely to be activated around key motivational moments. For example, 43% booked around specific events or festivals, and 35% are driven to book when there's a change of season in the UK.

Get the full story at TravelMole

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

Hotel rate rises outstrip inflation in Europe and US

August 29, 2016

Hotels industry analyst STR reported occupancy in Europe almost flat year on year, down 0.4% to almost 77%, in July but the average daily rate (ADR) up 3.9% on a year ago to almost €119.

London hotels saw a negligible rise in occupancy despite the fall in the sterling exchange rate following the EU referendum on June 23. However, the average daily rate in the city rose 3.8% to £155.47.

STR also reported average occupancy flat in the US but the average daily rate up 3% to $124.

Get the full story at Travel Weekly UK

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

Lastminute.com bets on video to get advertisers spending

August 29, 2016

Lastminute.com makes most of its money through bookings on the site. Revenue from ad services (which accounted for 6 percent of its total revenue in 2015) is an even split among display, affiliate marketing and search and keywords. Alessandra Di Lorenzo, Lastminute’s newly created chief commercial officer for advertising and partnerships, is keen to stress that the push into video isn’t a signal the site would be moving away from display ads.

“It’s about adding something new. There’s always a place for display media. People need places to do high-impact branding, and display will do that,” she said.

Swiss travel company Bravofly Rumbo Group acquired Lastminute.com in 2014 for £76 million ($120 million). Since then, the company has been on a mission to reinvigorate the brand and diversify its advertising revenue. In 2015, CEO Fabio Cannavale outlined the group’s move into branded-video content, which would cut its marketing costs 7 percent by 2017. The site claims to attract 35 million visitors per month.

Get the full story at Digiday

Read also "More on lastminute.com’s advertising options for travel brands"

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

SEO best practices 2016: Seizing opportunities

August 29, 2016

The impact and influence of a brand’s online presence cannot be underestimated. Seventy-two percent of millennials say that they conduct online research before they go shopping in person. For those buying directly through websites, online retail is anticipated to reach $370 billion by 2017, up from just $231 billion in 2012.

On the B2B side, approximately 94 percent of buyers for their organization said that they conduct online research before making a purchase. Regardless of whether you are in the B2B or B2C sector, it is clear that having a strong online presence is necessary for a brand to grow.

Despite the clear directive that all brands should be investing in SEO and content marketing, many organizations are left stranded as the algorithms continue to change at lightning speed, forcing changes in SEO best practices as well.

Get the full story at BrightEdge

Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/seo_best_practices_2016_seizing_opportunities

Hotelogix and SnapShot announce strategic partnership

August 29, 2016

With this partnership Hotelogix customers will get free access to all of SnapShot Analytics for any and all of their properties. The integration between solutions will be frictionless and deep, providing hoteliers with unprecedented analytics capabilities at no additional cost.

Both companies see this as a statement to how hospitality technology providers can work together to grow customer satisfaction at easily accessible rates.

"We at Hotelogix believe in providing premium product capabiity at very low cost, greatly via innovation. This combination of Hotelogix Cloud PMS with slick SnapShot analytics capability is a perfect example of that. " - Founder of Hotelogix, Prabhash Bhatnagar.

Hotel analytics solutions greatly advance hoteliers' ability to see relationships between data sets and make better decisions for their hotels.

"Having managed hotel revenue for years, I have first-hand experience on the value of data, but it needs to be available to the decision makers in simple and visually pleasing way. We built SnapShot Analytics as a gateway to proper data." - COO and Co-Founder of SnapShot, David Turnbull.

Related Link: SnapShot

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

RateGain unveils RezGain 5.1

August 29, 2016

This release incorporates significant product performance improvements and advanced features for Hotel Channel Management.

On inquiring about the technical enhancements of RezGain 5.1, Tim Unwin, EVP, Product Management, Technology at RateGain elaborated, that RezGain 5.1 includes performance improvements for integration customers via the Delta processing feature. All Integration updates will pick only the differential data to send updates, thus reducing the load for updates by 90%, enabling users to experience real time update on extranets.
 
Drastic improvement in reservation delivery time is another very valued enhancement in the latest version of Hotel Channel Management, which will average at just 20 seconds, as compared to the previous time of 5 minutes.

Another advancement in this upgraded version is the parallel processing of multi-threaded ARI updates, which was serial processed earlier. In the best scenario, ARI updates take just 10% of the original time (based on the total number of threads supported by channels). RateGain will be able to support further new channels when these channels start supporting multi- thread.

Other interesting features of RezGain 5.1 are Upkeep for TripConnect V7 which supports product definitions at room rate level. Automatic Updates for the management of currency conversion. Custom defined reservation fetch allows hot date definitions so as to fetch reservations from pull channels at the maximum possible frequency.
 
The migration of all existing customers into the RezGain 5.1 platform is underway and is scheduled to end by September 2016. All the new customers will be directly set up on the new platform.

Related Link: RateGain

Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/rategain_unveils_rezgain_5.1

Booking.com softens rate parity policy in Australia

August 26, 2016

In an email this week, Booking.com CEO Gillian Tans advised Australian hoteliers that from September 1 the world's largest online travel agent (OTA) will allow hoteliers and accommodation operators to offer whatever rates they like through other channels without retribution.

This includes arch-rival Expedia, which is locked in discussions with the ACCC, and other online travel agents.

It's an extension of the policy Booking.com has adopted in Europe, where the anti-competitive nature of rate parity - ie contractually obligating operators to charge the same room rates across all distribution channels - has been under pressure from government competition watchdogs, particularly in France and Germany.

Get the full story at Travel Trends

Read also "Germany orders Booking.com to delete all “best price” terms"

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

Expedia launches guides for travelers seeking city history

August 26, 2016

Holidaymakers can swot up ahead of their city breaks, learn about the last 100 years of local history and discover new places of interest to visit while they travel.

Expedia.co.uk’s guide uses information sourced from local travel bloggers and tourist boards, who provided insights on some of the more interesting events that have occurred over the last century.

The City History guides currently focus on three major travel destinations: New York City, Barcelona, and Berlin.

Get the full story at Breaking Travel News and Expedia

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

Uber loses at least $1.2 billion in first half of 2016

August 26, 2016

The ride-hailing giant Uber Technologies Inc. is not a public company, but every three months, dozens of shareholders get on a conference call to hear the latest details on its business performance from its head of finance, Gautam Gupta.

On Friday, Gupta told investors that Uber's losses mounted in the second quarter. Even in the U.S., where Uber had turned a profit during its first quarter, the company was once again losing money.

In the first quarter of this year, Uber lost about $520 million before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization, according to people familiar with the matter. In the second quarter the losses significantly exceeded $750 million, including a roughly $100 million shortfall in the U.S., those people said. That means Uber's losses in the first half of 2016 totaled at least $1.27 billion.

Get the full story at Bloomberg

Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/uber_loses_at_least_1.2_billion_in_first_half_of_2016

European hotel rates keep climbing

August 26, 2016

The continent’s average daily rate (ADR) was EUR118.80 (approx. GBP90.33 or US$128.67) last month, compared to EUR114.33 12 months ago. Occupancy levels were almost flat, dipping slightly from 77.0% to 76.7%.

ADR increased in all regions in July, but the sharpest growth was seen in Eastern Europe, were rates jumped 13.1% to EUR68.91. However this remains the lowest actual ADR of any European region. In Western Europe, ADR increased 1.2% to EUR114.09, while rates in Southern & Mediterranean Europe rose 2.7% to EUR136.27.

Two of Europe’s strongest performing countries in July were Poland and Portugal. With occupancy averaging at a strong 77.3%, Poland’s hoteliers were able to drive an 18.8% increase in ADR, to PLN292.90 (approx. EUR68). Portugal meanwhile, achieved a 10.7% jump in ADR, to EUR121.89.

Get the full story at Travel Daily Media

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

World’s top luxury travel experts select the best hotels for 2016

August 26, 2016

International luxury travel network Virtuoso® unveiled the winners of the 2016 Best of the Best awards at their 28th annual Virtuoso Travel Week conference. The night marked 10 years since Virtuoso began feting the very best properties and hospitality professionals within its renowned Hotels & Resorts Program.

Award Nominees:

BEST ACHIEVEMENT IN DESIGN

- Grand Hyatt Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

- Mandarin Oriental, Marrakech, Marrakech, Morocco

- The Langham, Sydney, Sydney, Australia

- The Temple House, Chengdu, China

Get the full story at Forbes

Read also "Travel agents back in vogue for luxury market, claims Virtuoso CEO"

Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/worlds_top_luxury_travel_experts_select_the_best_hotels_for_2016

Google now lets you explore U.S. National Parks via 360-degree virtual tours

August 26, 2016

The exhibit allows you to take 360-degree tours of some of the most remote and beautiful U.S. National Parks. Instead of featuring much-documented vistas like Yosemite or the Grand Canyon, for example, the exhibit instead focuses on a selection of parks you may not have traveled to yet (or may never see), including the Kenai Fjords in Alaska, Hawaiian volcanoes, New Mexico’s Carlsbad Caverns, Utah’s Bryce Canyon, and Florida’s Dry Tortugas – the latter which was reviewed this month in a New York Times travel piece which called it an “under the radar” national park.

In the video experience, a local ranger will guide you through each park, allowing you to do things like fly over the active volcanoes in Hawaii, snorkel the coral reefs in the Dry Tortugas, or kayak through Alaska’s fjords, among other things.

The virtual tours are available both online, in the Google Arts & Culture App on iOS and Android, as well as in the Google Expeditions app for use in the classroom.

Get the full story at TechCrunch

Related: Google's The Hidden Worlds of the National Parks

Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/google_now_lets_you_explore_u.s._national_parks_via_360_degree_virtual_tour

Case study: How Yotel increased direct bookings by 27%

August 26, 2016

Yotel partnered with Sojern at a recent Masterclass event in London. Get a recap of their results in the following video.

Watch the video at Sojern

Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/case_study_how_yotel_increased_direct_bookings_by_27

Tips for effective content marketing at your hotel

August 26, 2016

It is also a means of driving higher guest satisfaction and better reviews by helping guests plan trips and make the most of their experience. With this in mind, we have put together a list of top tips for effective content marketing at your hotel.

Create and curate content

There are two main types of content: content created by your business, and content created by others and shared by your business – also known as curated content. When creating your own content, strive for a tone and quality that is consistent with your hotel’s branding and personality. When curating content, be sure to respect copyrights. Ask for permission and give credit by linking back to the original source.

Get the full story at ReviewPro

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

Expedia and Red Lion partner for members-only rates

August 25, 2016

Users can also directly sign up for Hello Rewards via the Expedia sites, which Expedia said has resulted in a greater than four times month-over-month increase in sign-ups for Hello Rewards. The program has been available for less than a month.

The Washington state-based Red Lion has 114 properties in the U.S. and Canada in the upscale, midscale and economy categories. Its brands are Hotel RL, Red Lion Hotels, Red Lion Inn & Suites, GuestHouse and Settle Inn.

Travelers who book the Red Lion member rate on either Expedia.com or Hotels.com will get loyalty points through Expedia+ or Hotels.com Rewards, respectively, as well as benefits from Hello Rewards (a free night every seven stays, best rate guarantee, express check-in and late checkout when available, room upgrades when available and more).

Get the full story at Travel Weekly and Tnooz

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

IHG on putting digital, direct bookings and loyalty first

August 25, 2016

Mobile in particular continues to thrive with revenue up more than 30% in the half, delivering almost $1.4 billion in the last 12 months, up from less than $50 million per annum in 2010. Furthermore mobile now drives more traffic to IHG's website and desktop either from mobile visits to our website or over our mobile app.

IHG believes it is making “significant step changes” and is seeing good results when it comes to loyalty. “We’ve made some major and high profile enhancements to the programme over the last two years, one of these being the launch of Spire Elite, our top tier membership level in July last year."

“Following our pioneering and successful direction of pricing trial in Europe and Americas in 2015, in May we launched Your Rate by IHG Rewards Club. This provides exclusive preferential rates to loyalty members when booking to our direct channels and is now live in around 40 of 500 hotels across all of our regions except Greater China.”

Get the full story at EyeForTravel

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

TripAdvisor acquires Citymaps

August 25, 2016

The website and app make it easy for consumers to find points of interest, navigate urban destinations and share favorite locations with friends.

“The Citymaps team understands how people experience their day through a maps lens,” said Adam Medros, senior vice president, global product, TripAdvisor. “We are excited to welcome the team to the TripAdvisor family of brands to help TripAdvisor ensure its mapping features best address the needs of its users who are increasingly accessing the site on mobile devices.”

“Over the past several years, we have built a popular mapping app that delivers socially-powered inspiration and exploration for travelers,” said Elliot Cohen, CEO and co-founder of Citymaps. “Given our shared focus on helping travelers plan and experience a great trip, we look forward to working with the TripAdvisor team.”

The importance of online mapping technology is increasingly significant in consumer usage for everyday situations, including tourism. In 2015, TripAdvisor’s “TripBarometer Connected Traveler Report” revealed that 81 percent of U.S. travelers use maps on their smartphones to find their way around¹.

TripAdvisor’s existing mapping features currently help consumers find, book and experience the best things destinations have to offer and receive millions of views per day.

Citymaps will continue to be run as a standalone business. Terms of the acquisition will not be disclosed.

Related Link: Citymaps

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

Holiday bookings to be ‘transformed’ by new technology, says Expedia

August 25, 2016

Rachael Power from Virtual Reality News, who contributed to the research, said: "Virtual reality has the potential to radically change travel.

"People can'try before they buy' by visiting locations in VR, from the UAE to the Irish Wild Atlantic Way.

"It also shakes things up for those who are immobile or on smaller budgets; the view from Machu Picchu is now simply the cost of a Google Cardboard headset away."

Get the full story at TravelMole and Expedia

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

Aloft hotels debut voice-activated rooms

August 25, 2016

So far, the Aloft Boston Seaport and Aloft Santa Clara in California have the technology in place, as part of the chain's “Project: Jetson” initiative.

“Today’s early adopter, hyper-connected global traveler wants a level of personalization unlike ever before, and that means being able to control their hotel experience with the sound of their voice,” says Brian McGuinness, global brand leader of Aloft Hotels.

Hotels are increasingly experimenting with technology that will capitalize on people’s desire to control everything via their smartphones and iPads.

Get the full story at USA Today

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

Hotel guests engaged during stay 40% more likely to come back

August 25, 2016

Speaking about the study, Local Measure CEO said "We've been telling our hotel clients for a long time that during-stay engagement and real time reputation management is just as important as a hotel managing post stay reviews. It's nice for us to now be able to back this up with data that shows those forward thinking hoteliers who connect with guests when they are on property see improvements in their bottom line".

The study was run with hotel clients over the 16 months ending July 2016. The hotels were existing clients of Local Measure in the APAC region.

Get the full story at Hotel Online

Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/hotel_guests_engaged_during_stay_40_more_likely_to_come_back

6 tips for combating high cancellation rates on OTA bookings

August 25, 2016

Today’s hotel guests are empowered and informed, which in some ways is very positive. However, it has also led to a trend of guests making multiple bookings far in advance, before cancelling ones they decide against just a day or two before their stay dates. High cancellation rates on OTAs or other channels can be a problem for your hotel if you don’t have a strategy ready to deal with them.

These high cancellation rates can lead to distorted demand levels for hotels, meaning non-optimal rates and lost revenue. Why does this happen, and what are a few quick tips for hotels looking to deal with the effects of these cancellation rates?

We’ve put together a quick guide to help you figure out the causes of higher cancellation rates, followed by some quick tips. Our goal is to help you figure out:

- Which channels cancellations are coming from
- What kind of cancellation rates you should expect
- How to plan for them and turn cancellations to your advantage

Get the full story at NetAffinity

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

4 strategies for hotel social media advertising

August 25, 2016

If your venue is willing to allocate a portion of the marketing budget, you can reach targetable and distinct mass audiences that you never had access to before.

What are the best ways to use social media advertising to get the optimum ROI? How can you be sure to reach your target audience at the right stage of their travel planning?

Here are four tips to help you make the most of your hotel’s social media advertising.

Get the full story at Cvent

Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/4_strategies_for_hotel_social_media_advertising

How HotelTonight went from burning millions to planning an IPO

August 24, 2016

Last summer, Sam Shank set out to raise a new round of funding for his last-minute hotel booking startup, HotelTonight. He was confident. He'd never had trouble raising money before, and though his company wasn't a unicorn, it was something of a travel industry darling. Besides, growth was up and to the right. Yet in meeting after meeting, venture capitalists ignored the growth numbers Shank provided and kept asking him about the company's finances, especially the $2.5 million-plus HotelTonight was burning every month. He couldn't get them to agree to a valuation he felt the company deserved.

Shank, 43, was like a lot of other startup CEOs, flush with cash from earlier rounds and so focused on the day-to-day he didn't notice that VCs had suddenly become parsimonious. "As a CEO, you never get told the world has changed," he says. Once he realized raising a new round was going to mean a low valuation or a complicated term sheet, he walked into his Monday morning executive team meeting in October and told them there was a new plan: getting to profitability with the resources they had left. That meant cutting staff—fast. "I remember telling them, 'Okay, there's going to be a change—we're going to have to do layoffs,'" he says. "It was one of the first times I had to vocalize it. I had trouble even completing the sentence."

Get the full story at Bloomberg

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

Hilton transforms smartphones into travel companions with local guides

August 24, 2016

Curio - A Collection by Hilton and Gavin DeGraw’s new partnership aims to help travelers snag the inside scoop on select United States cities as well as insider tips on how to experience these destinations like a local.

One of Hilton’s newest subsidiaries, which consists of a hand-picked selection of upscale resorts, is attempting to reach mobile-savvy travelers with a microsite that includes several city guides, containing insider tips on the best local attractions. Each featured city hosts a Curio hotel, as well as one of Gavin DeGraw’s upcoming concert dates, enabling consumers to get as much inspiration as possible before booking a stay.

“Mobile is an integral aspect of every consumer’s life – for work, play and travel – and we know that mobile is one of the best ways to connect and engage with consumers,” said a brand spokesperson for Curio – A Collection by Hilton. “With Curio guests being savvy and adventurous, we want to ensure they can easily and efficiently access engaging content and our #CitiesbyCurio Local Guides to help them experience destinations like a true local. “This in mind, it’s been a strategic choice to build websites and marketing programs – including CitiesbyCurio.com – that are optimized for mobile access.”

Get the full story at the Mobile Marketer

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

Hotel rooms top list of Brit holiday headaches

August 24, 2016

In a report released this week, HolidayTravelWatch found that nearly one in four (37%) Brits make a complaint while on holiday, and 72% of these are about the state of hotel rooms. HolidayTravelWatch said it had received “an abundance of such complaints”.

“During peak holiday season we speak to holidaymakers daily that are affected by all of these complaints,” said Frank Brehany, consumer director of the holiday watchdog.

“The biggest complaints so far reveal a growing number of sick holidaymakers across a wide set of destinations. The fault lies in poor quality product, it seems some hotelier’s and companies have taken their eye off the ball on health and safety. In my view, it is no use complaining about the so-called ‘compensation culture’ if you deliver a product that is not fit for purpose. Deliver a clean, safe product and you will see your complaints fall – it’s hardly rocket science!”

Get the full story at Travel Daily UK

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

Traditional fraud prevention tools are ineffective for travel

August 24, 2016

Not all online travel orders carry the same risk. For example, while the average fraud rate in this industry – meaning the percentage of fraud-related chargebacks and clear-cut fraud attempts out of total order volume – is approximately 2%, the average fraud rate in flights departing from Indonesia is significantly higher – at 7%. Travel merchants may understandably concerned about the high rate of fraud in these orders, leading to a high rate of declines. However, while online orders of flights to Indonesia carry a higher risk of fraud, there are still many good customers making valid flight tickets purchases from this country.

In fact, there is a significant variation in fraud rate depending on the issuing country of the credit card used to place the order. For example, flights departing from Indonesia purchased with Swedish credit cards have a fraud rate of just 2%, while purchase with credit cards issued in South Africa and Russia have virtually zero fraud.

This was just a small taste of the data included in our special report for merchant about CNP fraud in online travel.

Get the full story at Riskified

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

Tips for updating static hotel content on intermediary websites

August 24, 2016

Does static/descriptive content management efficiency fall behind when it comes to timely updating these websites? Successfully selling via online channels requires that ALL content is right—this is a prerequisit for driving conversion.

Managing static content is an important but time-consuming effort. The initial content upload on a given channel is only the first step. In a sense of a moving target, OTAs often change their content display, imposing new content options on their extranets. As there are many extranets with unique content out there, how do you know when something changes that requires an immediate hotel information update? We recommend to not rely on getting informed by the OTA in a timely manner.

Static content management responsibilities are sometimes unclear, which can negatively impact your hotel description and thus exposure to potential bookers. Managing all extranets concurrently, with the complete and correct scope of content is what provides the hotel display’s cutting edge. Eventually, both content-rich product offerings and appealing visuals will encourage the consumer to complete the booking.

Get the full story at H2C

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

Google will soon start punishing mobile sites that show hard-to-dismiss popups

August 24, 2016

Why is Google removing the mobile-friendly label? According to Google’s own data, 85 percent of all pages it shows on its mobile search results pages are now mobile-friendly. So to declutter the results pages, it’s removing the label, even as it continues to use it as a ranking signal.

The punishment for annoying interstitials - those annoying ads and announcements that take over the whole page and have the smallest possible button for dismissing them, which inevitably leads you to accidentally clicking on the ad even though you really didn’t want to buy a new car - will likely be bemoaned by bad marketers, but for users, it can’t come too early.

Get the full story at TechCrunch and Google

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

HeBS Digital nominated for most effective digital media buy

August 24, 2016

This nomination recognizes HeBS Digital, a leading hotel digital technology, full-service digital marketing and website optimization consulting firm, as a pioneer in the smart data marketing and ad-tech space.

Lotte New York Palace partnered with HeBS Digital on a DRM campaign with Sojern, a top travel ad network. The goals were to increase direct hotel bookings, drive website traffic, and effectively steal shares from the OTAs during Q4 2015 and Q1 2016. Targeting consumers with travel intent to New York City, this DRM campaign had an impressive 5,464% ROAS during its 3-month flight. Because the campaign targeted affluent travelers, the ADR for the campaign bookings were 25 percent higher than all bookings made on the hotel’s website.

Get the full story at http://www2.hebsdigital.com/l/73012/2016-08-22/63f995">HeBS Digital

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

Compete like a digitally born travel brand

August 24, 2016

Gone are the days when companies were judged by the quality of their product, the battle for the travel consumer is now fought on the customer experience provided at every touch point.

Investment in mobile, data, revenue management and social technology, along with developing cutting-edge strategies which capitalize on these, is crucial to compete in this changing landscape.

Now is not the time to be complacent. 450+ senior travel executives will be meeting at the Palms in Las Vegas (October 6-7) to hear cutting edge insights from leading brands throughout the travel supply chain, including Southwest Airlines, Priceline, TripAdvisor, Alaska Airlines, Hyatt, American Airlines, Google and Kimpton Hotels, and to form profitable partnerships for 2017.

Join them to be part of the discussions which will shape the industry this year and next and walk away with the contacts, insights and skills necessary to implement innovative strategies for success. 

Event Chairwoman Susan Black, Founding Partner, Black & Wright claims “the attendees come year after year to EyeforTravel to learn what the absolute cutting edge and hottest issues are. In addition, the networking at the event really is unparallele.d”

Don’t miss out, secure your place in two minutes today -http://events.eyefortravel.com/travel-distribution-summit-north-america/registration.php

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

Can TripAdvisor turn things around?

August 23, 2016

Anyone who tells you they definitively know the answer as to whether TripAdvisor has made a mistake in its quest to become a booking site to supplement its metasearch, or lead-referral, business might also try to sell you the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel. [It’s not for sale.]

However, if you consider TripAdvisor’s track record when it transitioned in 2012 to 2014 from reliance on browser windows popping up in hotel search to side-by-side comparison-shopping, or metasearch, on TripAdvisor, then there is some cause for guarded optimism.

TripAdvisor CFO Ernst Teunissen said in February that he expected TripAdvisor’s growth in revenue per hotel shopper, which takes into account both metasearch and Instant booking, to decelerate later in 2016, as it subsequently has done, but the company expected “growth will improve similar to what we saw in our metasearch rollout in 2013.”

Get the full story at Skift

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

Are travelers losing the hotel booking wars?

August 23, 2016

In an ongoing war between big hotel chains and online travel agencies, value-minded consumers are emerging as the winners.

Three out of four travelers believe they’ll get a better deal by booking rooms through an online travel site such as Expedia or Priceline, according to a study commissioned by Triptease, a start-up company that helps hotels increase revenue through direct booking.

But major hotel chains are aggressively challenging that premise with high-profile ad campaigns like Marriott’s “It Pays to Book Direct” and Hilton’s “Stop Clicking Around,” which promise the lowest price when you book on their websites.

Get the full story at Fox News

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

Some hotel searches are now almost exclusively on mobile devices

August 23, 2016

Hitwise recently analysed the web activity of some three million British shoppers and found that 60% of travel searches originate on a mobile, with some important phrases even taking a massive 88% share of the overall volume.

Whilst some keywords are going to lend themselves increasingly towards mobile devices, such as “places to eat” (86%) or “things to do” (76%), Hitwise discovered other search terms that also are now dominated by non-desktop devices.

The aforementioned “5 star”, alongside terms such as “luxury” and “glamping”, come from mobile devices on more than 80% of occasions.

Get the full story at Tnooz

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

Millennials are to blame for America’s vacation problem

August 23, 2016

A report from Project: Time Off, an organization started by the U.S. Travel Association to change American work attitudes and behavior, says increased work pressures and a 24/7 always-on attitude have caused many Americans to increasingly abandon their vacation days. It's estimated that 55% of working Americans didn’t use all of their vacation days in 2015, leaving behind 658 million days of unused PTO.

The decline in vacation day usage began in 2000, just as the oldest millennials—those born around 1980—started to enter the workforce. Project: Time Off’s report, The Work Martyr’s Cautionary Tale: How the Millennial Work Experience Will Define America’s Vacation Culture, says that the youngest generation in the U.S. workforce has created an era of work martyrdom, prioritizing work above family and personal happiness.

Katie Denis, senior program director of Project Time Off, tells Travel + Leisure that “Four out of every 10 employees say they actually want to be seen as a work martyr by their boss. But at home, it is a different story - 86% of employees believe it is a bad thing to be seen as a work martyr by their family.”

Get the full story at Travel + Leisure

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

Wyndham email marketing is all about the loyal customer

August 23, 2016

The following is the transcript of an email QA with Whitney Cripe, senior director of loyalty marketing at Wyndham Hotel Group.

How would you broadly define what Wyndham's email strategy is?

Our strategy is to engage, energize and inform customers. From a brand perspective, we want guests who stay with us to have news, offers, and benefits that speak to them and provide real value. We also want to encourage them to become part of our Wyndham Rewards loyalty program so that they earn and redeem points on every stay. For those that are already members, we want to encourage them to return again and again by featuring exclusive offers and rates, and great perks like discounts on local attractions and events.

Get the full story at Direct Marketing News

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

Why Pinterest is a platform that marketers cannot ignore

August 23, 2016

Pinterest has always had huge commercial potential for luxury brands.

For consumers, it is a massive searchable database of inspiration – and inspiration curated by humans rather than by bots.

For brands, it is an insight into consumer purchase intentions, indicated either by what consumers pin or what they search for – intentions revealed in more detail, and earlier in the purchase cycle, than any other search engine or social network can muster.

Get the full story at Mobile Commerce

Read also "Pinterest isn't the social platform you think it is" at MarketingProfs.com

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

The four E’s: Today’s secret to a hotel’s success

August 23, 2016

The 4Ps of marketing have evolved. The Internet and social media has had a huge impact on how marketers need to focus their efforts. The concept of the 4Ps has morphed into the “4Es”: Experience, Evangelism, Exchange and Everyplace. Following, are a few examples of how clever hotel marketers can take advantage of this opportunity.

Today, when selecting a hotel, the decision-making process for travelers is much more likely to be driven by their expected “Experience” than a “Product” focused criteria. Travelers have specific expectations for each trip and those expectations often change depending on the reason for travel, length of stay, etc.. If hoteliers exceed a guest’s expectations for any given stay, more and more will share those positive experiences by “Evangelizing” on TripAdvisor or on one of more than 175 other OTAs and review sites that exist around the world. Reviews, both positive and negative, influence other travelers, impact rankings and the rates hoteliers can charge.

Get the full story at ReviewPro

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

Hotel distribution: Three ways to go global and local with your bookings strategy

August 23, 2016

When you attempt to appeal to a diverse range of travellers, you will find that your bookings increase and you are able to maximise your profits per guest.

1. Attract locals with events

Whether you are operating a large hotel with an expansive property, or you have an intimate boutique location in a quaint neighbourhood within the city, you can still appeal to local residents by hosting events at your hotel.

When you schedule events at your hotel, you generate buzz about your brand within the community and you provide yourself with an opportunity to earn extra revenue.

Get the full story at SiteMinder

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

Hotels accuse Expedia of ‘classic bait and switch’

August 22, 2016

The proposed class action suit, filed in U.S. District Court in Northern California, accuses Expedia off false advertising, unfair competition, and “bait and switch” tactics. The complaint was filed by the operator of the Buckeye Tree Lodge and Sequoia Village Inn in Three Rivers, Calif., outside of Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park.

An Expedia spokesperson told GeekWire, “We value our relationships with hoteliers and take allegations such as these seriously. We are investigating the allegations and whether our standard practices were followed. However, the value of our marketplace as a fair and effective way to connect hoteliers and travelers is our number one priority.”

The complaint says Expedia, which is headquartered in Bellevue, Wash., lures customers with online deals for hotels that are not bookable through Expedia.com or its other sites. When a customer clicks these deals and tries to make a reservation through Expedia, the site says there is no vacancy and suggests alternative hotels in the area, the complaint alleges.

Get the full story at GeekWire and Courthouse News Service

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

How Marriott’s real-time mobile rewards strategy results in 100pc conversions

August 22, 2016

Marriott joined forces with conversational conversion platform Chirpify’s Reply Rewards solution, which allows brands to surprise and reward social media users for their activities with various perks, thereby deepening customer relationships and driving repeat purchases. The hotel chain has been targeting Marriott Rewards members posting about its resorts on Twitter by proactively contacting select individuals and gifting them with complimentary loyalty points that are instantly added to their accounts.

“Unlike other programs, Marriott hasn’t just ported its program information to mobile channels, it has created an altogether new way to surprise and delight Marriott Rewards members,” said Chris Teso, CEO of Chirpify. “We worked hard to ensure that what guests love most about Marriott – that it goes out of its way to ensure guests are welcome and feel at home – was brought into the social and mobile experience.

“The campaign has seen such high mobile engagement because Marriott is effectively surprising and delighting its loyal customers at the right time with the right reward that encourages timely engagement,” he said.

Get the full story at Mobile Commerce Daily

Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/how_marriotts_real_time_mobile_rewards_strategy_results_in_100pc_conversion

Chinese tourists looking ever further afield for travel

August 22, 2016

With only 15.8 million arrivals in the Greater China region from mainland China in quarter two of 2016, more journeys are being made to destinations beyond Greater China (53.3 per cent of the total) than within the Greater China region (Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan), for the first time.

Drawing upon its internal research, COTRI China Outbound Tourism Research Institute has calculated that a total of 33.8 million border crossings were made from Mainland China in quarter two of 2016, representing a 4.32 per cent year-on-year increase of 2015’s equivalent figure of 32.4 million.

As was the case in quarter one of 2016, growth in total Chinese outbound journeys has slowed to single digit year-on-year figures, where double-digit results had previously been the norm.

Get the full story at Breaking Travel News

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

Is the full-service hotel dead?

August 22, 2016

For Hyatt, it’s Hyatt Place and Hyatt House. For Hilton, it’s Tru by Hilton. For Choice Hotels, it’s Cambria.

All of these brands fall under the select-service umbrella. These hotels may not have all the bells and whistles that full-service hotel has, like a spa or full-service restaurant, but they do have the basic amenities that most travelers - business and leisure - want in a hotel stay. They’re not exactly upper-upscale, but they aren’t necessarily economy, either; instead, they generally fall into that upscale/midscale price range.

“I think this is one of those asset types that can please both business and leisure travelers,” said Guy Langford, vice chairman of U.S. travel, hospitality, and leisure leader for Deloitte. “They’re not so basic. Instead of it being limited service, they call them ‘select.’ They provide services to you in specific areas where you have demand. You don’t need a fancy restaurant, so you can book on OpenTable nearby so they have a gym instead, for example. From my perspective, select-service hotels do a better job of satisfying both business and leisure, especially in terms of the [economic] softness we’ve been seeing lately.”

Get the full story at Skift

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

Americans split on whether to tip hotel staff

August 22, 2016

The survey of more than 1,000 American travelers found that 30% don’t tip anyone at a hotel. Of those travelers who do tip, 46% say they tip housekeepers, 40% tip room service attendants, 30% tip the valet, 20% tip the porter and 10% tip the concierge, according to the survey.

Although travelers are not obligated to tip any hotel workers, it is proper etiquette to leave a tip for those workers who helped make your visit enjoyable, said Lizzie Post, the great-great-granddaughter of etiquette queen Emily Post and president of the Emily Post Institute.

On the other hand, it is acceptable to withhold tips from a valet or the concierge if you didn’t use the valet or didn’t talk to the concierge, said Post, who has written several books on etiquette.

Get the full story at the Los Angeles Times

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

The future of the map

August 22, 2016

Today, the digital map is dominated by the pin. That’s not likely to change. Pins simply make it easy to find locations on a map — too easy to ever fall out of use. However, that doesn’t mean the area around the pin will remain static. In fact, we’re seeing the buildings the pins represent undergoing a radical transformation in their clickability.

If you open Google Maps and zoom in on your current location, you’ll notice that the walls of the buildings around you have become much more distinct and “3-D” — so much so that they cast tiny digital shadows. The buildings themselves have become so visually enticing recently it’s almost as if Google wants you to click on them… which of course is precisely what Google wants you to do.

Get the full story at Search Engine Land

Read also "Is Google Maps the next big marketing platform?"

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

How to jumpstart your hotel’s direct bookings through SEO

August 22, 2016

With major search engines like Google changing their algorithms more than 500 times a year, as well as introducing new features and functionality that impact how search results appear on the Search Engine Results Page (SERP), hoteliers must be as vigilant as ever in how they implement and adapt SEO strategies over the course of time.

Hotel marketers must make data-driven decisions derived from careful analysis of measurable results and research. Industry best practices may evolve over time, and smart digital marketers must consider SEO as an ongoing effort grounded in hard data, but susceptible to volatility, and adjust their efforts accordingly.

Get the full story at HeBS Digital

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

Cancellation trends cause headaches for hotels

August 22, 2016

The hotel industry has always been fairly generous with its cancellation policies. Until recently, the majority of hotels would allow guests to cancel their reservation without penalty until 6 p.m. on day of arrival. Customers appreciated it, but last-minute cancellations were always a burden on the hotel, especially on the person in charge of filling those lost rooms.

One of the few options for hoteliers to fill late-vacated rooms is to sell the inventory on discounted channels and recover only a portion of the initial reservation. Today, with the availability of more comprehensive data sources, including cancellation information, there is increased scrutiny over just how much cancellations are costing hotel owners.

Get the full story at Duetto

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

Study finds Internet travel planning at saturation point in the U.S.

August 19, 2016

Use of the Internet for travel planning in the US market has reached saturation point but there are still opportunities for growth, according to Dr Dan Wang of the School of Hotel and Tourism Management (SHTM) at The Hong Kong Polytechnic University and her co-researchers. In a recent study the researchers reveal the changing trends in the use of the Internet for travel planning, with a growing “bifurcation” between traditional users who use it for “standard planning” and those who are increasingly using it to search for products that offer “deeper and more authentic experiences”.

To understand how travellers’ use of the Internet has evolved, the researchers collected data through a multi-year Internet survey. The respondents were all from the US, and were representative of the American population in terms of age, ethnicity and gender.

Each year, the respondents were asked a variety of questions about various aspects of their travel. They were initially asked how many trips they had taken during the previous year and whether those trips were for business or leisure. They were then asked whether they had used the Internet to plan their trips and, if so, what type of websites they used, what information they searched for and whether they had made payments and reservations online. Next, they were asked to evaluate their experiences in terms of their satisfaction and how useful they found the Internet for travel planning.

Get the full story at The Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PDF 120 KB)

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

Airbnb takes down its experimental Trips app

August 19, 2016

The experimental application represents the future of the company, you see, one that goes beyond vacation home rentals. While the test wasn't open to the public, a Bloomberg report revealed that travelers will be able to use the app called Airbnb Trips to book restaurant reservations and even city tours. If it can truly offer everything you'll need when you go on a trip, then it has the potential to become an essential companion for jetsetters and frequent travelers.

TechCrunch asked the company about the app, but company spokesperson Nick Papas only said: "We're continually experimenting with new things and we don't have anything to share right now, but we have a few exciting things in the works."

Get the full story at Engadget

Read also "Airbnb expanding services to dining, city tours with new app"

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

What Airbnb understands about customers’ “Jobs to Be Done”

August 19, 2016

On a recent business trip to London, I surprised the conference organizers by turning down the opportunity to stay at the posh hotel hosting the conference in favor of a rather modest Airbnb flat. The hotel was clearly much more luxurious. The flat would require me to take the tube or an Uber to the event. Who in their right mind would make such a choice?

It turns out, a lot of people. Airbnb is currently raising money at a $30 billion valuation, according to The New York Times. That makes Airbnb more valuable than most of the leading hotel chains in the world. People are quick to point to disruption as the reason for the rapid rise of “upstarts” such as Airbnb. But that doesn’t really explain its success. Disruption theory explains and predicts the behavior of companies in danger of being disrupted, but it doesn’t tell a start-up company exactly what product or service to create to successfully disrupt a giant.

To get that right, companies have to understand what Harvard Business School Professor Clayton Christensen calls the theory of Jobs to Be Done. Too many companies focus on making their products better and better without ever understanding why customers make the choices they do. Customers don’t simply buy products or services. They “hire” them to do a job. That job is not just about function (having a nice bed to sleep in) but about creating the right set of experiences for customers. Those experiences have social and emotional components that may be even more powerful than the functional ones.

Get the full story at Harvard Business Review

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

The challenges travel marketers face

August 19, 2016

The traveler's path to purchase is also different from the path to purchase of general consumers [in that] each airfare or hotel room booked revolves around a specific origin, destination, time, and impetus to travel. The travel planner is in-market for a certain time period with a specific idea of how he wants to travel. This specificity results in data insights for a fairly granular level of targeting, and provides more opportunities for marketers to successfully engage with travelers at different points in time within their customer journey.

Another key differentiator? In most cases, the product itself changes price and/or expires...You can only sell that particular hotel room on that particular night once.

Get the full story at Direct Marketing News

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

How HostelWorld uses video to connect with target audience of young travelers

August 19, 2016

HostelWorld has grown to become one of the leading hostel booking sites, linking travellers with over 33,000 properties in 170 countries.

By ‘tuning into what makes millennial travellers tick’, its digital marketing strategy is all about connecting with those under the age of 35.

While the brand’s eager use of the ‘M’ word might put off some, it’s certainly succeeded in engaging an adventure-seeking generation.

Get the full story at Econsultancy

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

How brands helped kill the app

August 19, 2016

In March 2013, the Harvard Business Review published an article all but declaring the death of mobile ads, advising marketers to direct their budgets instead toward the thriving world of apps.

"The best way for marketers to communicate through mobile will be with apps," the article read. Among the data it cited as evidence: consumers typically download about 40 apps to their phone, and spend about 82% of their mobile time with apps, compared to just 18% with web browsers.

Clearly, apps will emerge as "the best way to win the hearts and minds of mobile consumers," the article continued.

Get the full story at Direct Marketing News

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

Ideal pricing delivers extraordinary revenues

August 19, 2016

Whether it’s managing one property onsite – or 10 properties remotely – Ideal Pricing offers hotels a robust and fully automated approach to revenue management that helps with transient pricing, group business of all shapes and sizes, and even catering-only business.

What’s really exciting about the Ideal Pricing methodology is that it goes so much further than just pricing. It’s also about that other lever in revenue management – inventory control. A true revenue strategy allows revenue managers to flex both price and availability to achieve optimal revenue results. Ideal Pricing provides the ideal price to your ideal guest at the ideal time.

Get the full story at IDeaS

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

Calling all travel startups & innovators

August 19, 2016

Taking place as part of EyeforTravel North America 2016 at the Palms Las Vegas, successful applications stand the chance to receive much needed advice, funding and exposure against a backdrop of a new wave of innovation in mobile, data and technology.

Attracting capital and generating a buzz around a product are among the major challenges facing start-ups today and all successful firms will have the opportunity to pitch in front of the panel of judges and investors, which includes Nancy Hayes, Angel Investor, Golden Seeds, Saad Siddiqui, Investor, Edgewood Management LLC and George R. Arabian, Co-Founder & Managing Partner, Steelhead Ventures, LLC.

The lucky top two selected by the judging panel will also have the opportunity to impress over 450+ senior executives from leading travel brands, including Priceline, American Airlines, Hyatt Hotels, TripAdvisor, Skyscanner and Southwest Airlines, during the keynote session on Day 2 of the event. Live voting by the conference attendees will then decide the company to be crowned winner.

Not only have previous entries received funding as a result of the Awards, they have also had the opportunity to meet and do business with travel industry peers.

To enter costs $1295 and includes access to both days of the TDS N. America conference, as well as the networking opportunities. More information and details on how to enter can be found here - http://events.eyefortravel.com/travel-distribution-summit-north-america/awards.php

All entries must be received by September 8th 2016.

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

In search for perfect hotel results, Hipmunk is latest to give it a try

August 18, 2016

Travelers type natural language keywords into a search field and receive corresponding results with real-time availability and rates. The update isn’t immediately obvious and requires some guesswork to locate as there’s no banner or text indicating users can perform such a search.

But various keyword searches we tried yielded relevant results. Hipmunk’s latest update follows moves by other search and booking sites to test natural language search with travelers.

Travelers must still choose a city, dates and number of travelers and rooms on Hipmunk’s home page. They can then navigate to the search results’ page and select “keyword view” on the right-hand side of the screen, pictured below.

Get the full story at Skift and Yahoo!

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

Expedia Hotel Partners see big gains with members only deals

August 18, 2016

Hotels providing Members Only Deals, defined as standalone hotel discounts that are only available to customers who are registered for Expedia’s loyalty program and logged into Expedia sites or shopping on Expedia mobile apps, are increasingly being leveraged by Expedia partners to incentivize demand. This deal offering appeals not only to last minute shoppers, but those booking up to a month in advance and coming from top travel countries including the U.S., Canada, U.K., Japan, Australia and Brazil.

“We continue to look for new ways for our hotel partners to drive incremental demand and generate additional revenue,” said Melissa Maher, senior vice president of Expedia’s Global Partner Group. “With over 203 million room nights booked a year, we’re helping these partners reach Expedia customers that may be new to their property or brand, from across the globe, with great deals that drive demand.”

The King’s Daughters Inn, a luxury boutique hotel in Durham, North Carolina, recently utilized Members Only Deals to help drive business for the summer, and in one month saw a 40 percent increase in occupancy rate.

“We were looking at very light occupancy rates for June so we decided to try out Expedia’s Members Only Deals,” said Denel Pugh, general manager and director of events, King’s Daughters Inn. “After implementing this deal, demand increased dramatically, and in a very short period of time. It’s certainly a strategy we will continue to use.”

Hotel partners can take advantage Members Only Deals by logging into Expedia Partner Central, Expedia’s self-service website that helps partners to stay informed and competitive with real-time insights about the market; read and respond instantly to feedback from guests; stay up to date with reservations, arrivals and cancellations; help increase visibility by creating targeted promotions; receive notifications with time-sensitive information; and access data quickly with an efficient single login. Additionally, partners can contact their Market Manager.

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

Why Uber has been taken for a ride in China

August 18, 2016

If you were the betting type, however, you’d have said that if any western company were going to crack China, it would have been Uber. It has oodles of money, already operates in over 500 cities worldwide, and is led by a fiercely aggressive CEO, Travis Kalanick, who from the outset designated capture of the Chinese ride-hailing market as a key strategic goal for his company. In pursuit of that goal, he spent much of the last two years in the country and avoided most of the mistakes that naive western outfits make when they arrive in China. So if Kalanick has decided that the game isn’t worth the candle, then it’s time for the rest of us to ponder the implications of that conclusion.

Get the full story at The Guardian

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

Hotels embrace keyless entry

August 18, 2016

The largest hotel companies in the world are experimenting with technology that allows guests to use their smartphones to open the doors to their rooms, bypassing the front desk upon arrival.

Many of the hotels require guests to become members of their loyalty programs in order to use keyless entry. The functionality is also tied to mobile check-in on the hotel’s app.

“Digital key is revolutionary,” says Joshua Sloser, vice president of digital product innovation at Hilton Worldwide. “It improves their stay and it improves their arrival.”

Get the full story at USA Today

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

TrustYou soars thanks to Google

August 18, 2016

Looking ahead, TrustYou thinks it can thrive, despite the prowess of online reviews giant TripAdvisor and competition from rival reputation management companies, such as Revinate and ReviewPro, and guest survey companies like Medallia.

Earlier this summer, TrustYou acquired Checkmate, a real-time messaging specialist for hotels to communicate with guests, for an undisclosed sum.

Tnooz recently checked in with Benjamin Jost, chief executive and co-founder of TrustYou, to find out how his company plans to ride an expected wave of hotel investment in online reputation management.

Get the full story at Tnooz

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

Instagram is becoming a marketing machine

August 18, 2016

It’s going to get harder and harder to think of Instagram as nothing more than an innocuous tool for sharing the filtered version of your life with friends and family. This social media platform is quickly becoming a marketing machine.

Two months after initially announcing features like business profiles, insights, and the ability to promote certain posts, the Facebook-owned app is now rolling this new toolkit out en masse.

Now, businesses can set up a profile that contains a “contact” button that allows prospective buyers to call, email, or text a seller without ever having to leave the app. See a dress you love? Email to see if it’s in stock. That dessert making your mouth water? Call and make a reservation at the restaurant.

Get the full story at Business Insider

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

Going beyond the OTAs: How to drive direct bookings to your website

August 18, 2016

Convert more travelers and drive direct bookings to your hotel with our guide, which includes:

- Simple explanations on digital terms and confusing acronyms
- Toolkits and checklists to easily identify areas for improvement
- Top tips from industry experts

Download the eBook a Sojern

And register for the webinar Thursday August 25, 11am PDT / 2pm EDT at Sojern

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

US fights stalled international travel demand this summer

August 18, 2016

The heightened level of uncertainty in international markets is contracting demand for US travel. The international tourism industry is experiencing a range of issues from terrorist attacks and infectious disease to economic/political changes from dynamics such as Brexit. These factors cause international travelers, who would normally travel to the US this summer, to be more conservative about travel plans and shy away from long haul trips.

As a result of these factors, the usual sources of the majority of international travel to the US, such as Europe, Canada, and South America, are showing double-digit declines this summer. The primary source of positive international demand growth is the emerging Asia Pac market, including China, with +6.5% YOY growth.

Get the full story at nSight

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

How Marriott transformed itself to meet the demands of a digital world

August 17, 2016

Andy Kauffman, vice president of digital at Marriott, spoke with eMarketer’s Bryan Yeager about his company’s transformation to meet the real-time, always-on demands of today’s digital world.

eMarketer: In general, how has Marriott’s marketing organization adapted to the demands of a digital world over the past few years?

Andy Kauffman: In the past, we had people focused on their own individual campaigns and maximizing the value of those vs. looking at the totality of the customer experience and ultimately assuring that we were providing more value for the guest or the customer, and in doing so, more value for Marriott.

Fast forward a few years. We put the guests in the center of things now. We look at our journeys across channels. We don’t maximize the value of any individual channel. We look at maximizing the total guest experience and the value that we deliver to them and they deliver to us. That has caused us to break down some walls between historically what we’d call brand marketing and historically what we called ecommerce, the latter of which has become the digital organization as we move beyond commerce.

“We look at our journeys across channels. We don’t maximize the value of any individual channel.”

Get the full story at eMarketer

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

Airbnb on pace to become world’s 4th largest online travel company

August 17, 2016

Closely held Airbnb, which doesn’t disclose bookings or revenue figures, likely generated about $7.5 billion in gross bookings in 2015, and is likely to surpass the annual bookings of European OTA eDreams Odigeo this year, Phocuswright said.

eDreams Odigeo’s five brands, which include Opodo, Travelink and Go Voyages, generated 10.7 billion euros ($12 billion) in bookings for the year ended March 31, according to eDreams Odigeo’s public filings.

After this year, Phocuswright expects that Airbnb will trail only Expedia Inc., Priceline Group and China-based Ctrip in annual gross bookings among online travel intermediaries.

Get the full story at Travel Weekly

Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/airbnb_on_pace_to_become_worlds_4th_largest_online_travel_company

Airbnb expanding services to dining, city tours with new app

August 17, 2016

The company is testing a standalone mobile app for finding and organizing travel plans, highlighting the importance of the initiative to the company.

A test version of the software is called Airbnb Trips, according to an Android app listing on the Google Play Store. The app offers access to personal itineraries with information about upcoming Airbnb rentals, city guidebooks, dining and happy hour events. A person familiar with the matter said the app's name and features could change before its release.

Offering local services could help Airbnb differentiate itself from HomeAway, VRBO and other room-booking websites. Airbnb hopes to provide a more personalized touch akin to a hotel concierge -- or, at least, the rack of brochures by the counter. Bloomberg reported in March that Airbnb has referred internally to the initiative, including plans to sell add-on services, as "magical trips" and that it's one of the company's top priorities for 2016.

Get the full story at AdAge and TechCrunch

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

Expedia introduces website to demonstrate new technology

August 17, 2016

Expedia Labs features technologies built internally at Expedia, as well as through Expedia partnerships with others. Anyone who visits the site can experiment with the tools and applications found there.

Feedback received will be analyzed and distributed to the relevant teams “and implemented with the goal of identifying concepts travelers find worthwhile and accelerating new product development,” Expedia said in a statement.

As of Tuesday morning, seven concepts were live for Expedia Labs visitors to try, like Expedia Cruise Compare - which enables users to shop for cruises and compare prices based on certain criteria, like departure date - and Triplane, which enables individual travelers and groups to create a collaborative trip itinerary.

Get the full story at Travel Weekly, the Mobile Marketer and Expedia Labs

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

Travelers from China tap traditional payment methods

August 17, 2016

UnionPay is the sole domestic bank card in China, and respondents to the Hotels.com and Ipsos survey of consumers in China who had traveled abroad in the past year were overwhelmingly likely to use one.

While 66% of those surveyed by Hotels.com in May 2016 use their UnionPay card, cash only barely beat out Visa cards—41% of respondents use cash while 38% use a Visa.

Only 9% of respondents said they used WeChat Pay to make payments while abroad—undoubtedly niche—but Tencent’s payment app may be one for the future, and brings up the possibility of an all-in-one app, where one can make payments, chat with friends, and share photos all in one space. This might be especially attractive when combined with travel.

Get the full story at eMarketer

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

Schema.org 3.1: Hotels and hospitality just got a lot more structured

August 17, 2016

These enhancements to the markup standards, which Google uses to enhance a site’s search results, set the stage for travel shoppers to more fully assess what chains, single-location B&B’s, OTAs and even peer-to-peer networks like Airbnb have to offer directly on search results pages – and maybe even someday book from there as well.

Schema.org is the main driver of enhanced search results in engines like Google, which pull in anything from prices and reviews to event dates and recipe instructions directly into your page’s results. It’s a standard way of organizing and calling out information on a webpage – kind of like a data feed built right onto a webpage – either through special markup around key on-page content or meta data. Search engines can then more easily identify those key points, and use those insights to better rank the page in its natural search results and pull some of those key points into your search results. There are at present more than 25 ways to appear in Google, many of which are driven by this markup.

Get the full story at Koddi

Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/schema.org_3.1_hotels_and_hospitality_just_got_a_lot_more_structured

Want more bookings? Give consumers less to choose from

August 17, 2016

Studies show that consumers are most often overwhelmed when faced with too many choices. This can lead to action paralysis, meaning they will delay making a decision, or worse, not make one at all.

If you offer too many options (such as room types, add-ons, possible upgrades) that guests are required to choose before moving forward with the reservation, they may get so confounded that they end up abandoning the booking all together.

After a reservation has been made, the last thing you want your guests to feel is frustration. However, an abundance of room choices can do just that. Not only can too many options delay or block decision making, they can also make your guests feel WORSE after they finally book a room. Why? Because by presenting too many possibilities, you’ve raised their standards and they will mull over how much more desirable the other choices are. No matter which room type, which enhancement or which upgrade they chose, they will always wonder what else they are missing out on.

Get the full story at Tambourine

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

Oetker Collection selects Leonardo to centrally manage digital assets

August 17, 2016

As a solution to this challenge, Oetker Collection recently adopted the Premium version of Leonardo’s VScape Digital Asset Management System – a central, cloud based enterprise software system to centralize, organize and make use of an unlimited number of hotel media assets efficiently, seamlessly and securely. Additionally, VScape provides Oetker Collection direct connectivity to Leonardo’s VNetwork, the most extensive visual media syndication network in the global travel industry.

“We know that our target guests are shopping for hotels online and that their booking decisions are heavily influenced by the quality and quantity of hotel images they’re seeing. We also know that the demand for hotel images will only increase. With that, we sought out an easy way to manage our growing library of high-resolution media internally and increase the quantity of images displayed on travel websites. Leonardo’s VScape was the clear solution for us, as it provides all of the digital asset management and connectivity options we need right now and as we grow,” says Laetitia Guy-Debout, Marketing Manager, Oetker Collection.

Get the full story at Leonardo

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

Hotel websites might just have the best rates and perks

August 16, 2016

“Online travel agencies drive 20 to 25% of hotel bookings industry-wide, but at a heavy cost of 15 to 25% commission fees,” says Zach Zahran, general manager of the Kitano Hotel New York.

“If we can save the commission, we can give guests more value with reduced room rates and other perks.”

The Kitano has beefed up its packages, offering such perks as a complimentary hot American/Japanese breakfast buffet or discounts for longer stays. About 85% of its reservations are now direct bookings, Zahran said.

Get the full story at the Los Angeles Times

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

How Expedia.com was built on machine learning

August 16, 2016

Expedia has grown far beyond a search engine for flights – it's now the parent company of a dozen travel brands including Trivago and Hotels.com – but according to VP of global product David Fleischman, machine learning has always been at the heart of the company's operations.

The business of delivering quality flight search results is tough, and Fleischman describes it as an "unbounded computer science problem". The reason for this is because flight itineraries and schedules are constantly changing, and Expedia's proprietary 'best fare search' (BFS) has to 'learn' and adapt all the time.

The extent of the problem can be summed up by one statistic. The average Expedia.com flight search will take three seconds to deliver results. In those three seconds you will see, on average, 16,000 flight options, in order of convenience or price or time.

Get the full story at Computer World

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

How chatbots could have helped Delta Airlines during its computer outage

August 16, 2016

Delta Airlines experienced a major computer outage recently, one that caused canceled flights and massive delays. Many passengers were stranded in airports, and the company now has to look back and find the cause. Most of the work will involve a close look at the IT systems Delta is using and efforts to create better redundancy, but there’s also the “soft” issue of dealing with passengers who need to be rebooked on a flight or at least reassured that everything is OK.

That’s where A.I., machine learning, and chatbots could help, says Dave O’Flanagan, the CEO of Boxever. His company, based in Dublin, with offices in the U.S. and elsewhere, makes a cloud platform that uses A.I.-assisted analytics and machine learning.

O’Flanagan says airlines could use chatbots to deal with the initial influx of requests. At this stage in their development, bots are good at taking that initial inquiry from a passenger or potential customer, even if an actual rebooking might not be possible at that time (likely due to the same IT system challenges).

Get the full story at VentureBeat

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

Airbnb co-founder talks design, trust, and new community models

August 16, 2016

In early August, Airbnb revealed its newest initiative, a design studio, Samara, which it states is geared to explore “new attitudes towards sharing and trust.”

Gebbia answered some of our questions about Samara and thus provided more insights into Airbnb’s hospitality vision.

While most media outlets have described Samara’s first offshoot, Yoshino Cedar House, as Airbnb’s “foray into urban planning,” or a hotel, Airbnb, was quick to point out that the facility is not a hotel.

Get the full story at Skift

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

Millennials like hotels and travel agents, says Amex

August 16, 2016

Data from Amex Travel’s US-focused Spending & Saving Tracker and Future of Travel studies found that 76.3% of Millennials prefer to stay in a traditional hotel room, a similar response rate to the Boomers.

This finding sits awkwardly with a study commissioned by Airbnb a few weeks ago which found that 74% of US Millennials have a “favourable impression” of the so-called sharing economy in general, with 58% having a favourable impression of Airbnb.

The glass-half-empty interpretation of the Airbnb findings is that one in three (35%) of American Millennials has”no opinion” about the brand, despite the hype.

Get the full story at Tnooz

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

The best salespeople do what the best brands do

August 16, 2016

It’s not news that the role of salespeople and selling is changing. In the past, salespeople were often the first step in a purchase process, and could significantly influence customer decision-making by controlling information about pricing, availability, competitive advantage, etc.

But in this era of nearly ubiquitous information, customers usually engage with salespeople after they’ve already researched their purchase and in some cases made their purchase decision. Digital commerce and disintermediation have caused many customers to question the importance of having a sales relationship at all. Moreover, companies are learning that true sales success isn’t indicated by the number or size of deals closed; it’s measured by getting and keeping the right customers.

Great salespeople succeed in this new business environment by doing what great brands do. I laid out seven critical brand-building principles that great brands follow when I wrote my first book. I’ve now found that these principles are as instrumental to restoring sales to its role as a valuable, sustainable, integral business function as they are to building great brands.

Get the full story at Harvard Business Review

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

More signs of headwinds ahead for hotels

August 16, 2016

Booking data shows weakness for hotels

New reservations data from TravelClick points to potential headwinds ahead for the U.S. hotel industry. According to its July 2016 report, the pace of new hotel bookings is down 3.6% in July, compared to the same month last year. Business travel is leading the downturn, with bookings down 4%.

For the next 12 months, transient bookings are up 3.2% year-over-year, while average daily rate for this segment is up 1.6%. Again, the culprit is transient business travel, where future bookings are down 4%, although ADR is up 2.8%.

There is some good news: The transient leisure segment shows occupancy gains of 6.7%, with ADR gains of 1.8%. Group bookings are up 6.1% in committed room nights over the same time last year, and ADR is up 3.2%.

Get the full story at Duetto

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

Google Analytics for Hotels: Best practices for hotel website analytics

August 16, 2016

All that's needed is a free web app that is by far the most popular website analytics tool: Google Analytics. What began as a website analytics company called Urchin was quickly bought up by Google in 2005. Since then, Google has built out the service to include many useful features. And because it is such a common choice for web analytics, no matter what happens to your website, what system you use, or agency you work with, Google Analytics just works. Today, Google Analytics is one of the indispensable tools for any modern hotelier or hotel marketer. You may be asking yourself, "Why should I use Google Analytics?" Well, there are three main reasons:

1. To have a clearer idea of who's visiting your hotel’s website: When most people visit, where they are from, and how they get to your site

2. To find causes and solutions for variations: Number of clicks, real-time visitors, etc.

3. Determine which distribution channel is most valuable, and which one contribute the most to your online visibility

Get the full story at SnapShot

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

Book direct: The numbers tell the story

August 15, 2016

These findings are based on analysis of a database of daily stay and cost history from 25.000 hotels in the U.S. from 2011-present.

On top this acquisition costs for customers using direct channels decrease over time while those for OTA customers remain steady or may grow as commissions rise. Hotel essentially pay the same commissions every thime a guest comes through an OTA; there is no reduction in cost when volume increases or guests come back.

In contrast, as loyalty rosters grow, the overall marketing costs are reduced and the entire system becomes more efficient. The added advantages of direct engagement leads to improved relationships with guests.

Get the full story at Hospitality Upgrade and Tnooz

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

More airline outages predicted as carriers grapple with 1960s technology

August 15, 2016

Airlines have spent heavily to introduce new features such as automated check-in kiosks, real-time luggage tracking and slick mobile apps. But they have avoided the steep cost of rebuilding their reservations systems from the ground up, former airline executives said.

Scott Nason, former chief information officer at American Airlines said long-term investments in computer technology were a tough sell when he worked there.

“Most airlines were on the verge of going out of business for many years, so investment of any kind had to have short pay-back periods,” said Nason, who left American in 2009 and is now an independent consultant.

Get the full story at Reuters

Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/more_airline_outages_predicted_as_carriers_grapple_with_1960s_technology

Hilton’s HHonors app redesign unlocks mobile chat, digital key expansion

August 15, 2016

The hotel brand is ushering in an updated HHonors app this fall, which will include full iOS compatibility as well as the option to mark a favorite hotel room so that customers can book the same space for future visits. The redesign also brings about additional features for Hilton’s digital key program, such as the ability for consumers to use multiple digital keys on several smartphones for the same room.

“We’re always looking for new ways to enhance the Hilton HHonors digital experience,” said Dana Shefsky, director of digital product innovation at Hilton Worldwide. “As part of this redesign, we’ve made it easier to access Digital Key and will share relevant and timely messages in the app throughout a guest’s travel journey to ensure a stress-free trip.

“Our focus is on providing guests with the right information, on the right platform and when they need it most.”

Get the full story at The Mobile Marketer

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

Improving the guest experience through apps

August 15, 2016

Millennials are accustomed to apps; they crave the latest technological trends. Savvy hotel management can use this demand to create more personalized and customized service and to generate more business by catering to the app market.

Matt Allard, the founder and president of Runtriz, a Los Angeles-based startup that has developed software platforms for nearly 6,000 hotel properties, is a frontrunner for this new client service model. The Radisson RED Brussels, with the Runtriz-designed Radisson RED app, has become the poster child for an innovative and fresh guest experience. Allard says when he looked at the hospitality industry and what guests find valuable, he noticed a big gap in technology and how hotels were communicating with guests. So, he decided to fill that need.

Get the full story at Lodging

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

Owning the digital conversation to maximize revenue growth

August 15, 2016

Today’s consumer visits seven to 10 websites before purchasing a hotel reservation: a clear indication that there is a large variety of online options available for hotels’ marketing budgets. Using the power of data to best understand how to maximize channel investments to drive new and recurring business while controlling customer acquisition costs may seem like an endless battle, but demystifying the digital marketplace just got a little bit easier.

Kalibri Labs recently released the first of a series of reports to help hoteliers navigate the dynamic digital landscape and maximize revenue growth. Unprecedented in scope and scale, the most comprehensive and extensive research ever published on this issue reveals a rapidly shifting industry: We are currently experiencing the consolidation of online travel agencies, the emergence of sharing economy lodging options and creative new usage of social, mobile and search technologies for booking travel. Yet these industry dynamics are providing new and exciting opportunities for hoteliers to cement the relationship with their customers, while lowering customer acquisition costs and remaining competitive with online travel agencies.

Get the full story at Hotel Management

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

Ritz-Carlton Dallas promotes restful night with sleep-inducing services

August 15, 2016

The Ritz-Carlton, Dallas is making guests’ sleep quality its top priority with a new room package. Suite Sleep is designed to help travelers get some shuteye, with eye masks, herbal tea, soothing music and a discount on a relaxing spa treatment.

Suite Sleep is available for guests who book all levels of suites at the Uptown Dallas property through Dec. 31.

"Many of our guests require a relaxing escape where sleep will truly enhance their health and well-being," said Roberto van Geenen, general manager of The Ritz-Carlton, Dallas, in a brand statement. "Tapping into the senses to bring this dream within reach is at the heart of our exciting new Suite Sleep experience."

Get the full story at Luxury Daily

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

Webinar recap: How to build a mobile hotel website that converts

August 15, 2016

We were joined by Ahmed Youssef from Amadeus Hospitality and Anatoly Polyakov from The Heart of the Village Inn.

Some of the topics we discussed included:

- Mobile is changing the travel shopping journey, creating “micro-moments,” instances where people go onto their phone for a small task that needs to be done immediately, making them intent-rich

- A new Google study has identified 4 micro-moments in travel: I want to Get Away, Time to Make a Plan, Let’s Book It, Can’t Wait to Explore

- What happens in these micro-moments ultimately affects the travel decision making process

Get the full story at Leonardo

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

Are you attracting, reaching, and converting the solo travelers?

August 15, 2016

Approximately 25% of the population is never-married, divorced or widowed, and these people still want to see and explore the world around them.

In many cases, they are attracted to one-of-a-kind experiences that may have a significant impact on their life. For instance, tour operators in the United States noticed that many people are interested in taking storm-chasing holidays.

These tours were created in Tornado Alley in the U.S., and they have sold out for the 2016 season. Appealing to these travellers who want to connect with others while trying something new can mean big business for your hotel.

Get the full story at SiteMinder

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

Are online travel sites providing biased information?

August 12, 2016

The stakes are high for hotel companies, which can lose bookings when the travel sites alter their search results. According to the industry data firm STR, hotel chains in the U.S. collected $142.6 billion in room revenue last year, compared with $132.8 billion in 2014.

It's believed the OTAs collect more than $1 billion in revenue annually on the hotels' behalf - money that doesn't make it into hotel coffers when guests pay for their stays in advance. When a consumer pays after his or her stay is complete, the hotels return some of the money collected back to the travel agencies.

"It's a shame because the consumer uses these [OTA] platforms because they trust the brand to give them a wide variety of choices to choose from and because of the dimming that's taken away," said Gino Engles, co-founder of OTA Insight.

Get the full story at CBS Money Watch

Read also "How OTAs manipulate hotel search results"

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

Airbnb’s unregulated commercial activity

August 12, 2016

In reality, a significant - and rapidly growing - portion of Airbnb’s revenue in major U.S. cities is driven by commercial operators who often buy up multiple residential properties to rent out in the same metropolitan area or list units available on a full-time basis, just like a hotel. What’s worse, Airbnb is not being transparent with its data and or acting as the true partner it has vowed to be with government officials to help create safe environments for its users and the communities in which it operates.

While the company, valued at some $25 billion, has a reported 2 million listings worldwide and suggests that its hosts largely use the platform to supplement their income, Airbnb fails to deal with the true picture of what is happening on its platform or release data that provides a complete look at its operations.

Get the full story at Lodging

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

Hotels must ease booking shift from mobile to desktop

August 12, 2016

As the push for hotels to streamline the mobile bookings process continues, hoteliers must also keep in mind that a booking journey born via mobile often still migrates to the desktop, sources said.

Speaking during Phocuswright’s recent “Mobile’s breaking points: Are smartphones ready for center stage in travel planning?” webinar, Phocuswright VP of research Douglas Quinby and Google product marketing manager Shelby Coyne discussed the path travelers take in booking their journeys.

Quinby said consumers, particularly those in the U.S., are very comfortable using smartphones to browse travel destinations and hotels. But their comfort level isn’t as high when it comes to making the purchase, especially compared to other categories like music, books and household goods.

“There’s very clearly a migration from smartphone to desktop or laptop,” he said.

Get the full story at Hotel News Now

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

Wellness tourism primed for growth from men

August 12, 2016

Wellness tourism is still largely a domestic practice, with international wellness tourism accounting for less than a third of the market’s revenue. Within the domestic segment, primary wellness tourists accounted for 12 percent of the revenue.

As the market grows, the ratio of international to domestic wellness tourist will remain virtually unchanged. The market share of international will increase only from 34 to 36 percent.

Those who do engage in international wellness travel hail from more developed countries, namely Europe, North America and developed Asian countries such as Japan. The U.S., France, Germany, Austria and Switzerland are the preferred tourist destinations.

Get the full story at Luxury Daily

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

hetras acquired by China’s Shiji

August 12, 2016

"We are very pleased with this acquisition and the opportunity it represents," said Kevin King, Chief Operating Officer, Shiji. "As a result of this transaction, hetras can now look towards the future and prepare an ambitious plan for growth, supported by Shiji."

According to Uli Pillau, hetras, "Shiji and hetras remain committed to delivering exceptional products and services to our customers and maintaining close working relationships with our partners. hetras operations will remain uninterrupted in Munich."

Shiji creates and represents products, service and platforms facilitating cross industry consumer journeys, industry focused consulting and collaboration for hospitality, food service and retail industries, Shiji has over 90% market share in China's high end hotels and over 70% luxury and specialty retail.

Related Link: hetras, Shiji

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

Yelp will soon let you skip the line at restaurants

August 12, 2016

Yelp will be making an $8 million strategic investment as part of the partnership, which was announced as part as Yelp’s 2Q earnings release yesterday.

Based in Pittsburgh, PA, Nowait is a mobile platform that has a network of more than 4,000 casual-dining restaurants across the country, including national chains such as Chili’s and First Watch. By using the Nowait guest app, users can see how long they would have to wait at a restaurant that does not accept reservations, as well as put their names on the waitlist without being physically present at a restaurant.

When their table is ready, users get a text message. Customers can also text back to say they’re running late, and restaurants can decide whether or not to hold the table for them.

Get the full story at TechCrunch

Read also "Restaurants would implement predictive ordering" at eMarketer

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

The purpose of saving time with hotel technology

August 12, 2016

Many companies, especially software companies, promise to save us time which in turn saves us money and stress. Efficiency is top of mind for all types of business owners from small independent hoteliers, to the general managers of the world’s largest hotels. But, the real value of hotel technology goes far beyond simply saving us time.

First and foremost, the real value of hotel technology is to make our lives easier, which often saves us time in the process. Good software has the ability to complete tedious, time-consuming tasks, freeing up our time to do other more important things.

Most businesses, especially those with limited resources, have access to tools that were once only available at the enterprise level. For example, hoteliers have access to more tools today that allow them to run a more smooth operation. Property management systems, channel managers, reputation management systems, etc. are widely available.

Get the full story at TrustYou

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

Two ways Lating America is transforming travel in 2016

August 12, 2016

1. Removing Visa Restrictions Reveals New Markets

On December 2, 2015 the EU and Colombia lifted restrictions that required visas for visits. The increase in searches from Colombia to the EU was immediate and dramatic, including:

- 131% more searches in May of 2016 compared to May of 2015.
- 3% increase in flight bookings out of Colombia in May 2016 compared to May 2015.
- Share of those bookings for Europe increased significantly by 7%.

These visa restrictions aren’t merely ceremonial but have a significant impact on global travel trends. Latin American travel marketers take note: you’ve got new competition and should re-think your current marketing strategy to grab European traveler’s. European travel marketers, you’ve got good news— a large, interested new market is clamoring to spend with you.

Get the full story at Sojern

Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/two_ways_lating_america_is_transforming_travel_in_2016

Business transient slump persists at hotels in North America

August 11, 2016

The pace of new bookings is down this summer, with the business segment experiencing a -4.0 percent decline over the past 30 days. However, average daily rates (ADR) are slightly up 2.0 percent over the same time last year based on reservations that are currently on the books, according to new data from TravelClick’s July 2016 North American Hospitality Review.

“As new July bookings have fallen by -3.6 percent compared to the same time last year, it’s becoming abundantly clear that there are stronger headwinds ahead for hoteliers in 2016,” said John Hach, TravelClick’s senior industry analyst. “However, year-over-year growth is still occurring, stemming from committed reservations that were generated throughout the first and second quarters.”

Get the full story at TravelClick

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

Most travelers today are women, and the industry may finally be catching on

August 11, 2016

Nearly two-thirds of travelers today are women, reports the George Washington University School of Business. Women also comprise 54 percent of coveted affluent travelers with annual incomes of $250,000 or more, up from 42 percent in 2010, according to the travel and hospitality marketing firm MMGY Global.

Many of these women travel solo or exclusively with other women. More than 11 percent of adult leisure travelers are women on their own, the US Travel Association says. AAA reports that one in four have joined other women on “girlfriend getaways,” bachelorette trips, or mother-daughter getaways, with 39 percent planning to do so at least once in the next three years.

These women travelers aren’t just retired empty nesters like Cox, who is 65 and a former schoolteacher with grown children. They’re from all generations.

Get the full story at The Boston Globe

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

Travel agents back in vogue for luxury market, claims Virtuoso CEO

August 11, 2016

Less than a decade ago, many pundits were predicting that it was just a matter of time before human travel agents would be replaced by the electronic kind.

Sunday, Aug. 7 in Las Vegas marked the start of Virtuoso Travel Week, the luxury travel group’s annual version of Fashion Week. More than 2,500 executives from travel suppliers and a like number of travel advisors are here, including 75-plus journalists.

The meetings that are taking place will generate more than $430 million in sales, according to the organizer.

Get the full story at The Mobile Marketer

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

Marriott captures 3x ad engagement with nonintrusive programmatic units

August 11, 2016

SpringHill Suites by Marriott teamed up with video advertising and digital display platform Celtra, global media agency MEC and engagement platform PadSquad for the campaign, which experienced much higher ad engagement rates than anticipated. As detailed in a case study released today, SpringHill Suites leveraged Celtra’s interscroller ad unit, which requires interaction from the targeted user, for the campaign, showcasing how hospitality marketers can stand out on mobile.

“Mobile usage has now surpassed desktop, and we at SpringHill Suites recognize the importance of reaching users where they’re heavily consuming media,” said Honey Konicoff, director of brand marketing for SpringHill Suites. “Leveraging interactive units efficiently and at scale allows SpringHill Suites to deliver a unique brand experience that showcases all the hotel has to offer.”

Get the full story at The Mobile Marketer

Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/marriott_captures_3x_ad_engagement_with_nonintrusive_programmatic_units


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