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Airbnb toughens up home sharing limits in London, Amsterdam

December 02, 2016

The new rules strengthen existing guidelines set up in 2015. Airbnb will automatically limit home listings on its platform from 2017.

“We want to be good partners for everyone in [Amsterdam] and ensure home sharing grows responsibly and sustainably,” James McClure, Airbnb general manager for Northern Europe, said.

In Amsterdam, Airbnb will also promote a new tool for neighbors to share concerns about a home listing, including noise complaints.

Get the full story at Bloomberg

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

Booking.com quietly closes Villas.com rental brand

December 02, 2016

The Priceline Group-owned accommodation giant says there is no change in its strategy for alternative accommodation such as homes, apartments and villas, but concedes that data has shown its consumers perfer having all their options under one brand.

Villas.com was launched with a fair degree of fanfare in May 2014, as part of a bid to capture the growing tide of consumers looking for stays in places other than traditional hotels.

The site started with almost 150,000 properties and was seen as a rearguard action against the likes of rental pioneer HomeAway and property-sharing poster child Airbnb.

Get the full story at Tnooz

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

OTAs will stay relevant in a post-search world

December 02, 2016

OTA juggernauts have been impacting the lodging industry in a number of ways. Over the years, they’ve gained market cap from some of the leading hospitality chains in the market. A market factor suddenly impeding their growth potential in the industry is highly unlikely to occur, the experts of the roundtable believe.

"I don't think anything will really derail them," said Mark Mahaney, managing director at RBC. "I think over time, execution risk associated with some of these companies comes down. They prove themselves shift after shift: airband to broadband, desktop to mobile, market after market—a couple of different verticals.”

The reason OTAs are succeeding in the market? “Really good management teams,” which ultimately decreases execution risk for them in the long term.

Get the full story at Hotel Business

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

The balance of power for selling hotel rooms

December 02, 2016

While each chain and brand has defined a specific set of tactics for distributing rooms within the OTAs, Marriott and Starwood continue to aggressively steer consumers toward their brand sites even to the extent of foregoing top search placement within the OTAs. It appears these two brands view the major OTAs as expensive alternatives and want to control terms of distribution while providing lower cost distribution solutions to their branded properties. However, from a property perspective, owners and management companies may have different interests. If they are able to generate reservations at a reasonable cost, all things considered, then they may not have as much preference as to where the booking originates. That said, distribution costs do vary across channels and sites and consolidating two major hotel players could deepen the competitive divide between these particular Brands and the OTAs.

This consolidation will also continue to affect other segments of hotel distribution, such as managed travel and group bookings. Most major hotel companies are responsible for a significant portion of a branded property's marketing. Corporate negotiated rates play a role in this since the chain will have more control over inventory and pricing for any market where they have a significant share of inventory. It is likely that this will enable the combined company to tactically respond to RFPs and more confidently set pricing levels for their existing and potential contracts. However, this doesn't change demand levels within a market unless they apply these tactics to shift business from certain destinations to other locations more than occurs today. CWT's Whitepaper recently summarized markets where the combined Marriott and Starwood brands represent a significant portion of their corporate negotiated business.

Get the full story at Hospitality.Net

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

As Google experiments with a mobile first index, what does it mean for SEO?

December 02, 2016

As with any announcement from Google, an eruption of questions and speculation on the wider implications for such a change has taken place.

Most of these concerns have been focused on how mobile indexing will affect rankings – particularly for websites that have a separate desktop and mobile version. The primary problem that has been highlighted for these types of websites is that in some cases the mobile version of the site is a stripped back version of the desktop version and may have less content than the desktop page. This means that if a site has rel=alternate tags, canonical tags or device type redirects then Google’s mobile crawler will see the mobile version only.

For those with a responsive website, mobile first indexing doesn’t bring a whole lot of change, as a responsive site by nature shows the same content to mobile and desktop users and tailors the visual and user experience format by device. This means that there will be little change in how Google views this content and ranks it accordingly.

Get the full story at The Drum

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

The future of advertising: Trends that will continue in 2017

December 02, 2016

Facebook and Google will continue to consume more and more of the advertising industry, while digital advertising goes mobile-first.

You’ve probably already seen Mary Meeker's Kleiner Perkins Internet Trends Report in June that said 76% of the growth in digital advertising this year went to Facebook and Google. You might have seen that Brian Nowak at Morgan Stanley went further in April and said “in the first quarter of 2016, 85 cents of every new dollar spent in online advertising will go to Google or Facebook”.

What’s the latest? An analysis of the new IAB / PwC Internet Ad Revenue Report shows that 103% of the industry growth in the United States in the first half of 2016 came from Google and Facebook. Yes, that means that the rest of the digital advertising market actually shrank by 3%, despite double digit overall market growth.

Get the full story at Salesforce

Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/the_future_of_advertising_trends_that_will_continue_in_2017

Change is everywhere: How is your hotel managing it?

December 02, 2016

Hotels encounter change every single day, experiencing changes in guests, rates, menus, events and staff. At an even higher level, hotels experience changes in management, brands, job responsibilities, revenue strategy and guest expectations. Widespread changes in distribution, technology, analytics and industry mergers also affect the hospitality industry in nearly every region.

Change management in revenue management refers to how hotels transition their individuals and teams and align their resources, processes and technology to meaningfully restructure their organization toward a common goal. And with many hotels now actively pursuing total revenue performance strategies, how can hoteliers ensure they keep up the pace and smoothly implement these analytical revenue management approaches throughout their organization?

Let’s take a look at how hotels can effectively manage the impacts of applying analytically-driven approaches on their people, processes and technologies.

Get the full story at IDeaS

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

SiteMinder officially opens in Galway, says it is more ready than ever for Europe’s hotels

December 02, 2016

Ruairi Conroy, General Manager of SiteMinder in Galway, says, "SiteMinder remains one of the few technology providers servicing the entire EMEA region from Galway, and we are proud to be an enabler of both internationalisation and exciting career opportunities for local talent. By the end of 2017, Europe is expected to become the first continent to see offline overtaken by online as the primary booking method for travel products and today is about letting the region's hotels know SiteMinder is ready to lead them in that online adoption."1

SiteMinder announced its arrival into Galway in August, six years after opening a London office to service EMEA where the greatest proportion of the company's 23,000 hotel customers are today. With research showing that two-in-three independent hotels in Europe expect to increase direct distribution over the coming year, and with channel managers being adopted by only 39 percent of the region's independents2, SiteMinder said the rampant need for modern hotel technology across the region necessitated the creation of a second local office, in the emerging technology hub of Galway, to support its strong growth trajectory.

Galway is SiteMinder's sixth office alongside Bangkok, Cape Town, Dallas, London and Sydney. Its opening coincides with the company's 10th year in business.

SiteMinder's presence is already established in Ireland with a reputable customer list that includes Fitzpatrick Castle Hotel and K Club as well as The Connacht Hotel and The g Hotel and Spa in Galway.

IDA Ireland's Divisional Manager of Growth Markets, Eileen Sharpe, says, "I have no doubt but that this progressive company will prosper in Galway's thriving technology ecosystem. I wish Ruairi and his team continued success here."

Get the full story at SiteMinder

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

Google on how people use their phones for travel

December 01, 2016

Key findings:

1. Smartphones are travel guides. More than half of smartphone users turn to their device in I-want-to-go moments. Most often, they’re seeking out discounts and researching activities to do before and during their trip.

2. Apps are for loyalty and convenience. Travelers rely on both apps and mobile sites, but for different purposes. Apps are often used to track loyalty programs and access digital boarding passes, while mobile sites are used to research activities.

3. Simplicity of use is key. For consumers, there is not a more valuable attribute in a travel app than ease of use and navigation. This is nearly twice as important as anything else an app can offer.

4. Memory is a dealbreaker. Taking up too much phone memory is the #1 app-related issue that leads consumers to uninstall a travel app. However, people will give your app another shot if changes are made.

Get the full story at Think with Google (PDF 356 KB )

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

Hotel bookings coming soon to Amazon Alexa

December 01, 2016

The ability to buy millions of items from the Amazon marketplace has been available since July. While Amazon has made ground ahead of other platforms when it comes to conversational commerce, Alexa cannot currently be used to buy a plane ticket.

“Booking a hotel or a flight are not yet available. We are working hard to bring these exciting features to you soon!” the skill description from Expedia reads.

By contrast, numerous travel bots like Mezi and Hipmunk for messaging apps like Facebook Messenger can be used to purchase plane tickets. Kayak’s and Expedia’s chatbots can also buy tickets.

Get the full story at VentureBeat

Read also "SEO without SERPs is here"

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

UK hotel room rates crash in Q3

December 01, 2016

The figures, which are released quarterly, showed that all major cities across the UK have seen a drop in average room rates for this period. Cardiff experienced the largest fall by 20% (£95), with Edinburgh dipping by 17% (£124) and Bristol prices dropping by 16% (£103). Dropping by 15% in Q3 2016, Liverpool offered the cheapest average room rate in the UK at £84 per night.

Meanwhile, London retained its reputation as the most expensive place to stay in the UK with an average night’s stay at £153, but even the capital was hit by a rate drop of 14% in Q3 2016 compared to Q3 2015.

Talking about the findings, Andy Besent, MD of HRS (UK and Ireland), commented: “HRS data has revealed that hotel room rates appear to be falling in the UK; indeed our data shows that rates have dropped in the last two quarters across major cities in the UK compared with the same period in 2015.

Get the full story at Travel Daily UK

Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/uk_hotel_room_rates_crash_in_q3

Cornell roundtable focuses on high-tech adoption in hospitality industry

December 01, 2016

In a session titled "Voice of the Crowd on the Cloud," panelists noted that consumers, acting as "the crowd" on social media platforms, now serve as social and environmental responsibility watchdogs, holding businesses accountable for their actions. "The cloud gives the consumer a loud, amplified voice; companies are held to a higher than ever level of morality and accountability as a result," said Larry Hall, president and CEO of Trillium Services Group. Hospitality businesses were advised to use the same social media connections to mitigate consumers' concerns while building public trust.

Roundtable participants addressed the pros and cons of in-house versus outsourced technology systems, suggesting that while outside contractors may deliver a better solution in a more timely fashion, hospitality businesses are advised to create an in-house technology team to oversee implementation and delivery of new services. One hurdle for the industry in technology implementation is its conservative outlook, participants said. Jules Sieburgh, of Jules A Sieburgh LLC, said, "Not legacy systems, but legacy thinking is what is holding us behind in the hospitality industry."

When new technologies are implemented, hospitality businesses should not lose sight of the person-to-person interactions that define them, roundtable participants noted. Christopher Sanson of Code Union suggested the use of technology at "the pain points," specifically in the food and beverage industry where improvements are made in the back-of-house without directly affecting the front-of-house guest experiences.

Read the full report at Cornell University

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

Motel 6 debuts mobile app to smooth out booking process

December 01, 2016

Motel 6 is launching itself into the mobile era with a new mobile application that aims to make the process of booking a room seamless and quick with the help of mobile technology.

The new app uses GPS and mobile payments to make it easy for customers to book hotels, find them and check-in, all through their mobile device.

In addition to making booking a room easier, the app also intends to be of more comprehensive help, directing customers to nearby attractions and serving as a sort of virtual travel agent.

Get the full story at Mobile Commerce Daily

Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/motel_6_debuts_mobile_app_to_smooth_out_booking_process

Google Travel Industry Head spills the secrets of search

December 01, 2016

In this interview with Triptease, Terri guides us through the tricks for getting the best out of Google Search and Maps and focussing in on what really matters.

Terri's top tips:

- Use Google Analytics. It's free, simple and unlocks the door to so much information about your traffic and your audience.

- Segment all this audience data with Remarketing Lists to tap into additional incremental traffic.

- Optimise brand positioning.

- Explore Dynamic Search Ads. They match more closely to the relevance of the search.

Get the full story at Triptease

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

HeBS Digital discusses key tools to optimizing direct bookings and lowering distributions costs

December 01, 2016

Last week, HeBS Digital hosted its third webinar in its “Direct is Always Better” series: “Key Tools to Optimizing Direct Bookings and Lowering Distributions Costs.”

Speakers from HeBS Digital discussed where the industry is heading in 2017: towards an inevitable decrease in occupancy in most major markets due to supply outpacing demand, Airbnb “stealing” demand share from hotels, and occupancy rates flattening - even declining (STR.)

Here are the key topics covered in the webinar.

Get the full story at HeBS Digital

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

HSMAI and Libris release special report on hospitality and travel industry use of visual assets

December 01, 2016

A total of 210 hospitality and travel professionals representing hotels, destinations, suppliers, agencies, and travel organizations were surveyed for this special report. Visual storytelling is becoming increasingly important and pervasive in the hospitality and travel industry, with a striking 89% of respondents reporting using either staff or freelance professional content creators (or both). The majority of brands have increasingly massive visual media collections, but many are held back by the inflexible systems they use to organize and access assets.

Other important trends include:

- Demand for visual assets continues to grow, with 86% reporting that the volume of new images and video combined has increased in the last year.

- Almost one-third of respondents (32%) invest more than $50,000 annually in visual assets.

- The majority of hospitality and travel brands are using images and video for a wide range of purposes, led by website use (96%).

Get the full story at HSMAI

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

Hotels leverage tech to predict guest wants, needs

November 30, 2016

Hoteliers are increasingly using technology to personalize services, and sources said the practice is opening new doors to directly connect with guests.

Greg Horeth, COO of management company Spire Hospitality, said many brands have platforms within their property management systems that deal directly with customer preferences, amenity requests and so forth, which he said is “very effective.”

“On the brand side, when the customer makes the reservations via phone or online, it goes into (his or her) customer profile,” he said. “The majority of them have frequent traveler or loyalty profiles, and profiles are built with requests included, much like what you see with car rental agencies or travel agencies.”

Get the full story at Hotel News Now

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

Is there a thawing in the hotel and OTA relationship?

November 30, 2016

Some in the OTA community even go as far as to dismiss the direct sell efforts of the hotels as just PR which might not sound conciliatory but, OTAs say, behind the scenes it’s a different story.

During a recent presentation to media, Cyril Ranque, president of lodging partner services for Expedia Group, spoke of previous investment being all about the customer experience, but now shifting to investment in driving growth for partners.

He was alluding to initiatives such as its white label with Marriott Vacations which, he says, is driving a twofold improvement in conversion in package traffic.

Get the full story at Tnooz

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

Senators offer hope to end booking scams

November 30, 2016

With most consumers searching at least seven to 10 websites before booking a reservation, as well as elevated traffic on hotel and travel websites, it’s become more common for rogue third-party online booking sites to find ways to piggy-back on legitimate hotels. These rogue sites trick consumers by mirroring the look and feel of the actual hotel website, using copyrighted images, trademarked logos, and many times, even similar URLs, to take consumers for a ride.

Fortunately for consumers, members of Congress have taken notice—some of whom have even fallen victims of online booking scams themselves—and a bipartisan group of congressional leaders are taking action to ensure enhanced consumer protection when booking travel online. Last month, U.S. Sens. Steve Daines (R-Mont.) and Bill Nelson (D-Fla.) introduced the Stop Online Booking Scams Act, a bill that would effectively combat these deceptive practices and hold unscrupulous actors accountable.

The legislation, which was originally introduced in the House in February by Reps. Lois Frankel (D-Fla.) and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.), would provide vital safeguards and take necessary corrective action to stop scammers from mimicking legitimate websites and exploiting unassuming consumers. Third-party booking sites would be required to have continuous, prominent notification that their websites are not associated with a specific hotel’s website before any consumer’s credit card is charged, making it crystal clear to consumers who they are doing business with online.

Get the full story at Lodging

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

Cvent and Lanyon announce merger

November 30, 2016

The combined company will be privately held and operate under the Cvent brand. Reggie Aggarwal, Cvent’s founder and CEO, has been named the CEO of the new combined company. David Bonnette, CEO of Lanyon, will work with the management team through the transition to a single company. The headquarters for the combined company will be in Tysons Corner, Virginia with a significant office presence in Lanyon’s former headquarters in Dallas, Texas.

“We celebrate two new milestones today as we formally join the Vista family and merge with our highly-regarded peer, Lanyon,” said Reggie Aggarwal, founder and CEO of Cvent. “Combined under the Cvent umbrella, and with Vista’s powerful backing, we will draw on our decades of experience to push the boundaries of event technology innovation and remain focused on delivering outstanding technology, capabilities and service to the events industry.”

"We are thrilled to welcome Cvent to our portfolio of high-performing software companies,” said Brian Sheth, co-founder and President of Vista. “There is an incredible opportunity to upgrade and expand the technology in the enormous and largely untapped meetings and events industry. With the leadership of Cvent’s highly-successful management team, working with our experienced Lanyon team, we are bullish on our ability to seize the green field opportunity ahead and remain the market leader in this segment.”

Over the past two decades, Lanyon and Cvent have delivered some of the most innovative and successful technology solutions addressing the needs of event planners, marketers, and hoteliers. These solutions cover the full spectrum of the event lifecycle including event management, strategic meetings management, sourcing solutions for both transient and group business, room block management, and mobile and onsite solutions.

Aggarwal continued, “Cvent is a growth company chasing an enormous opportunity ahead of it. Our employees have been the DNA of our success and we’re excited to add the talent, experience, and the products of the Lanyon team.”

Combined, the companies have more than 800 technology professionals and more than 700 customer-facing support staff. As the undisputed market leader with approximately 28,000 customers in 100 countries and having powered over 2 million events and sourced over $50 billion total RFP value through their sourcing networks, the new Cvent will continue to drive technology innovation while providing customers with world-class levels of support for all Cvent and Lanyon solutions.

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

Report: Luxury travel industry to reach $1.2B by 2020

November 30, 2016

The new Luxury Travel Market report shows that luxury travel is increasing with a compound annual growth rate of 6.4 percent, eventually leading the industry to $1.2 billion by 2020. While baby boomers aged 51 to 69 lead the pack, Gen X follows but is more known for preferring to travel with multiple generations of the family such as kids, parents and grandparents.

“The global luxury travel market is expected to garner $1.154 billion by 2022, registering a CAGR of 6.4 percent during the forecast period 2016-2022,” said Priyanka Bisht, research associate at Allied Market Research. “Luxury travel market epitomizes most desirable destinations, luxurious accommodations, convenient transport facilities and authentic travel experience.

“Luxury travel aims in giving exotic experience to its travelers,” she said. “Private jet planes, spas, special menus, private island rentals and private yacht are some of the unique services offered to the luxury travelers.”

Get the full story at Luxury Daily

Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/report_luxury_travel_industry_to_reach_1.2b_by_2020

Cendyn announces acquisition of Guestfolio

November 30, 2016

Guestfolio's focus on guest engagement and marketing automation for independent boutique hotels combined with Cendyn's data-driven enterprise hotel CRM solution will create the most comprehensive and scalable CRM product suite in the industry.

"We are thrilled to welcome Duane and the talented Guestfolio team to the Cendyn family," said Cendyn CEO, Charles Deyo, "Both Cendyn and Guestfolio are experts in leveraging data to engage guests throughout their travel journey, and this acquisition will allow hoteliers of all sizes the ability to scale a CRM solution that drives loyalty, guest engagement, and profitable revenue growth"

Duane Hepditch, CEO of Guestfolio, will join the Cendyn executive team as the Senior Vice President of Product Marketing, and the remainder of the Guestfolio team will serve as the West Coast hub for Cendyn, with offices in Whistler, British Columbia.

"Cendyn provides the global experience and service infrastructure we need to satisfy the incredible demand in the hospitality industry and our growing customer base," said CEO of Guestfolio Duane Hepditch. "Bringing our teams together will allow us to accelerate our product development and truly define the future of travel technology."

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

Five ways guests from opinions about your hotel

November 30, 2016

Because you control your website and the messaging contained within it, this is the best place to set explicit expectations.

Word of mouth remains ever-important, and what people say about you can have a big influence on who books with you – or not – in the future.

Online Travel Agencies (OTAs) can have a massive impact on how you are perceived and how you rate against your competition.

Get the full story at Sojern

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

SiteMinder secures its place in Deloitte Technology Fast 50 for sixth year running

November 30, 2016

The annual Deloitte Technology Fast 50 Australia program ranks the top 50 locally-headquartered technology companies based on percentage revenue growth over the past three years. As all other winners’, SiteMinder’s listing automatically places the company, once again, on the Asia Pacific Technology Fast 500.

Mike Ford, co-founder and managing director of SiteMinder – and winner of an EY Entrepreneur of the Year™ Eastern Region award this year – says, “It is an honour to be recognised among some of Australia’s most renowned technology brands for yet another year. This year of 2016 is particularly memorable for SiteMinder, as we reflect on our journey since 2006, from being a two-person operation in Sydney that wanted to bring an idea to life, to having six global offices and rolling out smart and simple technology that would, ten years later, positively change the lives and businesses of more than 23,000 hoteliers around the world.

“I commend the Deloitte Technology Fast 50 program for continuing to highlight that innovation can originate from this corner of the globe and stand among the world’s best.”

Get the full story at SiteMinder

Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/siteminder_secures_its_place_in_deloitte_technology_fast_50_for_sixth_year

Marriott and Starwood reveal the future of their luxury brands

November 29, 2016

Marriott was already the biggest hotel company in the world with its 19 brands—including Ritz-Carlton, JW Marriott, and Edition—and now it has 30. Amazingly, all of them are staying, and Edmundson didn’t give any indication that that would change. (We remain skeptical about that in the long run.)

“We thought long and hard about how you serve up 30 brands in a meaningful way—one that helps consumers infer both price and experience,” said the Marriott exec, who also spent 18 years working with Starwood earlier in her career, most recently as Starwood's senior vice president of brand operations, luxury, and lifestyle.

Many industry insiders assumed that the company’s three “soft” brands—brands that are made up of independent properties—would be folded into one group under one umbrella. But Luxury Collection (with such properties as the Gritti Palace in Venice or the Palace in San Francisco), Tribute Portfolio (which includes the Royal Palm in South Beach), and Autograph Collection (Pier One Sydney Harbour; Atlantis Paradise Island) all remain in place.

Get the full story at Bloomberg

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

RevPAR expectations declined in 2016

November 29, 2016

Of the 17 public lodging companies for which HNN covers earnings calls, nine consistently shared 2016 RevPAR growth guidance ranges throughout the year, and all of those have adjusted their year-end outlook ranges down from where they stood at the beginning of the year.

As for 2017 outlooks, most companies won’t share those until they report 2016 year-end performance, said analyst Ryan Meliker, managing director of equity research, REITs and lodging for Canaccord Genuity. Those that have - Hilton Worldwide Holdings and Marriott International - report flat to modest RevPAR gains for 2017.

This infographic illustrates how nine public hotel companies adjusted their 2016 RevPAR guidance throughout the year.

Get the full story at Hotel News Now

Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/revpar_expectations_declined_in_2016

Older travelers take more holidays now than ever

November 29, 2016

Delegates at Abta’s one-day event will learn about the latest trends and popular destinations among the over-50s, specifically how older travellers are looking to personalise their holidays and how to cater for them.

Debbie Marshall, managing director at Silver Travel Advisor, is guest speaker at the event at law firm Hill Dickinson’s offices today. She said: “It’s changed compared to 20 years ago.”

Research carried out by the review and advice website shows 83% of over-50s feel like they have more than 25 years of healthy travel ahead of them and 74% are taking more holidays than they did before they were 50.

Get the full story at Travel Weekly UK

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

Hotels Europe: Challenges and potential 2017

November 29, 2016

From the onset of the conference attendees saw the event kicking off with a highly informative presentation by TripAdvisor's Anna Rufo, who is Head of Display Sales – Central & Eastern Europe. Rufo's detailed talk focused on TripAdvisor as a sales and marketing tool and keyed on markets like Russia where Greece growth is concerned. Rufo's lead off paved the way for one of the world's most successful hoteliers, Tom Magnuson of Magnuson Hotels, who discussed how industry players can profit even in trying economic and an uncertain geopolitical atmosphere.

Magnuson, whose keynote set the tone for the summit, offered several innovative marketing templates. The co-founder of the Magnuson brand engaged the Greece market from within key-point destination hospitality, but more importantly fringe regions where thinking outside the box can optimize room sales. Following Magnuson's in-depth talk, a panel discussion alongside two of Greece's most successful executives, and a hospitality media celebrity helped galvanize the conference's key topics. Alongside Magnuson were Hotelbrain's Founder and President, Panos Paleologos; AEROTEL Group President, Alexandros Vassilikos; and HospitalityNet's very own Henri Roelings, who founded and publishes the world's most read B2B hospitality media.

Get the full story at Hospitality.Net

Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/hotels_europe_challenges_and_potential_2017

2017 travel marketing trends

November 29, 2016

Smart Insights full report into 2017 Travel Marketing Trends identifies several key trends set to transform the travel industry. Expert Business members can access the full report here and get a sneak peak at 3 of the trends we've identified below:

Virtual Reality

Virtual Reality and ‘near VR’ offers travelers the opportunity to 'try before you buy'. From taking a virtual romantic honeymoon walk along a sun-kissed beach to walking through a hotel conference suite, technology brings the mountain to the would-be trekker in ways which only a few years ago would have seemed impossible.

However, in considering virtual reality and travel, it is important to separate the hype from the practical. Travel companies taking advantage of such technology should primarily consider it as a platform for useful content, rather than an immersive multi-media channel which puts visual effects before substance.

Get the full story at Smart Insights

Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/2017_travel_marketing_trends

SEO without SERPs is here

November 29, 2016

1. Understand the types of queries this affects

It’s important to remember that most of the queries that Google Home handles on a regular basis are not the types of queries that are valuable to business anyway.

When I looked at the queries that my family of five asked Google Home over the course of that first weekend, the queries that were used most often are not the kind of queries that any business can monetize.

If you ask Google what a horse sounds like, for example, it neighs. If you ask it to play or stop music, that’s what it does. There is no opportunity for business exposure, as a successful search session ends at the answer or action.

Get the full story at Search Engine Land

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

IDeaS & TravelClick Webinar: Revenue Strategy + Market Intelligence

November 29, 2016

IDeaS and TravelClick will discuss how integrated forward-looking data by booking channel and segment can help steal share from your competitors, build a healthier demand forecast and, ultimately, increase profitability by better understanding the where and when of future demand.

DATE & TIME: December 6, 2016

For more information and registration please go to IDeaS

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

TrustYou expands South American presence through partnership with Slaviero Hotels

November 29, 2016

TrustYou provides a powerful feedback platform that makes all guest feedback from all channels immediately actionable for hotels in order to successfully increase revenue and bookings.

In order to achieve their objectives, Slaviero will utilize TrustYou’s guest feedback platform, including TrustYou Analytics, which aggregates and analyzes more than 3 million online reviews across the web and social media each week, plus guest satisfaction surveys in one platform. This provides hotels with detailed findings and dashboards that make it easy to understand performance across more than 100 categories like room quality, cleanliness and restaurant affordability. To bolster its data, Slaviero will also use TrustYou Stars, an advanced survey tool that adds first-hand, recent information to TrustYou’s feedback platform. and enables hotels to glean first hand insights from guests who have stayed. Guests can publish the survey results from TrustYou Stars directly on Google which helps hotels to gain a better prominence that also might impact local search rankings.

Get the full story at TrustYou

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

Search engines continue to be largest traffic driver for hotel sites

November 28, 2016

Destination and accommodation sites - think sites for amusement parks, hotels, resorts and tourist locations - drove the second most amount of traffic among all three sites, at about 15% of total traffic; beyond that, each site had different drivers, all at small percentages.

An October 2016 forecast from eMarketer predicts the total number of digital travel bookers to reach 27.1 million in 2016, up 3.4% from the year previous. That figure accounts for 61.5% of all internet users in the UK.

Growth will trend upward, though only by tiny increments: in 2017, for example, the total figure of digital travel bookers will cimb 2.3%, to 27.7 million, a .2% increase in share of internet users; by 2020, there will be 28.8 million digital travel bookers in the UK, 62.1% of all internet users.

Get the full story at eMarketer

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

Skyscanner CEO discusses why he just sold his company for $1.7 billion

November 28, 2016

Rumors had abounded in recent months that Skyscanner was considering an exit, but when asked by VentureBeat in the wake of today’s acquisition news Williams didn’t confirm how close the company came to going for an IPO instead. However, he did suggest that the terms of the acquisition were what swung him toward selling rather than taking a chance on the stock market — operational independence was the name of the game here.

“The combination of operational independence Ctrip affords us was (and is) extremely attractive,” Williams said. “This, combined with the incredible knowledge they bring to Skyscanner and their similar passion for solving the hard problem of travel search, meant it felt like a natural progression for Skyscanner.”

While it was nice that a home-grown Scottish startup such as Skyscanner could lay claim to being one of the last few independent companies operating at any real scale in the industry, an exit of some description was inevitable. But had anything happened recently, economically or otherwise, to expedite the company’s decision to sell now? Not according to Williams, who told us that he’d known the people behind Ctrip for a number of years.

Get the full story at VentureBeat

Read also "Ctrip CEO on how it moved in to buy Skyscanner" at Skift and "Ctrip extends global reach with $1.7 billion Skyscanner acquisition"

Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/skyscanner_ceo_discusses_why_he_just_sold_his_company_for_1.7_billion

Hoteliers revolt over Booking.com ruling

November 28, 2016

It is estimated by various industry players that between 70 per cent to 98 per cent of bookings are made through online services like Booking.com and Expedia, which impose contract restrictions on hotels offering sharper deals direct on their own web sites.

The only way guests can obtain the best room rates is to directly contact hotels or motels.

He said: "Properties like mine are having to put loyalty clubs in place to be able to offer lower prices, but they're not as accessible for people and they're not discoverable by Google and other search engines." Kiddle said club membership was not only a hurdle for customers but a hassle and extra cost for him.

Get the full story at Stuff.co.nz

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

Five things that need to be fixed in travel now

November 28, 2016

But the damage can be repaired, according to travel columnist Christopher Elliott. Here's how:

1. Eliminate ridiculous fees

There seems to be no escape from the fees and surcharges. Though some are technically avoidable, most are not. Travel companies used to apologize for them, but recently, as the profits began to pour in, they've gone silent. "Stop with the nickel-and-dime fees already," says Louis Altman, a frequent traveler who runs a telecommunication company in Portsmouth, N.H. "Why do I need to pay to pick a seat? Why do I need to pay to bring my stuff with me? I know fees are a massive profit center, but ugh — stop it!"

How to fix it: Travel companies could start including these "unbundled" amenities if they wanted to. They just don't want to.

Get the full story at USA Today

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

Airlines’ engagement with customers on social media is now critical to success

November 28, 2016

Social media has also served as an excellent live, go-to platform for airlines to not only connect, but also engage with their stakeholders. Here are three ways on how social media impacts the airline industry.

Many conversations between airlines and passengers take place on social media platforms, rather than on the phone or through e-mails. It often starts with public exchanges on public channels, before shifting to direct or private messages during the latter stages of customer service; for example, when such discussion requires sharing of personal data in order to resolve the issue. Major airlines have dedicated teams to monitor conversations on their social media platforms, and typically respond within the day. Interestingly, in India, the airline IndiGo took to social media to showcase their punctuality; the airline’s social media team would proudly share updates with their followers with the hashtag #ontime whenever a flight reached its destination early.

However, airlines need to recognise that on social, more so than on other platforms, customer engagement is a two-way street. This two-way street also needs to be enabled by a well-connected back-end, and translated into an empowered customer-facing front-end.

Get the full story at The Drum

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

Uber wants to be a digital service, not a transportation company

November 28, 2016

The European Commission is trying to boost e-commerce, a sector where the EU lags behind Asia and the United States, to drive economic growth and create jobs.

The U.S. taxi app, which launched in Europe five years ago, has faced fierce opposition from regular taxi companies and some local authorities, who fear it creates unfair competition because it is not bound by strict local licensing and safety rules.

Supporters however say rigid regulatory obligations protect incumbents and hinder the entry of digital startups which offer looser work arrangements to workers in the 28-country European Union looking for more flexibility, albeit without basic rights.

Get the full story at VentureBeat

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

Four myths of hotel revenue management

November 28, 2016

Here are four common revenue management myths and why they’ve been officially been busted by today’s automated revenue management technology.

Myth #1: We don’t have any issues manually setting our rates, so we don’t need a revenue management system.

In today’s high-speed environments, manually collecting, evaluating and calculating data via Excel spreadsheets is tedious, time consuming and highly susceptible to errors – and lost revenues.

Revenue management software and automation makes a huge difference. Through algorithms, calculations and powerful analytics, revenue management systems assess hotel performance on a daily, weekly, monthly and annual basis. Revenue managers can use highly visual dashboards and reports to quickly compare rooms sold and revenue against data at the market segment and total hotel level for the next year.

The system provides updated reports to give hotels a clear vision of their data, bringing more accuracy and consistency to the forecasting and reporting process. The increased business intelligence and accurate granular forecasting makes it much easier to determine correct pricing, optimize demand and increase revenue across a hotel.

Get the full story at IDeaS

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

Predictive analytics is the future of hotel revenue strategy

November 28, 2016

That’s a major conclusion of a recent study of revenue management leadership, commissioned by the Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International and conducted by Dr. Lalia Rach, founder and partner of Rach Enterprises and former head of the hotel programs at New York University and University of Wisconsin-Stout.

“In order to be more competitive and more successful, the hotel industry has had to adopt more sophisticated methods and techniques to management,” said Dr. Rach. “Hotel professionals need to make better decisions from better access to better data to produce better results.”

Changes in hotel consumer behavior have in part led the industry to a greater reliance on data sciences, she said.

Get the full story at Duetto

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

TripAdvisor product chief says transition to booking site isn’t easy

November 24, 2016

It’s a tough slog with much potential. TripAdvisor is playing the long game on this; let’s talk next year at this time to see how the game works out. Adam Medros, TripAdvisor’s global head of product for the last three years, has been at the company for about a dozen years.

Medros has been through numerous product launches ranging from mobile apps to metasearch three years ago, but he says the current transition into becoming a booking site “is one of the harder products I’ve ever worked on at TripAdvisor.”

“It’s hard work,” Medros says. “Maybe harder than we thought.”

Get the full story at Skift

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

Ctrip extends global reach with $1.7 billion Skyscanner acquisition

November 24, 2016

Ctrip, whose growth in years past was tied to the phenomenal rise of Chinese tourism, gains a strong foothold in Europe through the purchase of 13-year-old Skyscanner, one of the region’s larger flight ticketing services with more than 60 million monthly active users. The Chinese company said the acquisition will help it offer users a more complete array of options that combine air, rail and road travel.

Ctrip announced the deal alongside better-than-expected quarterly revenue and earnings on Wednesday. Its shares climbed almost 7 percent in New York during after-hours trade.

“The investment will strengthen our positioning on a global scale, serving customers in other parts of the world,” Chairman James Liang told analysts on a post-earnings conference call. “These investments have helped us develop a more comprehensive global travel ecosystem to better serve both our existing and potential customers.”

Get the full story at Bloomberg

Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/ctrip_extends_global_reach_with_1.7_billion_skyscanner_acquisition

Airbnb out to be the Wechat of travel where you can do everything with one app

November 24, 2016

Last Thursday, Airbnb co-founder and chief executive officer, Brian Chesky, announced the company is going beyond homes with its latest innovation, Trips. “Until now, Airbnb has been about homes,” said Chesky. “Airbnb is launching Trips, bringing together where you stay, what you do, and the people you meet all in one place. We want to make travel magical again by putting people back at the heart of every trip.”

Trips is currently made up of Experiences and Places. The former is a collection of activities designed and offered by local hosts and experts, which travellers can book on their holidays. Places comprises a mix of audio tours and guidebooks of suggestions curated by taste-makers and neighbourhood insiders. Trips is now live on the Airbnb website and app; travellers can already book Experiences in 12 cities including London, Paris and Tokyo. Another 38 cities will offer Experiences next year, including Singapore.

Chesky added at his keynote that the company is set to include Flights and Services (think car rentals, restaurant reservations and grocery deliveries) as part of Trips eventually — bringing home the underlying message that travellers never have a reason to use another service or company the moment they book with Airbnb. Every step of the trip will be catered for. Yes, the travel equivalent of the all-powerful Chinese WeChat app, best-known for entrenching consumer behaviour and loyalty by allowing multiple functions, from splitting the bill with friends to booking karaoke rooms.

Get the full story at Today Online

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

Will Four Seasons’ ‘Elite’ services cross the line into bypassing travel agents?

November 24, 2016

The program falls in line with efforts by other lodging chains and travel suppliers to build databases of traveler profiles to create stronger direct relationships and personalize traveler services. But while most of those efforts are designed to reach the masses, the Four Seasons Card, as this program is titled, is targeting a very exclusive set of luxury travelers.

Early this fall, Christian H. Clerc, Four Seasons president and worldwide hotel operations officer, wrote to customers: “As one of our most important guests of the Four Seasons we do our utmost to ensure that all of your expectations are met or exceeded. I am delighted to let you know about an exclusive new service Four Seasons has created for its most elite global travelers to ensure that same level of care and attention you enjoy here extends to every one of our hotels and resorts worldwide.”

Clerc noted that the card is by invitation only. “This service offers you and anyone who arranges your travel an Elite Contact dedicated to customizing your experience at every Four Seasons property. Only a very select few of our global guests will receive this new card and as one of our most important guests, I would like to invite you.”

Get the full story at Travel Market Report

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

Time for hotels to get innovative if they want guests to “stop clicking around”

November 24, 2016

The agreement – which was signed off in early September – allows hotels to offer lower rates than they provide OTAs for phone and over-the-counter bookings, but they have to extend ‘rate parity’ to OTAs for online bookings, unless it is to a ’closed’ user group, such as a hotel’s loyalty club.

The reality, of course, is that the overwhelming majority of bookings these days are online, and the millennial generation, in particular, prefer the idea of booking through aggregated sites rather than individual hotel sites.

While France legislated to outlaw rate parity, and Germany is looking to follow suit, the American hotel giants decided that the only way to stop the erosion of distribution market share was to challenge the OTAs head on.

Get the full story at ehotelier

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

Google AdWords expanded text ads: Best practices for the new format

November 24, 2016

Numerous strategies and best practices have been developed over the years for the standard text ad format, but unfortunately, most of these don’t translate to expanded text ads. And, businesses are now having to scramble to update their ads before Google stops supporting the old format in January.

As opposed to standard text ads, ETAs have two headlines — a main headline and a secondary headline. Each headline can use up to 30 characters, as compared to the prior format of one headline with 25 characters.

ETAs have one long description field with a maximum length of 80 characters. This compares to two fields of 35 characters each with standard text ads.

Get the full story at HubSpot

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

Three fundamental practices of hotel metasearch management

November 24, 2016

When it comes to updating the inventory feed on different metasearch publishers, it requires direct, transparent communication between Koddi, clients, and the publisher.

- Best Case Scenario: In an ideal world, a client would automatically distribute the latest inventory feed, send it to all publishers for processing and to Koddi for setting up default bids. Normally within a week or so, the latest inventory feed is live, and we should be able to see the new hotels with default bids.

- Challenges: Challenges may occur when the latest inventory list we have on file does not align with what clients have sent to publishers or with what the publisher has recently processed, which may result in missing opportunities to bid on new hotels, or in bidding on hotels that should have been turned off.

- Solutions: To avoid the above unfavorable outcomes, we audit our inventory lists on a regular basis, depending on how frequent the clients update their inventory, to ensure that our hotel information 100% matches with the inventory list across publishers. In addition, as publishers usually do not require the whole inventory list from clients if they are only updating few hotels at a time, it’s worth going through the effort of automating this process to make sure that no small changes are missed.

Get the full story at Koddi

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

How hotels can use a GDS to tap into the cruise travel market

November 24, 2016

At first glance it may seem like the hotel and cruise industries are quite alike. A ship is just a floating hotel, right? Wrong, they’re actually considerably different, with separate inventory systems, staffing processes, purchasing and selling methods, and distribution strategies.

Cruises tend to rely on more conventional channels like travel agents to reach and convert guests. Even though the sectors are incompatible, their customers are not dissimilar and there is often an opportunity for a crossover of business.

With the cruise industry currently in a state of growth, it represents a chance for hotels to get a slice of the revenue.

Get the full story at SiteMinder

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

Google’s online travel adventure upsets its biggest advertisers

November 23, 2016

The two camps once lived in harmony. The travel giants appeared on top of Google travel search results, either by buying ads or tweaking their websites to suit Google’s algorithm. But in recent years, Google remade its search engine to show its own flight and hotel information above links to Priceline and Expedia. It launched a trip-planning app in September and sometimes lets travelers book hotels and flights on Google. Some industry players expect more direct competition like this.

"Google has a bigger vision than just purely how much they’re making on ad revenue," said Kayak co-Founder Paul English, who left in late 2013 and is now building a travel-concierge service called Lola.

Google travel executive Oliver Heckmann has the tricky job of keeping online travel agents happy while building increasingly competitive services for consumers. These advertisers need Google as much as the Alphabet Inc. unit needs them, but he's always mending fences.

"If I look at the industry, everybody is sort of collaborating and competing with each other," he said, while dismissing concern about a larger threat from Google. "I want to get a margarita every time I have to clarify that misunderstanding."

Get the full story at Bloomberg

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

Gogobot rebrands to Trip.com with Expedia’s help

November 23, 2016

Artificial intelligence is the latest buzzword in travel and it can be over-hyped and imprecisely used. But Trip.com indeed appears to have developed one of the more advanced trip-planning and activities-recommendation apps around using artificial intelligence and other predictive technology.

The company, in many ways, flies under the radar because if doesn’t have the traction and marketing clout of some of the larger brands but its app, however imperfect, makes some of its rivals’ seem relatively unsophisticated.

I’m currently in Los Angeles and it’s 8:30 a.m. I’ve pre-selected “green,” “business,” and “trendsters” as my interests in the Trip.com app. I open it and the app shows me nearby breakfast and brunch options based on the time. In addition to time, location, preselected interests, and past behavior, the app supposedly also fine-tunes what it presents to me based factors such as the weather and whether I’m a local or a traveler.

Get the full story at Skift and Tnooz

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

The UK’s Brexit strategy should terrify the travel industry (but it doesn’t)

November 23, 2016

Aviation, the sale of holidays, and perhaps the most importantly the free movement of people are all tied in with the other 27 member states. Leaving is going to be very messy and given the benefits that the travel industry gets (including certain taxes) there is a lot to lose.

Uncertainty is terrible for the economy, terrible for business, and terrible for the public. Beyond banal platitudes about “the best possible deal” Prime Minister Theresa May has given little away.

Negotiations are either being carried out behind closed doors or they are not being carried out at all.

This all puts the travel industry in a a very difficult position.

Get the full story Skift

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

Marriott-Starwood: Bringing together two different corporate cultures to create value

November 23, 2016

Nick van Marken, Global Head of Hospitality at Deloitte, who has interviewed Sorenson on the deal, said the most obvious benefit is scale. The Group will now have 30 brands, 5,700 hotels, over one million rooms and will be present in 110 countries. Underpinning that is loyalty. "This is about combining the power of Marriott Rewards with SPG (the Starwood Preferred Guest loyalty programme). Get this right and you have 75 million loyal customers which Marriott can then try to ensure book direct, reducing the impact of OTAs (online travel agents)."

For Marriott, it is also an opportunity to move into spaces it hasn't previously been in.

According to Susan Devine, Senior Vice President of Strategic Development with Preferred Hotels & Resorts, 'soft' brands like Preferred, which provides sales and marketing support for independent hotels, have been emerging in the hospitality industry. Now with the consolidation of 'hard' brands like Marriott and Starwood, large corporations will be exploring how they can offer their services to the hospitality industry generally.

"The reason they are doing this is because independent hotels don't necessarily need the same things as before. You have the internet now, so does it really matter if you have the Marriott name? You can research a hotel before you go there, so there's an opportunity for hotels to stay independent."

Get the full story at Hospitality.Net

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

How Airbnb did it

November 23, 2016

There are many factors in Airbnb’s remarkable growth. Design, booking, two-way reviews, data-driven product development and marketing, innovative growth hacking, among much else. But the most important one: They figured out early on that the host is the lynchpin.

Why is that so important? Well, how do you create some semblance of product consistency across millions of homes when you don’t own the inventory? Post-booking, the guest experience is completely in the hands of the host.

And Airbnb has created an incredible community of engaged hosts.

Get the full story at WIT

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

Google Rich Cards expand to local restaurants

November 23, 2016

Evolution of search results for queries like [best New Orleans restaurants]: with rich cards, results are presented in new UIs, like carousels that are easy to browse by scrolling left and right, or a vertical three-pack that displays more individual courses

By building Rich Cards, you have a new opportunity to attract more engaged users to your page. Users can swipe through restaurant recommendations from sites like TripAdvisor, Thrillist, Time Out, Eater, and 10Best.

If you have a site that contains local restaurant information or offers online courses, check out our developer docs to start building Rich Cards in the Local restaurant vertical.

Get the full story at Google

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

Webinar: What hoteliers need to know now to be ready for 2017

November 23, 2016

Join Maxwell as he walks through these trends and illustrates them with fresh, innovative examples of brands bringing them to life right now - examples not previously found in our reports. Energize your 2017 planning with new ideas for leveraging these trends to influence travelers across the globe and future-proof your guest experience.

- Ubitech - The ever-greater pervasiveness of technology
- Infolust - The need for relevant and actionable information
- Status Seekers - The pursuit of status
- Post-Demographic - The death of demographic segmentation
- ... and more.

For more information and registration go to Sabre Hospitality Solutions

Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/webinar_what_hoteliers_need_to_know_now_to_be_ready_for_2017

Rise Hotel centralizes online distribution with LIVE OS

November 23, 2016

Located in the heart of Larnaca, the Rise Hotel is popular luxury destination offering 42 rooms and 6 suites. The team uses various services within LIVE OS including the Channel Manager Web to update rate and inventory (ARI) across all connected travel channels and receive reservation directly delivered into their hotel management system. They also use Managed Rate Reports to monitor competitors’ pricing for a more effective rate strategy.

“LIVE OS is a revolutionary new platform and we are glad to be using it for our property. Given that we cater to luxury travellers across EMEA and America, it’s important for us to maintain real-time availability in all leading OTAs. With LIVE OS, there are no more spread sheets - we manage everything directly from this innovative platform. We can track our business performance in real-time and that has boosted online revenue drastically. To top it all, it’s a fairly simple to use platform with a beautifully designed user interface making everyday tasks fun,” said Olga Peppas, Hotel Manager, Rise Hotel.

Alin Lazar, Sales Manager for Europe at eRevMax commented, “In the last couple of years inbound tourist arrivals to Cyprus has registered healthy growth, especially a significant rise in tourists from the UK. With the help of LIVE OS, Rise Hotel is better positioned to manage their online business with direct visibility into demand sources and suggested recommendations for attracting more bookings.”

Get the full story at eRevMax

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

Eight big travel predictions for 2017, according to Booking.com

November 22, 2016

Here's what holiday makers and business travellers can expect to experience in the year ahead.

1. Instant Gratification 2.0

Technology is fuelling a more demanding and impatient traveller. 44% of travellers already expect to be able to plan their holiday in a few simple taps of their smart phone and over half (52%) expect their use of travel apps to increase in 2017. With this, we’re increasingly looking to technology to eradicate any and all on-the-road niggles, deliver answers to our specific needs in the moment and enhance our experience with recommendations and short-cuts we haven’t even thought of. The coming year will see this expectation addressed in an unprecedented way. From finding the nearest ATM or available Wi-Fi to queue jumping at top attractions and getting on-the-go advice on how to get over jetlag, meaningful functionality in palm-based technology will abound. And with all of the exciting new developments in machine learning and AI, our favourite go-to apps will go beyond mere functionality and evolve into real companions—travel besties, if you will, capable of predicting our own unique needs and catering to them before we even have to ask. Use of smart, instant message technology that moulds to our preferences to solve every question and wish in real-time, regardless of where we choose to stay, will become second nature. Seamless assistance at your fingertips.

2. Getting to Business

The ‘bleisure’ boom is well and truly underway, and 2017 will see a further upswing not only in the blurring lines between leisure and business travel, but in the value we attach to workplace travel opportunities. Of the 40% of global travellers who journeyed for business this year, 46% think they will travel even more for business in 2017.More than business suites and PowerPoint presentations, 49% of business travellers already extend their business trips to further enjoy the destination, while three quarters (75%) intend to do so the same or more in the coming year. No longer seen as lost time or a career inconvenience, business travel is increasingly appreciated as an opportunity to expand horizons, find inspiration and progress in a career. So much so that 30% of travellers would even accept a lower paid job if it meant they could travel more for work.

3. Appetite to Discover

The discovered world has many undiscovered places and 2017 promises to see travellers unleashing their inner explorer like never before. 45% plan to be more adventurous in their choice of destination in the coming year, while 47% would like to explore corners of the globe that none of their friends have been to. Whether it’s trekking into a remote mountain village or finding a gem of a guest house on the other side of tracks, we’re seeing evidence all round of an ever-growing appetite to embrace undiscovered environments in an authentic way. 56% of travellers would like to do more independent travel in 2017, a trend particularly prevalent amongst those from Brazil, India, the United States, China and Thailand. Top destinations where can indulge their pioneering spirit include Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.

4. Mind, Body and Soul

In a hectic world, people are increasingly seeing travel as a way to bring balance back into their lives. Almost half (48%) see going on holiday as a moment to reflect and make better lifestyle choices. The coming year will see many travellers prioritising health conscious trips that promise harmony for the mind, body and soul - particularly those from India, China and Thailand. 44% are interested to experience spa/relaxation travel and 38% in a health/wellbeing travel experience in 2017. The days of leaving paid holidays on the table at the end of the year are fading even in the most demanding work cultures, with over half (51%) intending to take more of their annual leave in the coming year than this year. Accommodations across the world are upgrading their offerings to match this growing demand. In 2017, it won’t be uncommon to find a diverse range of SanctuStays, accommodations ranging from villas to apartments, resorts and more, offering complementary meditation facilities, health spas, wellness workshops and outdoor facilities to promote a holistic lifestyle and clearer path to self-discovery.

5. Go Green or Stay Home

Sustainable travel means many things to many people, but there’s no denying the trend for both travellers and accommodations becoming more environmentally and sustainably aware as well as responsible. The coming year will see over a third (36%) of travellers planning to choose more eco-friendly travel options than they did in 2016 and nearly 2 in 5 (39%) interested in an eco-tour travel experience. This mirrors the way in which people are increasingly finding ways to fulfil their aesthetic travel needs while maintaining cultural and environmental integrity by taking longer, more scenic routes and modes of transport. Eco-friendly stays are no longer the preserve of the few, but an expectation of the many. As the year progresses we will likely see increased discussion around economic incentives such as tax breaks for eco travellers (41% of travellers would be in favour), introduction of an international standard for sustainable accommodation (41% in favour) and transport providers giving travellers more information about carbon offsetting (26% in favour).

6. Simple Pleasures

Travellers in 2017 will be inspired by their own aspirations rather than material possessions. If fact, 58% of travellers plan to prioritise spending on experiences rather than material possessions while they are on holiday in 2017. Travellers are also becoming less interested in fancy embellishments and more interested in the small moments and simple pleasures of a journey. Only 10% of travellers said that a butler/concierge service was essential to enjoy their travel experiences in 2017. Fancy, high-end toiletries also appear to be a thing of the past as only 13% of travellers said that these would be essential to enjoying their travel experiences in 2017.

7. The Human Touch

As the ying to technology’s yang, interacting with amazing staff and forging genuine relationships on holiday will be an increasingly important hallmark of travel in 2017. 42% of travellers assert that they wouldn’t stay in an accommodation without friendly/helpful staff, while accommodations such as B&Bs and Ryokans look set to continue as the most highly rated by visiting travellers. Our reliance on those who’ve gone before remains undiminished with 40% of travellers confirming that they would not stay in an accommodation with more than three negative reviews. 2017 travellers are starting to understand that human touch is irreplaceable and crave this human interaction to make their holiday memorable. As a result, we can expect to see meaningful human interactions becoming the currency of travel in the months ahead, prompting huge advances in chat bot technology to match the warmth, personality and spontaneity of real human communication and connections.

8. Fly Me to the Moon

Travel has become a lifestyle, not a luxury for increasing numbers, and it’s unsurprising that we are starting to see people’s desires to explore go beyond this world. In fact, 44% of people see a future where we’ll be holidaying in far flung corners of the galaxy or deep under the ocean, which may not be as far off as one might think. , High-speed rail continues to advance and is scheduled to connect travellers to the remote corners of northern Africa. NASA is investing in a supersonic passenger aircraft that will allow for faster, greener, safer and quieter air travel. Not to mention, a Tesla autopilot-enabled vehicle is scheduled to “drive” from Los Angeles to New York in the summer of 2017. These advances are steadily stoking our imaginations, as well as our collective desire to explore beyond the horizon - who knows what new additional frontiers will open up for us over the coming year…

“Experiencing the unknown, encountering different people and cultures, and testing new limits has always been at the core of what drives us to travel and 2017 is certainly shaping up to be an exciting year,” said Pepijn Rijvers, Chief Marketing Officer at Booking.com. “2017 travellers will have an insatiable appetite for adventure, but are also mindful of the impact those experiences can have on the local culture and issues surrounding sustainability. While we crave highly personalised human interaction and familiar comforts, we’re also expecting emerging technologies to enhance our experiences and get us closer to the things we care about faster and more intelligently. Whether it’s the other side of the planet or just down the street, we want to dig deeper, seeking authenticity and a real sense of connection at every step along the way. For us at Booking.com, it’s not just about the destination in 2017, it’s about the entire journey, and finding new ways to empower travellers through technology to express and savour their own unique travel lifestyle at every possible moment.”

Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/eight_big_travel_predictions_for_2017_according_to_booking.com

Priceline on the future of smart travel tech

November 22, 2016

The industry powerhouse behind companies such as Booking.com and Kayak reckons one of the key trends to affect the consumer landscape over the course of the next 12 months will be how travellers look to technology to “eradicate on-the-road niggles”.

This will allow brands to “deliver answers to our specific needs in the moment and enhance our experience with recommendations and shortcuts we haven’t even thought of”.

What is so special about 2017, according to the group, is that expectations for this type of technology will be addressed in an “unprecedented way”.

Get the full story at Tnooz

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

IHG tightens perks on ‘third party’ hotel bookings

November 22, 2016

From the New Year, travellers must instead make reservations through IHG – including online, using the IHG app, through central telephone reservations, with the hotel direct or via corporate travel portals – to enjoy their usual privileges.

Among the benefits at stake: free in-room Internet access, priority check-in, complimentary room upgrades and a late check-out, depending on your IHG Rewards Club loyalty tier, plus free drink vouchers at selected Crowne Plaza properties, such as in Singapore and Kobe, Japan.

In an email sent to IHG Rewards Club members, the chain justifies the move by saying that “we want to give you the best travel experience—from start to finish—every time. And we can only do that when you book with us directly.”

Get the full story at the Australian Business Traveller

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

Why travelers are returning to travel agents?

November 22, 2016

So they are returning to travel agents, relying on their expertise to do the research, the comparing, the vetting, the suggesting of the right place, the right time, the right price, and all those other details the DIY planner may have either sweated for days or forgotten altogether.

"People don't go to advisers for information anymore," said Matthew D. Upchurch, chairman and chief executive of Virtuoso, a luxury travel network. "They go for clarity and curation; they need someone to distill the abundance of information available to them.

"What stresses people today," he said, "isn't the lack of information. ... It's not knowing if they are asking the right questions."

Get the full story at USA Today

Read also "The travel adviser as digital guru" at Travel Weekly

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

Group bookings in new year brighten hotel outlook

November 22, 2016

Across all travel segments in the first quarter of 2017, occupancy and ADR are up 6.7 percent and 2.7 percent, respectively, and occupancy for the group segment is up 6.8 percent.

“Even with the slowing transient reservation pace this month, especially within the business segment, hoteliers should look to the New Year for a promising outlook,” said John Hach, TravelClick’s senior industry analyst. “Group occupancy and booking pace in particular are showing notable signs of improvement in 2017, especially within the first quarter.”

For the next 12 months (November 2016 – October 2017), transient bookings are up 2.7 percent year-over-year, and ADR for this segment is up 2.0 percent. When broken down further, the transient leisure (discount, qualified and wholesale) segment is showing occupancy gains of 3.9 percent with ADR gains of 2.8 percent. The transient business (negotiated and retail) segment is down -0.8 percent, but ADR is slightly up 1.7 percent. Lastly, group bookings are up 3.8 percent in committed room nights over the same time last year, and ADR is up 2.6 percent.

Get the full story at TravelClick

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

Google can now tell you how busy a place is before you arrive

November 22, 2016

Like before, the Popular Times widget will appear when you look for a restaurant or bar in Google Search and Google Maps. It uses anonymized location data and searches to determine how busy a place currently is.

In my experience, the non-real time version was always pretty accurate, but it obviously doesn’t account for any special events that may change how many people crave Bloody Marys on any given Sunday. In case Google gets it wrong, though, you won’t get your time back but you can send it a correction.

Google already lets you know how long people lingered at a given place, so if you’re trying to figure out if you can still squeeze in a quick coffee before your next meeting, the combination of the new real-time data and this existing feature will hopefully get you there on time.

Get the full story at TechCrunch

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

How to find the right benchmarking KPIs for your hotel

November 22, 2016

1. The Average Rate Index

The first index I would like to look at is the simplest to understand and calculate: The Average Rate Index or (ARI).

The idea is to convert your average achieved rate into an index (out of 100) compared to the average rate that your competitors have achieved. The value of this is it standardizes your comparison across an estate of hotels and puts your performance in the context of the competitive set; rather than on the basis of the actual number.

To get to an index you calculate your ADR divided by the average consolidated market ADR. Let’s look at January 2014 in this example below. My ADR for this property is 57,64 while the competitor set has on average achieved 88 EUR in January. 57,64 divided by 88,00 multiplied by 100, gives us an index of 65,5. So in other words we are only achieving 65,5% of the rate that the competitors are achieving.

Get the full story at SnapShot

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

A new kind of hotel demand - for your technology partners

November 22, 2016

As we’ve seen, there is a sea change happening across the hotel industry, in which small properties and giant brands alike are trying to innovate as fast as the major online travel agencies, the sharing economy upstarts and the lurking threat of Google. The whole industry is highly fragmented. This has driven consolidation among the hotel companies (Marwood, anyone?) to try and approach the scale of the OTA duopoly.

But a concurrent consolidation in hotel technology also would help transform the industry in a positive way. However, it’s not likely to happen until outside investors turn to the hospitality technology space in a bigger way.

Right now, there are hundreds of vendors tinkering with marginally better systems for property management or revenue management or other functions. But with more money and attention from private equity and venture capital, real scale could be achieved for hotel technology solutions — ones able to thrive in giant branded hotels down to independent properties.

Get the full story at Duetto

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

More on Airbnb challenging tourism industry with new ‘experiences’ feature

November 21, 2016

"Long-term it's a big threat to Expedia, Kayak, Booking,com, TripAdvisor," said Robert Birge, who has worked at Kayak and Orbitz and now is chief marketing officer of Lola, a Boston-based on-demand travel service.

If the hotel industry is any indicator, Airbnb could become a major source of disruption for travel booking sites.

The New York City lodging industry lost about $2 billion to Airbnb from September 2014 through August 2015 -- $451 million directly and the rest in ancillary losses on food and beverage sales, construction jobs and other areas, according to a report by hospitality consulting firm HVS.

Get the full story at CIO Today and TechCrunch

Read also "Airbnb expands beyond accommodation with the launch of Trips"

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

Airbnb has no plans for an API to integrate with its new trip platform…yet

November 21, 2016

Airbnb has often talked about looking beyond the home, and this week it moved closer to that goal with a platform launch that consolidates all your trip needs into a single app. With this step, company chief executive Brian Chesky proclaimed Airbnb to be a true “trip platform.”

With any platform, you’re going to have some integrations with third-party software. Here, the company teamed up with Detour to provide audio walking tours and Resy to manage restaurant reservations. But there are no plans to make a public API available…at least not yet.

“We’ve always wanted to start with the…travel experience [users] are having out there. We need to highly curate what services and third parties we work with,” said Mike Curtis, Airbnb’s vice president of engineering. He promised to examine prospective tie-ins “partnership by partnership.”

Get the full story at VentureBeat

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

Kayak not worried about Airbnb Trips

November 21, 2016

He continued saying that Airbnb getting into flights doesn’t worry him any more than Hotels.com getting into flights by adding a flight tab.

But he had some free advice available for Airbnb: the company should focus less about experiences and more about their consumer fee.

In his view, Airbnb’s problem is its two-sided marketplace where they are charging the content provider and the consumer. They are basically charging a search fee, which he thinks is going to be competed away.

What's more, as the majority of Airbnb content is professionally managed, Hafner sees most of that content finding its way onto other demand sources like Booking.com and Expedia.

Get the full story at Tnooz

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

Airbnb says resistance is futile

November 21, 2016

Speaking last week at the Airbnb Open conference, Chris Lehane, the company's head of global policy and public affairs, noted that Airbnb has reached deals to collect occupancy taxes in more than 200 cities within the past year, including Los Angeles, Phoenix, Philadelphia and Washington, D.C.

"Politicians are really good at counting to 50 plus one," said Lehane. "This is where the majority is, this is something that's wildly popular, and this is the direction where the world is going."

With Airbnb's 3 million listed homes hosting a collective 70 million guests during the past year, Airbnb's growth continues to outpace the overall accommodations industry, causing opposition from hotel lobbyists in addition to politicians and affordable-housing advocates.

Get the full story at Travel Weekly

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

How Uber and Airbnb turned 1,000 customers into 1 million

November 21, 2016

Unlike traditional mass media advertising such as local TV commercials or print ads, which are expensive and time-consuming, paid digital media such as Google search ads, Facebook ads, and YouTube video ads offer many benefits that make them better suited for platform startups.

Among them are low setup cost, allowing companies to start advertising for as little as $10 a day; precise targeting—to specific demographics, or based on life events such as birthdays or similarity to current customers; short creative development time and deployment of ads within minutes; and ease of experimentation.

Taking all these factors into account, a startup can create dozens of ads within just a few days, and learn quickly and cheaply what is most effective to attract suppliers.

Get the full story Forbes

Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/how_uber_and_airbnb_turned_1000_customers_into_1_million

That OpenTable deal

November 21, 2016

Instead, as with most flashy tech deals, excitement took over and even lifted shares of other richly valued online services providers. It was exactly the kind of transaction that helped fuel the overheated M&A environment we still see to this day.But facts are facts and sure enough, Priceline finally had to admit it overpaid. The company said last week that it recorded a $941 million impairment charge on OpenTable for the third quarter. It also said that its post-acquisition strategy to significantly grow OpenTable internationally has "resulted in limited progress to date." And for that reason, investments in OpenTable's growth initiatives will be done "in a more measured and deliberate manner."

Contrast those recent statements with this one in 2014 from then-CEO Darren Huston, who oversaw the acquisition:"We have plenty of room to grow this enough to justify the price we're paying for the asset."

Not so - although the rationale was there. The thinking was that when people travel, they may also want to find restaurants to dine at nearby, creating a symbiotic relationship between Priceline's hotel bookings and OpenTable. But by the acquirer's own admission, OpenTable's international expansion, particularly in non-English-speaking countries, will be costly and has delivered little reward so far.

Get the full story at Bloomberg

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

How to jumpstart your hotel’s direct bookings through multichannel campaigns

November 21, 2016

According to Google, the travel planning journey is influenced by over 19 different touchpoints. While we have big-picture insight and data points that reveal the extensiveness of the travel planning journey, the path to a booking and the micro-moments along the way vary and key customer segments need to be reached through multichannel marketing campaign efforts.

Why are multichannel campaigns so powerful? By effectively reaching potential guests in intent-rich micro-moments across channels and devices with one cohesive brand message, multichannel campaigns are a great strategy to shift distribution from the OTAs, drive ADR, increase length of stay, capture a new segment, and achieve returns as high as 2,500%.

If you are ready to get started and increase direct bookings, you can begin building your multichannel campaign by answering the 5 W’s of any great narrative and any successful multichannel campaign: Who, What, When, Where, and Why.

Get the full story at HeBS Digital

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

Sojern reaches new heights with Deloitte’s Fast 500

November 21, 2016

First, let’s talk numbers. This year we surpassed the $100 million annual revenue run rate threshold, which means business has been great,. Because of our financial success, we won’t be looking to raise another round of funding in the foreseeable future.

Second, the growth in our team has been phenomenal. In the last year we’ve outgrown our previous offices and are enjoying new spaces in Omaha, New York, London, Dubai, and Singapore.

Third, we were recognized as a great place to work. The San Francisco Business Times announced our place on the list of the 2016 Best Places to Work in the Bay Area. With unlimited vacation and time dedicated to volunteering, Sojernistas love working here.

Get the full story at Sojern

Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/sojern_reaches_new_heights_with_deloittes_fast_500

Airbnb expands beyond accommodation with the launch of Trips

November 18, 2016

Bringing together where you stay, what you do and the people you meet all in one place, Trips is a people-powered platform designed to make travel both easy and magical.

Trips will make travel magical again by immersing travelers in communities around the world. Get unprecedented access to local passions and interests, like violin making in Paris or marathon running in Kenya; discover the hidden gems that only locals know about via personal recommendations; and socialize with other travelers and locals at exciting events. Add that to three million bookable homes, and Airbnb becomes the one place to go for a truly different kind of travel experience.

Having already transformed where people stay when they travel through people-powered hospitality, Airbnb is taking this same people-focused approach to the rest of the trip and, in doing so, providing a way for people to make money from their passions and interests.

"Until now, Airbnb has been about homes," said Brian Chesky, Airbnb CEO. "Today, Airbnb is launching Trips, bringing together where you stay, what you do, and the people you meet all in one place. We want to make travel magical again by putting people back at the heart of every trip."

Experiences

Experiences are handcrafted activities designed and led by local experts - be it a single activity like a Samurai Swordplay workshop or an immersive multi-day experience like learning about and driving classic cars in Malibu. Experiences offer unprecedented access and deep insights into communities and places that you wouldn't otherwise come across, such as Truffle Hunting in Tuscany or the grime music scene in London.

Trips launches with around 500 Experiences in 12 cities worldwide, including Los Angeles, San Francisco, Miami, Detroit, Havana, London, Paris, Florence, Nairobi, Cape Town, Tokyo and Seoul. From today, budding hosts in those and a further 39 cities worldwide can request to list their Experience.

A number of Experiences will also be available where guests can give something back to communities through non-profit organizations. In Detroit for example, Khali Sweeney provides an opportunity to go behind-the-scenes at his Downtime Boxing Gym that provides local children with an after-school program of healthy snacks, homework time, and boxing lessons.

Places - Guidebooks, Meet ups and Audio Walks

Trips brings places to life through the people that live there, reflecting the recommendations of hundreds of thousands of Airbnb hosts, neighborhood insiders and local influencers and is an alternative to aggregated tourist lists that funnel people to the same places.

With Insider Guidebooks, Airbnb has identified cultural experts and neighborhood insiders to recommend the hidden gems within their city. Find the perfect run from a marathoner, the best dive bar from a local mixologist and the next great undiscovered restaurant from an up-and-coming chef. 100 Insider Guidebooks will be available at launch in six cities - Los Angeles, San Francisco, Havana, Nairobi, Detroit and Seoul - with more coming soon.

As well as Insider Guidebooks, Places includes over one million individual recommendations worldwide from Airbnb's home hosts, recommending their favourite hidden gems in their neighborhoods, from cafes and restaurants to parks and other local attractions. A partnership with restaurant booking platform, Resy, will make it possible for people in future to book tables at great local restaurants directly through the Airbnb app.

Airbnb has also struck an exclusive partnership with Detour to offer access to amazing experiential audio walking tours allowing people to discover neighborhoods in a totally unique and authentic way. At launch, audio tours will initially be available for Los Angeles with San Francisco, Paris, London, Tokyo and Seoul to follow by Spring 2017.

With Trips, Airbnb also wants to make travel more social, helping connect the thousands of Airbnb users in a city on any given night. Meet ups within Places will let local businesses host one-off or regular events for Airbnb guests and locals to connect with each other.

Homes

With three million homes available to book across 191 countries, Airbnb offers the largest and most diverse range of unique accommodation options for travelers which will now be available to book alongside Experiences in available cities.

Making travel easy

Booking travel today can be complicated and stressful. With Trips, Airbnb aims to make it easy with one app to book most of your travel needs. Trip Itinerary is a new feature that brings together everything the traveler needs to know into one simple timeline, with the ability to easily book and add Experiences or things to do. Over time, this capability will evolve based on machine learning to dynamically suggest personalized and contextual, i.e. based on location, recommendations during a Trip. Airbnb's vision is to ultimately cater for every aspect of a trip, making it both easy and magical from start to finish.

Identity Authentication

The launch of Trips also sees the introduction of a new identity authentication process that the Airbnb Experiences Community will be using. Hosts and guests will be asked to scan an official government ID (for example a passport, or driving license) and then take a simple selfie. After the ID is authenticated, the ID and selfie will be reviewed to confirm that both pictures appear to match. Having a more robust standard of authenticating identity will make the Airbnb community stronger and reaffirms Airbnb's ongoing commitment to authenticity, reliability, and security. This new identity authentication step is required for all Experiences users, and is also currently being tested for homes bookings. Trips also leverages Airbnb's existing Trust & Safety measures including a 250+ person global 24/7 support team, secure payments, messaging, profiles & reviews, and a new $1 million liability insurance program for eligible Experience hosts.

For more information on Trips from Airbnb, visit www.airbnb.com/new

Read also "'Whole trip' service makes Airbnb bigger than ever, but many want tougher rules" at The Guardian

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

Airbnb’s threat to hotels is only getting sharper

November 18, 2016

"Our AlphaWise survey shows rising Airbnb adoption (now ~18 percent of travelers) with demand increasingly coming from hotels," the team, led by Brian Nowak, writes. "While still small, we believe Airbnb has been almost double the threat to hotels in 2016 than previously believed, and the threat is growing."

The survey, in which more than 4,000 consumers from the U.S., U.K., France and Germany participated, was meant to gauge not only the growth of Airbnb but also the biggest sources of demand for the service. There is a variety of opinions on whether Airbnb is more of a threat to hotels or to online travel companies like The Priceline Group Inc., and Morgan Stanley is now of the mind that hotels are going to take the bigger hit.

In contrast, the team says, online travel agencies (OTAs) should remain "more resilient," with only small decreases in user penetration. The survey showed large drops in both the number of people using hotel websites as well as the number of people saying they call or walk in to hotels.

Get the full story at Bloomberg

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

Expedia’s CEO talks long-term strategy

November 18, 2016

Tnooz: As CEO you have to have the long-term vision beyond the quarterly view. What’s the next big wave in consumer technology behavior and adoption that Expedia needs to ride? In the past, metasearch was a wave. Mobile was a wave. What’s next?

“We think in terms of platforms and audiences. On an audience basis, social is a wave we still need to do better on. Facebook and others, and now Snapchat. These are giant audience platforms that are aggregating and are global in nature.

“Our number-one aim is to reach a global audience that wants to travel. So we are very aggressively experimenting in social at a big scale. We haven’t cracked the code on it. We really want to get from social interest to intent."

Get the full story at Tnooz

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

From looker to booker: How TripAdvisor helped steer a content company into an online retailer

November 18, 2016

Meet Barbara Messing, chief marketing officer of TripAdvisor.

Messing has been credited with achieving exponential growth in user reviews and visitors at TripAdvisor, driving a 400 percent increase in content collection and attracting 390 million monthly unique visitors.

With such a big and engaged group of consumers, what better next step than to provide them booking capabilities right where they are? We sat down with Messing and asked her about how she has steered marketing during the company’s transition to an e-commerce player.

Get the full story at Marketing Land

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

Travel ad impact greatest in booking stage

November 18, 2016

As booking nears and users are exposed to more advertising, recall declines as much as 44%, illustrating that timing is everything and advertisers should target travelers early in the booking path in an effort to influence decisions.

Across all three countries, more than 66% of travel bookers said search engines and friend or family recommendations were used most during the inspiration phase of their trip planning, followed closely by online travel agencies at nearly 50%. In the 45 days prior to booking a trip, Canadians made 161 visits to travel sites, Americans made 140 visits and British travelers made 121 visits.

During the research phase, share shifts to online travel agencies and hotel sites, as more than 37% of travel bookers in Canada, the U.K. and U.S. say they used these resources to narrow their options, and usage remained strong during the consideration phase.

Get the full story at MediaPost

Read also "Consumption of digital travel content sees double-digit growth year-over-year"

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

Two out of three business travelers trust email over social media

November 18, 2016

The results show that although business travellers worldwide like to share travel tips over LinkedIn and Twitter, they trust email more for travel disruption updates. The survey of more than 6000 business travellers globally showed that 66% would prefer to hear directly from their travel provider via email about a service disruption than hear about it over social media.

But the research showed that when it comes to sharing travel tips, more than half of UK business travellers (58%) prefer to use social media to share recommendations with colleagues.

Lodging tips (91%) and ground transportation (84%) were ranked as the most important, followed by restaurant recommendations (82%) and then airlines (77%).

Get the full story at Egencia

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

Google switching to mobile-first index

November 18, 2016

If you think about it, it makes complete sense. With users spending 177 minutes on their smartphones per day looking to answer questions, and in many instances, using verbal commands, it’s no wonder that 85% of Google’s search results are mobile-friendly which led to the mobile-friendly label being dropped from mobile searches.

Up to now, Google would crawl your desktop website and try to find a happy balance between desktop and mobile by awarding sites that were either dedicated to mobile or sites built with responsive / adaptive versions. But if you read the writing on the wall (aka search algorithm), there have been a boatload of signs of change coming.

Take for example the past few mobile algorithm updates to improve search results and give love to mobile first pages. Plus, check out the updates since early-mid September from Google Webmaster Central blog on Accelerate Mobile Pages (AMP) – a way to build mobile web pages for static content to render faster.

Get the full story at Leonardo

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

eBook: The hotelier’s handbook to managing guest’s expectations

November 18, 2016

Sojern’s latest eBook, The Hotelier’s Handbook to Managing Guest Expectations in the Digital Age, gives you the tools, tips, and expert advice to ensure you’re setting, managing, and even exceeding, hotel guest expectations.

Knowing how and when expectations are set is crucial to ensuring a high level of customer satisfaction. If you promise one thing—like a mountain view—but don’t deliver, you’ve set, but haven’t met, expectations. If, however, you promise something more abstract like ‘luxury,’ different travelers will expect different experiences.

It’s important, then, to understand the different ways you are setting expectations. Only then can you truly manage them.

Get the full story at Sojern

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

Channel surfing: Where consumers shop for travel online

November 17, 2016

When consumers plan their leisure travel, they quickly discover that there’s often more than one way to get from here to there. And the same is true for the actual travel plan- ning and purchasing processes. Where of ine planning and booking once dominated, online channels now account for half of all travel bookings in some places. And within the formidable online space, the explosion of mobile devices and travel-related apps and websites has given travelers a dizzying array of ways to shop for and purchase their trips.

So how have key global travel markets evolved in recent years, and to what extent have online channels in uenced the way travelers plan, shop for, and purchase their trips? With so many online options just a click, tap or swipe away, do most travelers go directly to the websites and apps of speci c travel suppliers (airlines, hotels, car rental companies, etc.), or do they rely on online travel agencies (OTAs) such as Expedia.com, Priceline or other intermediaries to plan and book?

This paper examines how leisure travelers in eight key global travel markets shop for and purchase their trips, with particular attention paid to online travel shopping and booking. More speci cally, it explores travelers’ attitudes and preferences for using OTAs versus supplier websites, noting some signi cant differences between emerging and developed markets. While a range of factors contribute to the types of resources online travel plan- ners leverage, there is a fundamental difference between OTAs and supplier websites that in uences consumers’ behavior at various stages. Research demonstrates that these differences often involve varying consumer perceptions around price, breadth of content, which websites are easier to use, and even which brands they trust.

View the infographic at the Phocuswright blog, and download the white paper at Phocuswright (free registration)

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

Best Western integrates Expedia MeetingMarket technology

November 17, 2016

In a move that is set to transform the future of the meeting and conference industry, Expedia and Best Western Hotels today announced a strategic alliance that will expand collaboration between the two organizations.

This pioneering new venture sees the adoption of Expedia’s innovative MeetingMarket software by more than 200 Best Western Hotels across Germany, making Best Western the first global hotel brand to white label the technology.

Beginning in early 2017, MeetingMarket will be integrated into Best Western’s homepage, http://www.bestwestern.de, thereby allowing Best Western to strategically support its meeting and conference business using Expedia’s best in class technology.

The MeetingMarket software is the first of its kind: not only can customers instantly check availability and pricing information, but they can also independently configure and book meeting rooms, accommodation, food and equipment with just a few clicks. The dynamic platform accelerates and simplifies a process which has been largely manual, inefficient and time-consuming for hotels and event-planners.

Expedia has been trialling MeetingMarket.de in Germany for the past year with more than 300 hotel partners, enabling them to offer guestrooms and meeting space to travel bookers through the site.

Additionally, hotels are provided with the tools to monitor and manage their MICE sales more effectively with detailed performance reports and data on their competitive set.

Carmen Duecker, Deputy CEO Best Western Hotels Central Europe said, “Today’s announcement shows how we can effectively and strategically customize technological innovations for the benefit of our customers and hotels. The way in which we work with Expedia is evolving and we look forward to seeking new ways to build on our relationship.”

Cyril Ranque, President, Lodging Partner Services, the Expedia group, said “Expedia MeetingMarket has been born out of our test and learn culture in which we’re continually seeking out solutions that meet the needs of our partners and consumers. It presents a huge technological leap from the manual, inefficient processes that still exist widely within the hotel meetings industry. We’re hugely excited about this new collaboration with Best Western, which sees us harness our expertise in technology for the benefit of our partners.”

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

Airbnb v NYC v Expedia: goodbye hotel, hello 21st century lodging?

November 17, 2016

This ‘if you can’t beat ‘em join’ attitude is the road that Expedia, which yesterday hosted a press conference to celebrate being in the business for 20 years. Although its PR line is broadly ‘we’re entirely focused on the traveller’ it is also pushing ahead strongly with its partnership strategy. It’s clear that this is in response to growing competition and regulatory pressure, which is forcing OTAs to rethink, among other things, hotel commissions – especially in the light of the big chains loyalty strategy.

Cyril Ranque, President of Lodging Partner Services, Expedia Group, said there was a “shift in thinking” underway at one of the biggest players in online travel, “from being a pure distribution platform to a being partner and enabler for the travel consumer and the entire travel industry”.

He even envisaged a future of data sharing with partners, where everybody is winning and commissions fall further than they already have.

In its most recent move, yesterday Ranque said that Expedia is going after the $400 billion MICE (meetings, incentives, conference, exhibitions) segment. A team in Germany has been working with 300 hotels and meeting planners in Germany to move this “highly inefficient process from online to offline”. He also announced the first white label partnership for Expedia’s meeting market technology with Best Western, which will test this in Germany on 200 hotels. (Watch out for a more in depth look at Expedia’s current and future partnership strategy in the coming days).

Get the full story at EyeForTravel

Read also "Best Western integrates Expedia MeetingMarket technology"

Read also "

Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/airbnb_v_nyc_v_expedia_goodbye_hotel_hello_21st_century_lodging

Continued growth in European tourism demand

November 17, 2016

According to the European Travel Commission's latest report, "European Tourism - Trends & Prospects", the majority of destinations featured an outstanding performance in visitor numbers over the summer period. Fastest growth was recorded by Iceland (+34%), driven by both short and long-haul markets, followed by Slovakia and Cyprus (both +19%), the latter benefiting from deferred Russian travel typically bound for Turkey. Standout growth destinations were also, Bulgaria (+13%), Ireland and Portugal (both +12%). Off the beaten track destinations in Central and Eastern Europe such as Serbia, Slovenia, Lithuania, and Romania (all +10%) are the focus of bargain hunters and owe their success to on-going marketing efforts. On the other hand, Belgium (-13%) and Turkey (-32%) are still at low ebb this year, struggling to get back to past growth levels.

Growth Momentum Fuelled by Key Overseas Markets

Although a weaker Sterling against the Euro has made travel abroad more expensive for Britons, they continue to travel as several destinations posted double-digit growth from the UK so far in 2016. A strong US Dollar and competitive air fares trump terrorism fears with most destinations seeing encouraging visitor arrivals from the US. Year-to-date data points at a 6% increase in US visitors compared to the same period last year. European destinations slowly rebound from a long period of weakness in tourist flows from Russia. Although year-to-date data exhibits a 4.5% decline in Russian arrivals to Europe, resulting from the country's staggering economy, in the longer run an estimated 8% annual average growth is forecasted by 2020. Despite uncertainty of safety and security fears dissuading Chinese travel to Europe, China continues to be a source of huge arrivals growth for many European destinations, partly due to the country's expanding middle classes.

"To foster Europe's competitiveness and achieve a better promotion of the region as a tourism destination, European authorities should capitalise on attracting investment from public and private stakeholders to increase tourists flows to Europe, especially from third markets," said Eduardo Santander, Executive Director of the European Travel Commission.

Download the "European Tourism - Trends & Prospects" report at the European Travel Commission

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

Consumption of digital travel content sees double-digit growth year-over-year

November 17, 2016

A new study conducted by comScore and commissioned by Expedia® Media Solutions, the advertising sales division of Expedia, Inc., explores how the interaction between travel booking websites and other influential online and offline touchpoints can impact the purchase journey for American, British and Canadian travelers.

The 2016 Traveler’s Path to Purchase study examines the 45-day period leading up to online travel booking, including desktop and mobile device usage, content consumption, resources utilized, destinations considered and the role of digital advertising in the decision-making process, as well as behavioral comparisons across the three countries. The research shows that consumption of digital travel content is on the rise with a growth rate of 44 percent in the UK, 41 percent in the U.S. and 18 percent in Canada. Travel content is also widely consumed in each country by 75 percent of digital users in the UK, 70 percent in Canada and 60 percent in the U.S.

While the growth rate, number of users and time spent on digital travel content varies by country, the study found that travelers in the three countries share some behavioral similarities when it comes to travel planning. During the research and booking process, digital users are actively seeking travel content and are receptive to new information; nearly one third or more of online travel bookers across the three countries were influenced by advertising.

In the U.S. and the U.K., significantly more people engage with travel content on mobile devices than on desktops, making mobile the platform with the largest digital reach across the travel category

- Canadian travelers are slowly shifting away from desktop-only usage at 36 percent in 2016 compared to 46 percent in 2015; but overall, more minutes are still spent on desktop than mobile devices in the country

- In the U.K., multi-platform usage represents 54 percent of total digital travel users in 2016 – up from 37 percent in 2015 – which is significantly higher than the 30 percent multi-device usage in the U.S. and 29 percent in Canada, showing that British travelers are the most device-agnostic users

- The U.S. market is ahead in mobile travel content engagement, surpassing desktop engagement more than a year ago, but year-over-year mobile growth was relatively stagnant compared to Canada and the U.K.

Travel is a considered and time-consuming purchase, leading travel bookers to make hundreds of visits to travel sites in the weeks leading up to a purchase, and on average weekly travel site visits increased leading up to booking

- In the 45 days prior to booking a trip, Canadians made 161 visits to travel sites, Americans made 140 visits and British travelers made 121 visits

- Across all three countries, more than 66 percent of travel bookers said search engines and friend or family recommendations were used most during the inspiration phase of their trip planning, followed closely by OTAs at nearly 50 percent

- During the research phase, share shifts to OTAs and hotel sites, as more than 37 percent of travel bookers in Canada, the UK and US say they used these resources to narrow their options, and usage remained strong during the consideration phase

- OTA, hotel site and airline site usage is consistent throughout the purchase path, but across all three markets, conversion was strongest on airline sites and OTAs

- Throughout the booking path, OTAs have the highest engagement across travel site categories, accounting for more than 30 percent of total site visits, followed by travel information sites with more than 20 percent

Destination decisions are influenced by multiple factors, and more than 50 percent of British and Canadian online travel bookers started the research process with multiple destinations in mind

- In the U.K. and Canada, the majority of users considered two or more destinations, while in the U.S., 65 percent of travel bookers considered only one destination

- Eleven percent of online travel bookers across all three markets used social media while researching destinations

- Travel bookers in the U.K. research European trips far more any other locale (61 percent), while destinations in Asia accounted for 13 percent of research

- At 31 percent, U.S. travel bookers research U.S. destinations the most, followed closely by Europe at 27 percent and Latin America (14 percent)

- Europe accounted for 33 percent of destinations researched by Canadian travel bookers, followed by Latin America (26 percent) and Asia (18 percent)

The travel advertising marketplace is crowded, but there is ample opportunity to influence decisions, particularly during the inspiration and research phases

- Thirty-eight percent of travel bookers in Canada and 30 percent of travel bookers in the UK were influenced by advertising when considering more than one destination

- Sixty-four percent of Canadian travel bookers, 59 percent of UK travel bookers and 47 percent of U.S. travel bookers recalled seeing a travel ad while shopping for or booking travel

- The largest potential for advertising impact occurred during the initial stages of the booking path, as 54 percent of British, 66 percent of American and 73 percent of Canadian travel bookers noticed advertising when they first started planning a trip

- As booking nears and users are exposed to more advertising, recall declines as much as 44 percent, illustrating that timing is everything and advertisers should target travelers early in booking path in an effort to influence decisions

“Despite broad variances in the number of American, British and Canadian digital users, the time they spend consuming online travel content, and the devices they use to access information, the key influences and resources utilized throughout the booking path were often consistent across the three countries,” said Matthew Reichek, Vice President of Product & Analytics at Expedia Media Solutions. “These insights, coupled with the finding that nearly one third or more of online travel bookers were influenced by advertising, reveals powerful opportunities for marketers to efficiently reach travelers from multiple markets during the path to purchase.”

Download the full study at Expedia Media Solutions

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

United Airlines’ new basic economy fares ban carry-on baggage

November 17, 2016

With the carry-on baggage ban you can only bring one personal item onboard like a purse, laptop bag, etc., and United has somehow managed to make its basic economy offering worse than Delta’s which still allows you to carry on luggage. And given how Delta has handled basic economy, I wouldn’t expect United to offer substantially cheaper fares to make up for the lack of amenities. These changes usually result in consumers paying more to maintain their current levels of comfort and flexibility.

United will begin selling basic economy seats at the beginning of 2017, with flights beginning in the second quarter of the year.

Get the full story at The Verge

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

Report: Asia-Pacific consumer mega-trends impacting hospitality

November 17, 2016

Our new report uncovers four key Asia-Pacific consumer trends impacting hospitality, with innovation opportunities hoteliers can act on today. Learn how to leverage emerging trends such as:

- Betterment – How can your brand help consumers attain their self-improvement goals?

- Local Love – How is the importance of tradition, local context and culture influencing traveler decisions?

- …and more!

Hotel brands that truly understand this consumer segment will be poised to win customer loyalty and increase revenue.

Download the report at Sabre Hospitality Solutions

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

ReviewPro continues to innovate in guest experience improvement

November 17, 2016

ReviewPro, world leaders in Guest Intelligence solutions for the hospitality industry, has been helping clients across the globe change their focus from the 4Ps (Product, Place, Price and Promotion) to the 4Es (Experience, Evangelism, Exchange and Everyplace). In their continued quest to make it easier for hoteliers to exceed guests’ expectations and increase revenue, the company recently unveiled the latest version of its “Guest Intelligence Suite”.

RJ Friedlander, CEO of ReviewPro, commented “Within a rapidly changing industry, we wanted to evolve our solution to help hoteliers keep ahead of the curve in terms of exceeding guest expectations. We enable our clients to know in real-time what problems have surfaced and ensure the information is received by the right staff member so they can act on it. We can now help clients get down to a granular level, and see where and how they should focus resources to improve on an operational and service level where it will impact results guest satisfaction most.”

The innovative solution, combining the company’s award-winning Online Reputation Management (ORM), Guest Satisfaction Surveys (GSS) and Mobile App, offers hoteliers one powerful and customizable platform to access more meaningful performance metrics to identify issues, take action and boost overall guest satisfaction. Incorporating feedback from clients and industry experts, ReviewPro enhanced the existing technology to provide users with a centralized tool where analytics can be maximized to deliver outstanding experiences resulting in higher rankings on review sites and OTAs.

Apex Hotels, who operate contemporary city centre hotels across the UK, were one of the first clients to roll out the new tool. Simon Davis, Regional Director for Scotland’s Central Belt at Apex, commented: “The latest version of the Guest Intelligence Suite provides our team with detailed analytics into what our guests are saying about us and our competitors, allowing every member of our organization to be involved in making each and every guest’s experience memorable. Having all that information in a straight-forward, digestible format on the one platform is invaluable. Not only does ReviewPro offer a great product, their team provides outstanding support thanks to their consistent professionalism and passion. The face-to-face training on the new solution was a great way to get everyone on board and help embed a customer-centric culture across the entire organization.”

Related Link: ReviewPro

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

How travel brands are winning on Facebook

November 16, 2016

Skift talked to Facebook’s Head of Travel, Christine Warner, who’s held the post since 2015, about Facebook’s pivotal year in the travel industry. From its new ad products and video platforms to the company’s continued foray into virtual reality, Facebook has been active in trying to build its traction in the travel industry.

We talked about Facebook’s role in travel inspiration and planning, why it’s important to get the “brilliant basics” right when it comes to mobile (a term Warner and many other Facebook executives use) and what the company learned from its new products this year and where those are headed in 2017.

In the process, Warner discusses how Westin, InterContinental Hotels Group, Delta Air Lines, HomeAway, and Carnival Cruise Lines used the platform this year.

Get the full story at SkiftFacebook Cheat Sheet For Travel Brands

Read also "Facebook Cheat Sheet For Travel Brands" at Frederic Gonzalo

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

Amex Global Business Travel forecast indicates subdued growth

November 16, 2016

The continued slowdown of the Chinese economy and depressed oil prices, the United Kingdom’s impending departure from the European Union, growing populist politics and increased security concerns in many countries have together created a higher level of uncertainty in the global marketplace. It remains to be seen how this will impact business travel over the next year.
Additional global highlights include:

- Air: Global demand for air travel remains at a record high; persistently low fuel prices and strong competition will help keep airline fares in check.

- Hotel: Hotel performance will improve moderately and prices will remain flat in most regions with the exception of Latin America, where rates will decline slightly, and Asia Pacific, where the impact varies greatly by country.

- Ground: Ground transportation has undoubtedly felt the impact of new industry players and rates should remain flat as capacity continues to exceed demand.

Rodolfo Elizondo, Vice President and Head of Global Business Consulting at American Express Global Business Travel (GBT), believes that in this period of political and economic uncertainty, companies and business leaders will welcome news that the cost of business travel may, at worst, endure only modest increases. “Travel managers should focus on the things they can control, like demand management, compliance and traveler satisfaction to reduce risk and increase savings,” he said.

Get the full story at American Express Global Business Travel

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

London-wide hotel occupancy rate drops

November 16, 2016

Analysts for STR reported that demand fell “across both weekday and weekend business”. Weekday guests tend to be on business, while weekends are more dependent on leisure travellers. The main metric used by the hospitality industry for assessing performance is revenue per available room (RevPAR), which fell by 11.4 per cent last month compared with the previous year.

Outside London, occupancy fell slightly – down 1.4 per cent to 79.7 per cent – but was outweighed by a 1.9 per cent rise in average the rate to £72.16.

The number of hotel rooms in the capital continues to increase, with the supply of beds on Airbnb and other peer-to-peer accommodation sites also increasing. But London has been replaced by Amsterdam as the most attractive hotel-investment destination in Europe, according to research by Deloitte.

Get the full story at The Independent

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

New hotel brand brings co-living to the next level

November 16, 2016

The part hostel and part experiential hotel concept aims to foster interaction and community living. Bridging the gap between locals and travelers, it features several common areas and weekly activities—concerts yoga classes and DIY workshops—available to both guests and the public.

All Jo&Joe venues will be located in bustling metropolises, close to public transport and sightseeing locations, in order to appeal to its two millennial target audiences—the “Townsters” (people living nearby) and “Tripsters” (people in town to explore).

Get the full story at psfk

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

Leading Hotels of the World uses AI to drive destination discovey

November 16, 2016

Phil Koserowski, vice president of interactive marketing at LHW, told eMarketer’s Maria Minsker how.

eMarketer: How are you using AI to improve the guest experience?

Phil Koserowski: We’ve been working with WayBlazer, a platform that leverages IBM Watson’s cognitive computing technology, for about two years to improve the hotel research and booking processes. Our hotels offer uncommon experiences, but we felt confined to a certain way of presenting ourselves. We would ask “Where do you want to go to and for how many nights?” vs. “What type of experiences do you want to have?”

Our target customers are curious travelers—80% are researching online. Through artificial intelligence, we can draw out some unique qualities and offerings that our 375 hotels offer, and highlight those relevant to specific customers.

“Through artificial intelligence, we can draw out some unique qualities and offerings that our 375 hotels offer, and highlight those relevant to specific customers.”

Get the full story at eMarketer

Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/leading_hotels_of_the_world_uses_ai_to_drive_destination_discovey1

Google AdWords vs. Facebook Ads

November 16, 2016

Compared to all social platforms, Facebook has the highest number of monthly active users in the world, making it one of the digital advertising top dogs. Facebook helps merchants find potential customers based on the interests and online behavior of users.

Here’s why this newcomer has won over advertisers:

Advantage 1: Fantastic ROIs

The ability for advertisers to stretch their budget while maintaining a good return on investment, is one of the key advantages of Facebook Ads. It’s affordability - which varies between scope, messaging and objectives - and campaign performance factors offers small businesses one of the best online marketing value-for-money options out there with big return potential.

Get the full story at Business 2 Community

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

Why hotel loyalty won’t shed the spotlight in 2017

November 16, 2016

More importantly, I think the discussions and strategies around hotel loyalty will continue to shift, because more properties and hotel companies are moving away from undifferentiated programs that just trade points for free room nights. Momentum is building for Personalized Loyalty Pricing, in which hotels put their customer data to use by producing unique, fenced rates for individual loyalty club members instead of applying a one-size-fits-all discount to a broad customer segment.

As we head into next year, OTAs and big players in metasearch like Google will keep trying to break new ground in the services they offer to hotels and their guests. All of those efforts are aimed at adding market share in the bookings they capture from hotel guests. Your property’s primary tactic for fighting back is to drive direct bookings.

Fellow technology companies StayNTouch and Siteminder have shared their thoughts on the effectiveness of cloud-based and mobile solutions for growing direct bookings and ancillary revenue. We at Duetto want to focus on Personalized Loyalty Pricing as another tool for this job, using the customer data gathered from and applied to a hotel’s entire tech stack.

Get the full story at Duetto

Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/why_hotel_loyalty_wont_shed_the_spotlight_in_2017

5 European holiday travel trends for 2016

November 16, 2016

As we move head-on into the holiday travel season, Sojern’s Q3 Global Travel Insights report uncovers important findings on how this busy period is shaping up for European travelers.

Here is some of what we found:

Spain remains top for short-haul travelers with Barcelona, Palma de Mallorca and Madrid among the top five short-haul destinations. No doubt that Spain provides some milder weather for those looking to escape colder temperatures in other parts of Europe.

Europeans are showing a strong preference for travel to former territories – including Pointe-a-Pitre and Fort-de-France for French travelers, Sydney for British travelers and Cape Town for the Dutch.

Get the full story at Sojern

Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/5_european_holiday_travel_trends_for_2016

Booking.com launches new content API

November 15, 2016

After implementing the code required to connect to the API, providers can automatically send all information required to build new listings on Booking.com from start to finish. Previously, photo content, facilities information and policies had to be uploaded manually on a per property basis, often taking several weeks, depending on the number of properties in a provider’s portfolio. Now with the new Content API, providers can instantly push all the relevant information for thousands of properties directly to Booking.com’s system, reducing the content upload process from several weeks to a couple of days.

“We’re constantly looking at innovative ways to create a more seamless, intuitive and automated experience for our partners,” said Remco van Zanten, Global Director of Partner Services at Booking.com. “We know that having great content is key to engaging effectively with consumers, which is not only vital to a great customer experience, but allows our partners to generate more incremental business via our platform. That’s why we’ve created a scalable solution that helps PMCs and other providers list dozens or even thousands of properties on Booking.com more quickly and at no cost.”

The new Content API also enables providers to more easily optimise their existing listings on Booking.com with updated content on a more regular basis, including:

- Providing updated photos to reflect renovations, new branding or just to be in tune with the current season (summer vs. winter)
- Adding new policies and facilities information almost instantly
- Uploading new room types, limited-time promotions and rates in bulk, even on short notice

Get the full story at Booking.com

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

Airbnb gives in to San Francisco’s registration demands

November 15, 2016

San Francisco passed a law in February 2015 that forced all Airbnb hosts to register with the city, but more than a year later, and only around 1,700 of between 8,000 and 10,000 hosts in the area have registered so far. The new system would mean all hosts are automatically entered into the city’s database, allowing it to ensure that Airbnb complies with other laws designed to restrict its activities in a city in the midst of an affordable housing crisis.

Those laws may be getting even stricter soon. Currently, hosts in the city are only allowed to rent their whole home out for 90 days a year at most, while people offering single rooms can do so all year round. But under new rules, proposed by San Francisco’s Board of Supervisors in October, all Airbnb hosts would only be able to offer their space - either whole apartments or individual rooms - for a maximum of 60 days in a year.

Get the full story at The Verge

Read also "Judge rejects Airbnb bid to halt San Francisco ordinance"

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

Trivago files for IPO

November 15, 2016

Trivago will have two classes of shares after the offering. The company plans on selling Class A shares to the public, according to the filing. Those shares are currently held by Trivago management including Rolf Schroemgens, Peter Vinnemeier and Malte Siewert.

Class B shares will be held solely by Expedia, which doesn’t plan to sell its stake.

Expedia first bought into Trivago in 2012, paying about $628 million in cash and stock for 61.6 percent of the company. The acquisition was part of a push by Expedia to expand its presence in Europe.

Get the full story at Bloomberg

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

Australian hotels at war with Expedia and Booking.com

November 15, 2016

The Accommodation Association of Australia (AAA) is appealing to the competition watchdog to break the duopoly that exists in the industry by giving more control back to hotel operators to set rates.

AAA CEO Richard Munro said a recent decision by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission failed to address most of the industry’s concerns, and they wanted to see those issues resolved.

He said a formal request had been made in a letter to ACCC Chairman Rod Sims, following the “administrative arrangement” made with Expedia and Booking.com who control 80 per cent of the Australian market.

Under the deal, online travel agencies retained the right to advertise room rates on the internet as the lowest available price. The ruling meant hotels could not offer a cheaper price on their own website but they could provide a better deal if a guest called them direct.

Get the full story at the Herald Sun

Read also "Expedia, Booking.com win in New Zealand rate-parity deal"

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


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