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Digital is metamorphosing hotel operating structures

February 24, 2017

Although less prominent than in the U.S. market, hotel chain penetration continues to grow throughout Europe. However, with travel becoming increasingly digital, existing relationships are being disrupted. Digital is facilitating the introduction of new and innovative business models, many of which will have far reaching consequences for how the sector operates and the future role of hotel brands.

Unfortunately for hotel brands, the growth of the digital economy is upsetting the distribution apple cart, with the portfolio of benefits traditionally provided being attacked from all sides, causing many hotel owners to reflect on the cost / benefit of chain membership. The digital revolution is also causing many of the brands themselves to question exactly what range of services, and in what format, and with which business model, they should o er to their member properties?

Get the full story at Hospitality.Net's - The Hotel Yearbook Special Edition - Digital Marketing (free registration)

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

How Accor wants to transform the way everyone uses hotels

February 24, 2017

AccorHotels is undergoing a major transformation in an effort to become a new breed of hospitality company, and the biggest example of that is the company’s most recent pilot program.

Dubbed “Accor Local” by AccorHotels CEO Sebastien Bazin during the company’s analyst conference on February 22, this pilot brought to life a concept that Bazin first mentioned to Skift last year, shortly after the company completed its $2.7-billion acquisition of the Fairmont, Raffles, and Swissotel brands.

“Ninety-nine percent of what we have done for 50 years has been based on the guy coming from outside of town,” Bazin told Skift. “A traveler, from a different city, from a different country, which I think is interesting, but not too smart. Because we missed a population which is 100 times greater and better and easier: The guy living next door. The local inhabitants. They live around the hotel, or they go to an office around the hotel, and 90 percent of them never dared coming into the property, because they’re fearful that we’re going to be asking, ‘What’s your room number?’ They don’t need a room, but they may need a service.”

Get the full story at Skift

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

Airbnb buys Tilt, signaling its growing interest in group travel

February 24, 2017

Founded in 2012, Tilt found early success on college campuses, where its app became a popular way to raise money for frat parties or split the expense of late-night pizza. Overseas, in Canada and Europe, user behavior looked closer to that of Venmo. But Tilt opted to focus on user growth instead of revenue and relied on other payments companies, like Stripe, for significant parts of its technology. When user growth slowed in the U.S., the company started to run out of options.

For Airbnb, the deal marks its second acquisition this month. Last week the company acquired Luxury Rentals, a vacation rental company with a portfolio of high-end properties. With Tilt, Airbnb follows the tried-and-true playbook of combining payments and travel, a strategy that has served American Express well.

Get the full story at Fast Company

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

China to overtake US as top business travel market

February 24, 2017

Small- and medium-sized Chinese companies will become a major source of business travel growth, spending a potential 100 billion yuan ($14.5 billion), said Fang Jiqin, chief executive officer of Ctrip Corporate Travel.

He said cheaper, smarter travel management services are needed for Chinese firms to lower costs and boost efficiency.

The Ctrip report also said there was room for industry consolidation in China, with 80 percent of the national market dominated by small and unprofessional business travel service providers.

Source: China Daily

Read also "China’s Ctrip Will Focus on Domestic Hotels Following International Spending Spree" at Skift

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

The hotel of the future could be a human-centered non-hotel

February 24, 2017

The guests they were assigned to design for were termed “Digital Avant-Gardes”—“globalized, nonconformist travelers in constant search of new, enriching encounters, cultural engagement, knowledge and inspiration.”

As Claire Richmond writes in this Building Design + Construction post, “Having been assigned the ‘Digital Avant-Gardes' it soon became apparent that we were working with a contradiction. Would our tribe even stay in a hotel? Probably not. They would likely prefer alternative forms of accommodation over a traditional hotel; they appreciate the homeliness, flexibility, value and locality of these places.

"So we did what we do best… we deconstructed. We focused our discussions on who these people really are and what they look for. …We needed to create an experience that was experimental and unscripted, highly sociable, community focused and creative.”

Get the full story at MeetingsNet and Gensler

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

How marketers can adjust to YouTube dropping unskippable 30-second ads

February 24, 2017

With the dropping of the 30-second unskippable ad, YouTube will now force marketers to rely on the other ad formats to available to them.

All of these formats are shorter than the 30 second one, clocking in at 15 seconds, 5 seconds, or a 30 second ad that can be skipped after 5 seconds.

This means that marketers will be forced to adjust their advertising strategy to a shorter window of time.

This could prove a boon to marketers, as quicker, more engaging content will be required of them to continue grabbing customer attention.

Get the full story at the Mobile Marketer

Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/how_marketers_can_adjust_to_youtube_dropping_unskippable_30_second_ads

The hotel technology revolution we’ve all been waiting for

February 24, 2017

With one log-in + one navigation + all data, the Marketplace offers hotels one central location to manage and customize their technology. With the look of an app store and an easy-to-navigate platform, the SnapShot Marketplace allows hotels to pick and choose the applications that they need to effectively run their business, as well as test out new applications and share data from any application to hotel staffers via Fabric, SnapShot’s very own hotel messaging tool. And all of the property data is already there and ready to use. With it, hotels can customize their entire software stack, integrating all the moving pieces and making the data work for them.

A technology revolution. Hotels are able to integrate all of their data. Everything. Then they are able put it to maximum use.

The ramifications of a technology ecosystem of this caliber are massive. Rather than cobbling together fixes and integrating a few technologies, hotels will officially have access to true data integration in which all the major systems can actually work together. This opens the door to superior predictive intelligence, the foundation of personalized guest communication. It offers revenue management insight based on better data. It will drive more profitable bookings, as hotels are able to more accurately evaluate where their highest value and highest volume business is originating.

Get the full story at SnapShot

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

5 do’s and don’ts of direct messaging your guests

February 24, 2017

Before we get into our do’s and don’ts, keep this in mind: A lot of articles that focus on direct messaging talk about the basic stuff: be nice and pleasant, don’t try to up-sell in your first message, don’t be unprofessional – just like the basic rules of dating are don’t look like you just woke up, smile, ask a few questions, carry a conversation.

We’ll assume you already know all that; after all, you’re in the hospitality business and being hospitable is our number job (we can’t help you if you don’t know the dating basics, though).

That being said, here are five do’s and don’ts of direct messaging your guests.

Get the full story at TrustYou

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

Revenue strategies for boutique hotels

February 23, 2017

It’s no surprise that millennials now make up the largest share of traveler demographics and are the biggest factor in why independent hoteliers will work to perform better than in previous years. Having a full grasp where and who your business comes from is the first step in building proper revenue management.

Millennials, in general, have remained neutral with their opinions on branded hotels, and prefer seeking out a unique experience to staying loyal to one particular chain. Factors that attract a millennial traveler include urban renewals and adaptive reuse for that one-of-a-kind stay.

Remember that technology also plays an important role in their day-to-day lives, so ensure your Wi-Fi systems have enough bandwidth to meet their demands. This technology is not only required in each guestroom, but also in any large social gathering area that promotes a work/play environment.

Here are some other factors to consider in revenue managing for boutique hotels.

Get the full story at HNN

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

Hotel CEOs talk mergers, branding and booking trends

February 23, 2017

Q: Last year the big news was the Marriott acquisition of Starwood. While we're not seeing deals like that quite yet, we have seen some movements such as Commune and Destination Hotels merging into Two Roads Hospitality, Red Lion purchasing Vantage, Wyndham buying Fen Hotels. What other types of moves do you foresee this year, and why is there still such a need for these mergers and acquisitions?

Two Roads’ Leondakis: We will continue to see people in the hotel industry expanding to other related industries, just like AccorHotels (bought) One Fine Stay (a vacation rental business). You'll see more people in the hospitality industry exploring other related travel industries and becoming more of an overall service provider.

Red Lion's Mount: Some of the smaller regional brands — those with 50 to 250 hotels — are starting to feel a little insecure and that they may not be relevant going forward. So they need to seek a little bit of a safe harbor. At least in our case, I know our guys (Vantage) were very worried about technology and where things were going and felt that if they didn't sell that they would be become irrelevant going forward. So I think you'll see more of it.

Wyndham’s Ballotti: Size matters; consolidation will continue. You mentioned our acquisition of Fen this year and Dolce last year. Of our 18 brands, 17 have been acquired, and we'll continue to look for opportunities along that line.

IHG’s Maalouf: Typically, when you see acquisitions in the hotel industry they are to achieve generally one of three things: Either more brands or more geography or more scale. Now, (mergers and acquisitions is) only one way to achieve those. ... The focus on mergers and acquisitions should be broader within the focus on what are your strategies to add one of those three essential components to have the right heft in the global hospitality industry.

Get the full story at USA Today

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

Sabre and Egencia make 2017 ‘The Year of the Business Traveler’

February 23, 2017

Based on analysis of Sabre’s global air, hotel and ancillary booking data, companies have the opportunity to increase traveler satisfaction in several areas, especially for road warriors. Life as a business traveler isn’t always easy. By heeding some of the tips from Egencia and Sabre, collected from data insights in traveler booking behavior and suppliers’ service, businesses can simplify the experience for all frequent travelers with fairly minor updates to their program.

“Data is defining a new era of travel management today. Smart businesses can leverage travel insights in more creative ways to strengthen corporate programs, while making trips more productive and travelers more satisfied. Companies used to focus on compliance. With the data we have today, the strategic approach is simplifying the travel experience by putting the business traveler first,” said Wade Jones, interim president of Sabre Travel Network.

“Business travel is projected to reach $1.6 trillion by 20201. Historically, as spend increases, companies increase their travel policy constraints. Egencia helps clients drive compliance without mandates, without constraints. We do this by focusing on the business traveler, by offering solutions that guide efficient decisions without sacrificing choice,” said Rob Greyber, president of Egencia.

Get the full story at Sabre

Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/sabre_and_egencia_make_2017_the_year_of_the_business_traveler

Forbes Travel Guide announces 2017 Star Rating Rewards

February 23, 2017

For 2017, the award winners include 22 new Five-Star hotels, 76 new Four-Star hotels and 83 new hotels in the Recommended category. Other first-time recipients include seven Five-Star restaurants, 13 Four-Star restaurants and 12 Recommend restaurants. The list also honors nine new Five-Star spas and 35 new Four- Star spas. See the complete list of winners here.

As it continues to expand globally, Forbes Travel Guide now rates properties in 42 countries throughout the Americas, Europe and the Asia-Pacific region, with plans to add the Middle East and Africa for 2018. Newly added international destinations for 2017 include: Bali, Barcelona, Bogota, Budapest, Cartagena, County Kildare (Ireland), Dublin, Kyoto, Lima, Lisbon, Manila, Melbourne, Monte Carlo, Munich, Osaka, Santiago, Seoul, St. Tropez, Sydney, Venice and Zurich.

"This year’s Star-Rated properties — the largest and most global group in the company’s history — achieved an impeccable standard of excellence in hospitality, underscoring our overall mission of positively contributing to the international tourism industry as well as the individual hotel experience,” said Gerard J. Inzerillo, Chief Executive Officer of Forbes Travel Guide. “We are excited to recognize the 2017 Star Rating recipients, an exceptional collection of hotels, restaurants and spas with a strong culture of service. In an online environment of confusion and clutter, Forbes Travel Guide is the most trusted source of information to assist guests in making informed decisions,” Inzerillo said. “We are proud to congratulate everyone who showed dedication to their guests and employees.”

Get the full story at Forbes (PDF 190 KB)

Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/forbes_travel_guide_announces_2017_star_rating_rewards

TripAdvisor surfaces the world’s best beaches with 2017 Travelers’ Choice Awards

February 23, 2017

TripAdvisor has honored 343 beaches including the top 25 in the world and local lists for Africa, Asia, Australia, Caribbean, Central America, Europe, South America, the South Pacific, the U.K. and the U.S. Award winners were determined based on the quantity and quality of traveler reviews and ratings for beaches on TripAdvisor, gathered over a 12-month period.

"To inspire those planning a beach getaway, we've surfaced the world's best beaches from the millions of our traveler reviews," said Barbara Messing, chief marketing officer for TripAdvisor. "Traveling to a popular beach doesn't have to be expensive; TripAdvisor can help find the best prices for highly-rated hotels and has a variety of value options for those looking to get the most out of their money while visiting one of these amazing beach destinations."

"Winning a TripAdvisor Travelers' Choice Beaches award is very important for Baia do Sancho and Fernando de Noronha Island, where the beach is located. The award recognition is an opportunity for us to communicate all that this incredible place has to offer to global travelers," said Luís Eduardo Antunes, general administrator of Fernando de Noronha.

Get the full story at TripAdvisor

Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/tripadvisor_surfaces_the_worlds_best_beaches_with_2017_travelers_choice_awa

How to write PPC text ads in 2017’s sophisticated environment

February 23, 2017

Between devices, formatting, ad extensions and audience types, writing effective ad copy is more reliant on multiple factors than ever before.

Just last month, AdWords rolled out IF functions to add another layer of ad customization. This feature allows advertisers to change the ad message depending on the user’s device. For example, a user searching on a mobile device could see a message that says, “Shop from your phone,” while the desktop message may say, “Shop our selection.”

This means you can now write mobile-preferred ads without ad customizers or creating a mobile-only campaign. Instead of writing two ads, you can now write one that changes the message depending on the device.

Get the full story at Search Engine Land

Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/how_to_write_ppc_text_ads_in_2017s_sophisticated_environment

HSMAI honors innovation at its 60th Annual Adrian Awards

February 23, 2017

“It’s always wonderful to be able to celebrate the innovators of our industry. Their outstanding work challenges and inspires the rest of the profession,” said Robert A. Gilbert, CHME, CHBA, president and CEO of HSMAI. He added, “Tonight was a special milestone—the Adrians have now been recognizing excellence in the hospitality industry for six decades.”

Dating back to 1956, the Adrian Awards applaud marketing achievements in hospitality across multiple segments of the industry. Award winners are selected by senior industry and media experts from more than 1,200 entries, for three main entry divisions: advertising, digital marketing and public relations. Gold Award winners across these three categories were recognized during the Adrian Awards Dinner Reception, which was co-sponsored by HSMAI and Google. Platinum winners were selected from the standout Gold Award winners.

Get the full story at HSMAI

Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/hsmai_honors_innovation_at_its_60th_annual_adrian_awards

Cloud5 contact center books record one million hotel reservations

February 23, 2017

One million reservations were generated by Cloud5’s servicing of more than 1.5 million calls into its multi-facility operation during 2016.

Cloud5 Contact Center clients include major hotel groups and independent chains for economy, mid-range, and luxury brands, as well as fine hotel and resort loyalty programs. Centers provide a unique range of revenue generation services including central reservations, sales optimization, loyalty services, OTA rate management, and social media engagement.

“We use Cloud5 to cement guest relationships,” said Tia Graham, Director of Sales and Marketing at The London West Hollywood at Beverly Hills, a AAA Four Diamond property and member of American Express Fine Hotels & Resorts. “Cloud5 agents deliver better conversion results because they combine industry knowledge with a feel for our brand that allows them to tell The London story, including the unforgettable guest experience we offer.”

Get the full story at Cloud5

Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/cloud5_contact_center_books_record_one_million_hotel_reservations

Number of sites leisure travelers visit before booking drops by 88%

February 22, 2017

Let’s look at possible causes for the drop in number of sites in just three short years:

- Consolidation: Where years ago customers would browse countless OTAs, portal sites, destination sites, and resort-specific sites, the times have changed. We have seen a consolidation in the planning space with fewer sites having a greater share in the traveler’s decision set.

- The Planning Cycle: Customers are beginning to expect instant gratification in their lives, in their loyalty programs, and yes – in their vacation planning. A shorter cycle between deciding to travel and actually traveling will result in fewer sites browsed during the process.

- Improved Sites: Now that the OTAs are offering reviews, TripAdvisor is acting more like an OTA, and individual hotel sites are more advanced; customers do not need to visit as many sites to get the information key to making a travel decision.

- Google Knows: Three years ago, search engines were no where close to where they are now in providing decision-making data on the SERP. With the improvements in the travel knowledge graphs, the adoption of Google Hotel Ads (GHA), and improved results in general, customers are finding the right information quicker than ever.

Here are the key insights a hotel can glean from the data.

Get the full story at Fuel Travel

Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/number_of_sites_leisure_travelers_visit_before_booking_drops_by_88

IHG buoyed by mobile growth, direct booking occupancy gains

February 22, 2017

Bookings made through the IHG app - which has now been downloaded two million times - are up 50% year-on-year. And more than 1800 properties allow guests to check out using their device.

Its IHG Rewards scheme is central to its attempts to get more direct bookings, and was boosted during the year by its Your Rate initiative, giving members access to preferential rates and exclusive deals. The loyalty scheme contributed 2% more to the revenues than last year with a 16% increase in enrollments.

And the number of engaged loyalty scheme members – defined as those who stay at an IHG property more than six times in a year – has increased by 7%.

Get the full story at Tnooz and HNN

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

Travelport reports strong results

February 22, 2017

Air revenue increased 3% to $1,651 million; Beyond Air revenue growth of 18% to $579 million, contributing 26% of Travel Commerce Platform revenue (2015: 23%)

Gordon Wilson, President and CEO of Travelport, commented:

“In 2016, Travelport delivered its highest level of net revenue and Adjusted EBITDA growth over the last five years, as we continued to execute against our strategic objectives. We achieved consistently strong growth in International regions and realized positive momentum in the United States, where we grew our reported segments by 3% during the fourth quarter. Our Travel Commerce Platform continues to expand, with Beyond Air growing by 18%, driven by our leading hospitality content and mobile solutions, as well as the ongoing strength of our commercial payments business, eNett, which grew net revenue by 64% in 2016.

Looking ahead, we are delighted to have signed several new and significant agency deals that we expect will drive revenue growth as those customers implement and transact with us. Moreover, we see several longer-term growth opportunities for our business, which has resulted in us increasing our investment levels commencing from the fourth quarter of 2016 and continuing throughout 2017, particularly in the areas of data and analytics, mobile solutions, payments and technology services. 2017 will see raised capital investments plus a further approximately $20 million of incremental strategic expenditure which, together, will enable further innovation for our customers and support sustainable and profitable long term growth.”

Get the full story at Travelport (PDF 190 KB)

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

Travel app Hopper’s latest feature will break down airline fees

February 22, 2017

In an attempt to better compete with low-cost airlines, major air carriers like American Airlines, Delta and United have been rolling out “basic” economy fares – no-frills fares that charge fees for amenities that would otherwise come standard, like seat assignments or the right to use the overhead bin space, for example. But this unbundling has also made it difficult for customers to price the true cost of their trip, which is where the travel app Hopper now aims to help.

Hopper has long since been one of the more useful trip planning applications on the market, with a variety of features that help you find the lowest priced airfare. Its forecasting software tracks airlines’ ever-changing ticket prices in order to predict prices and alert you when it’s the best time to buy a ticket.

In December, when Hopper announced $61 million in Series C funding, Hopper’s users had tracked 18 million trips on its app, which was seeing over a million installs per month. Today, Hopper tells TechCrunch that it has seen more than 12 million installs since its 2015 debut, users have tracked over 27 million trips, and have booked over $300 million worth of flights. It’s now selling over $1 million worth of flights per day.

Get the full story at TechCrunch

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

Condé Nast says ‘use a travel agent’

February 22, 2017

The 42-minute podcast, “Why you should be using a travel specialist,” was broadcast Friday, Feb. 17. It covered when and why consumers should use travel specialists, and “all things specialized travel.” Featured guests were Laura Redmond, deputy digital director, Paul Brady, senior editor, and Mark Elwood, a contributing editor.

Agents should reframe themselves as “travel specialists” to more clearly define their expertise and enhanced value, the panel agreed. Brady said being a travel agent, or specialist today, is less about booking an airline fllight and “more about, ‘Can you get me in touch with the best people of the street food market in Mexico City?' "

“The secret's in the word 'special,' someone who has in-depth knowledge of a city, region or style of travel and can offer guidance. Maybe it's a cruise guru, or a Caribbean know-it-all; it could also be an expert in navigating the ever-changing rules of Cuba travel. Online flight tools like Kayak and Cheapflights have changed an agent's role drastically, but there's still demand for trip planners - the living, breathing kind - to help you find the best hotel for your honeymoon, the right safari for the family, or, simply, a great place to go on vacation when time and inspiration are lacking.”

Get the full story at Travel Market Report and Condé Nast Traveler

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

Gartner: Facebook heading for app domination

February 22, 2017

In a new report, based on a survey of mobile users in the US, China and the UK, Gartner’s reading of the app usage tea-leaves shows signs of messaging platforms cannibalizing other apps, with for example, usage of dedicated video apps declining four percentage points between the 2015 and 2016 editions of the survey. (The analyst polled just over 3,000 respondents for the 2016 survey, the results of which it’s releasing now, with the poll taking place between August 26 and October 13.)

Usage of standalone maps apps also shrunk by three percentage points, year-over-year, according to Gartner’s data. And social media app usage reduced by two percentage points vs messaging app usage growing by three percentage points over the same period.

Shopping (which results in something tangible being delivered), and personal assistant apps (which are designed to shortcut queries) bucked the slide, growing by four percentage points apiece.

Get the full story at TechCrunch

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

Futurecast your way to more direct bookings

February 22, 2017

Hotels traditionally forecast using a variety of numerically-based data sources, such as historical results and economic factors. These are all derived from numbers: the number of reservations booked over the same time last year, how well the market performed and where ADR finished each day. And while translating those numbers into a more profitable business strategy is certainly de rigueur, futurecasting is what can quickly turn your revenue strategy into the piece de resistance!

Futurecasting looks beyond the numerical side of big data to humanize the data so you can understand how and why you arrived at an outcome. It is the “why” that is paramount in marketing to guests better, building a powerful loyalty program, and steering consumers to book direct. Futurecasting builds upon forecasting by adding a layer of prescriptive analytics that looks into the future–to not just forecast a probable result–but to futurecast the optimal outcome.

Get the full story at IDeaS

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

Hotel data analysis: How to get it right once and for all

February 22, 2017

By focusing your efforts on specific data sets and getting creative with how you use them, data analysis will prove to be an actionable and transformative tool for your hotel.

The overall goal of data analysis is to track patterns at your property and set yourself up to make accurate predictions.

In turn you can plan and strategise towards your ultimate desire: increased revenue.

With the right application, you’ll be able to use your data in a variety of ways to make bold plans and prudent adjustments to your pricing strategy.

Get the full story at SiteMinder

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

Why Airbnb is not the Uber of hotels

February 21, 2017

To the collective relief of Marriott and Hilton, Airbnb is not quite the Uber of the hotel industry. Had hotel chains built, developed, and operated their own properties, they would have faced the same predicament as automakers. But they did not.

Funded and built by third party investors, Hilton has a long history of pursuing an asset-light business model, with revenue coming predominantly via management and franchising fees. Marriott has similarly followed the same asset-light strategy, under which it seeks to maximize franchise agreements in order to minimize the number of owned and leased properties in its portfolio.

To be fair, franchising is far more time-consuming than the platform strategy wrought by Airbnb. Airbnb operates a simple pay-per-booking model, charging a 3% fee to the host and anywhere from 6% to 12% to the guest on the value of the booking.

Get the full story at Forbes

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

How travel brands are targeting business travelers

February 21, 2017

For brands, this traveller presents a unique opportunity.

Not only is there less need to dazzle and delight with inspirational marketing, but thanks to the deep pockets of corporate companies, the budget can often be sizeable. Meanwhile, with a positive experience likely to result in repeat trips, business travel could prove to be a lucrative market.

Here’s how a few brands are setting their sights on it.

Get the full story at Econsultancy

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

America Express Global Business Travel wins BASF global business

February 21, 2017

GBT will provide travel management solutions through dedicated and exclusive service locations in 63 countries around the world. The services will include:

- On and offline reservations of flights, hotels, rental cars, and rail tickets
- All global travel procurement through Global Business Consulting services
- Employee relocation services
- Meetings & Events services in specific markets
- Visa services for employees worldwide

Marco Weiss, Director of Global Indirect Procurement – Engineering Services & Contracting for BASF, said: “By introducing a single provider, we will harmonise our travel management and travel procurement globally. When choosing our partner, a key requirement was the ability to offer a high quality and consistent service globally. We feel GBT is best placed to help us achieve this goal and develop a cost-efficient travel management programme.”

Florian Storp, GBT Managing Director for Germany, said: “It’s important that business travellers have access to services that will enable them to do their job no matter where they are in the world. We will offer BASF travellers access to our global support, innovative technology and exceptional care to ensure they are equipped to meet their business objectives.”

GBT’s Global Business Consulting organisation will also manage BASF’s worldwide travel procurement. EMEA Director Philip Haxne said: “Our knowledge and expertise will allow us to generate savings in all travel procurement categories. BASF has given us the trust to holistically own and drive the programme and to have our arms around the entire procurement process.”

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

Wellness, all-inclusives the key to Hyatt Hotels’ growth

February 21, 2017

Long known for full-service brands such as Hyatt Regency and Park Hyatt as well as its eponymous badge, which celebrates its 60th anniversary this year, Hyatt is boosting its investments on both the wellness-spa arena and the all-inclusive sector.

Last month, Hyatt bought resort and luxury-spa operator Miraval Group from KSL Capital Partners for $215 million and pledged to spend another $160 million within the next three years expanding its Arizona property and building out its Texas and Massachusetts sites.

Privately held Miraval in 1995 opened the 117-room Miraval Arizona Resort & Spa, which offers more than 120 wellness activities, fitness classes and lectures each week. The company last year began operating its Life in Balance Spa at Southern California's Monarch Beach Resort.

Get the full story at Travel Weekly

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

What hotels have over Airbnb

February 21, 2017

Although it may be beneficial for hotels to pair up with companies and vacation rentals like Airbnb, Freid sat down with LODGING to discuss why he believes that hotels can offer unique experiences that differ from alternatives.

What are the most impactful strategies hotels are using to combat Airbnb and alternative accommodations?
From my observations, guests appreciate options, convenience and personalization. To be the first choice for travelers’ stay, we’ve increased amenities, services and standards. Not only do we want to offer guests a place to sleep, but we want to give them an unforgettable experience. For example, hotels are creating mobile apps to act as the room’s remote, room key or 24-hour concierge. Alternative accommodations cannot compete with providing the best and most options possible.

Get the full story at Lodging

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

Sex doesn’t sell any more, activism does. And don’t the big brands know it

February 21, 2017

Three days ago I hadn’t heard of Lyft. Not until I was greeted on Monday morning by a right-on colleague demanding to know if I’d deleted my Uber app and replaced it with Lyft. On Saturday #deleteuber had been trending after many believed it had undermined a taxi strike at New York’s JFK airport protesting against Donald Trump’s immigration ban. By Sunday, with swift marketing prowess, Lyft’s CEO Logan Green tweeted that the company was donating $1m to the ACLU (American Civil Liberties Union). Which led to Lyft’s downloads surpassing Ubers for the first time ever. They used to say sex sells; now, evidently, it’s activism.

Lyft wasn’t the only company flaunting good deeds this week. In reaction to Trump’s immigration ban, Starbucks CEO wrote an open letter to staff committing to hiring 10,000 refugees and Airbnb’s Brian Chesky tweeted that it was providing free accommodation to anyone not allowed in the US. Even Uber, presumably in a bid to outdo Lyft, created a $3m fund to help drivers affected by the “wrong and unjust” ban.

It’s difficult to separate the fact that while these brands are showcasing pedigree social responsibility, ultimately they are helping refugees because it sells milky lattes and cheap holiday accommodation. They can see that allocating their marketing budget to good causes has a better reach than spending that money elsewhere right now.

Get the full story at The Guardian

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

Sabre Labs Webinar: Three emerging technologies redefining the hotel experience

February 21, 2017

How can wireless devices help hoteliers track guests and staff, making operations more efficient?

How can augmented reality and virtual give guests new reasons to book a stay - or an experience - at your hotel?

How are conversational interfaces like chatbots already making it easier to engage with guests?

Register for the webinar at Sabre Hospitality Solutions

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

TRIPBAM and TrustYou announce hotel review data integration partnership

February 21, 2017

In addition, the partnership will support TRIPBAM in furthering its mission of providing corporations, hotels, travel agencies, and travelers with a hotel shopping service that helps keep hotel costs low, increase traveler compliance, and improve negotiated hotel programs.

TrustYou’s review data will supplement the content that companies and travelers receive through TRIPBAM’s email notifications. TrustYou’s TrustScore – an independent, trusted rating calculated from all verified online reviews worldwide – will be incorporated into the emails. An embedded link will lead the traveler to TrustYou’s full Meta-Review of the respective hotel, showing the ratings for different categories and traveler types, including business travelers. TRIPBAM email notifications alert clients of lower rates, alternative hotel offerings at a better price among preferred properties, or better offers within predefined hotel clusters. Email notification type and frequency are set up depending on client defined parameters.

Get the full story at TrustYou

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

Hoteliers remain conservative when it comes to technology

February 20, 2017

This is the startling research finding from 'The Hotel Industry in 2020' carried out by Peter O'Connor, IDeaS Revenue Solutions, Revinate and SiteMinder. The study compiled survey results from hundreds of leading hoteliers around the world, and the results of a 'visioning' session with experienced hoteliers and consultants held during World Travel Market (WTM) London in November 2016.

"The combined research explored anticipated hotel guests of 2020, as well as the technology needed to cater to their needs," says Peter O'Connor, professor at ESSEC Business School. "We wanted to hear directly from hoteliers about how the future traveller would look, and the measures needed to prepare for them."

According to Dr O'Connor, participants anticipate highly-sophisticated guests that seek unique experiences, have higher expectations and also expect recognition. As 'digital natives', these guests will rely primarily on mobile devices to engage with hotels before, during and after their hotel stay. Key differentiators such as flexibility, value and control are predicted to play a larger role in the guests' buying decisions than human interaction.

Fabian Specht, managing director EMEA at IDeaS, says, "The collected data reveals predictions of a more demanding customer, with greater choices and access to information."

When asked which technology hotels could not be without in 2020, respondents named those already implemented in many hotels, including revenue management systems, customer relationship management systems, property management systems, channel managers and e-marketing solutions.

Thomas Landen, EMEA marketing manager at Revinate, adds, "These results reflect the high degree of conservatism within the hotel industry, particularly when it comes to technology. It is as if the industry is still preoccupied with the same issues as ten years ago."

By contrast, expert panelists – largely operational managers and consultants from UK and European hotel properties and technology arenas – nominated middleware, artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning systems, predictive analysis tools and management dashboards to have more integrated views of the guest, along with messaging solutions and Bluetooth beacons to drive deeper engagement.

The panelists suggested a key roadblock to implementing these systems industry-wide was highly-siloed customer data, which prevents a single 360-degree guest view. Other roadblocks included data protection and privacy issues, as many countries limit guest information storage; and industry conservatism with few hotels pushing boundaries and most tending to stick with well-established systems in the marketplace.

Dai Williams, managing director EMEA at SiteMinder, says, "It is clear we operate in an industry that continues to look to outdated and often-costly legacy systems for technological support. The resistance among hotels to change and innovation hurts the advancement of our industry, which, in itself, recognises the need to keep up with current and future consumers."

To break the cycle, panelists advocate for the rise of a new breed of hotel management, one that includes applying a different set of skills and mindset capable of pushing technology forward – a process already successful within industries such as retail and banking.

Read also "The Hotel Industry of 2020: Predicting the future is difficult" (infographic)

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

Why experiences will become a selling factor for hotels

February 20, 2017

According to the most recent Market Metrix global hotel study, location remains the most important factor in determining hotel choice, especially for leisure guests who want to spend their free time enjoying what the surrounding area has to offer.

“Location, location, location” has been a mantra in the hospitality sphere since its birth, but now thanks to hyper-localization maybe “neighborhood, neighborhood, neighborhood” would be more suitable.

Following in the footsteps of Airbnb, we are likely to see more hotels extend their experiences to a wider range of guests, making the experiences more accessible and affordable targeting millennial users.

New ways of presenting hotels will emerge with more marketing focused on the surrounding neighborhood and possible experiences which can be booked through the hotels concierge service.

Get the full story at Tnooz

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

Ryanair to sue Expedia in online fares battle

February 20, 2017

The company filed legal papers for an intended action against the US company on Wednesday, with commercial law firm Philip Lee listed as the company’s solicitors.

A Ryanair spokesman said that the company does not comment on pending legal matters. Expedia, which owns sites such as Expedia.com, Hotels.com and trivago, also said that it cannot comment on litigation matters.

Ryanair has taken action against a number of sites over the alleged mis-selling of its fares. Late last year the company took action against Momondo and it has also sued Opodo and eDreams.

Get the full story at The Times

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

Travel’s most innovative companies in 2016

February 20, 2017

1 Airbnb: For putting the world of sophisticated experiences at our fingertips

2. Marriott: For prioritizing loyalty while becoming a mega company

3. Vail Resorts: For cultivating powder hounds from across the globe

4. Ctrip: For becoming the all-in-one travel platform for Chinese travelers

5. GoEuro: For pulling plances, trains, and automobiles into a booking platform

6. Norwegian Air: For ushering in a new era of affordable transatlantic travel

7. AccorHotels: For embracing bold hospitality brands

8. Beautiful Destinations: For evolving into a creative agency that optimizes for wanderlust

9. Carnival Cruise Line: For bringing high-tech wearables to high seas

10. Lola: For giving travel agents a welcome AI boost

Get the full story at Fast Company


Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/travels_most_innovative_companies_in_2016

More tips for Facebook’s Dynamic Ads for Travel

February 20, 2017

In our previous blog post, we highlighted the main differences between Dynamic Ads for Travel (DAT) and Dynamic Product Ads (DPA). Put simply, Dynamic Ads for Travel (DAT) is essentially Dynamic Product Ads (DPA), but designed specifically to support travel brands (boy, do we love acronyms.)

When DPA, a primarily retail focused product, originally launched smart marketers recognized an opportunity to adapt the product to support travel brands. This caused two things to occur.

- Travel brands recognized that Facebook was no longer solely a branding opportunity, it was also a direct response channel.

- Facebook recognized the opportunity to expand their presence in the travel space and developed a product that better-supported travel brands (DAT).

We have been running DAT campaigns from the earliest days of the program, and with participation steadily increasing, we figured this would be a good time for us to share some of the things that we’ve learned along the way.

Get the full story at Koddi

Read also "Why hotel marketers opt for Facebook's Dynamic Ads for Travel"

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

How leading marketers are driving growth

February 20, 2017

We know mobile has radically changed the consumer decision journey over the past decade. Today, people seamlessly move between channels and devices—from mobile to desktop to offline and back. As a result, our traditional rules and approaches to measurement no longer work. As marketers, we can't shy away from this new reality. Indeed, the leading marketers who are driving outstanding business results are those tackling these challenges head-on, and shifting their measurement mindset. Google recently partnered with Econsultancy to better understand how senior marketers are adapting their measurement practices for our mobile world. Our findings show that marketing leaders―those who are succeeding beyond their business goals―share several common attributes:

- They focus on business metrics that really matter, like bottom line sales and profits, rather than campaign metrics, like clicks and conversions.

- They employ new tools and estimates to bridge gaps in measurement across devices and offline channels.

- They encourage a culture of experimentation to help answer strategic questions about new opportunities.

Get the full story at Think with Google

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

How big data can help hotel revenue managers get to perfect pricing

February 20, 2017

Leading in technology and therefore leading the market are the two largest online travel agents: Priceline and Expedia. They can afford to A/B test and be more agile than hotels. The technological constraints faced by hotels make competing with OTAs a fairly daunting task. Throw in competitors from the sharing economy, such as Airbnb, and it seems there’s a lot racked up against them.

The figures don’t stack up too kindly for hotels either. According to Kalibri Labs, direct hotel bookings decreased by 40% from 2011-2015, while third-party commissions, such as those paid to OTAs, have doubled.

For hotels, ADR and RevPAR may be up, but the profit margins for owners are worse off now than they were just after the recession, because of the rising cost of distribution.

Get the full story at Duetto

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

Five things for hotel revenue managers’ checklist in 2017

February 20, 2017

2017 is going to be the year when online finally overtakes offline in Europe. We all have been listening to online becoming big, and getting bigger – but the reality was that offline travel bookings continued to get the lion’s share. All that is set for change though, as digital travel penetration in the continent finally crosses the halfway mark to reach close to 52% of all bookings by end of 2017, per PhoCusWright. With North America, also closing in to the tipping point, and Asia Pacific catching up faster than the average with 23% growth in digital sales, it’s time for hotels to take corrective actions.

In this article, we share what we think hotels need to capitalize on for stronger performance in the coming months.

Get the full story at eRevMax

Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/five_things_for_hotel_revenue_managers_checklist_in_2017

TripAdvisor considering major marketing push for Instant Booking

February 17, 2017

TripAdvisor is considering a "multi-year brand marketing investment, including a return to TV advertising," the company said in prepared remarks accompanying its most recent financial earnings report.

On a call with analysts, president and CEO Stephen Kaufer further addressed the campaign's potential content and timing, noting that it would focus on TripAdvisor's "core hotel shopping experience."

Kaufer also added that other TripAdvisor brands might execute some independent marketing campaigns -- like a TV ad for thefork, TripAdvisor's restaurant app, in Italy -- so the main TripAdvisor campaign currently under consideration might not be the only one audiences see from the company's brands this year.

Get the full story at Travel Weekly, Skift, and Tnooz

Read also "TripAdvisor profit hit by hotel sales, marketing"

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

There’s a “new” Hilton this year

February 17, 2017

“Having the spinoffs frees us up to double down on our brands, including everything we’re doing on Hilton Honors and loyalty,” CEO Christopher Nassetta said during the company's Q4 call.

“It allows us to double down on what we are doing with innovation to continue to make sure everything we do is through the eyes of the customer and making sure that we are ultimately driving more loyalty and more relevance with our consumers and, as a consequence, more market share and more growth. We’ve always been focused on those things. That’s not different. Obviously, it goes without saying … it gives those of us in senior management even more time to focus on those things.”

Nassetta also delivered loyalty program statistics showing that Hilton’s biggest-ever marketing campaign, “Stop Clicking Around,” did in fact have some financial impact on how consumers are choosing to book, at least with Hilton.

Get the full story at Skift

Read also "Hilton reports corporate transient business pickup in Q4"

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

Egencia to launch new expense product suite

February 17, 2017

"Egencia is taking a new approach to expense management," says Rob Greyber, President Egencia. "Working together with forward-thinking partners, who value innovation like we do, we can deliver an open, intuitive solution to the industry and business travelers. That's the future. That's our goal. That's business travel (and expense) for the Expedia generation."

The Egencia expense management suite will consist of:

- Egencia Open Sync. Through this new Egencia product, travelers will be able to consolidate receipts and credit card transactions directly in Egencia, and then feed them in one-click into their expense system. This product is currently in beta and will be piloted with a select group of customers and expense partners in the coming weeks.

- Egencia Open Connect Platform. This platform is based today on a powerful set of APIs (application programming interfaces) that feed an ecosystem of Travel and Expense, Traveler Risk Management, and Enterprise Resource Planning partners. Egencia is extending this reporting and data management infrastructure with enhanced functionality; including the ability to extend the platform to new partners.

- Egencia Integrated Travel and Expense. Egencia will expand its offering to provide a fully integrated travel and expense management solution to create an end-to-end experience that captures booking, fulfilment and expense. Egencia's first fully integrated expense management partner will be its affiliate Traveldoo, with other expense providers to follow.

Get the full story at Egencia

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

New breed of travel agency does more than book trips

February 17, 2017

Would you book a two-week trip to Italy on the same couches where you lounged with friends over a glass of Pinot Noir?

Departure Lounge, a leather-couch hangout in the heart of downtown Austin, is part of a new incarnation of travel agency. It’s not the traditional kind with a bunch of agents at desks and frayed beach posters on the wall. Instead, it’s an upscale meeting place that hosts corporate happy hours, South by Southwest events, wedding receptions and memorial gatherings. Families pop in with children on weekends or couples meet after work. It has a wall of wine bottles, its own coffee blend, sandwiches and TV screens on three sides.

Three years after opening, this brick-and-mortar mashup is profitable—and 80% of its revenue comes from selling trips. Travel agencies need to be visible to consumers to be relevant, says founder Keith Waldon . “We’ve got to get travel back on the street,” he says.

Get the full story at The Wall Street Journal

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

90pc of travelers want to use mobile devices to search for flights

February 17, 2017

The findings, part of a monthly industry brief from the company called Mobile Commerce and Payment Innovation Across the Airline Sector, indicate that despite surges in mobile solutions in other sectors, the airline industry still has much ground to gain. The report claims that airlines that embrace mobile commerce strategies and payment solutions benefit by establishing permanent, internal links to currently untapped direct-channel and ancillary sales, and they create a companywide mentality that aligns more closely with their passengers’ mobile-centric behaviors.

“Like many companies, airlines are doing business with millions of passengers in a market that is undergoing rapid change, and change is never easy,” said Kristian Gjerding, CEO of CellPoint Mobile. “Airlines typically face same kinds of internal challenges – budget constraints around new initiatives, vast amounts of data that must be connected to this rapidly emerging mobile environment, and legacy technology infrastructures that require hard-to-find internal resources and expertise.

“Databases and technologies built for plastic cards must be modernized and updated in real time for transactions and payments that increasingly will take place on smartphones, tablets and wearable devices,” he said. “We recommend that airlines begin adopting a retail or ‘selling’ mentality so they can envision mobile payments as a way to access new revenue streams from passengers as they travel.

Get the full story at Mobile Commerce Daily

Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/90pc_of_travelers_want_to_use_mobile_devices_to_search_for_flights

Amazon and travel brands lead UK paid search

February 17, 2017

The top 20 ranking features five travel brands, including onthebeach.co.uk, Trivago, Expedia and Airbnb, but they are joined by companies across a range of sectors. Online takeaway service Just Eat featured highly in the ranking, with 21.4 million clicks. Telecoms companies, including giffgaff and BT, and fashion retailers such as ASOS and JD Sports also feature prominently within the top 20, along with price comparison site Moneysupermarket.com. The ranking also features two advertisers from the online bookmaking sector, William Hill and Paddy Power.

Some of the top keywords in the UK during 2016 based Google.co.uk desktop text ad spend include ‘car insurance’, ‘payday loans’, ‘casinos’, ‘travel insurance’ and ‘hotels’.

Kantar Media’s findings not only reveal the top paid search advertisers in the UK but also mirror the most popular industry sectors in the UK market: retail, travel and financial services. In particular, the presence of so many travel brands at the top of the ranking highlights a particularly competitive market for companies in this sector.

Get the full story at Kantar Media

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

How DMOs can use social media to engage with travelers

February 17, 2017

Given its ubiquity, travel marketers of every stripe need to be using social media channels to engage with travelers throughout that path. There are a number of places and ways DMOs can reach travelers. Here are are our top takeaways:

Knowing your audience allows for more relevant interactions

The heart of social media is indeed, the idea of being social. It’s important, then, that you know your audience, what they are looking for, and create content that speaks to them. In this case, we took a look at the audience most interested in travel to Wyoming in order to understand what kind of social content would resonate.

Get the full story at Sojern

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

ReviewPro propels growth in Asia Pacific with key new partnerships

February 17, 2017

Also, it was recently announced that Chinese technology giant Shiji acquired a majority stake in the company.

2016 proved to be a banner year for growth in APAC as ReviewPro signed more than 1,800 new hotel clients, partnering with some of the region’s most prominent hotel brands: Absolute Hotel Services, Minor Hotels, Aryaduta Hotels Group, TCC Land Asset World, Onyx Hospitality Group, Discovery Parks, Spicers Retreats and BIG4 Holiday Parks.

In addition, ReviewPro has secured multi-year renewal agreements with existing partners including Furama Hotels International, Dusit International, Chatrium Hotels and Residences and GHM (General Hotel Management Ltd).

- Amongst the major new brands that signed with ReviewPro is Bangkok based Minor Hotels. With more than 150 properties worldwide and a passion for delivering perfection to guests, the global brand will use ReviewPro’s Guest Intelligence Suite (consisting of Online Reputation Management and Guest Satisfaction Surveys) as well as Advanced Case Workflows to obtain a deeper understanding of their guests’ needs to create even better guest experiences across their entire portfolio.

- ONYX Hospitality Group, a Thai-based regional hotel company with brands like Amari, OZO and Shama, has also chosen to use the Guest Intelligence Suite to ensure their properties are consistently exceeding guest expectations.

RJ Friedlander, CEO of ReviewPro, commented on the company’s latest news, “In 2016 we saw our biggest year–on-year growth ever in APAC and we expect to expand our market share there even further this year. Our recent partnerships with several leading global brands demonstrates our strong positioning in the region and we will continue to leverage this in the coming year to strengthen our presence.”

Related Link: ReviewPro

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

TripAdvisor profit hit by hotel sales, marketing

February 16, 2017

Shares, which have fallen 11% in the past 12 months, tumbled 5.3% after hours to $49.41.

For the three month period ending December 31, hotel sales fell 3.1% to $252 million while selling and marketing expenses climbed 18.6% to $172 million, though total expenses eased 8.4%.

For the quarter, the company reported a profit of $1 million, or a penny a share, down from $3 million, or 2 cents a share, a year earlier. Excluding certain items, profit per share slipped to 16 cents from 45 cents the previous year.

Revenue rose 2.3% to $316 million.

Get the full story at Reuters and TripAdvisor

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

Hilton reports corporate transient business pickup in Q4

February 16, 2017

Hilton has maintained its 2017 guidance—1 percent to 3 percent growth in revenue per available room—though an uptick in corporate transient business that began in the fourth quarter and carried into January has made the company's outlook slightly more positive than it was a quarter ago.

"It would be hard to say that I don't feel a bit better about our 1 to 3 than I did when we gave it to you last fall," Nassetta said during the company's earnings call. "The opportunity to be at the midpoint [of Hilton's guidance] or above would be higher today than it was at that time."

The company has "some green shoots": A solid base of group business is on the books, according to Nassetta, and corporate transient business for 2017 looks good so far, as group average daily rate and corporate negotiated rates are up 2 percent to 3 percent versus 2016. Still, Nassetta said, there are "a lot of swirling winds out there" that could impact the hotel business in 2017 and beyond.

Get the full story at BTN

Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/hilton_reports_corporate_transient_business_pickup_in_q4

Hoteliers comb the ranks of tech workers to gain an edge

February 16, 2017

More than ever, guests look to their phones and computers to research, book, stay in and communicate with hotels. That translates to critical technology needs in information security, mobile development and systems integration.

Inside hotel operations, data analysis can help find new customers, make a dining room more profitable or provide information to executives making business decisions.

Kate Walsh, interim dean of the School of Hotel Administration at Cornell, says she is seeing more companies coming on campus to hire students who are specializing in areas like digital marketing and business analytics. “They want foodies who code,” she said.

Get the full story at The New York Times

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

Eight hotels that look like they belong in the future

February 16, 2017

Yotel, New York City

Yes, this Manhattan location of the European chain Yotel is a tad out of the way (it’s tucked on quiet 10th Avenue) and yes, it does feature itty-bitty capsule-style rooms (motorized beds fold upright when not in use), but the hip amenities (not to mention relatively affordable rates) help make up for that. Stepping through the doors here feels a lot like time-traveling to the future, thanks to airport-style touch-screen check-in machines, furnishings that resemble an upper-class cabin, and Trekkie-style staff uniforms. All of that coupled with an enormous rooftop terrace and sleek restaurant and bar serve as stellar previews to the property’s star attraction: Yobot, the gimmicky, yet thrilling, robot luggage handler that’s stationed in the lobby.

Get the full story at USA Today

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

Forrester: Virtual Reality is not yet ready for marketers

February 16, 2017

The research firm says it’s at least five years from being a mass consumer medium, although augmented reality, 360-degree video and mixed reality are acting as stepping stones.

If you’re a marketer rubbing your hands together in anticipation of the virtual campaigns you’ll run in virtual reality, you may want to take a breath. The title of a recent Forrester Research report will likely slow you down: “Virtual Reality Isn’t Ready for Marketing Yet.”

The study finds that “critical-mass consumer adoption of high-end VR headsets is five years away,” although 360-degree video “will flourish on low-to-mid-end VR devices in the meantime.”

Get the full story at Martech

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

Google releases new video on how to hire an SEO consultant

February 16, 2017

Google has added a new video to their do you need an SEO help document page. The 11-plus-minute video walks people through the process of hiring an SEO consultant or firm. It tells them what to look for, what questions to ask, what some of the red flags are and more.

Maile Ohye from Google is the face of the video, and she does a very good job clearly documenting the main points one should look at during this process. She outlines the SEO hiring process in these three steps:

- Conduct a two-way interview with your potential SEO. Check that they seem genuinely interested in you and your business.

- Check their references.

- Ask for a technical and search audit.

Get the full story at Search Engine Land

Read also "The anatomy of a hotel SEO campaign"

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

HSMAI announces Americas board of directors and executive committee for 2017

February 16, 2017

“HSMAI welcomes a diverse and talented group of professionals to the 2017 Americas Board of Directors,” said Robert A. Gilbert, CHME, CHBA, president and CEO of HSMAI. “As we celebrate HSMAI’s rich history during our 90th Anniversary throughout 2017, the Board will continue to look to the future with the strategic objective of advancing the association to benefit our members and the industry.”

Jeff Senior, Vice President Marketing at KSL Resorts, continues his service during the second and final year of his term as HSMAI Americas Chair. A 30-year veteran of the travel industry, Senior joined KSL in 2015. He is also the chair of the HSMAI Global board and serves as a commissioner on the California Travel and Tourism Commission.

“It’s a true honor to begin my second year as the chair of this impactful organization,” said Senior. “In this rapidly changing business environment, it’s a privilege to work with industry leaders to monitor trends, share best practices, and deliver education and insights that help our members drive intelligent, sustainable hotel revenue growth.”

Get the full story at HSMAI

Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/hsmai_announces_americas_board_of_directors_and_executive_committee_for_201

nSight for IDeaS helps hoteliers drive more profitable bookings

February 16, 2017

When it comes to forecasting hotel booking behaviors in order to maximize revenue strategy, more data is better than less.

That’s why IDeaS Revenue Solutions and nSight Travel Intelligence have teamed up to offer hoteliers a new experience in revenue management that allows managers to “futurecast” inventory demand based on a rich set of data points never before available on a single technology platform.

With access to both nSight’s predictive consumer shopping intelligence data and IDeaS’ advanced revenue management solutions, hoteliers can now have exclusive access to the most advanced demand-intelligence solution on the market to increase bookings and drive better revenue.

Get the full story at nSight

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

New Cornell report highlights value of hotel amenities

February 15, 2017

Hotel owners and operators have long offered complimentary amenities to enhance their guests' stays and differentiate themselves from competitors. The decision of which amenities to offer is typically based on customer surveys, competitive position, and marketing and financial goals. While brand managers are eager to enhance their brands with all the latest and greatest amenities, owners are reluctant to pay for amenities that don't pay off. Debates often arise between owners who pay for amenities and brand managers who mandate these amenities as brand standards.

A new report from Cornell University's Center for Hospitality Research (CHR) informs this debate by suggesting a return on investment (ROI) analysis to determine which amenities are the best ones to offer. The research is described in: "Hotel Brand Standards: How to Pick the Right Amenities for Your Property," by Chekitan S. Dev, Rebecca Hamilton, and Roland Rust, which is available from CHR at no charge.

The researchers collaborated with a global multi-brand hotel company to analyze the return on investment on three popular complimentary amenities—bottled water, internet access, and fitness center use—for six hotel brands, using thousands of pre- and post-stay guest surveys and archived guest data. Their study found notable differences between brands for which amenity had the highest payoff, and differences in the impact of amenity use on first-time guests and repeat business. While internet access had a significant impact on attracting first-time guests, for example, complimentary bottled water offered the highest ROI in terms of generating repeat visits.

"ROI analysis based on customer lifetime value provides a useful way for owners and operators to assess the incremental value of a particular amenity based on revenue from new and returning guests net of costs," said Dev, who is an associate professor of marketing and branding at the School of Hotel Administration in the Cornell SC Johnson College of Business. "From our ROI analysis we learned that some amenities are great at attracting first-time guests, while others have a significant impact on generating repeat business. In addition, we found that guests generally overestimate their likelihood of actually using various amenities. This means that a marketing survey that asks potential guests about their intended amenity use may not provide an accurate estimation of their actual use."

During the study, some of the hotels began offering complimentary bottled water. "This set up a natural experiment that allowed us to compare revenue changes for hotels that added bottled water with a matched set of those that did not," Dev said. "We found a noticeable revenue increase for the hotels that started offering this amenity corroborating the results of our earlier analysis."

The results of this study will provide owners, operators, brand managers and consultants with an easy to use method for analyzing the value of an amenity based on its impact on customer lifetime value, he concluded.

Download the report at Cornell University

Read also "Guest expectations for complimentary hotel services and amenities increase"

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

Hotel revenue managers say they want a revolution

February 15, 2017

Many say they’re interested in “total hotel revenue management,” a concept that looks beyond rooms to include revenue and profit on restaurants, room service, and meeting space rentals. About 63 percent of those surveyed expect total hotel revenue management to become common soon, where only 10 percent mentioned the concept when Cornell did a comparable study in 2010.

Both studies were done by Sheryl Kimes, a professor of operations management in the School of Hotel Administration at Cornell University.

More broadly, the latest survey finds that many revenue managers want to look beyond the traditional focus on revenue per available room. For instance, a significant percentage of survey respondents also predict that they may soon measure performance per available square foot.

Get the full story at Skift

Read also "Cornell: The future of hotel revenue management"

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

Unlocking a hotel innovation strategy

February 15, 2017

The one word answer to the question above is opening the innovation process to users and customers. The idea of using contests to stimulate innovation has a long history. Back in 1795, Napoleon offered an award of 12,000 francs to improve upon the prevailing food preservation methods. After 14 years of experimentation, Nicolas Appert claimed the prize when he devised the same basic technology that is still used to can food today.

And yet, generating ideas for new services used to be the exclusive domain of top management, marketers, and/or designers. Not anymore. Many industries have been relying on open innovation as a source of strategic innovation to continue growing and to continue catering to ever-changing customer demand. Open innovation activities (co-design, co-creation, crowdsourcing and contests) are powerful instruments to stimulate innovations in diverse fields of application. These collaborative innovations engage a variety of external stakeholders, including users, designers, producers (management and coworkers) and suppliers.

Employees are extremely knowledgeable about their business and their integration into the early phases of an innovation process brings in creativity while mitigating the not-invented here syndrome. Nevertheless, the average hospitality incumbent does not have proper training on the newest gadget/technology available. To be completely blatant, they do not know of certain existing technologies or how an application actually works. Using the same judgement, an IT person cannot understand the core of hospitality. What if they would be brought together and placed in a friendly, potentially unconventional, environment that fosters creativity, such as the suite of a hotel or a section of an art gallery/museum? Telling people to think outside the box won't actually make them do so, showing them how to think outside the box might.

Get the full story at Hospitality.Net

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

Are travel brands failing to capitalize on own-brand traffic?

February 15, 2017

For every customer that makes a booking on your site, it is highly likely you have already digitally encountered them. That's the conclusion of EyeforTravel's new Understanding the Travel Consumer's Path to Purchase white paper. It looks at real purchase data from more than a quarter of a million consumers across five countries and found that three quarters of consumers will visit and then leave a travel site, before coming back to it to complete their purchase.

The research looked at Online Travel Agency (OTA), airline and hotel verticals, tracking the 15 sites a consumer looks at before they make a purchase. OTA sites were visited between 73% and 78% of the time before conversion, airlines between 69% and 84%, and hotels between 69% and 70%. This suggests that all types of travel brands should aim to convert these visitors first time and optimizing their sites so that consumers don't feel the need to shop around.

This is particularly the case for hotel brands, as the white paper finds that their conversion rates lag noticeably behind airline and OTA desktop conversion rates in Brazil, India and Germany. Furthermore, across all geographies both airline and hotel brands have substantially lower conversion rates for mobile bookings in comparison with OTAs.

"Reportedly, travel purchases in Q4 2016 had an above average abandonment rate of 82%," said Alex Hadwick, Head of Research at EyeforTravel, "and I think that this research reinforces the importance of getting the fundamentals right so that rate reduces. Travel brands need to get their own-brand site right across all devices because this is one of the most cost-effective ways of driving better profitability, especially as, typically, half of users will abandon a site if it takes more than two or three seconds to load."

EyeforTravel and Jumpshot tracked more than a quarter of a million travel purchasers across five countries through clickstream data and consumer surveys to build a picture of the path to purchase. The white paper details the how, where and why of the decisions people make before they book, and identifies what travel brands should be doing to capture market share.

Download the whitepaper at EyeForTravel

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

Google reigns over Facebook in digital travel ads

February 15, 2017

RBC Capital's take on the travel business is based in part on a meeting with industry research firm Skift. Google has been expanding its travel services that began with Google Flights, an online flight booking service, in 2011. Google in 2016 released a new smartphone app that helps users plan and organize trips. Google in 2015 launched an advertising program called Google Hotel Ads.

Skift estimates Google accounted for 90% of the digital travel advertising market in 2016, garnering some $12 billion in revenue. Priceline, Expedia and TripAdvisor (TRIP) were the biggest buyers of ad space on Google.

"We and Skift do not believe Google will ever become an online travel agency," said Mark Mahaney, a RBC Capital analyst, in a research report. "We have long been of the belief that Google has never had an interest in travel fulfillment - in the travel market, yes, but not in fulfillment, distribution, customer service. Not Google's thing."

Get the full story at Investors.com

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

Writing email subject lines that get prospects to open, read, and respond

February 15, 2017

But this is not yet another post about writing email subjects. Instead, I’ll focus on compelling, hands-on tips that will help you reach the point where your subscribers can’t help but open your newsletters.

1. Keep it short

To quote Mark Twain, “I didn’t have time to write a short letter, so I wrote a long one instead.” Brevity is the key. A subject line should contain the most important information about your offer in just 25-50 words! Taking Mark Twain’s word for it, brevity in writing is a challenge. So the key here is to be descriptive but to the point.

2. Avoid slogans and don’t come on too strong

“Sizzling summer promo” or “The ultimate bargain season starts now” are to the point and short enough. So what could possibly be wrong? They don’t have the element of surprise. So your subscriber has less incentive to open. And they are rather common, so you lose your brand’s scent. And in return - trust and recognizability of your subscribers. On the other hand, watch out for a subject like: “Hey, I’d like to sell you something” - I can guarantee it will land in the spam folder. The same will happen if you use ALL CAPS. So key takeaways are: don’t use spammy words, stay focused, and be original. It will not only boost your open rate but also increase deliverability.

Get the full story at GetResponse

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

Does your hotel rate really matter?

February 15, 2017

Many hotels and hoteliers automatically assume that price is the most important factor when it comes to choosing a hotel.

But how important is price actually?

In our 2017 Website Behavior Study, we asked more than 2,000 leisure travelers to rank six factors from most important to least important when it comes to choosing and booking a hotel.

As it turns out, price is the most important factor when choosing a hotel. This result was further validated when we asked the respondents, “when visiting a hotel’s website, which of the following pages do you visit first?”. Respondents indicated that pages associated with rates and availability were the first pages visited, followed by pages associated with amenities and room information.

Get the full story at Fuel

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

The hotel concierge role has changed: Why your concierge needs a modern-day toolset

February 15, 2017

What about the concierge role has changed?

Mobile devices and the mobile internet have changed the way in which travelers are dependent on the concierge.
Before Google Maps, guests almost always stopped by the concierge for directions on their way out. Today’s guests, by contrast, are more informed about their options, and how to get there.

However, there’s still a big need for discovery and local insight.

77% of guests’ trip planning still happens on property. Guests continue to seek the expertise of the concierge, particularly when it comes to distilling this abundance of easily-accessed information. Guests also continue to need help planning and scheduling their stay. Today’s concierges need tools to leverage, organize and share their local knowledge.

On-demand and consumer-friendly technologies have changed expectations of guests and concierges’ expectations of their own technology.

Get the full story at Alice

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

Egencia growing fast but TMCs still dominating large corporate accounts

February 14, 2017

For 2017, the corporate travel distributor is working to “dramatically improve” its expense management tools, said Expedia chief executive Dara Khosrowshahi on a Thursday call with investment analysts. Khosrowshahi added, “We don’t see anyone else who is really a scale technology player in corporate travel.”

Egencia believes that its technology investment will enable it to deliver digital services that appeal to corporate travelers, whose expectations are rapidly evolving. It believes it can out-innovate in a cost-effective way its arch-rivals Carlson Wagonlit Travel and American Express Global Business Travel (GBT).

To achieve its ambition, Egencia plans to hire more salespeople in the markets it serves in 2017. But logic dictates that an acquisition or two may be needed in the next few years, too.

Get the full story at Skift

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

Airbnb to disrupt luxury travel further with expected acquisition

February 14, 2017

The online marketplace will likely be focusing on bringing more luxury services to its users after the takeover is complete. The move is likely due to demand from users, who are interested in an easy experience in renting luxury homes for vacation or business stays.

“Vacation rentals are no stranger to the luxury travel industry,” said Taylor Rains, “What Airbnb has done, though, is make that travel option far more accessible than it ever has been.

“By acquiring Luxury Retreats, Airbnb is essentially creating a major hospitality brand spanning a variety of segments, including luxury,” he said. “A move like that, though, doesn't come out of the blue, Airbnb clearly acquired Luxury Retreats based on demand, which is something the luxury travel industry must recognize and adapt to.

“Travelers, even those in the luxury market, are looking for more freedom from their stay than ever before. In order to compete, traditional hospitality companies will be forced to adapt their offerings to maintain appeal among their base.”

Get the full story at Luxury Daily

Read also "Something in the Airbnb: hosts anxious as New York begins crackdown" and "How Airbnb stopped playing nice"

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

AccorHotels roots ideas in the business through Gen-Y committee

February 14, 2017

A statement from AccorHotels quotes Bazin: “The ability of these young people to predict the world of tomorrow is finer than ours. In particular on the subjects at the heart of the group’s current problems: the expectations of new customers in terms of services and, more generally, the customer experience.”

It’s all very much part of his strategy to change the company culture and get people thinking about the customer and innovation. The formation of the younger group is recognition that the group needs to address the generational difference between its younger workforce and customers and its executive committee.

The aim of the shadow group is also to make sure there’s a fertile ground for the development of talent in the organization, shorten the decision-making time and to help drive a more horizontal structure across the company.

Get the full story at Tnooz

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

Thomas Cook reports solid start to 2017 but remains cautious

February 14, 2017

Chief executive Peter Fankhauser said: “We remain cautious about the rest of the year, given the uncertain political and economic outlook.

“It’s still relatively early in the selling cycle for summer holidays, but based on current trading, and supported by further financial benefits from implementing our strategy, we expect our full year operating results to be in line with current market expectations.”

His comments came as Europe’s second largest travel group reported that underlying losses of £49 million in the three months to December 31, 2016, improved by £1 million over the same period the previous year as revenue rose to £1.6 billion from £1.4 billion.

Get the full story at Travel Weekly UK

Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/thomas_cook_reports_solid_start_to_2017_but_remains_cautious

Feature disparity in Google’s hotel search

February 14, 2017

This change to local universal didn’t seem that significant until I noticed the ‘Deals’ toggle in mapreuslts filtering options and how it is noticeably absent from the local universal filtering options.

Based on what we’ve seen, the Deals flag is present starting when a hotels rate is ~10-15% lower than its average price in that time period. How users interact with each product is also significant. Map results is higher in the funnel and users may not be as tied down to a hotel or specific area, which makes them more apt to be influenced by good deals. The deals experience could also influence how users interact with map results. For example, someone stranded at an airport after a canceled flight may use map results instead of local universal if they are familiar with both products and looking for a good deal.

For advertisers, this could lead to a spike in map results spend for a certain property if it received the deals treatment. Google does not currently expose this in reporting. However, this could be very valuable to advertisers, who could decide whether it made sense to increase investment for a property to capture additional volume when the deal tag is active.

Get the full story at Koddi

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

Seven mobile marketing opportunities for the travel industry

February 14, 2017

1. “Mobile-ize” search engine optimization (SEO) strategy.

Most searches take place on mobile devices. Google takes mobile experiences very seriously as it sets site rank. There are many things brands can do to improve their mobile SEO. I'm not an SEO expert, but I have been able to drive big increases in natural search traffic for companies with four simple principles:

- Use responsive web pages. Responsive sites optimize the layout of web content to the screen size of the browser. Assets are vertically arranged for smartphone screens, for example.

- Stick to one concept per page. Search engines reward expertise. Define a particular topic for each page on your site and devote all content to that topic. Don't try to make a page "expert" about multiple topics. Focused pages are better on mobile screens because the content is clearer and more scannable.

- Identify and use the topic language. For each topic, use Google's AdWords "Keyword Planner" to identify the terms that are relevant to a particular topic. Google offers this tool to help people plan paid search, but it works great for SEO too. For example, input the term "crown moulding" and you back a list of 699 terms, 61 of which are quite popular. By finding natural ways to include some of the most popular terms in your page content, you'll boost your mobile (and PC web) rankings. Don't stuff in terms that don't flow naturally, but use them when you can to grow your page relevance and expertise.

- Include thorough text/simple graphics. Search engines like text and lightweight pages. Designers like pictures and cool pages. By eliminating heavy applets and graphics files, you improve mobile viewing experiences. Then be succinct but thorough in your text.

Get the full story at Forbes

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

The independent hotel’s guide to engaging and retaining guests

February 14, 2017

Recently, a small hotel group asked us an extremely smart and on-point question: “How do I create a loyalty program that is not a loyalty program?” They understood that while major brands such as Hilton, Marriott, Accor Hotels, and Choice Hotels International spend millions in infrastructure and technology to support a complex loyalty program that they cannot replicate, there is still a need to recognize, engage and retain guests. Fortunately, a much simpler and cost-effective approach is available for independent properties to drive more direct relationships with consumers and reap the direct booking benefits of a loyalty program.

Why should “loyalty” become an even bigger focus for all types of hotels in 2017? The competition for consumers’ attention and engagement is becoming more and more challenging. Microsoft research shows that the average human attention span has fallen from 12 seconds in 2000 to eight seconds in 2016, which is less than that of a goldfish. In addition, 19% of online viewers leave within the first ten seconds of landing on a website. A “loyalty” or Guest Engagement and Retention Program, allows hotels to deliver a customized and personalized experience for the hotel website visitor, increasing engagement and the likelihood of a direct booking.

Not only is a guest engagement and retention strategy important for getting more direct bookings and repeat business, it allows the property to take advantage of invaluable past guest data necessary to build customer personas and implement a smart data marketing strategy across an array of digital marketing campaigns: SEM, Email Marketing, eCRM, Display Advertising and more.

Get the full story at HeBS Digital

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

Price or reviews? What really influences travelers to book

February 14, 2017

Do you want to know how travelers are finding your hotel? We've recently collected research revealing travelers' similar behaviors during the search and booking processes. This study uncovers the relevant and important factors affecting the booking decision during the first step of the traveler journey.

Among the findings:

- 91% of travelers use search engines during their search process, primarily Google

- A hotel's review score is the second most important search variable when booking

- 88% of travelers prefer hotels with review scores of 3+ stars, and 32% with +4 stars

Download the whitepaper at TrustYou

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

How Trivago pitches the U.S. travel market

February 13, 2017

The company makes much of its money from online travel agencies that pay for each click a customer makes on their hotel offerings.

This search engine positioning means it is not worried about popular newcomers such as Airbnb who could threaten the likes of Expedia. Trivago sees Airbnb as an opportunity to open up a slew of freshly accessible inventory, Schroemgens said.

The business makes most of its revenue outside Europe. Its number one market is the US, followed by the UK, which made up around 12 per cent of the total share in 2015.

Get the full story at City A.M.

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

Expedia doesn’t expect long-term effects from suspended travel ban

February 13, 2017

Speaking during the company's most-recent financial results call on Thursday afternoon, Khosrowshahi said, "We have seen an effect on trading on a short-term basis. The weekend of the executive order, we certainly saw a negative effect on trading."

The president signed an executive order temporarily banning citizens from seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the U.S. on Jan. 27. The order was suspended by a court earlier this month, a ruling upheld Thursday by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco. Trump later told reporters at the White House that he would appeal the decision, according to published reports.

Though Expedia's stock was negatively affected that weekend, it does not appear to have had a larger impact thus far, Khosrowshahi said.

Get the full story at Travel Weekly

Read also "Expedia revenue rises 23% as bookings increase"

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

How Airbnb stopped playing nice

February 13, 2017

On December 30, 2013, only a day before a six-year-old girl named Sophia Liu was hit and killed by an Uber driver in San Francisco, Elizabeth Eun-chung Yuh, a 35-year-old South Korean native from Ontario, Canada, died of carbon monoxide poisoning at an Airbnb in Taipei. She had traveled there with friends for a wedding and checked into an apartment downtown, where the landlord had recently enclosed an outdoor porch without properly venting the water heater or installing a carbon monoxide alarm.

According to a report in the China Post, her four friends in adjacent rooms were admitted to a local hospital and treated for carbon monoxide inhalation, but Yuh was found dead at the scene. A few weeks later, her father, Deh-Chong Yuh, tweeted at CEO Brian Chesky:

Unlike the Sophia Liu tragedy, the incident received no attention in the Western media. When I later asked Airbnb about it, a spokesperson emailed me a statement: “We were extremely dismayed when we learned about this incident and we immediately reached out to the guest’s family to provide our full support and express our deepest condolences. This was a tragic event and our focus has always been on supporting the family and taking action to help prevent this kind of incident from happening again. Additionally, we permanently removed the host from our community. Out of respect for our community members’ privacy, we generally do not comment on the conversations we have with them.”

Get the full story at Medium

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

We may have already reached peak “sharing” economy

February 13, 2017

Average monthly earnings on “labor” platforms such as Uber, which use technology to match workers (like drivers) to people who need a service (like riders), peaked in June 2014, according to new data from the JPMorgan Chase Institute, the research arm of JPMorgan Chase.

On “capital” platforms such as Airbnb, which help people rent out assets like a car or spare room, the share of US adults participating has declined from the previous year.

On both types of online platforms, wages are growing more slowly as is overall participation. And retention is awful: 52% of people working for labor platforms quit within a year, and 56% of those on capital platforms vacate in the first 12 months.

“It doesn’t look like [gig work] is becoming more lucrative for people,” says Fiona Greig, co-author on the JPMorgan Chase Institute report. “As the labor force strengthens in general, more and more people have better options.”

Get the full story at Quartz

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

Google launches Hotel Rich Cards

February 13, 2017

He posted this on LinkedIn with details showing how the preview tool for structured data is showing the hotel rich cards and how the main mobile results are showing these rich cards in a carousel format without the AMP protocol.

Brad told Search Engine Roundtable "the new update on the listing now shows ratings and reviews and address." "This update more similarly aligns with the live recipe rich card," he added.

Get the full story at Search Engine Roundtable

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

The Future of Advertising: What Wharton learned from 200 marketing leaders

February 13, 2017

So in 2008, Catharine Hays teamed up with Wharton’s SEI Center for Advanced Studies in Management, founded the Future of Advertising Program at the Wharton School, and began assembling what would be a team of 200 advertising, marketing and academic leaders at organizations ranging from Facebook and Google to Tsinghua University and NPR.

Research from this who’s who of the advertising and marketing industry ultimately informed the publication of Hays’ book (with co-author Jerry Wind, Director, SEI Center for Advanced Studies in Management), Beyond Advertising: Creating value through all customer touchpoints.

In the book, she provides a perfect summation of the challenges facing our industry: “This book is for those who recognize that tremendous and far-reaching changes continue unabated in the field of advertising and marketing.”

Get the full story at MarketingSherpa

Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/the_future_of_advertising_what_wharton_learned_from_200_marketing_leaders

Data on its own isn’t enough, make it part of an organization’s culture

February 13, 2017

Data is one weapon that is playing an integral part in hotels’ quest to embrace customer-centricity, and combat several challenges, be it for taking on the sharing economy model/ private rentals or even capitalizing on the association with online intermediaries.

But this journey isn’t a straightforward one, considering the fact that it takes so many different systems to run a hotel, and collating, integrating disparate sources of data and turning all of this into actionable insight is easier said than done.

At a time when one remark on WeChat or a picture on TripAdvisor can spoil a hotel brand’s image, acting on this in real-time data – what was the operational issue, who was the customer etc. – can be of immense utility.

Get the full story at ChinaTravelNews

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

Guests are winning the battle over hotel bandwidth

February 13, 2017

Hotels continue to have their communications networks shaped by the preferences of today’s always-connected guest and the growing dependency of millennial travelers on their personal devices.

Seamless connection to the Internet and the guest’s most popular data/video applications are key, to ensure guest satisfaction and instill loyalty by delivering a simplified connectivity experience. In a recent study 52% of hoteliers put increasing guest engagement and loyalty as their top priority in 2017.* So the pressure is on to deliver on-demand bandwidth and lots of it.

There are several strategies that can help hoteliers take control back while still delivering exceptional guest experience.

Get the full story at Cloud5

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

Something in the Airbnb: hosts anxious as New York begins crackdown

February 12, 2017

Tatiana Cames, a host who advertised “shabby chic” apartments in Brooklyn to tourists and business travelers, was fined $5,000. Penalties will escalate if she continues renting. The fine was seen by one state assembly member as “just the beginning” of the crackdown.

New Yorkers who make money on the side by offering their apartments for short-term rental through Airbnb have declared themselves confused, unhappy and nervous.

“I’m not sure if it’s legal or not,” said Sierra Kraft, 30, who works for a nonprofit accreditation service and, via Airbnb, rents out her tiny one-bedroom apartment in an old tenement building on the Lower East Side in Manhattan. “I rent out my apartment when I go away on trips and my lease says I can have guests for under 30 days.”

Unfortunately, city and state laws say the opposite: Kraft is prohibited from renting out her place for less than 30 days and it’s illegal to advertise it on Airbnb or other home-sharing platforms.

Get the full story at The Guardian

Read also "How Airbnb stopped playing nice"

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

Expedia revenue rises 23% as bookings increase

February 10, 2017

The company said gross bookings rose 8 percent to $16.10 billion in the quarter ended Dec. 31, primarily driven growth in Expedia.com and Hotels.com.

Bellevue, Washington-based Expedia said domestic gross bookings increased 5 percent, while international gross bookings rose 13 percent.

The company's total revenue rose 23.2 percent to $2.09 billion, beating analysts' average estimate of $2.07 billion, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Get the full story at Reuters and Expedia (PDF 419 KB)

Read also "Expedia CEO's closing remark on earnings call: 'Hopefully we will all be alive to see the end of next year'" at CNBC

Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/expedia_revenue_rises_23_as_bookings_increase

GBTA: Business travel took $185 million hit because of ban

February 10, 2017

The ban went into effect via executive order on Jan. 27 and was blocked by a federal judge on Feb. 4. The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco on Tuesday heard arguments both for and against the ban, which applied to citizens of seven countries (Iraq, Syria, Somalia, Iran, Sudan, Yemen and Libya). On Thursday, the appeals court refused to reinstate the ban.

Meanwhile, continued uncertainty is a wet blanket on business travel, McCormick indicated.

"They can ultimately choose to reinstate the travel ban or uphold the lower court's ruling on the temporary stay, which would likely result in an appeal to the Supreme Court," said GBTA executive director Mike McCormick. "However, both scenarios result in a loss for the travel industry and the economy."

Get the full story at Travel Weekly

Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/gbta_business_travel_took_185_million_hit_because_of_ban

Airbnb buying Luxury Retreats for around $200M

February 10, 2017

The company is in the late stages of acquiring Luxury Retreats, an Airbnb-style service that focuses on high-end homes, for a price believed to be around $200 million, our sources say.

The potential deal for Luxury Retreats was first reported by Bloomberg, at a price of under $300 million.

Airbnb, one source notes, “is deeply interested in the company because of their extremely talented team with deep experience in the luxury segment. Their capability in the luxury is unrivalled and complimentary to the capabilities at Airbnb.” Homes on the platform include a villa owned by Francis Ford-Coppola in Puglia, Italy; and Richard Branson’s Necker Island.

Get the full story at TechCrunch

Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/airbnb_buying_luxury_retreats_for_around_200m

Marriott personalizes mobile app experience with new redesign

February 10, 2017

The new Marriott Mobile app is currently available on iOS, with an Android client in the works. The redesign is the product of extensive customer research and member feedback, and constitutes one strand of an ongoing service innovation strategy from Marriott, which will lean heavily on mobile.

“Hotel chains using mobile to, among other things, bypass check-in, order amenities and open their doors is a good way to ensure loyalty within a brand, as these additions are intended to be used within the higher security of a mobile app versus the mobile web,” said Marci Troutman, CEO of SiteMinis. “However, with these amenities being added it makes it tougher for any hotel brand who is lagging behind in technology to catch up to the brands who are locking in loyalty with more and more consumers as additional amenities are added.

“The potential for amenities is far from being reached on mobile for hotel brands since global saturation of mobile phones is well past the half way point, and still climbing. The uses for mobile around the globe are not even close to reaching their potential, in my opinion.”

Get the full story at Mobile Commerce Daily

Read also "Marriott reimagines its mobile app"

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

Why hotel marketers opt for Facebook’s Dynamic Ads for Travel

February 10, 2017

As discussed in our previous post, trying to use Dynamic Product Ads (DPA) for Travel is possible, but isn’t ideal due to the number of workarounds that have to be used to make campaigns work in a retail context. Yet, we still get the question from prospective clients, “Why switch to DAT?” especially when DPA is working at an acceptable level.

The answer is simple, Dynamic Ads for Travel allows for improved relevancy across ad interactions and this will lead to better customer experiences and results over time. Improving this step of the engagement with prospective customers will allow travel brands to improve awareness, trust, and ultimately loyalty.

Unlike DPA, DAT catalogs are able to leverage thousands of hotel properties seamlessly, integrating important hotel and travel related details such as location, rating, brand, and nightly and stay price, amongst many others. The roadblocks that DPA posed delayed the optimization process and could sometimes cause irrelevant content to be frequently displayed to potential customers.

Instead of relying on “hacks” to DPA catalogs, the hotel-specific catalogs and data structures within DAT simply allow for more campaign variability through different creative, ad types, placements, and booking windows.

Get the full story at Koddi

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

Google: What does a good website test look like?

February 10, 2017

Testing is the heart of creating a culture of growth - a culture where everyone on your team is ready to gather and act on data to make the customer experience better day by day.

But how do you run a good test? Is it just a matter of finding something you're not sure about and switching it around, like changing a blue "Buy now" button for a red one? It depends: Did you decide to test that button based on analytics, or was it a wild guess?

Assuming the former, a good test also means that even if it fails, you’ve still learned something. A bad test may make your website performance worse than before, but it’s even worse if you don’t take those learnings into account in the future.

Get the full story at Google Analytics

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

How to create a strong search strategy for your hotel

February 10, 2017

A strong SEM strategy can help you own the top of the search results page – which will help you drive bookings direct to your website.

Here we’ve shared our top tips for creating a search strategy that is competitive, agile, and delivers results.

- Protect your brand. As a hotel, it’s likely you’re competing with third-parties, who are bidding on your brand name to entice people to book on their website – rather than your site directly. Bidding on your own brand will help protect it, and you’ll see the return on investment in the direct relationship with customers.

Get the full story at Sojern

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

HeBS Digital achieved 2200% ROI and average direct distribution cost of 4.5% for its hotel partners

February 10, 2017

Through best-of-breed digital technology, consulting, and marketing, the direct online channel experts at HeBS Digital launched websites and multichannel digital marketing campaigns for hospitality and travel companies across the globe, including major hotel brands, luxury hotel and resort brands, golf and spa resorts, hotel management companies, meeting and conference venues, franchisees and independents. The websites all incorporate the right balance of excellent design, an award-winning smartCMS® website technology platform, robust merchandising capabilities and engaging visual and textual content, while providing an optimum user experience from top to bottom.

Based on the specific occupancy needs for each client, the team developed and launched robust digital marketing campaigns to engage, retain and acquire past and future guests with the goal of boosting direct bookings. The result? An average 2200% ROI and 4.5% distribution cost for its hotel partners*. Here are some notable standouts.

Get the full story at HeBS Digital

Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/hebs_digital_achieved_2200_roi_and_average_direct_distribution_cost_of_4.5

Guest expectations for complimentary hotel services and amenities increase

February 09, 2017

As room rates have climbed, guests’ expectations for complimentary services and amenities have increased. Topping most surveys of guest satisfaction are the offering of complimentary internet access and breakfast.

The offering of complimentary services and amenities by U.S. hotels is on the rise. From 2007 to 2015, hotel expenditures on complimentary food, beverages, in-room media, services, and gifts just within the rooms department increased at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 3.6 percent. For comparison purposes, all hotel operating expenses rose at a 1.1 percent CAGR during the same time period.

Much of the proliferation can be attributed to brand standards that mandate the offering of complimentary food, beverages, newspapers, internet, and other services and amenities. Most frequent travelers, especially those staying at properties within the lower-priced chain scales, have come to expect at least a free breakfast. At the upper-priced properties, an increasing number of frequent guest programs now provide complimentary internet access.

Get the full story at Lodging

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

European tourism shows modest growth in 2016

February 09, 2017

The most visited region in the world welcomed 620 million international tourist arrivals in 2016, a 2% increase compared to the same period in 2015[1].

According to the European Travel Commission's latest report, "European Tourism - Trends & Prospects", the majority of destinations reported healthy growth in the last months of 2016. Iceland remains the top growth destination (+40%) followed by the outstanding performance of Cyprus (+20%) and Slovakia (+19%) owing to improved air connectivity and off-season visitation. Bulgaria (+16%) also saw robust growth while other destinations such as Serbia and Portugal (both +13%) are increasingly becoming appealing for bargain hunters. On the contrary, safety and security concerns weigh down on visitor numbers in Turkey (-31%) and Belgium (-14%) while a strong Swiss Franc weakens Switzerland's tourism performance (-2%).

"European destinations acknowledge the need to remain competitive in a sector that is swiftly adapting to the diverse needs of travellers from both established and emerging markets. Only through increased commitment and cooperation from the European tourism authorities will Europe remain a competitive destination and will succeed in fostering inbound travel" said Eduardo Santander, Executive Director of ETC.

Europe's large source markets continue to drive growth

European travel remains heavily reliant on intra-regional demand. Several destinations reported double-digit growth from Germany and France, attributable to stable economic conditions in the Eurozone. In the UK, a weaker pound failed to deter travel demand, with almost one in two European destinations reporting double-digit growth from this market. Visitor arrivals from Russia are gradually improving with significant increases recorded in the Mediterranean and the Baltic destinations. Russian tourist flows are expected to grow throughout 2017 as the rouble strengthens.

US arrivals to Europe increased by 8% (some 27.4 million) in 2016 helped by a strong dollar, encouraging economic conditions and favourable airfares. However, it remains to be seen whether this trend will continue due to the new US administration's retrenchment from globalism. Overall, Chinese growth (+2%) has slowed down from 2015, as safety concerns dissuades travel to Europe.

Source: European Travel Commission

Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/european_tourism_shows_modest_growth_in_2016

New Sabre’s CEO outlines the company’s future path

February 09, 2017

The issue of incentives is never far from any discussion of ancillary sales, and Sean Menke noted a key difference in the mindsets of online agencies and brick-and-mortar operations.

“OTAs are interested in getting the transaction done,” he said. They are thinking about “how get their hooks into the customer.” Once they have reeled the customer in, they can start thinking about selling some extras.

Live agents, on the other hand, want to put their best product forward, complete with the personalized extras that will entice the customer. But that takes some extra effort, and the agent has to wonder, “What do I get for that?”

Menke believes that the way GDSs handle ancillary sales and other merchandising efforts will ultimately affect the broader issue of agency incentives. He wants agents to look at Sabre’s products and capabilities compared to the competition and “decide they are better off with our tools.”

Get the full story at Travel Market Report and Travel Weekly

Read also "Sabre reports fourth quarter and full-year 2016 results" at Sabre (PDF 850 KB)

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

Marriott uses interactive tools to drive Valentine Day bookings

February 09, 2017

A video on social media from Marriott is making the rounds for users to screen shot for a chance to win an ultimate “V-Day Dream Vaca.” The campaign is supported by advice from experts on how to get the most out of a Marriott rewards membership and a 50-point giveaway.

“Marriott Rewards Valentine’s Day social media campaign taps into our members’ passion for travel and drives engagement through a fun and addictive sweepstakes,” said Amanda Moore, senior director of social and digital marketing at Marriott International.

Marriott is going all out for Valentine’s Day on social in the hopes that consumers will book stays for the date-night holiday and sign up for its rewards. The hospitality brand is sharing a GIF on Twitter for followers to re-tweet.

Get the full story at Mobile Commerce Daily

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

Why the airlines need help from AI

February 09, 2017

The only thing about flying worse than getting through security checkpoints at the airport is being stuck in travel purgatory - forced to sleep on the floor at the terminal. When it comes to travel, unavoidable issues can come up. Whether it’s as minor as an IT problem or as significant as a blizzard or hurricane, crisis can strike in a matter of minutes, destroying plans and leaving travelers in the dark about their next steps.

When it comes to these kinds of travel emergencies, one of the biggest problems is a lack of direct communication. A couple weeks back, United Airlines grounded all of its domestic flights due to a “computer glitch.” The company announced this issue in a single tweet, forcing customers to voice their problems and utter frustration via social media. Twitter can be great for engaging with customers, but the platform can also open up a brand to a whirlwind of candid criticism, especially during a crisis. In United’s case, making social media the only communications channel ultimately made matters worse - leaving pertinent questions unanswered and customers unhappy.

Get the full story at VentureBeat

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

Deloitte predicts machine intelligence, not mere AI, as a big trend for 2017

February 09, 2017

The forest here is machine intelligence, or MI, according to Deloitte’s annual Tech Trends report, which was released today. Business spending on MI is forecast to reach $31.3 billion by 2019, according to IDC.

Deloitte’s report, Tech Trends 2017: The Kinetic Enterprise, describes AI as a subset of a larger, more important category of technologies (MI) that also include machine learning, deep learning, cognitive analytics, robotics process automation (RPA), and bots, to name a few. “Collectively, these and other tools constitute machine intelligence: algorithmic capabilities that can augment employee performance, automate increasingly complex workloads, and develop ‘cognitive agents’ that simulate both human thinking and engagement,” the report states.

Deloitte cites three factors driving the rise of MI:

- Exponential data growth: Corporations are awash — no, drowning — in data, and desperately need tools to analyze and act upon the information. Deloitte cites estimates that show the amount of collected data doubling every 12 months and reaching some 44 zettabytes in size by 2020.

- Faster distributed systems: Data is now paired with dramatic increases in computing power and speed and races through massive distributed networks that span the Internet of Things, all kinds of sensors, and embedded intelligence devices.

- Smarter algorithms: “MI algorithms have advanced steadily toward achieving cognitive computing’s original goal of simulating human thought processes,” the report states, and predicts their broad adoption over the next 18 to 24 months. Use cases will include optimization, planning, and scheduling; determining probabilities; and robotic process automation through bots, among other tasks.

Get the full story at VentureBeat

Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/deloitte_predicts_machine_intelligence_not_mere_ai_as_a_big_trend_for_2017

TravelClick and Weebly partner to deliver best-in-class web solution for global hoteliers

February 09, 2017

To respond to this need, TravelClick (“the Company”), a global provider of innovative, cloud-based and data-driven solutions, announced today a new strategic partnership with Weebly, a powerful and easy-to-use website and e-commerce platform that is utilized by 40 million entrepreneurs and small businesses around the world. This partnership will deliver an intuitive, responsive and easy-to-manage web solution for hoteliers to boost booking conversions.

“As a leader in hotel website design and development, TravelClick – named “Top Agency” at the 2016 Web Marketing Association WebAwards – understands the immense impact that a website has on a hotel’s overall success, as the Company has helped thousands of hotels around the globe to establish their online presence,” said Curtis Brewer, Senior Vice President, Reservations and Web Solutions, TravelClick. “By partnering with Weebly, we are marrying our digital hospitality experience, award-winning designs and innovative booking engine with Weebly’s premier website platform, powerful e-commerce and integrated marketing tools. This makes for a revolutionary offering that will offer a best-in-class solution for our customers.”

Get the full story at TravelClick

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

eRevMax offers attractive RateTiger packages at SATTE 2017

February 09, 2017

eRevMax is known for its stable solutions with 99% product uptime. While other companies struggle to offer continuous connectivity, eRevMax has invested in building a robust infrastructure to provide hoteliers with uninterrupted service over the last 15 years. The company offers excellent connectivity with over 300 online channels and provides 24x7 support. Leading hotel groups including Accor, Kempinski, Oberoi Hotels, Dusit Hotels, Carlton Hotel Singapore and Golden Tulip, among others, have been the company’s loyal customers over the years.

The 24th edition of SATTE is expected to have over 870 exhibitors and participants from over 40 countries. Almost all of Indian State Tourism Boards are expected to be present at the event which provides a perfect platform for the company to meet fraternity members and also showcase its newly launched hotel connectivity platform – LIVE OS.

Team eRevMax will be present at SATTE from 15 - 17 February 2017, Pragati Maidan in New Delhi, India.

Get the full story at eRevMax

Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/erevmax_offers_attractive_ratetiger_packages_at_satte_2017

Priceline to acquire Momondo Group for $550 million

February 08, 2017

The Priceline Group confirmed on Tuesday that it had signed a definitive agreement to acquire Momondo, with the deal expected to be completed later this year subject to regulatory approval.

Momondo Group chief executive, Hugo Burge, said: “This announcement heralds an exciting new chapter for our business and our teams.

“We look forward to becoming part of the Kayak family within The Priceline Group, and are very confident that the blend of brands and our different strengths will help us to jointly pursue what we both believe most passionately in – building products users love.

“Our business is in great shape across the 30-plus markets in which we operate, and we’re looking forward to the opportunity to build on that further.”

Get the full story at Travel Weekly UK

Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/priceline_to_acquire_momondo_group_for_550_million

Hotelbeds targets U.S market with Tourico Holidays acquisition

February 08, 2017

Commenting on the news, Joan Vilà, Executive Chairman of Hotelbeds Group said: “With the backing of Cinven and CPPIB we are entering the next phase of our development since becoming an independent company back in September.

“Therefore it gives me great pleasure to announce that Tourico Holidays will join Hotelbeds Group. Tourico Holidays has a well-deserved reputation for excellence and innovation that I have respected for many years. I look forward to working with its experienced leadership team.

“The proposed deal will enable us to enhance our footprint, especially in Tourico Holidays’ home market of North America whilst they will benefit from belonging to Hotelbeds Group´s global network. Together we will combine our best in class technology and distribution expertise for the benefit of both our hotel partners and clients.

“For the time being, both businesses will continue as usual, focusing on our top priority: providing the best possible service to our hotel partners and clients.”

Tourico Holidays’ CEO, Uri Argov added: “We´re very excited about what this deal can mean to the B2B travel industry. Tourico Holidays’ management team looks forward to bringing together these two great businesses in order to better serve our combined supplier and client base. At a cultural level, this deal is strong because our two organisations are both entrepreneurial, dynamic and high energy – and just like Hotelbeds Group, we´re passionate about what we do and focus hard on execution.”

Tourico Holidays will continue to operate as an independent business while a long term strategy is developed to find the most appropriate way to combine the businesses.

The transaction is subject to customary regulatory and anti-trust approvals.

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

Worldhotels acquired by Associated Luxury Hotels

February 08, 2017

The acquisition adds to Associated Luxury Hotels’ growing portfolio of Global Sales Organization (GSO) and hospitality services providers – the company already owns and operates Associated Luxury Hotels International (ALHI), the leading independent GSO serving the North American meetings and incentive marketplace for over 30 years. Like Associated Luxury Hotels’ ALHI, Worldhotels is a highly respected, leading global group consisting primarily of independent upper-upscale and luxury-level hotels and resorts and independent hotel brands around the world. Worldhotels’ primary focus is on the transient travel sectors, meetings and loyalty solutions. Associated Luxury Hotels and ALHI are headquartered in Orlando, Florida, U.S.A., and Worldhotels will remain headquartered and based in Frankfurt, Germany. As private operating companies, the terms of the acquisition have not been disclosed.

The acquisition represents a timely and unique opportunity to increase Associated Luxury Hotels’ competitiveness and profile with the addition of remarkably complementary, membership-based service offerings and a geographically diverse network. Worldhotels will remain focused on the individual business traveler (IBT), leisure and meeting sector solutions and expertise for its 75,000 rooms among 350 member hotels and resorts around the world. ALHI will continue focusing on the North American meetings, incentives, conventions and exhibitions (M.I.C.E.) marketplace for its membership of more than 250 luxury-level independent hotels and resorts totaling 138,500 rooms, plus their Global Luxury Alliance members across the globe. ALHI had already announced to its members that it plans to establish “ALHI boots on the ground,” augmenting its ALHI GSO sales team into Europe in 2017. Both ALHI and Worldhotels have been exploring means of expanding their geographic reach, talent pool, market penetration, and tactical deployment, making this strategic combination beneficial to both organizations and their memberships.

According to Associated Luxury Hotels Chairman, David Gabri, the company will operate ALHI and Worldhotels as separate divisions, initially keeping the memberships and operations of each organization separate as it evolves incremental benefits and synergy to each. Based on the unique market positioning of individual hotels and resorts within Worldhotels, some select member hotels and resorts may be invited into the ALHI membership portfolio for the benefit of the customers and accounts around the world. Worldhotels’ portfolio, like ALHI’s, features city center business hotels, historic grand landmark hotels, lifestyle hotels, boutique hotels and exquisite resorts. Most of Worldhotels’ member hotels and resorts are outside of America, with major concentrations in Europe and Asia-Pacific regions.

Get the full story at Worldhotels

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


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