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IHG launches 2017 trends report on the ‘Age of I’

January 18, 2017

IHG’s research identifies four paradoxes that are driving the decisions customers make in a landscape constantly changing through advances in technology. In this environment, customers do not want either/or solutions: they want the best of both worlds where the best trade-off is no trade-off. The four paradoxes are:

- The Paradox of Separate but Connected: Seeking a constant belonging with people, brands and places, while also seeking individuality and the desire to communicate uniqueness of self

- The Paradox of Abundant Rarity: A desire for luxury to be both scarce and available

- The Paradox of Seeking a Better Me and a Better We: Seeking personal self-improvement, while seeking public, civic or global improvement

- Do It Myself and Do It for Me in My Way: A desire to be in control while not being the controller

Global brands must address these paradoxes through being locally relevant and personally differentiating. IHG has identified six best practices through which brands can create experiences that strengthen customer relationships and grow brand loyalty.

Richard Solomons, Chief Executive Officer, IHG, commented: “Technology has changed the way we behave in our daily lives. This has had a direct, and fundamental, impact on business. Global brands need to address the complex, sometimes opposing needs of today’s customers in order to fulfil their expectations.

Delivering a superior guest experience is a key focus for IHG. Building on the theme of this year’s IHG Trends Report, we have recently reached an important milestone for IHG® Rewards Club, which now has 100 million members. The largest hotel loyalty programme in the industry is truly global and offers the benefits of a powerful membership community, whilst also providing a personalised experience for members whenever they stay at an IHG hotel.”
The six best practices are:

1. Aim for Integration Rather than Balance: Balancing conflicting customer needs is not enough; a better holistic experience needs to be created through the integration of these opposing needs

2. Use Needs-driven Occasion-based Segmentation for Superior Business Management: Segmentation is not solely a marketing tool, but needs to be a core part of a company’s thinking

3. Communicate with Conversation: Brands must listen to customers to understand their needs and communicate with them in a way that makes the experience more meaningful to them as individuals

4. Manage the brand’s multi-dimensionality: A brand must include relevant and differentiating features as well as functional, emotional and social benefits. The combination of these builds a distinctive brand character

5. Develop ambidextrous brand business teams: A brand needs teams that include divergent thinkers, with individual strengths and passions, who can also work in an integrated manner to create the cohesive initiatives that drive brand success

6. Address the Paradox of Brand Control: Businesses must not give up control of the brand to the external world, yet they must allow the consumers have their say and help influence the brand’s reputation

The 2017 IHG Trends Report is the fifth in a series of reports that share insights into the changing world and provide best practices to help make brands fit for the future. The insights it contains are based on a series of related studies spanning a five-year period and involving nearly 40,000 interviews with travellers across the globe.

Since the first report in 2013, the series has examined developments including the transition from brand experiences to brand relationships in the hospitality sector; delivering global, local and personalised brand experiences; the growing importance for companies to build both brand and organisational trust and how to make membership meaningful at a time when loyalty is becoming ever more important to many industries.

The 2017 IHG Trends Report has been compiled in association with IHG’s long-time partner, Arcature, and through using its own research and observations as well as a variety of external, third party sources.

For more information on IHG’s 2017 Trends Report please visit http://www.ihgplc.com/trends_report

Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/ihg_launches_2017_trends_report_on_the_age_of_i

2017 hotel RFP season gave some power back to buyers

January 18, 2017

"We saw a really big shift to a buyer's advantage in most of the markets, much more so than we thought we would," said Eric Jongeling, director of Americas hotel solutions for Carlson Wagonlit Travel.

Year over year, CWT clients saw 1 percent to 2 percent average daily rate increases in both the U.S. and Canada. On the West Coast of the U.S., clients experienced ADR increases of 3 percent to 7 percent, which were still below CWT's initial projections. Rates in Latin and South America declined 2 percent to 4 percent year over year. Results in Europe and Asia/Pacific proved to be a mixed bag, as rate increases sat between 0 percent and 2 percent in both regions. Middle East hotel rates plummeted between 6 percent and 8 percent.

The season also provided a better climate than in previous years for small and midsize enterprises. "Volume still rules and large programs are able to see the highest level of discounts," Jongeling said, "but there's more of an opportunity for smaller types of programs to have their voices heard."

Get the full story at Business Travel News

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

Golden Week’s bookings increase reconfirms Chinese interest in European travel

January 18, 2017

"Europe has an enormous amount of culture and it is all close at hand," said David Tarsh, spokesperson for ForwardKeys. "But, what we are seeing is that the there seems to be a trend of Chinese being more adventurous in terms of the parts of Europe they are willing to travel to.

"More simply, there’s more to Europe than Paris," he said. "We had dreadful events that impacted France, Belgium and the surrounding areas that have subdued the Chinese market. Now, we’re seeing good growth in other parts of Europe such as Spain, which is seeing very healthy growth due to its being perceived as safer."

Although bookings have increased 68.5 percent, ForwardKeys cautions that this may not reflect a return to post-terrorism level interest, because the flight reservations may have been placed earlier than the year-ago.

Get the full story at Luxury Daily

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

The great loyalty rate debate

January 18, 2017

Right now, after years of sitting back whining while the OTAs outpace their growth, the global hotel brands have finally decided to get off their butts and do something about it.

In an effort to encourage customers to book direct, they decided to provide incentives in the form of not only lower prices but also enhanced services such as free Wi-Fi or ‘free’ breakfasts.

But as they’ve rolled out these initiatives, the brands quickly learned that challenging the OTAs is going to require a ton of new investment and many are currently questioning whether this explicit and hidden discounting approach is sustainable in the long term. Despite claims that all is rosy in the garden, many are coming under pressure from owners and investors alike to clearly demonstrate the effectiveness of their book-direct-in-return-for-incentives approach. Evidence to date suggests that most are struggling to do so.

Get the full story at Tnooz

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

How to plan your next vacation with a chatbot

January 18, 2017

In fact, there are now chatbots for all kinds of things, from weather updates to health advice, as the popularity of smartphone messaging apps driven by artificial intelligence grows.

Mobile messaging apps were used by 1.6 billion people in 2016, and will reach two billion in 2018, or 80 percent of all smartphone users, according to the digital data researcher eMarketer.

Another sign of their growing influence was evident last April, when Facebook announced it was opening its Messenger app to any outside company that wants to integrate its own bots into the chat program.

Get the full story at The New York Times

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

7 tips for mcommerce email success

January 18, 2017

Given how much is at stake for merchants, it is crucial to deliver email messages that meet not only expectations for formatting, but also present content and offers that are compelling and appeal to mobile shoppers.

To win opens, clicks and sales, merchants should adopt user-friendly best practices and entice mobile engagement with the relevant content.

Here are seven tips that guarantee to get merchants on the right path to mobile engagement success.

Get the full story at Mobile Commerce Daily

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

Five trends that will shape hotel investment in communication networks in 2017

January 18, 2017

The trends were identified by Cloud5, which provides advanced cloud-based data and voice solutions for more than 4,000 hotels touching millions of users – including end-to-end High-Speed Internet Access (HSIA), converged networks, cloud PBX/VOIP, network design and WAN/LAN management, and contact centers.

“Working with thousands of hotels, we have a unique perspective on what is driving communications investment – and what is likely to lead in the future,” said Mark Holzberg, Executive Vice President and Chief Commercial Officer at Cloud5. “The dominant theme in 2017 will continue to be today’s millennial traveler – the ‘always-connected guest,’ and the demands the traveler brings in a new era of mobile communications.”

When planning for the new year, hoteliers should consider how to architect efficient, cost-effective communications networks that integrate these features:

1. Personal Area Networks (PANs) – Guest rooms are evolving to become more like home technology environments, with networks supporting a wide range of personal devices – enabling personalized, efficient connectivity. That means networks must be organized around the individual “just like home,” allowing guests to interconnect different devices over Wi-Fi, while providing security to the hotel network. For 2017, it’s all about making it personal.

Get the full story at Cloud5 Communications

Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/five_trends_that_will_shape_hotel_investment_in_communication_networks_in_2

2016 year in review by TrustYou

January 18, 2017

- We released 40 new features and 3 brand-new products to make our tools even more powerful

- We launched exciting new partnerships

- We invested in our teams to better support our growing list of clients

- ..and so much more!

We've put together some of our favorite stories to share with you. Take a look back at TrustYou's best year yet in the 2016 Year in Review.

Get the full story at TrustYou

Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/2016_year_in_review_by_trustyou

The incredible shrinking hotel industry

January 17, 2017

Online travel agencies are a perfect example. Rather than impede the growth of OTAs by maintaining tighter controls on rates and inventory, hotels threw open their doors and continue to fuel their remarkable growth to this day.

The hotel industry is in a similar state of denial in regard to the latest threat to its well-being: the private rentals sector. And yet the threat is far greater. Whereas OTAs help to fill hotel rooms, private rentals lure travelers away from hotels entirely. And their growth is probably unstoppable.

Vacation rentals have been around for decades, but in recent years the sector has moved from niche market to mainstream, expanding into urban markets and attracting both business and leisure travelers. The great disrupter has been Airbnb, which launched in 2008 and now reports over two million listings in 191 countries worldwide.

Get the full story at Reknown

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

Shiji acquires ReviewPro

January 17, 2017

Since signing its first clients in September 2009, ReviewPro has grown from a boot-strapped start-up to one of the fast-growing companies in the HotelTech space worldwide. Today, the company has more than 30,000 hotel clients across all segments of the industry, including brands such Meliá Hotels International, The Ascott Limited, Kempinski, Red Lion Hotels and citizenM.

ReviewPro’s founders and management team will continue to lead the company as it scales its global growth plan and the roll-out of new products and services. The company’s products include Online Reputation Management (ORM) and Guest Satisfaction Surveys (GSS), which enable savvy hoteliers to increase guest satisfaction and revenue.

“I am very pleased to welcome ReviewPro into the Shiji family of companies, said the companies Chairman, Mr. Li Zhongchu. ReviewPro is a great fit into our strategy to Go Platform and Global. We are excited to work with the team at ReviewPro as we continue our commitment to expanding internationally by offering the hotel industry leading products, technologies, and services.”

Get the full story at ReviewPro

Read also "hetras acquired by China’s Shiji"

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

Priceline founder raises US$50m for new venture

January 17, 2017

Jay Walker, the founder of Priceline.com, has raised US$50 million for Upside.com, a website that tries to find discounts for small business travelers by suggesting alternative travel routes and accommodation and bundling flights and hotels together. The financing values Upside at more than US$200 million and includes investments from marketing tech company Red Ventures and investment firm Leucadia National Corp.

When travelers book on Upside, the company's algorithm offers six different combined flight and hotel options that ask the customer if they're OK leaving 30 minutes earlier or later, connecting through a different city, or staying at a hotel three blocks further away than they'd requested. If the traveler is fine with the change, Upside rewards them with a 10 per cent to 15 per cent discount and a gift card from retailers like Amazon.com Inc or Nike Inc.

"You have these small different levels of flexibility," Mr Walker said in an interview. "Nobody has ever shown you the value of that flexibility." Online travel is all about finding the most efficient ways to push customers to specific booking sites or hotels. When Upside suggests an alternative, it's usually with a hotel they have a deal with, and that's how the startup makes money. Walker has agreements with 1,200 hotels, but he declined to say which brands.

Get the full story at The Business Times

Read also "Priceline founder launches new company aimed at business travelers"

Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/priceline_founder_raises_us50m_for_new_venture

How Expedia uses big data to find you the cheapest airfares

January 17, 2017

If you’re a standard traveler, you book a ticket when you’re ready and don’t spend too much time thinking about the price or duration as long as you get where you’re going. If you’re a first class passenger or a frequent flyer, you’re ready to go whenever and wherever, so prices don’t hold you back, especially if you have a large amount of miles or points to cash in.

But if you find yourself fitting into the deal-seeker category, you want to know you’re getting the best price before you make a purchase. You’re also probably aware that everyone on an airplane has likely paid a vastly different price for their seat-even if they’re right next to you.

The fluctuation and unpredictable nature of airline tickets is ridiculous and airline companies have more than few tricks up their sleeves for dictating what price you end up paying. How are you supposed to know when to buy a ticket, especially when the price could drop by a significant amount just a few days after you purchased yours?

Get the full story at Paste Magazine

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

Hotel leaders advance customer experience

January 17, 2017

Perhaps the most important way executives uncover new innovative customer models is by learning from other industries. In the hospital and hotel industries, there is a unique crossover and opportunity to learn new ways to advance the customer experience. No surprise that the word ‘hospital’ is at the core of the word "hospitality."

On December 6, 2016, Forbes held a roundtable to explore the sister industries. Participating from the hotel industry was Jolyon Bulley, Chief Operating Officer, InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG), who said:

We realize fundamentally we are in the sleep business. And it comes down to the selection of mattresses, the linen cleanliness, the lighting, noise in the room and outside the room, the ambiance, and getting pillows right so each person has the perfect pillow for them. So we’ve gone through this incredibly forensically over the last couple of years, and launched a multi-brand platform that we call the “IHG Way of Sleep.”

Get the full story at Forbes



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

7 trends that will change social media in 2017

January 17, 2017

1) Live video content will become even bigger.

Live video content is on the rise -- in fact, 14% of marketers experimented with it in 2016, according to Social Media Examiner, and 43% plan to use interactive video this year, according to new survey data from Wyzowl.

While there are a ton of streaming sites and platforms out there, both Periscope and Facebook Live are among the most popular -- and they have the numbers to prove it.

In its 2016 annual recap, Periscope noted that users watched 110 years of live video every day using the app. And just this New Year’s Eve, live streaming on Facebook reached record-breaking numbers around the globe.

Get the full story at HubSpot

Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/7_trends_that_will_change_social_media_in_2017

Common pitfalls of Google Analytics campaign tracking

January 17, 2017

Let’s look at campaign tracking with Adobe Analytics for just a moment. It will help you appreciate the simplicity of Google’s method when we get there. Campaign tracking is one of the major differences between the two analytics systems. In Adobe Analytics, you add one campaign variable to your URL, such as http://www.site.com/?cmpid=123. You then upload attributes about that ID via a spreadsheet into the back end of the Adobe Analytics. The beauty of this is that you can change this uploaded information at any time, as well as add new attributes. When those changes are uploaded, they are retroactive to that ID. The downside is that it can be a time-consuming process. It can also be a little overwhelming to some if the campaign attributes aren’t set up correctly, or have turned into Gremlins that seem to keep breeding.

In contrast, with Google Analytics, you use three mandatory campaign attributes within the URL (source, medium and campaign name) and have the option of two others. The upside of this method is that there is no additional work to do – you put the tracking parameters in the landing page URL, and you’re done. Google Analytics reads the value of those parameters and uses them to populate data in the reports.

Get the full story at Fuel

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

Hotel channel management: What benefits and features should you look for?

January 17, 2017

In order to be successful, book out as many rooms as possible, and continue to grow your hotel property and build your business, you need to work with distribution agents in order to promote your hotel and earn new bookings.

In order to effectively manage your expansive online distribution, you need a hotel channel management tool.

Hotel channel management is the process of managing distribution channels and opening your booking process up to a wide number of distribution agents.

Get the full story at SiteMinder

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

Will Facebook Recommendations create a new channel for hotel bookings?

January 16, 2017

Facebook has recently launched a new tool to help users discover new experiences, things to do, events, and services based on suggestions from their friends. After writing a post, Facebook now switches on a new “Recommendations” feature that lets others know they’re looking for advice.

Comments from friends appear in the original post and are also featured within a dynamic map. Each time friends mention a recognized place, the map then expands to include this extra information. If a recommended business has a Facebook Page, the tool automatically features their Page within the comments.

Along with this tool, Facebook has also launched a new set of call-to-action buttons that businesses can use on their Facebook Page, providing customers with the ability to request extra information, receive quotes, and place orders.

Get the full story at Travel Tripper

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

Why Expedia’s stock is ready to soar

January 16, 2017

That should mean its cash flow will surge in the next couple of years, according to an article in last week’s Barron’s Magazine. Barron’s thinks the online travel agent’s stock could jump 25% in a year.

Expedia has been buying competitors like Orbitz and HomeAway in recent years, but CEO Dara Khosrowshahi is now looking to “focus on organic growth,” according to the story. Free cash flow -- the cash generated by the company after expenses -- could more than double by 2020, analysts predict.

Expedia is also benefiting from the trend of people booking rooms on their smartphones, often using the Expedia app. When customers book directly like that, Expedia doesn’t have to pay to advertise the hotel rooms in its inventory on third-party sites like TripAdvisor or Google.

Get the full story at Barron's

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

Booking.com taps Bangkok for customer service centre

January 16, 2017

Oliver Hua, Booking.com's managing director for Asia-Pacific, said the top five destinations for Thais using Booking.com in the past few years were Japan, Italy, Spain, Myanmar and Cambodia.

The opening of Bangkok's customer service centre at G Tower on Rama IX Road will benefit Thai customers the most, followed by Chinese tourists, expats living in Bangkok and tourists from nearby countries.

"We decided to open this contact centre in Bangkok because demand for Thai language support from customers and partners grew significantly," Mr Hua said.

Get the full story at the Bangkok Post

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

London hotel sector bounces back

January 16, 2017

December marked London’s highest year-over-year RevPAR increase in the past 52 months (since the London Olympics in 2012).

While this performance growth is compared with a weak December 2015, when London hotels experienced a downturn in performance following the terror attacks in Paris, December 2016 marked London’s highest actual occupancy level for any December on record.

Get the full story at Travel Daily UK

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

Mobile loyalty programs are the new modern currency

January 16, 2017

Loyalty sits at the heart of this relationship. It is the ever-present and beloved loyalty programs, which often rule the choices made when it comes to picking airlines, grocery stores, movie theaters, fast food retailers and coffee providers.

Nowadays, we find people making the same loyalty-driven choices when it comes to payment solutions – Walmart, Starbucks, Chase Payments, Visa Preferred, Apple Pay, Samsung Pay and Android Wallet. There is a plethora from which to choose.

According to Forrester Research analyst Thomas Husson, “[Customers] are not specifically demanding new mobile payment offerings. Having access to loyalty program points and rewards within a mobile wallet is the No. 1 feature they are interested in.”

Get the full story at the Mobile Marketer

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

Four trends that will reshape marketing in 2017

January 16, 2017

And the shift to mobile continued to gain steam, with everything from ordering dinner to booking a vacation now done on smartphones and tablets.

Marketers are racing to keep up, and 2017 is about to bring more changes. Here are four trends I see shaping marketing in the coming year:

1. Brands will look to chatbots to stay useful and relevant

Chatbots are an exciting prospect, but brands need to provide relevant and useful information to use this channel successfully. Consumers are growing weary of so many messaging touch points, and chatbots need to show real value to be welcomed in.

Get the full story at Marketing Land

Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/four_trends_that_will_reshape_marketing_in_2017

Segmentation strategies help Asia hotels prepare for unknown

January 16, 2017

Hotels in Asia were for most of 2016 playing for volume, trying to balance demand with an ever-increasing supply of inventory. STR Global reports show there was a steady and healthy growth of hotel occupancy in Asia. The region started the year at 66.1% in January, and by October, occupancy had built to 71.3%. However, ADR did dip 0.4 percent to $103.77.

That is why, looking ahead to 2017, many hoteliers say they will be focusing on rate growth.

Because one size never fits all when it comes to hotel room rates – nailing down who gets what price and why can be an intensive and complicated exercise – especially without the right tools and tactics. Hence a well-designed (and frequently updated) hotel segmentation strategy is necessary to take the guesswork out of this crucial first step in revenue management.

Get the full story at Duetto

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

No more spaghetti: Where hotel technology must go in 2017

January 16, 2017

The spaghetti chart illustrates the reality of the situation. The PMS continues to be at the core, but channel management, revenue management, reservations software, CRMs, mobile technology, and the multitude of other tech pieces that come together to offer a whole administrative and guest experience swirl around the PMS haphazardly.

Hoteliers struggle just in managing the technology. Making good sense of highly valuable data buried deep in the spaghetti is virtually impossible.

Get the full story at SnapShot

Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/no_more_spaghetti_where_hotel_technology_must_go_in_2017

Mobile fuels online dominance in European travel bookings

January 13, 2017

According to a new report from travel industry research authority Phocuswright - European Online Travel Overview Twelfth Edition - offline channels captured 51% of European travel bookings in 2016. But despite the continuing importance of traditional travel agencies in several countries, European travelers are increasingly using online channels - including mobile devices -- to book their trips, and the offline share will slip steadily in the years to come.

"There's no doubt that traditional travel agents and tour operators still represent a key distribution channel in Europe, particularly in markets such as Italy and Spain," says David Juman, Phocuswright director, research and editorial. "But it's getting tougher for them to compete, as online platforms offered by suppliers and powerhouse intermediaries like Booking.com and Expedia become ever more sophisticated, and consumers grow more comfortable researching and purchasing travel products with their smartphones."

According to the report, by 2020, the offline share of travel bookings will slip to 42%, while both OTA and online supplier bookings will gain significant market share. Online direct bookings will advance most dramatically, as suppliers across all segments and markets intensify their efforts to attract consumers directly, through loyalty programs, robust mobile offerings, deals and other incentives.

Get the full story at Phocuswright

Read also "Expedia Report: Mobile travel booking will only get bigger"

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

Marriott’s Mobile Key app adds Mobile Requests

January 13, 2017

Marriott Rewards will introduce a new version of its Marriott Mobile App this month. Mobile Key—which allows loyalty program members to check-in via the app, bypass the front desk and use their mobile devices to enter their rooms—is currently available at 25 properties and will expand to more than 500 globally.

Additionally, the updated app will offer destination-specific articles from Marriott's digital magazine customized to travelers based on previous hotel searches and upcoming trips. A Marriott spokesperson said the company will continue to update app features throughout 2017.

Get the full story at Business Travel News

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

World-renowned futurist reveals the hotel of the future

January 13, 2017

Canton, a former Apple Computer executive, author and social scientist, worked in conjunction with Hotels.com, to present the Hotels of the Future Study at a recent conference in San Francisco. In the study he describes hotels with everything from RoboButlers and virtual reality entertainment to hotel restaurants based on gourmet genomics and the emergence of neurotechnology to make sleep more refreshing.

Canton, who has advised three White House Administrations and over 100 companies, believes these megatrends will shape the future of the hotel experience and that the RoboButler is the change we will most likely see first. Although, he also notes that plans are already underway for a supersonic hyperloop route from Los Angeles to New York City.

Canton kindly agreed to give Forbes readers a more in-depth look at his thinking. In this article he weighs in on what all of this will look like and why we should embrace the next wave of technology.

Get the full story at Forbes

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

Kayak enters India

January 13, 2017

Having pioneered the category globally, the company helps travelers get the information they need before they book and offers tools and features to assist them throughout their trip, Kayak Director Southeast Asia and India Imbert Fung told PTI here.

He said the website and mobile app search hundreds of travel sites at once so that travelers have the information they need to make the best decisions. KAYAK will help travelers to search and compare prices with ease and avail themselves of services like price alerts, price forecasts and free itinerary management with trips, without having to go to multiple websites.

In India, the company will initially offer information of hotels, flights, and car rentals, he said. "However, going forward, as we grow in the country and depending on the demand we will also introduce other global offerings like cruises, packages, and activities," he added.

Get the full story at Deccan Chronicle

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

Turkish competition board fines Booking.com

January 13, 2017

Deciding unanimously that due to the provisions of the price and quota parity and the best price guarantee practice subject to the assessment of the contracts signed by the company with the accommodation facilities, the said contracts are in the scope of the regulation, the board decided to impose an administrative fine of TL 2.5 million on Booking.com B.V. in accordance with the relevant clauses of "Regulation on Fines to Apply in Cases of Agreements, Concerted Practices and Decisions Limiting Competition, and Abuse of Dominant Position" through the annual gross incomes determined by the board at the end of fiscal year 2015.

Get the full story at Daily Sabah

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

Book an Uber ride directly in Google Maps

January 13, 2017

Google Maps’ ride services design is a more mature version of its old one. Instead of returning a simple list of ride options in your area, the new design includes a map which displays cars near you, just as if you were using the ride service’s native app. In addition, Maps will also highlight promotions when applicable.

In fact, using Uber through Google Maps comes with an added bonus that Uber doesn’t provide. While on the way to your destination, Maps will pull up pertinent information such as menus, hours, and anything else you may need to know.

Google Maps has a number of other ride service partners across the globe, but currently Uber is the only one that can be booked and paid for within Maps itself.

Get the full story at Search Engine Journal

Read also "New year, new look: ride services mode gets an update" at Google

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

Advertising: Facebook vs Google Adwords, vs Bing. Which is better for my small business?

January 13, 2017

For small businesses who have small business sized budgets, the three platforms that are generally recommend are Facebook, Google Adwords and Bing Ads. Each of these networks has its pluses and minuses, depending on what your advertising goals are. Here is some advice to help you cut through the noise to allow your advertising efforts to be heard.

Facebook, has the highest number of user sessions globally; literally billions of people use Facebook daily. What sets Facebook apart from both Adwords and Bing, is that it really allows advertisers to find customers based on their interests and online behavior. For many small businesses, Facebook offers the best value-for-the money options with a potentially BIG return on investment.

Facebook ads have very high visual appeal as they show up in the news feed of a potential customer. These visual ads make Facebook great for branding and creating inspiring ads which offer a great appeal for those potential customers to take action. Facebook also allows you to segment your audience in detail as Facebook knows a lot about each user. It is the segmentation ability that enables advertising to market based on interest, beliefs, ideologies, ages, values that truly enable advertising a global market at their fingertips without having to have a high dollar advertising budget.

Get the full story at Blizzard Internet Marketing

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

Compare your hotel website design: Does your current website match up to the best?

January 13, 2017

One of the best ways to do this is to compare your hotel website design with others. This allows you to discover hotel website design inspiration and decide what will work best for your property.

What are some of the best practices for hotel website design?

Implement an effective pattern into your hotel website design

The F-Pattern and the Z Pattern are two of the most common patterns that travelers follow when they are booking rooms on a hotel property’s website. The F-Pattern includes headings and subheadings that grab the attention of the target audience and encourage them to continue to scroll down the page. It can be a text-heavy pattern which can drive traffic away from the site if you do not capture the audience’s attention quick enough. The Z Pattern is typically followed on a page with lots of visual elements. The reader goes from the headlines to the visual elements and back to the sub-headings.

Get the full story at SiteMinder

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

How Starwood Hotels engages high-value travelers with timely ads

January 12, 2017

Finding the perfect hotel while planning a trip can be stressful for travelers. They spend hours researching hotels to make sure they're getting a great deal, yet more than two-thirds of leisure travelers are concerned that they're not making the right decision when booking a trip.1 For brands, the challenge is to break through the noise and get in front of these travelers with relevant, helpful information in those crucial "I-want-to-go" moments.
Related Story

Starwood Hotels noticed that many of its website visitors would browse through hotel amenities and use its booking calendar - but then leave without booking a room. To reconnect with these past site visitors as they looked for the perfect hotel, Starwood turned to remarketing lists for search ads.

With the help of DigitasLBi, its digital marketing agency, Starwood used RLSA to create remarketing lists of past site visitors and then bid more based on where customers left its site. The brand could then reach customers at different stages of consideration, from those simply browsing hotel locations to those ready to book.

Get the full story at Think with Google

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

Concur also sees Airbnb corporate bookings growing

January 12, 2017

Business travel management platform Concur has recently analysed some 50,000 of the expense transactions of business travellers from France, Germany and the UK.

It found that in the eight quarters between Q3 2014 and Q2 2016, $9.2 million was spent by companies in those countries on Airbnb properties.

UK corporates lead the way out of the trio of countries (accounting for two-thirds of the spend), following by France and Germany.

Get the full story at Tnooz

Read also "Business travel sharing economy booms in 2016"

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

Uber now suggests destinations based on your calendar

January 12, 2017

The integration works by suggesting your next meeting place as a one-tap destination option in an icon on the primary Uber app screen. It’s a third option alongside the usual “Work” and “Home” set locations, and will update automatically based on what’s coming up in your personal agenda. This also requires that you specify an exact location for meetings in your calendar itself, but with smart data field detectors these often get pulled in automatically with modern calendar integrations like Google’s on Android.

It’s a pretty convenient feature depending on how good you are at managing and keeping a calendar, but it’s also one more way you’re sharing data with Uber, so your comfort level may vary with that aspect of the integration. If you’re looking to enable it, just navigate to Settings within Uber and then select ‘Calendar Events’ to get the permission prompt.

Get the full story at TechCrunch

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

How Booking.com’s digital travel assistant planned our trip to Paris

January 12, 2017

If you currently use Booking’s app to reserve a room in one of six initial markets (Amsterdam, Paris, Dubai, Rome, Barcelona, and London), you’ll unlock a list of 30-50 local tours, activities, and attractions offering special discounts or the ability to skip the line to enter. To get into any of the venues, you just have to scan a QR code in the app that’s tied to your credit card. Since no one had reviewed the product yet, I was eager to test it out before it launches in New York and Orlando this year. So I used Booking’s app to find a room in Paris and blindly followed its list of curated Booking Experiences around the city for a few days.

Based on my dates, budget, and preferred arrondissement, Booking’s top-recommended stay was the chic, Christian Lacroix–designed Hôtel du Petit Moulin in the Marais neighborhood. After dropping my bag and admiring the room’s mirrored ceiling, I saw that the closest 'Experience' was a “skip-the-line fast entry” to the Centre Pompidou , 12 minutes away. But to access the pass- as well as other “skip-the-line” passes to the Louvre Museum and Palace of Versailles—I had to go to a ticket office 20 minutes away in the opposite direction.

I opted for passes to both the Pompidou and Louvre, and after a quick QR scan purchase, I breezed past the 35-minute line at the Pompidou and the 45-minute wait at the Louvre, saving an hour in all.

Get the full story at Condé Nast Traveler

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

Why artificial intelligence is the future of travel

January 12, 2017

A number of travel apps have begun to incorporate artificial intelligence, technology that allows machines to analyze large amounts of data and “learn” on their own, according to Greg Oates, senior editor at travel site Skift. The technology can help machines outperform traditional search engines and real humans (including travel agents) in speed and efficiency, he said. “The holy grail for travel brands today is personalizing the guest experience,” he said. “Artificial intelligence really helps with that because it can crunch so much data and connect dots around users so much faster than traditional search.”

Of course, hotels and travel apps have long used algorithms to adjust prices and offer vacation packages. But artificial intelligence allows these search engines and apps to go a step further by gleaning more information on your online behavior and building a more complex profile of users by (in theory, at least) anticipating their needs, said consumer travel advocate Christopher Elliott. “They keep getting smarter and smarter and the only thing you have to do is give them permission, which often means giving them access to all your personal data and telling them what you need and want,” he said. “But if you do you might save a lot of money.”

Get the full story at MarketWatch

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

Benchmarks: How much does Facebook advertising cost?

January 12, 2017

Thankfully, Facebook Marketing Partners like AdEspresso, SalesForce, and Nanigans regularly analyze social media advertising spend. While the benchmarks will not tell you precisely how much your Facebook ad campaign will cost, they might be great reference points for your consideration.

The team at AdEspresso seem to have the most up-to-date benchmarks at the moment. They studied over 100 million dollars of ad spend in 2016 Q3 and came up with a set of benchmarks for the current cost of Facebook advertising. Here are a few of their findings (the currency is in U.S. dollars):

- The average Cost Per Click (CPC) is about $0.35 globally and about $0.28 in the U.S.

- The average cost per like is $0.23 in the U.S.

- The average cost per like is $0.23 in the U.S.

Get the full story at Business2Community

Read also "Facebook Advertising 101 [Infographic]" at MarketingProfs.com and "Facebook updates how dynamic ads work" at Search Engine Journal

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

Report: Emerging technology in travel

January 12, 2017

In this report we identify and explore in-depth three areas of technological innovation that will impact not only hoteliers and their guests, but the entire travel industry:

- Connected Intelligence: The role of bots, robots and location beacons in travel

- Conversational Interfaces: Voice, messaging and the shift to new forms of communication

- Digital Realities: How virtual and augmented realities are changing the travel landscape

Download the report at Sabre Hospitality Solutions

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

HSMAI to honor HeBS Digital with nine HSMAI Adrian Awards, including two gold

January 12, 2017

The Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International (HSMAI) has recognized HeBS Digital for excellence in digital technology, innovation and marketing with nine Adrian Awards for 2016. Now in its 60th year, the Hospitality Sales & Marketing Association International (HSMAI) Adrian Awards is the largest and most prestigious global travel marketing competition.

“We are thrilled to accept nine awards in this year’s Adrian Awards competition, which honors the biggest and best accomplishments in hospitality digital marketing,” said Max Starkov, President and CEO of HeBS Digital. “Each year, these prestigious awards serve as a testament to the consistent success of our groundbreaking proprietary technologies and in-house creative and consultative talent to drive direct bookings and lower distribution costs for our clients. We share these awards with our clients who are true partners in our mission to push the envelope and succeed online.”

Get the full story at HeBS Digital

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

Airbnb’s influence on hotel cccupancy threatens industry profits

January 11, 2017

Additionally, though occupancy remained more than 1 percent higher in 2016 than in 2014, compression nights dipped 8 percent below 2014 levels. "This would suggest that there are other factors impacting hotels' ability to fill during busy times," the report states.

Because of the premium rates hoteliers can charge during periods of high occupancy, compression nights represent a significant source of profit for the industry. According to the report, compression nights comprised only 3 percent of total room nights last year but made up 8 percent of hotels' profits. Nights when occupancy was greater than 90 percent made up 11 percent of total room nights and generated 28 percent of hotels' profits.

But are Airbnb and its counterparts to blame for fewer compression room nights? The signs point to yes, according to Morgan Stanley. In another report—titled Who Will Airbnb Hurt More—Hotels or OTAs? ... One Year Later - Morgan Stanley found that Airbnb use rose from 12 percent of travelers in 2015 to 18 percent in 2016. That trend, the firm says, is expected to continue in 2017.

Get the full story at Business Travel News

Read also "Airbnb is becoming an even bigger threat to hotels, finds Morgan Stanley" and "The failure of hotel loyalty programs to defend against Airbnb, quantified"

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

Hotels.com launches virtual concierge

January 11, 2017

Currently, app users can access transportation through Uber; restaurant reservations through OpenTable in more than 20 countries, including the U.S.; food delivery through Delivery.com in the U.S. and Hungryhouse in the U.K.; and tours/activities through Groupon in the U.S. and U.K.

Hotels.com said its partners within Hotels.com Concierge are growing, and ticketing is coming soon.

Customers will see local services appear in the Hotels.com app the day their hotel stay starts, according to Hotels.com.

Get the full story at Travel Weekly

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

Kayak co-founder raises $15M for his travel startup Lola

January 11, 2017

Lola users interact with those agents through a chat-based interface, allowing you to book plane tickets, hotel rooms, rental cars and more. The app is supposed to learn your preferences over time and also help travelers deal with unexpected emergencies.

In a blog post shared with TechCrunch, English said that the company has plans to launch a new version of the service this spring — one that incorporates more self-serve features driven by artificial intelligence.

“We started Lola to create a level of personal service that few travelers can enjoy today, in essence, an entirely new class of travel,” English said. “That remains our goal. For ‘v2’ Lola, you can expect a first-of-its-kind, mobile experience and AI-assisted hotel recommendations.”

Get the full story at TechCrunch

Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/kayak_co_founder_raises_15m_for_his_travel_startup_lola

An in-depth look at Nautilus, Expedia’s natural language search engine

January 11, 2017

Expedia has been researching natural language processing for more than five years and completed version 1 of the patent-pending Nautilus travel search engine in 2012. Nautilus is composed of an NLP language parser and a probabilistic travel entity selector we call “SmartFinder.” Client applications pass Nautilus a natural language query (e.g. “Hotels in Bellevue, “Beach Hotels”, “Hotels near Space Needle in Seattle”, “Las Vegas”) and Nautilus returns ranked lists of travel entities, such as hotels and regions, that are most relevant to the query.

In July of 2012 Expedia launched “Semantha,” an internal employee hotel booking site powered by Nautilus. Semantha accepted natural language queries and displayed a ranked list of hotel results on a map view of the destination most relevant to the user query. The Nautilus team used Semantha telemetry and qualitative feedback for three years to continually test and improve the Nautilus search engine and build confidence in its ability to successfully handle real world natural language travel queries before launching it for external use.

Get the full story at Expedia

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

Travel brands in Japan target Chinese consumers before they head overseas

January 11, 2017

According to Ministry of Commerce in China, the number of outbound tourists from the country hit 120 million in 2015, and spent nearly RMB1.5 trillion during their travels, with roughly half of that money dedicated to shopping.

One of the beneficiaries of this newfound desire to see the world has been Japan, which a July 2016 survey by Hotel.com found was named one of the top destinations to visit by Chinese travelers.

In 2015, nearly 5 million Chinese tourists visited Japan, double the 2.4 million that visited the previous year, according to the Japan National Tourism Organization (JNTO). These visitors each spent an average of ¥284,000 ($2,346) during their stays, according to the JNTO.

Get the full story at eMarketer

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

The evolution of the customer journey in 2017: Optimizing moments that matter

January 11, 2017

Until recently, we were able to map out the path that the typical customer would take when making a buying decision or searching for information to inform that decision. We could identify exactly how and when they would move to the next stage of the buying cycle and what triggered that behavior.

However, the days of identifying a linear “buyer’s journey” are giving way to a much more challenging mandate as the customer journey becomes increasingly fragmented.

Here’s a close look at the shift from the linear customer journey, and the new model that will be guiding your marketing efforts.

Get the full story at Marketing Land

Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/the_evolution_of_the_customer_journey_in_2017_optimizing_moments_that_matte

How TripAdvisor’s algorithm works & how to rank higher

January 11, 2017

Last year, TripAdvisor made changes to their Popularity Ranking algorithm in an attempt to improve fairness and accuracy. Due to the speed at which travelers are sharing their experiences on the site, TripAdvisor had seen many new properties skyrocket to the top of the rankings based on a relatively small number of 5-bubble reviews. Over time, these “fast risers” would settle into more stable, accurate rankings as more reviews were submitted. However, during this transition period, consumers may not have been seeing the most accurate rankings for their destination. So TripAdvisor changed things.

Like all tech giants, TripAdvisor won’t divulge all the details of how their algorithm works, but we do know the 3 main factors that determine your TripAdvisor ranking.

Get the full story at Leonardo

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

Barceló Hotels & Resorts signs with SiteMinder

January 11, 2017

The win adds nearly 33,000 hotel rooms to SiteMinder’s distribution network one week ahead of FITUR, the world’s tourism trade fair for the Ibero American markets, where SiteMinder will be exhibiting for the third consecutive year.

Speaking on the decision to adopt SiteMinder’s technology, Barceló Hotels & Resorts’ head of e-distribution, Albert Santin, says, “SiteMinder has provided the peace we were looking for to complete our distribution strategy. Their expansive partner network gives Barceló direct access to new, important markets, and greater visibility in existing ones, to significantly lower our cost of acquiring guests. And, I know SiteMinder will only continue to grow to provide us even greater direct business with the world’s leading distribution channels.

“Additionally, as we look to grow our portfolio to 200 hotels in the next five years, having the ability to centralise as many bookings as we can now means we can have greater control as we scale, be significantly more efficient, and make better decisions that drive revenue.”

Get the full story at SiteMinder

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

Expedia closes Venere.com

January 10, 2017

Acquired in 2008, Venere.com now redirects consumers seeking to book a hotel to one of Expedia’s flagship brands, Hotels.com. In restructuring Venere, Expedia opted to continuing running Venere’s business to business operation in Italy for travel agents, which offers them 8 percent base commission on hotel bookings.

Expedia’s terminated Venere’s consumer business in December but it wasn’t widely reported.

Venere, like Booking.com, operated what’s called an agency model. Both companies paid a commission to hotels, and consumers didn’t have to prepay for their bookings but instead paid upon arrival.

Get the full story at Skift and Tnooz

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

Hilton joins TripAdvisor Instant Booking marketplace

January 10, 2017

Hilton and TripAdvisor announced a partnership to make Hilton's portfolio of 13 world-class global brands accessible in the TripAdvisor instant booking marketplace.

Hilton, comprising nearly 789,000 rooms across 104 countries and territories, is the latest major hotel company to join TripAdvisor instant booking. The partnership will expand TripAdvisor's instant booking inventory and give travelers even more room options when shopping for lodging on the world's largest travel site*.

"At Hilton, we're always reimagining the experience for our guests and looking for new ways to make travel easier," said Danny Hughes, senior vice president and commercial director, Hilton. "We are committed to working with booking partners, like TripAdvisor, who respect our desire to develop direct relationships with our guests, present our hotels in a fair and equitable manner, and increase the value of both our brands."

Get the full story at Yahoo! Finance

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

Airbnb leads $13 million investment into restaurant booking service Resy

January 10, 2017

While Airbnb is better known as the peer-to-peer platform that connects travelers with local accommodation around the world, the company has been pushing out into related experiential services too. Back in November, it introduced local experiences called “Trips” to its app, part of which involved a partnership with Resy that allowed Airbnb users to book local restaurants without leaving that app.

So Airbnb’s investment is building on an existing partnership between the two companies, and in truth it would not be entirely surprising if Airbnb ultimately acquired Resy outright should their partnership prove fruitful.

“Many of our most-treasured travel memories come from experiencing the local food,” explained Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky. “Helping people find and book incredible local restaurants is a key part of us moving beyond just accommodation to focus on the whole trip. We can’t think of a better partner than Resy to help make this possible.”

Get the full story at Venture Beat

Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/airbnb_leads_13_million_investment_into_restaurant_booking_service_resy

The impact of artificial intelligence on the travel industry

January 10, 2017

Customer service can make or break a hotel’s reputation. Consequently, AI’s ability to pre-empt and predict exactly what the customer needs and wants is one reason why hotels are cottoning on to the idea.

Hilton is one of the most well-known examples, last year teaming up with IBM’s Watson to create Connie – a robot that provides help and information to hotel guests during their stay.

Connie works by drawing on information from Wayblazer – a travel advice tool that also uses Watson – as well as human speech. Essentially, the more people talk to Connie, the more it will be able to interpret and analyse natural language.

Get the full story at Econsultancy

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

Top 10 hotel trends for the future

January 10, 2017

Here are the 10 trends they identified for the future of travel:

1. RoboButlers
Robot butlers or concierges can be programmed with special skills, languages and information to help improve the hotel experience for guests. They’ll be able to do everything from greeting guests at the airport and providing advice on the destination and hotel to providing companionship and concierge services.

2. Made-to-order hotels
Hotels will be able to transform from one design to another based on consumer feedback. These crowdsourced hotels will use nanotechnology and machines that could be available in the next 20 years to assemble fixtures, lighting, interior design and menus.

Get the full story at Travel Market Report

Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/top_10_hotel_trends_for_the_future

How Google surveys hotel searchers

January 10, 2017

The first question that is prompted is: “What information are you looking for in regards to this hotel?”

What can Google gain from asking this question? Users search for hotels to get additional information: price, location, availability, amenities, reviews, details, nearby businesses, etc. By determining what those surveyed are looking for, Google can fine tune and tailor their user experience to show the most pertinent information to the users. If the majority of users surveyed say that they are looking for reviews, Google may be more inclined to show reviews higher in the page where they are more visible. Alternatively, if few users say details about the hotel is important, google may be motivated to rearrange the layout of the information presented to users to most effectively use the real estate of the web page.

Get the full story at Koddi

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

2017 will be the year of the hotel guest

January 10, 2017

Each year, we at TrustYou get out our Magic 8 Balls and fortune teller caps to see if we can predict the future of the hospitality industry. This year, we see a bright future for hotels and their guests. This prediction unveiled itself without any sort of magic, but rather by consulting with many of the major news publications, plus industry experts and sources. Read ahead to find out what key hospitality trends we expect for 2017.

Personalization Capabilities Improve

From booking details to traveler reviews, guests leave us little pieces of information about themselves throughout their journey. These data points make personalization possible, allowing hotels to build a customized experience for each of their guests. However, often times data points from the multiple stages of the guest journey are separately housed in different systems.

In 2017, hospitality software companies will band together to combine data points from multiple systems. This will allow hotels to benefit from the most intelligent guest data, all in one place. When levels of guest satisfaction pairs with loyalty status and contact details, hotels can build target communication plans to create a positive connection between hotel and guest.

Get the full story at TrustYou

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

GLH Hotels & ReviewPro reinforce partnership

January 10, 2017

When they saw a demonstration of the latest edition of the Guest Intelligence Suite, which includes Guest Satisfaction Surveys (GSS), and heard how other leading brands were using the insight to make operational and service improvements to drive higher guest satisfaction, GLH felt it was the perfect fit. They decided to replace their existing surveys provider with ReviewPro’s GSS, realizing the benefits of having all guest feedback together in one platform.

The GLH team’s ethos is all about making guests happy, which is reflected in feedback from customers. Since implementing the surveys last month, the hotels have received over 250 staff mentions, one of which said the night manager at the Marble Arch property was a “true hotel legend”. By sharing this feedback with the team, employees are motivated to go that extra mile to exceed guests’ expectations.

Get the full story at ReviewPro

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

TripAdvisor launches TripAdvisor Business Advantage

January 09, 2017

Beginning in January 2017, a new subscription product will be available for accommodations listed on the world’s largest travel site: TripAdvisor Business Advantage.

Business Advantage represents an evolution of our Business Listings subscription product, which originally launched in 2010. Business Listings were designed to help accommodations drive more results from their TripAdvisor pages. In working with our customers over the past several years, we’ve learned that they need a more holistic solution to unleash the full potential of TripAdvisor for their businesses. Based on their feedback and our own traveler data, we’ve developed Business Advantage.

Business Advantage will empower accommodations to better market themselves to potential guests, impact booking decisions, differentiate from competitors and measure and improve their online reputations. Its feature set will include Photo Tools, Promotional Features and a best-in-class Analytics Suite.

Get the full story at TripAdvisor

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

Room upgrades, free drinks and 3% off future bookings with Expedia’s new reward scheme

January 09, 2017

The program has three tiers of membership with everyone beginning on a basic level and having the opportunity to access more rewards when they spend more.

The loyalty program works in a similar way to other reward schemes: For every £1 spent on flight and hotel packages, car hire or other travel activities booked on Expedia and for every £1 per £5 spent on a flight bookings members will earn two points.

The points don't expire and can then be redeemed against bookings through the website. It's free to join and those who sign up will automatically be assigned a 'blue tier membership'.

Get the full story at This is Money

Read also "Expedia launch new loyalty scheme that could get you £200 off your next family holiday - but is it worth it?" at Mirror Online

Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/room_upgrades_free_drinks_and_3_off_future_bookings_with_expedias_new_rewar

TripAdvisor to close VirtualTourist travel guide site

January 09, 2017

Before the recent fall in activity, the numbers behind VirtualTourist had been reasonably impressive.

The site had some 1.3 million members, many of which had contributed to sharing 3.7 million photos and posted 1.8 million travel tips for over 70,000 locations around the globe.

It currently boasts around nine million unique users a month and facilitates “dozens” of live meet-ups each week around the globe.

Get the full story at Tnooz

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

Where sustainable travel is headed in 2017

January 09, 2017

“When it came to hotels, sustainability was once associated with eco-resorts or African safari camps, where they’ve been working to protect local wildlife for years,” Albert Herrera, the senior vice president of Global Product Partnerships for Virtuoso, said. “But today, it’s become the defining element of both trendy urban properties and stylish beach resorts.”

More than a dozen such hotels are scheduled to open this year, according to Mr. Herrera, including the February debut of 1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge in Brooklyn Heights, N.Y., the third location for Barry Sternlicht’s sustainably focused brand. The 194-room hotel will incorporate native greenery and reclaimed materials in its décor, including walnut from the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, and offer electric car service from Tesla.

Get the full story at The New York Times

Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/where_sustainable_travel_is_headed_in_2017

Airbnb Dives Into Live 360 Video on Twitter, Periscope

January 09, 2017

The accommodations network will present livestreamed 360-degree videos Friday and Saturday from London, Kauai (Hawaii) and Detroit, in an attempt to “offer people unprecedented access to local communities and help them discover the hidden gems of a city,” while promoting its recently launched Experiences and Places features.

Airbnb head of social, Americas Jasmine Atherton said in an email to SocialTimes:

What’s unique about bringing Airbnb experiences and homes onto the live space on Twitter and Periscope is that we’re able to bring people together. Airbnb was built on creating meaningful connections with people and having deeply local experiences. Live 360 on Periscope and Twitter is a perfect way to bring that to people no matter where they are.

Get the full story at Social Times

Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/airbnb_dives_into_live_360_video_on_twitter_periscope

The anatomy of a hotel SEO campaign

January 09, 2017

There are a few different paradigms for SEO. One is a completionist paradigm. This is a common method of performing SEO: running through a checklist. This is the kind of SEO you find on large websites with thousands upon thousands of pages listed in the search engines. The bulk of the traffic for these sites comes mainly from brand keywords and the SEO done on pages is about enhancing the url structure, optimizing how search engine bots crawl the site, and fixing how titles and meta descriptions use related keywords.

For these sites, a plan from a template generally works well. Each page goes through the same standard set of actions like a mass-produced commodity. This type of SEO works best when the site is already humming along. You are possibly allowing an automated auditing tool to analyze your pages and suggest fixes to align them with that tool’s definition of best practices.

Another paradigm to use is campaign based SEO. Campaigns are made up of a set of actions working together to achieve a specific agreed upon result. In SEO terms, the campaign would be a set of SEO tasks performed on behalf of the site to reach a goal. This type of SEO is best for smaller sites in competitive markets. When your budget restrains you from large PPC spends and the competition swarms over the first two pages of the SERPs for all the big keywords, you need to be spry, agile, and a bit of a guerrilla marketer.

Get the full story at Blue Magnet Interactive

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

Expedia Report: Mobile travel booking will only get bigger

January 09, 2017

Expedia published at the end of 2016 its fourth edition of the “Traveler’s Path to Purchase” report, expanding it to cover all online-booking behaviors of nearly 2,500 travel consumers in the United States, the United Kingdom and Canada. The data revealed several important trends in hotel distribution, chief among them that mobile is growing in popularity for engaging with travel content among those three countries’ already huge and expanding bases of digital users.

The report found that since September 2015, more total minutes of U.S. consumers’ engagement with online travel content occurred on smartphones and tablets than on desktop computers. Mobile has not yet overtaken desktop in Canada or the United Kingdom, but Expedia expects that crossover to occur some time in the next six to nine months.

“We think these are very durable trends; they won’t revert any time soon,” Matthew Reichek, global VP of product and analytics for Expedia Media Solutions, said during a webinar hosted by Tnooz. “We think it’s important for the audience to have a heavy, heavy focus on mobile, because in two of the three geographies mobile is clearly in the driver’s seat.”

Get the full story at Duetto

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

RateGain amongst top Indian companies to win Deliotte Fast 500 Award

January 09, 2017

Winners of the Technology Fast 500 award have been selected on the basis of their percentage fiscal year revenue growth from 2013 to 2015 (or 2014 to 2016 for a financial year ending between January and June). During this period RateGain’s revenue growth reached 105%, based on revenue received from various business activities.

Bhanu Chopra, the CEO of RateGain Technologies cited, “It is our great privilege to be honored with this recognition and a matter of immense pleasure and pride. Our persistence, grit, and perseverance have paid off in this fiscal year and the award comes as another major corporate milestone for us. I am delighted to see that software companies continue to dominate the scene in this award category, with 199 companies including RateGain, among the top 500, which account for a whopping 40 percent of the companies ranked.”

Get the full story at RateGain

Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/rategain_amongst_top_indian_companies_to_win_deliotte_fast_500_award

What Expedia learned about chatbots in travel

January 06, 2017

2016 was the year when chatbots emerged as a new interface for consumer interaction.

In the competitive world of travel, many in the sector are asking how they can take advantage of these new technologies. This year Expedia launched a Facebook chatbot, a new Expedia skill for Amazon Alexa and a chatbot for Skype.

As many travel brands face up to the challenges of launching their first bot, Expedia has been through that process already. Here are some of its observations.

Get the full story at Tnooz

Read also "A review of travel chatbots" at Medium

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

Egencia awards top 100 preferred corporate hotels for 2017

January 06, 2017

Egencia serves as a trusted partner to a wide variety of travel brands. It plays a pivotal role, linking its lodging partners, from large hotel chains to independent hoteliers, access to a rapidly growing, forward-thinking customer base through its single technology platform.

Andrew Dyer, vice president of global lodging, media, consulting and sponsorship for Egencia, shared his enthusiasm for the program and our partnership with the winning hotels.

"It's commendable that these hotels, without exception, had a 100% satisfaction rating from our travelers for the year-long period from Q4 of 2015 through Q3 of 2016. In our business we anticipate, and are prepared to resolve, any customer need. These hotels demonstrate that it is possible to put the customer first at all times, aligning perfectly with the Egencia philosophy and the expectations of our corporate travelers," Mr. Dyer said.

Our 100 top hotels delivered the following amenities to Egencia clients and business travelers in 2016:

- 93,907 room nights with free WiFi
- 63,725 room nights with free breakfast
- 70,982 room nights eligible for loyalty points

Get more information about the program and the full list of hotels at Egencia

Recipient hotels are spread over 53 hotel brands. You can find the complete list of hotels, along with more detailed information about the program and the properties

Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/egencia_awards_top_100_preferred_corporate_hotels_for_2017

Travel is the secret to true happiness, Booking.com finds

January 06, 2017

The research, which questioned 17,000 people from 17 countries, revealed that for the majority, travel experiences, anything from backpacking, to boutique B&B breaks, family villa holidays, or even exotic and remote retreats, brings more lasting happiness than material things (70%). Which explains why most people (56%) prioritize holidays over possessions such as clothes, jewelry and gadgets while almost half (48%) rank travel over home improvements.

The emotional lift that travel brings hits at each stage of the travel process from planning, through booking to actually going on holiday. And it’s the planning stages that give the most immediate boosts in happiness, with nearly three-quarters of people (72%) saying they get a kick of excitement just from researching where to go on holiday. Over half (56%) agree they then feel happiest when booking their holiday, underlining the importance of instant booking when it comes to securing an ideal stay.

Shawn Achor, BA, MA, Harvard, one of the world’s leading experts on happiness, NY Times bestselling author and speaker known for his advocacy of positive psychology explains:

"In a world where every dollar and hour count, travelers are looking for a higher return than ever on their investment of time and money. Why take time off and pay money to be more stressed and less happy?

Get the full story at Booking.com

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

Paris is blaming Airbnb for population declines in the heart of the city

January 06, 2017

“Airbnb is indeed likely to emphasize this tendency by reducing the number of available apartments,” Insee spokesman Olivier Leon wrote in an email. “These ‘Airbnb apartments’ have zero inhabitants (they are considered as second homes) and can increase the prices of the other housing, which gets less and less numerous.”

A spokesman for Airbnb countered that Parisian hosts “are typically long-term residents” of the city who “share their space for 25 nights a year,” adding that 55% of them earn less than the median French salary. In 2015, Airbnb said that the 11th and 18th arrondissements had the most bookings; both are outside the city center. There were about 11,300 Airbnb listings in Paris at the end of 2014, according to data from Airdna, a third-party analytics firm.

While the figures released by Insee are considerably outdated, any intimation that Airbnb lowers residential populations is bad branding. Regulatory scrutiny of Airbnb intensified last year over fears that home-sharing makes room for tourists at the expense of residents. New York’s governor signed some of the toughest limits on short-term apartment rentals in the country. Berlin lawmakers enacted restrictions on home rentals that carry fines of up to €100,000. And Santa Monica, California, convicted its first host for renting out units illegally.

Get the full story at Quartz

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

Google upgrades mobile restaurant display with new features

January 06, 2017

Speedier Menu Data in an AMP like form

With the rollout of the updated Google search app, Google is starting to include AMP like menu content attached to the restaurant Knowledge Panel. This is a mobile only feature as on the desktop it still links to the menu website.

Get the full story at Mike Blumenthal

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

Why all four of Google’s Micro-Moments are actually local

January 06, 2017

Google defines micro-moments as “critical touch points within today’s consumer journey, and when added together, they ultimately determine how that journey ends,” and goes on to identify mobile as the great facilitator of all this activity. It’s simple to think of micro-moments as a series of points in time that culminate in a consumer arriving at a transactional decision. For local business owners and their marketers, the goal is to ‘be there’ for the consumer at each of these critical points with the resources you have developed on the web.

Get the full story at Moz

Read also "Google on creating a travel micro-moments strategy"

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

Five ways big data will serve the hotel industry in 2017

January 06, 2017

From Silos to Full Integration

The first step toward making data more usable is integration. With so many different softwares built to serve different purposes, the hospitality industry is stuck with data silos. This leaves hoteliers struggling to simply manage the data, much less make meaning of it.

Take guest acquisition costs. This is just one essential data point among many that should inform sales and marketing decisions. Tnooz’s Sean O’Neill offers an apt metaphor for trying to sort out guest acquisition costs, saying that “at any given moment, you may not know what your tax cost for living in a particular place is. You usually have to pull information from multiple sources to calculate it.” With so many points of distribution that have variable fees, it is still highly improbable that any hotelier has an adequate system for determining the true cost. Without this information, informed decisions are out of reach.

This idea applies to the whole of data. Most in the hospitality industry are scrambling to make sense of silos of data; however, if it is properly integrated into dynamic dashboards, apps and so on, it becomes instantly more usable. This technology exists, but it will get smarter (i.e., more useable) and, as a result, will see more widespread adoption. Those that adopt will find they have a competitive edge in the speed and accuracy of analysis as well as decision-making.

Get the full story at SnapShot

Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/five_ways_big_data_will_serve_the_hotel_industry_in_2017

3 ways to use hotel text messaging to increase revenue

January 06, 2017

Often times, hoteliers, and particularly revenue managers, have to choose between strategies that enhance guest satisfaction versus those that increase revenues. You could offer unlimited, free wi-fi to guests in order to boost satisfaction, or you could charge a few dollars to make a profit from these services.

Personally, I am of the mindset that guest satisfaction does, in fact, have an impact on boosted revenues. Research shows that 76% of travelers are willing to pay more for a hotel with a higher rating. However, finding the direct connection of ratings to revenue is difficult (but not impossible). Therefore, there is a need for a product that does a bit of both; exceed guest expectations, and build revenue at the same time.

That’s where hotel text messaging provides a solution. Nearly 80% of consumers prefer to communicate with business via text, and 90% of text messages are read within 3 minutes of receipt.

Get the full story at TrustYou

Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/3_ways_to_use_hotel_text_messaging_to_increase_revenue

The smart hotelier’s top ten digital marketing resolutions for 2017

January 05, 2017

Reflecting on 2016 and successful hotel digital marketing campaigns that impacted the industry, there was an obvious and substantial emphasis on ‘Book Direct’ strategies. Hoteliers have been testing out multiple strategies to increase bookings on their own websites, from loyalty member-only rates, special incentives, unique packages found only on the hotel website, and more. Why? With distribution costs rising steadily over the last five years due to OTAs increasing market share over 40% (vs. hotel direct bookings), hoteliers are starting to understand this is not a sustainable business model.

In 2017, lowering distribution costs (the only cost driver hotels have control over), will be the only way to improve top line revenue and the bottom line. In most of the major markets, increasing ADRs, improving occupancy and RevPAR will not be easy. The good news is that with the right focus and appropriate investments in digital technology and marketing initiatives, significantly more profitable bookings and a decreased dependency on the OTAs can be realized.

To help you navigate what is forecasted to be a challenging year in our industry, HeBS Digital present “The Smart Hotelier’s Top Ten Digital Marketing Resolutions” for the seventeenth year in a row.

Get the full story at HeBS Digital

Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/the_smart_hoteliers_top_ten_digital_marketing_resolutions_for_2017

Airbnb is becoming an even bigger threat to hotels, finds Morgan Stanley

January 05, 2017

Brian Nowak, executive director of Morgan Stanley Research, wrote in the report: “Our AlphaWise survey shows rising Airbnb adoption (now approximately 18 percent of travelers) with demand increasingly coming from hotels.” He added, “While still small, we believe Airbnb has been almost double the threat to hotels in 2016 than previously believed, and the threat is growing.”

Looking at data collected in 2015 and 2016, Morgan Stanley noted a significant increase in the number of travelers who have used Airbnb in the last 12 months. In 2015, only 15 percent of leisure travelers surveyed had used Airbnb in the last 12 months, while in 2016, that number rose to 19 percent. Morgan Stanley predicts that number to rise to 25 percent in 2017. For business travelers, only 12 percent had used Airbnb in the last 12 months in 2015, versus 18 percent in 2016, and in 2017, Morgan Stanley predicts that number will jump to 23 percent.

Among those surveyed, approximately 49 percent also said they had replaced a traditional hotel stay with an Airbnb stay in 2016. In 2015, 41 percent had done so. Morgan Stanley predicts this number will remain steady throughout 2017 and Airbnb’s cannibalization of hotels business will hover at approximately 50 percent for both business and leisure travel.

Get the full story at Skift

Read also "The failure of hotel loyalty programs to defend against Airbnb, quantified"

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

U.S. hotel performance encouraging heading into 2017

January 05, 2017

The last quarter of 2016 shows positive, but tepid, growth across the board, with the group and transient leisure segments experiencing strong revenue per available room (RevPAR) growth at 2.8 percent and 3.3 percent, respectively.

“The last two quarters of 2016 have been challenging for North American hoteliers as we have seen inconsistent reservation pace and sporadic business demand,” said John Hach, TravelClick’s senior industry analyst. “However, over the last two months, we are seeing a material improvement on both transient and group bookings that indicate that North America hospitality will be off to a much brighter start in 2017.”

For the next 12 months (December 2016 – November 2017), transient bookings are up 4.0 percent year-over-year, and ADR for this segment is up 2.7 percent. When broken down further, the transient leisure (discount, qualified and wholesale) segment is showing occupancy gains of 2.8 percent with ADR gains of 3.0 percent. The transient business (negotiated and retail) segment is up 4.1 percent, and ADR is up 2.0 percent. Lastly, group bookings are up 2.8 percent in committed room nights over the same time last year, and ADR is up 2.4 percent.

Get the full story at TravelClick

Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/u.s._hotel_performance_encouraging_heading_into_2017

UK: Business travel spend expected to rise in 2017

January 05, 2017

Just under a third of buyers (32%) will have more to spend on accommodation in 2017, and fewer (14% compared to 21%) will have smaller budgets.

The use of budget and mid-range hotels rose sharply, with 60% and 87% of buyers increasing their use of suppliers.

Although 77% of buyers still do not use Airbnb, 17% did spend more money with the accommodation sharing site in 2016.

Get the full story at Business Travel Show

Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/uk_business_travel_spend_expected_to_rise_in_2017

French luxury hotels woo daytime lovers

January 05, 2017

Traditionally, room rental by the hour has been the preserve of seedy establishments or, more recently, “love hotels” found in countries from Argentina to Japan. But luxury hotel groups have embraced the hourly model in France.

“Hotels in France have been struggling, but we are offering them another source of revenue,” says David Lebée, the founder and chief executive of dayuse.com. “Ten years ago hotels would not have dreamt of doing this, but times change.”

According to Dayuse, which launched in 2010, 70 percent of rooms are empty during the day and it says it has generated more than $20m in revenue for those hotels signed up to its service. Accor and Marriott confirmed that they have signed up to the service, although declined to comment further.

Get the full story at the Financial Times

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

Ethics in online marketing: Does brand morality matter?

January 05, 2017

At the same time, social media has given consumers a much bigger stage upon which to stand and voice their displeasure at brands they find wanting. The answer to the question, “What’s driving your business?” is relatively straightforward. What drives every business is the need to make a profit.

What’s not so straightforward is an answer to the question, “What is the ethical framework of your profit-driven marketing strategy?” This tension between morality and making a profit is as old as the proverbial snake oil salesman.

In traditional forms of advertising, we can usually make the distinction between ethical and unethical marketing. If the promotion lies, conceals vital information or deceives the unsophisticated buyer, the advertiser can be called to account.

Get the full story at Search Engine Journal

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

6 steps for developing a strategic revenue roadmap

January 05, 2017

Effective revenue management starts at the top and its vision and revenue management goals must be shared by the executive team and board of directors. Presenting your revenue management strategies at an upcoming meeting? Use key terms such as returns on investment and profitability that resonate with the executive audience. Highlight examples where revenue opportunities are being left on the table and educate revenue management for those unfamiliar with its relevant day-to-day activities.

Create a concrete roadmap outlining your objectives and corresponding deliverables. Once everyone is on the same strategic path, you have the commitment and resources needed to start out strong.

Get the full story at IDeaS

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

TripAdvisor Instant Booking: Testing, learning and confusing

January 04, 2017

Consider the scenario that you are a loyal TripAdvisor user, always scoping out its consumer reviews of hotels before choosing where to stay, and you’ve even booked a hotel on TripAdvisor without leaving the site or app using what the company refers to as Instant Booking.

Comparison-shopping using meta-search sites or features such as on TripAdvisor, Kayak, Google or Hipmunk can be confusing enough for consumers who often think they booked on Kayak when they clicked a link and actually booked through Booking.com or Hilton.

But the loyal TripAdvisor user who wants to book on TripAdvisor - let alone the consumers who have no clue where they are booking when clicking around metasearch sites - could have a dizzying experience trying to find the TripAdvisor booking option because it is presented in a divergent way, each time they return.

Get the full story at Skift

Read also "TripAdvisor’s tough road after launching Instant Booking"

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

Most Airbnb users want Bitcoin payment integration in 2017

January 04, 2017

Expedia Inc. operates a wide range of popular hotels and resorts booking platforms apart from its main platform Expedia.com. The company oversees Hotels.com, Trivago and many other international platforms that are utilized by millions of users worldwide.

Stephen Cole, a Bitcoin enthusiast, noted that the acceptance of Bitcoin will match Airbnb’s mission statement, which revolves around the catch phrase “Belong anywhere.” For users to belong anywhere at any time and place, they should have the ability to make payments without boundaries and inefficient processes.

In response to Cole’s statement, Chesky expressed astonishment over the fact that competitors like Expedia accepted Bitcoin and that a lot of users were using Expedia because of their Bitcoin integration.

Get the full story at the Cointelegraph and Skift

Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/most_airbnb_users_want_bitcoin_payment_integration_in_2017

UK: Mobile usage for travel set to surpass desktop in 2017

January 04, 2017

Presenting the findings at the recent Expedia partner conference in Las Vegas, Matthew Reichek, global vice-president at Expedia Media Solutions, said: “People are really valuing content. They are hungry for it and they want more of it. The audience is big; it’s also much more mobile.”

Three-quarters of the UK population (75%) with web access consume travel content online, outstripping the proportions in Canada (70%) and the US (60%).

Among these Britons, 82% used mobile (phone or tablet) to access travel content in February 2016, up from 67% in February 2015.

Get the full story at Travel Weekly UK

Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/uk_mobile_usage_for_travel_set_to_surpass_desktop_in_2017

Where will U.S. travelers visit in 2017?

January 04, 2017

“Many people are still open, adventurous and curious about the world around them and are eager to get off the grid and explore,” says Travis Katz, co-founder and CEO of travel research tool Trip.com.

So where do the experts expect travelers to go?

Despite being a more than day-long trip for most U.S. residents, Australia appears on many lists of hot destinations. Domestically, large cities such as New York and Los Angeles did not shine as much as places such as Houston, Columbus, and Portland, Maine.

Get the full story at USA Today

Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/where_will_u.s._travelers_visit_in_2017

How to book a hotel room on Facebook Messenger

January 04, 2017

To begin, “like” SnapTravel on Facebook, then send it a private message with your basic travel info, such as your destination, travel dates, and budget. For example, “I’m going to London from May 15 to 20, 2017.” A bot will then present a few options. Use the filter to adjust your preferences for location and star rating. A pinch and zoom map will help you find the best rates in a particular neighborhood. Do you want a room with a view, free Wi-Fi, or a hotel with a pool? Just tell the bot.

The hotel rates quoted by SnapTravel are similar to what you’ll find on any of the big metasearch sites, such as Kayak, Priceline, or Expedia. That’s because SnapTravel is connected to dozens of online travel agents and can find the best possible price currently available on the market. When it quotes a rate, it will also show you the best available rate on Hotels.com for comparison.

“We’re 100 percent sure that we’ve parsed it correctly,” said SnapTravel founder Hussein Fazal, the former CEO of AdParlor who created the company earlier this year with Henry Shi, a one-time engineer from Google who launched YouTube Artists Analytics. The Toronto-based company has grown quickly in a half-year and currently is seeing hundreds of bookings each month, Fazal told Travel + Leisure.

Get the full story at Travel + Leisure

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

The click is dead: Go for the swipe, pinch and tap

January 04, 2017

- Go for the swipe, pinch and tap: Historically, touchpoints have been across desktop and laptop, but users are nowadays spending the majority of their time on mobile, and this trend will only increase. Providing technology that is highly responsive and actually tailored for each of these touchpoints will be essential to keep travellers engaged. It’s all about the swipe, pinch, and tap – the click is dead.

- Location, location, location: Take advantage of the mobile device knowing your location, and pre-fill in certain fields like the nearest airport, or provide information to the consumer in real-time, guiding them to the business lounge closest to their departing gate.

- Go further together: Collaborate with complementing travel providers to give the travellers an end-to-end seamless experience every step of the trip. Several hotels and airlines are now integrating taxi/transfer bookings in their apps.

- Purchase on the go: From check-in, to boarding pass, to meal order, to extra bags purchase to lounge pass: mobile apps can help augment the initial purchase of the ticket and increase the overall value of the customer. Especially on mobile where all purchases are one finger tap away, capturing this incremental, ancillary revenue is a key initiative for many travel providers.

Get the full story at Amadeus

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

Intrusive pop-ups to be punished by Google

January 04, 2017

Interstitials are web pages that appear in-between a referenced page and the page that references it. For example, when you click on a website from Google’s search results page and an ad appears before you’re able to access the content on that website.

Google is punishing mobile sites with intrusive interstitials (aka intrusive pop-ups) in an attempt to improve the browsing experience on mobile.

A study by Kissmetrics found that 73% of users have encountered a mobile website that took too long to load, and 48% have encountered a mobile website with formatting issues which make it difficult to read. Intrusive interstitials negatively affect both these things by slowing download times and diverting users from the desired content.

Get the full story at Leonardo

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

Hotel room pricing tool: What benefits and features should you look for?

January 04, 2017

A hotel room pricing intelligence tool is an innovative feature that analyses hotel pricing trends, current market conditions, and local competitor rates in order to make an expert recommendation on the rates that you should set for your hotel rooms. It is a market intelligence tool that can simplify the process of developing an effective revenue management strategy. It is a powerful resource for hotel operators, who can rely on the tool to provide them with the latest information regarding hotel pricing trends in their region.

The best part is, the data provided by the tool is simple to interpret and understand, which makes it more useful than other complex tools that can confuse or intimidate the average hotel operator.

Get the full story at SiteMinder

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

Hotel of the future: New experiences, new opportunities

January 03, 2017

Hotels are in a period of significant evolution and opportunity. From online travel agents to the commoditization of hotels, changes in the travel and hospitality industry are challenging hotels to move beyond brand identity and extend and deepen their relationships with travelers.

Through in-depth interviews with frequent business travelers and onsite research at different types of hotels in major US cities, Deloitte, driven by research and insights from our innovation practice, Doblin has identified five integrator types that present new opportunities to evolve your hotel brand and services to meet changing customer expectations for their hotel experiences.​

Get the full story at Deloitte US and download the report at Deliotte US (PDF 2.8 MB)

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

GDSs lack basic privacy safeguards, researchers say

January 03, 2017

Passenger Name Records (PNR) are used to store reservations with links to a traveler's name, travel dates, itinerary, ticket details, phone and email contacts, travel agent, credit card numbers, seat number and baggage information.

The six-digit codes act as pincodes for locating travel records, albeit with vital differences that make them highly insecure compared with even the simple usernames and passwords that consumers use to access email or websites, the researchers said.

The world's three major global distribution systems (GDS) - Amadeus, Sabre and Travelport - manage a majority of travel reservations but face growing competition from airlines and corporate travel and online booking sites.

"While the rest of the Internet is debating which second and third factors to use, GDSs do not offer a first authentication factor," researchers at Berlin-based Security Research Labs said in a statement.

Get the full story at Reuters

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

Airbnb faces $400m lost bookings in London crackdown

January 03, 2017

The research on the cost to Airbnb from new regulations enforcing the annual limit on short-term rentals in London, its second-largest market, draws on data from AllTheRooms, an accommodation search engine, and analysis by the FT. Airbnb has recently had to make regulatory concessions in markets around the world.

The tougher regulatory stance comes as a separate FT investigation reveals that around one-third of the saving that Airbnb can offer travellers over hotel accommodation comes from tax advantages related to its business model.

Airbnb’s beneficial tax position is particularly pronounced in London because the UK imposes relatively high rates of property tax on businesses and value added tax on hotel stays, but allows generous tax exemptions for homeowners renting out rooms and for small businesses.

Get the full story at the Financial Times

Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/airbnb_faces_400m_lost_bookings_in_london_crackdown

TripAdvisor’s tough road after launching Instant Booking

January 03, 2017

TripAdvisor found a huge customer base for its hotel review product, as travelers want to read about the experiences from other customers before booking a particular hotel. However, as a travel metasearch site, TripAdvisor made money through online ads, deriving 46% of its 2015 revenues from Priceline and Expedia.

Introducing the Instant Booking feature made sense in two ways. One, it allowed diversification of revenue streams. Two, it completes the consumer value chain - from reviewing and searching hotels to allowing consumers to book directly on its site seemed to be a natural way forward.

Changing any behavior is a difficult task, and TripAdvisor is trying to do just that with its Instant Booking platform. Despite its Instant Booking platform making good business sense for TRIP, asking customers to book on TripAdvisor’s site itself instead of moving to other OTAs could be a challenge.

Another issue has been the low monetization rates on mobile platforms. Mobile browsing has gone up tremendously. However, there are fewer bookings completed on mobile as compared to on desktops. Also, the mobile shopper seems more price conscious than the desktop shopper. As a result, revenue per hotel shopper has been declining since Instant Booking’s rollout.

Get the full story at Market Realist

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

The failure of hotel loyalty programs to defend against Airbnb, quantified

January 03, 2017

You might argue that’s not terribly surprising. Guests of hotel loyalty programs probably travel more, after all, so it makes sense that they would have experimented with Airbnb at some point. Per Morgan Stanley’s report, however, the odds of having used Airbnb remain considerably higher among hotel loyalty guests than other travelers even when trip frequency is taken into account.

Airbnb, the hospitality startup valued at $30 billion, built its business by turning shared rooms and home rentals into a mainstream lodging option for casual travelers and vacationers. But earlier this year Airbnb turned its focus to corporate travelers. The shift alarmed hotels, for whom corporate clients have always been the core consumers. Business travelers tend to be more predictable than the typical vacationer and also less price sensitive (as their company is usually paying). In July, Airbnb announced partnerships with three major travel-management companies designed to funnel customers to its corporate listings.

With competition from Airbnb and other online travel firms increasing, hotels have pondered how to keep those all-important business travelers coming back. Many have placed their faith in loyalty programs. When Marriott acquired Starwood in March to create the world’s largest hotel chain, Marriott CEO Arne Sorenson cited Starwood’s popular Preferred Guest rewards program and its “strong group of elite loyalists” among his reasons for pursuing the deal.

Get the full story at Quartz

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

Kick-ass customer service

January 03, 2017

Think about the last time you flew. When you checked in, did you use a self-service option - like the airline’s website, app, or airport kiosk—to check your bags, choose your seat, and print out your boarding pass? Or did you instead wait in line at the airport to speak with a human being? If you’re like most people, you used the self-service option. Indeed, our data show an overwhelming preference for self-service: Across industries, fully 81% of all customers attempt to take care of matters themselves before reaching out to a live representative.

Self-service offers companies a tantalizing opportunity to reduce spending, often drastically. The cost of a do-it-yourself transaction is measured in pennies, while the average cost of a live service interaction (phone, e-mail, or webchat) is more than $7 for a B2C company and more than $13 for a B2B company. Corporate investment in self-service technologies has been enormously effective at removing low-complexity issues from the live service queue, and most companies we’ve studied report a steady reduction in such contacts over the past few years.

All this creates a new challenge: As customers handle more of the simple issues themselves, frontline service reps get increasingly tough ones—the issues customers can’t solve on their own. And today’s reps are struggling with these complex problems. As one service leader at a large retailer admitted to us, “Our people are woefully ill-equipped to handle today’s customers and their issues. We’re not running a contact center here. It’s more like a factory of sadness.”

Get the full story at Harvard Business Review

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

How hotels should respond to Airbnb’s growing ambitions

January 03, 2017

That being said, Airbnb Trips is not a sure thing. These tour and activity offerings are incredibly hard to launch and to scale. Companies have to get word-of-mouth going among the customer base and among potential suppliers who could lead tours and plan fun outings.

In its few initial launch markets, Airbnb is doing this in a very labor-intensive way, in the hope that the model starts turning over on its own and building upon itself. If that’s still the business model for Airbnb Trips in two years, it won’t scale. But if in a year it takes on a life of its own, it could be a formidable force in the leisure-travel market.

Get the full story at Duetto

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

New Tilden Hotel website accentuates the property’s organic aesthetic

January 03, 2017

The smartCMS v7 grants hoteliers unrivaled control and allows them to manage visual, promotional and textual content with relative ease. This website technology platform system also supports multi-brand, chain, multi-property and single property websites. Within the smartCMS v7 lies a variety of features that can be enabled based on an hotelier’s unique needs, including a reservation abandonment applications and a Smart Booking Widget to encourage a reservation process that results in greater direct bookings.

The new Tilden Hotel website is well-poised for success when paired with results-driven marketing campaigns that have earned HeBS Digital over 400 awards for excellence in digital technology, website design and marketing services.

Get the full story at HeBS Digital

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

What drives hotel direct bookings in the future?

December 22, 2016

So how do you get this volume? It all comes down to conversion rate. Hotels need to invest in making a higher percentage of their website visitors actually convert and buy..

How can they improve the conversion rate? Personalisation- it's all about understanding the customer. Amazon know everything their customers have bought and searched for and use this data to customise their messages accordingly. Hotels tend to communicate more generic messages, proposing a single room even if your history shows you've always travelled with family. By presenting people with the right message, clearly adapted especially for them is a very simple way to increase your conversion rate.

All hotels need to make sure they have some form of analytics software to understand where their guests are coming from and what the conversion rate of each channel is.

Get the full story at Triptease

Read also "8 ways to get more direct bookings" at Triptease

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

Airbnb: We’re a positive force in black and Latino neighborhoods

December 22, 2016

"The guests are more likely to spend their dollars in the three to four block radius of where they're staying," former Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter said in an interview. "It's democratizing the hospitality industry."

Since its founding in 2008, Airbnb has gone from a small startup to having a presence in 34,000 cities in 191 countries. But with that expansion, has come growing pains. The company has been criticized for discrimination on its platform and displacement of long-term tenants. To combat these critiques, Airbnb has been working to show it's the good guy in the hospitality world.

The home-rental company released an 11-page report Friday detailing its spread throughout seven cities. The report shows that Airbnb typically has a higher percentage of rentals in non-white neighborhoods than hotels.

Get the full story at CNET

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

Hospitality trends to look for in 2017

December 22, 2016

Embracing marketing programs, introducing new on-site programming and offering authentic branding, hospitality pacesetters are trailblazing in 2017 and beyond. Here are some trends to watch in the year ahead.

Soliciting Feedback from Travelers

Hyatt Regency brand's campaign, "It's Good Not to Be Home," is a culmination of crowdsourcing consumers through social media to give their best ideas on how to improve the business travel experience. After conducting customer research, Hyatt chose two winning entries and worked with powerhouse duos to bring them to life. Personal trainer Gunnar Peterson and James Beard Award-winning pastry chef and Cronut creator Dominique Ansel created an in-room food and fitness routine for Hyatt and fashion designer Cynthia Rowley paired with tech mogul and businesswoman Randi Zuckerberg to create an on-the-go beauty bar. Recently, Hyatt Regency debuted these experiences at an experiential event at the brand's New Jersey property, Hyatt Regency Jersey City on the Hudson. And the company has announced that these experiences will inspire future Hyatt Regency amenities and services.

Get the full story at Yahoo!

Read also "The biggest travel trends to watch in 2017" at U.S. News

Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/hospitality_trends_to_look_for_in_2017

What’s the biggest change for luxury hotel operators?

December 22, 2016

For example, while the Four Seasons Hotel London at Park Lane had a top to bottom renovation five years ago, including putting multiple electric plugs next to the bed, recently it had to add USB ports. This past year it spent $250,000 adding new equipment to its gym to keep pace with what guests have in their homes.

The general manager of the property told the audience of a recent industry panel to “get rid of the myth that tech somehow displaces personalized services. The reality is it makes it much easier.” He says app based check-in before guests arrive enables them to order their breakfast while they are on the way to the hotel or send a message to the valet they need a suit pressed so when they get to their rooms they don’t waste a half hour or 45 minutes getting things organized.

Get the full story at Forbes

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

Luxury travelers increasingly planning anxiety-free holidays

December 22, 2016

This has led Jack Ezon, the president of ultraluxury Ovation Vacations to conclude that the word of the year in 2017 will be "simplicity."

That would be a positive development for travel advisers, who can simplify life for clients by becoming "information navigators and matchmakers" to destress vacation planning.

But don't confuse simplicity with "basic." Clients may want vacations to be easy and simple, but that ease may come in the form of an airport greeter, a luggage-shipment company handling suitcases or a VIP lounge to take the stress out of time spent in airports. Whatever the components of a trip are, he writes, the experience should be "seamless" from early planning stages to arrival back home.

Get the full story at Travel Weekly

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


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