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Content is how you’ll win bleisure travelers

October 20, 2017

Bleisure travelers have three main needs:

- Information: They want easily accessible information about what’s relevant to them.

- Convenience: Unlike purely leisure trips where travelers are willing to venture out and endure some discomfort to reach a far-flung destination, bleisure trips are about convenience and utility: What can travelers experience nearby while staying at your hotel?

- Authenticity: Bleisure travelers want to live like locals.

Research shows that bleisure travelers are willing to share their information to receive more personalized results. (I know I am.) Bleisure travelers are also bigger spenders, because their companies are paying part of the tab.

Get the full story at NewsCred Insights

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

Priceline invests $450 Million in Chinese e-commerce giant Meituan-Dianping

October 20, 2017

The Beijing-based company has raised $4 billion in investment, it said on Thursday. Past investor Tencent, the messaging-and-games giant, led the round. Priceline Group participated in the round with a $450 million investment.

A Skift source said that there would be a commercial agreement where Priceline Group’s Asia-focused Agoda brand would cooperate with Meituan-Dianping’s Travel & Leisure division, one of four divisions at the company. The division sells lodging and transportation for domestic and international travel to Chinese consumers. It booked more than 18 million room nights of accommodation bookings in July alone.

The deal with Agoda will be similar to Booking.com’s arrangement with Ctrip, according to the source. For reference, anywhere between 60 and 80 percent of Ctrip’s non-China hotel inventory comes from Booking.com.

Get the full story at Skift

Read also "The $30bn start-up you’ve probably never heard of" at TechCentral

Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/priceline_invests_450_million_in_chinese_e_commerce_giant_meituan_dianping

Business travelers still going rogue with hotel bookings

October 20, 2017

While 60 percent of companies have a travel policy in place, more than half of the business travellers surveyed are still allowed to book travel using any method they choose, and a full 46 percent have done so for hotel bookings, according to the 4th edition Egencia Business Travel and Technology Survey. To rein in these rogue booking tendencies, the study suggests that relevancy, incentivisation and clear policies can pave the way.

When it comes to hotels, relevance beats quantity

UK business travellers book out-of-policy because either they could not find a hotel close enough to their destination (42 percent), or found a better price or hotel within their per diem (37 percent). With this in mind, providing relevance in a travel programme means surfacing a selection of hotel choices at the top of their online search results that are tailored to the needs of the business travellers. This can include location of hotels as well as flexible booking options. Additionally, offering fair and competitive pricing eliminates the need to shop outside the company's preferred booking channels.

"When it comes to hotels, we know that it's not about searching, it's about finding. That's why we find ways to serve up the right choice for business travellers within the first few search results. And it works - 75 percent of Egencia travellers book one of the top seven hotel results and over half book from the top three," says Andrew Dyer, VP Global Supply-Lodging. "Travellers want an intuitive, cross-device experience with clear descriptions of what is included in the price. With this they can feel confident that they are booking the right accommodations, which will in turn increase policy compliance," adds Dyer.

Incentives foster compliance

According to the study, incentives for staying within policy vary by region, but globally, monetary rewards prove to be the most likely incentive to encourage travellers to book within their policy. Sixty-two percent of business travellers say that they would choose within policy if they receive a percentage of savings for booking below the cap and an additional 60 percent would comply if they received funds they could apply to other travel options. This percentage is slightly higher in the UK, where 65 percent of business travellers say they would choose within policy if they received a percentage of savings for booking below the cap. Loyalty points are the third most appealing incentive -- 56 percent of UK travellers reported they would book within policy if offered hotel loyalty points.

Adoption improves safety and costs

When travellers book within policy, companies can protect the safety of their travellers and create cost efficiencies in the long-term. With increased adoption of policies and booking tools, travel managers can immediately locate travellers in an emergency, whether it is weather-related, geopolitical and/or a terrorism event. Access to immediate, accurate reports helps keep travellers safe wherever they are in the world. The concept of going rogue creates extra work for safety officers who must locate individual straying travellers in an emergency, and calls for more time spent on collecting data streams from rogue bookings to consolidate into a comprehensive report and more spending overall. According to GBTA, 79 percent of travel managers acknowledge that using a travel management company (TMC) leads to more efficient processes and drives savings in business travel[1]. The most successful travel policies can drive compliance among travellers which means companies can ensure the safety of their travellers first and forefront, in addition to driving cost savings long-term.

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

JetBlue drops 12 OTAs in bid to cut costs

October 20, 2017

JetBlue is remaining with larger agencies including Priceline.com and Expedia Inc., along with Expedia’s Travelocity.com and Orbitz.com units. The airline favors sites like Kayak Software Corp.’s Kayak.com where consumers can comparison shop for prices and schedules, but then are redirected to the website of the selected airline to book their travel.

The changes are the latest skirmish between airlines and online travel agencies that sell tickets based on fare and flight data provided by global distribution systems, or GDS. Carriers in general pay five-times more for a typical booking made through such travel sites than on their own website, said Henry Harteveldt, founder of Atmosphere Research Group. Airlines are trying to get more control over the information and the so-called distribution costs involved.

“It tends to be the lowest-revenue customers coming through in a market where we pay the same distribution costs for a customer paying $39 as one paying $339,” Marty St. George, JetBlue’s executive vice president for commercial and planning, said in an interview. “Distributing really low fares through these channels is very, very expensive for us.”

Get the full story at Bloomberg

Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/jetblue_drops_12_otas_in_bid_to_cut_costs

Hotels.com & Expedia Affiliate Network launch accelerator for travel tech start-ups

October 20, 2017

A new accelerator for travel tech start-ups has been launched by Hotels.com and Expedia Affiliate Network (EAN).

Designed to nurture and grow “next-gen travel disruptors”, Hotel Jumpstart will provide five selected start-ups with workspace, tools and expert mentoring over the course of its six-month programme.

Businesses will have access to EAN’s full suite of accommodation via its APIs, which will enable them to apply such tools to their own businesses.

While subject matter experts from Hotels.com and EAN will lead the finalists through advisory workshops covering everything from product development and machine learning to strategy, sales and marketing.

Get the full story at Startups and apply for the accelerator Expedia Affiliate Network

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

How travel marketing and technology are growing together

October 20, 2017

For example, how cool would it be if you could take a real-life tour of your top three Paris hotel destinations before you ever set foot on the plane?

With today’s virtual reality technology, that potential is being realized. Not only hotels, but destinations, can share tours of specific areas that customers may want to preview before making a final decision about booking. YouVisit, for example, has used this technology successfully to promote areas like Houston, Texas and West Hollywood, California.

Other travel marketers have been playing with augmented reality (AR) following the success of Pokémon Go. A team in Moscow, for example, developed the “Discover Moscow” photo app that allows visitors to take selfies with such notables as Peter the Great and A. S. Pushkin as they tour the city.

AR may have other applications in-hotel, such as being used along with a heads-up display to improve customer touch, but this would be more of a customer experience issue rather than a marketing issue.

Get the full story at Adotas

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

What will metasearch look like in 2018?

October 20, 2017

We’ve started breaking down the data, interviewing our partners and have an outline of what we expect to see. The only thing left to do is to gather the opinions of other industry experts. We created a 5-minute survey to help answer some of the toughest questions:

- Which marketing channels yield the highest returns?
- How much of your advertising budget should go to metasearch?
- Which technologies will disrupt the digital landscape
- Where will top travel brands invest their time and money in 2018?

Get the full story and take the survey at Koddi

Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/what_will_metasearch_look_like_in_2018

How secure is your hotel website?

October 20, 2017

Having a ‘secure’ website is important for providing a safe browsing and shopping experience for your customers which in turn fosters trust between the hotelier and the customer, this blog post explains how.

When it comes to eCommerce, ensuring the security of your customer’s data is essential. Most websites use something called SSL encryption to protect any data which is passed between a website and a shopper. The SSL encryption requires a secure form of communication between a website and the consumer browsing their site, and the secure form of communication is known as HTTPS – the ‘S’ stands for ‘Secure’.

This secure form of communication is indicated to the shopper in the URL which displays ‘https’ in place of the standard ‘http’ in front of the web address. It also shows the padlock symbol on the left-hand side of the URL bar which users can look to as reassurance that their data is secure when entering bank details, viewing their account, or personal information online.

Get the full story at Net Affinity

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

Amadeus’ take on how blockchain can harness its potential in travel

October 19, 2017

Imagine if a secure application let you share your passport information using a fingerprint when passing through airport security… What if you could have just one loyalty card to collect points from your favourite hotel, airline and rental car company?

These are just some of the ways Amadeus says the blockchain could transform the way we travel in the future in its latest insight paper, Blockchain: harnessing its potential in travel. The paper, which has contributions from blockchain startups Civic and Loyyal and was created through a series of interviews and desk research, identifies four potential use cases for the blockchain in travel including simplified and more secure passenger identification, improved baggage tracking, more user-friendly loyalty schemes, and simplified payments between travel agencies and airlines.

And although the blockchain is still in its early stages of development, the paper suggests that it has tremendous promise to change the way we can ‘exchange value’ digitally. Just as the internet’s design has allowed us to exchange information very easily and quickly, so could the blockchain open the door to a new iteration of computing that allows ‘value’, to be exchanged between businesses, governments and individuals. Until now, that value has been actual currency, but this paper from Amadeus suggests the blockchain could be used to exchange travel identification, baggage tracking details, or loyalty points as well.

Get the full story at Amadeus and download Amadeus' whitepaper "Blockchain: harnessing its potential in travel"

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

Airbnb teams up with WeWork to lure business travelers

October 19, 2017

Two of the world’s most valuable technology startups are teaming up in the hopes of luring young business travelers away from hotels. Airbnb Inc. plans to begin a pilot program Thursday with WeWork Cos. to provide travelers with amenities commonly found in hotel business centers, such as a work desk, Wi-Fi, printers and meeting rooms, said people familiar with the project.

The companies will start with six cities: Chicago, New York, Los Angeles, Washington, London and Sydney, said the people, who asked not to be identified discussing an unreleased program. When renting a room on Airbnb’s site, corporate customers will be able to save a spot at a WeWork office nearest to where they’re staying. Airbnb and WeWork confirmed the partnership but declined to provide specifics on the program or future plans.

Get the full story at Bloomberg

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

Top 10 restaurants in digital

October 19, 2017

Barely half of brands in L2’s Digital IQ Index: Restaurants let customers order for delivery or pickup on their sites, less than a third offer coupons that can be used in digital checkout, and a mere 5% integrate expedited digital payment options like PayPal.

The eateries below are exceptions to the rule. By taking advantage of mobile payment and loyalty programs and paying attention to social media, they’re establishing themselves as pioneers — boosting their chances of continued success as foot traffic continues to decline.

Get the full story at L2

Read also "15 tips for restaurant social media marketing with examples"

Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/top_10_restaurants_in_digital

Travelers look for the human touch

October 19, 2017

CMO.com: Everyone within the whole travel ecosystem seems to be vying to own the customer’s holiday’s experiences. So what makes Virgin Holidays different?

Lopes: Unlike TripAdvisor and Airbnb, who are both offering ‘experiences’ to their customers, Virgin Holidays is in this unique place where we are able to organise an end to end customer holiday—including flights, hotels, transfers, car hire, as well amazing personalised experiences—that come together to create the perfect holiday. It’s a one-stop shop for all their travel needs.

Our target audience isn’t the pure independent traveller. We’re after what we call “aspiring adventurers.” They think of themselves as being adventurous and are active by nature, but also want the security of having activities planned in advance that are informed by our extensive local knowledge of their destination.

Get the full story at CMO by Adobe

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

Google testing hotel price sliders on desktop

October 19, 2017

In addition to the slider, Google is also testing a new calendar icon, an updated calendar, and bubble filters in hotels’ local packs. The filter resembles the bubbles on Mobile, as well as hotel local finder filters on Desktop.

The hotel price slider was rolled out to local packs on mobile and desktop in August, and it appears Google is looking to expand this feature to local packs as well.

Get the full story at Sergey Alakov

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

How the digital marketer must change as automation grows

October 19, 2017

88% of companies are already using marketing automation or plan to use some form of automated tech over the next two years. That’s at a clip of 31% growth over last year.

Marketing automation is here (it’s been here for a while) and it’s not going anywhere. As the number of tools, platforms, and opportunities grow for marketers, we must change how we think, how we work, and how we communicate as our potential reach spreads even further through automation opportunities.

A few thoughts on how digital marketers must change as automation grows in our industry.

Get the full story at Portent

Read also "Improving the Customer Experience Is Key to Digital Transformation" at eMarketer

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

Cvent CONNECT Europe 2017: Key takeaways

October 19, 2017

Our conference included some great news about how we’re improving our platform to maximize the impact of your events, regardless of their size, key industry trends, and how to further leverage the power of your events.

Here’s a quick snapshot of our user conference:

- 490+ people attended our first Cvent CONNECT Europe
- 15 seconds: the average check-in time for our attendees using OnArrival360
- 30+ educational and informational sessions available to attendees
- 5 major product announcements

Get the full story at Cvent

Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/cvent_connect_europe_2017_key_takeaways

GuestRevu expands its UK presence

October 19, 2017

During 2016 alone, GuestRevu saw an increase of more than 160% in the number of clients from the UK, and this trajectory has continued in 2017. This development has necessitated the appointment of a couple of new team members in the region, and following an extensive search, just the right candidates to join the UK team were found in Gail Treadwell and Darcy Considine-Moore.

“GuestRevu’s phenomenal growth in the past few quarters, especially in the UK and across Europe, has meant that we were in the position where we needed to grow our team in the region,” says Francine Heywood, co-founder and CSMO of GuestRevu. “However, we took our time with the search and screened a number of applicants – we were determined to find the ideal people for the roles.

Get the full story at GuestRevu

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

Trivago starts offering business tools to hotels

October 18, 2017

Trivago Hotel Relations is a fully consolidated subsidiary, but its earnings and revenue won’t be broken out, the company said. While Trivago provides the technology, Trivago Hotel Relations will provide the salespeople to entice hoteliers to use its supplementary tools, the company said.

While the hotel-search company’s basic extranet - a metasearch marketing platform called Trivago Hotel Manager - is free, its other three services are paid, namely: an advertising tool called Rate Connect, a property management system that also offers a booking engine for a hotel’s own website, and analytical tools to help with rate setting.

There are different paying modules according to each property. For example, Trivago Pro has a yearly cost, while Rate Connect works on a cost per click model. Base7 is a subscription service whose cost varies by the number of rooms at the property.

Get the full story at Skift

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

Booking.com plans to resume activities in Turkey

October 18, 2017

The travel agency's activities in Turkey were halted after a lawsuit citing unfair competition, filed by Association of Turkish Travel Agencies (TÜRSAB), went to court March 29.

The fifth case hearing will be held Oct. 23, according to company officials.

The suspension negatively affected the business of numerous small hotels across Turkey, particularly in Anatolia, which relied on Booking.com over other tour operators and travel agencies.

Get the full story at Daily Sabah

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

UK revenues top £50m at Booking.com

October 18, 2017

Newly filed accounts revealed the business turned over £54.7m in the year to 31 December 2016 compared to £44.9m 12 months earlier.

Pre-tax profits also jumped to £10.2m from £7.9m. There was also an EBITDA hike of 30.5 per cent to £25.6m.

In a statement accompanying the results, the company said this was down to an increase in service fees and depreciation increased by additional acquisition of computer equipment in 2016.

Get the full story at Insider

Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/uk_revenues_top_50m_at_booking.com

Carlson Wagonlit’s RoomIt unit is growing fast

October 18, 2017

Six salespeople are selling RoomIt to businesses that are not clients of the mother ship.

“We have already signed a RoomIt-only client,” said CWT president for hotels Scott Brennan during a late September interview. “We have a robust pipeline. I’d guess over the next few weeks we’ll have five more signed contracts for RoomIt. We’re seeing companies that are doing $1 million to $2 million a year in hotel without a significant air component. If you’re spending $1 million on hotels, there’s a good chance we can save you $150,000 a year. On top of that we can offer duty of care, centralized billing, etc. Maybe next year we find that you should be negotiating with hotels.”

RoomIt offers hotel content from Booking.com, Expedia, the GDSs and CWT’s own negotiated rates.

Get the full story at The Company Dime

Read also "Carloson Wagonlit CEO shares more details on RoomIt"

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

Report: Airbnb usage across New York City neighbourhoods

October 18, 2017

The paper,"Airbnb Usage Across New York City Neighborhoods: Geographic Patterns and Regulatory Implications," is forthcoming inThe Cambridge Handbook of the Law of the Sharing Economy.

Combining proprietary data from Airbnb with data from the American Community Survey, Zillow, and TripAdvisor, the researchers – NYU Stern Professor Arun Sundararajan, NYU Wagner Professor Ingrid Gould Ellen, NYU Wagner PhD student Xiaodi Li, and economists Peter Coles and Michael Egesdal of Airbnb – find that between 2011 and 2016:

- As Airbnb has grown, usage has become increasingly common outside of Manhattan and in lower income neighborhoods with few hotels, where hosts are also more likely to offer "individual room" (rather than "entire home") listings. The fraction of booked "entire home" listings in neighborhoods with below-median average household income grew from 17% in 2011to 27% in 2016 and the fraction of booked individual room listings in these neighborhoods grew from 41% in 2011to 50% in 2016.

- Short-term rentals do not appear to be as profitable in New York City relative to long-term rentals as many assume, and they have become relatively less profitable over time.In 2016, the average unit would have needed 216 days as a short-term rental to match the annual average revenue it would have earned as a long-term rental, with average break-even levels ranging from under 190 days in Brooklyn and Queens to 237 days in Manhattan.

- The significant variation across neighborhoods and in modes of use suggests a need for a regulatory approach that addresses this variation. Higher taxes and fees on high-usage units (that would also generate revenue for the city) or short-term rental caps and licenses for uncapped units are examples of such approaches.

Download the paper at SSRN

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

TripAdvisor teams up with Snapchat for the release of Context Cards

October 18, 2017

Snapchat has partnered with companies like TripAdvisor, FourSquare, Michelin, OpenTable, Uber and Lyft to provide contextual information and allow users to read reviews, make a restaurant reservation or even hire a driver.

To see a Context Card in action, all you have to do is swipe up on a snap with a geolocation filter or one that appears in Snap Map or Search. You’ll then be able to see business details such as the address, website, hours and ratings. Depending on the type of business, you may also see features that allow you to book an Uber ride or a table at a restaurant.

Get the full story at Koddi and Snapchat

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

Mövenpick Hotels & Resorts joins TravelClick’s Demand360 Program

October 18, 2017

This partnership further expands the Demand360 network of global data providers, giving hoteliers access to even more data that will allow them to more effectively identify in-market trends and maximize revenue per available room (RevPAR) moving forward.

With the addition of Mövenpick, more than 23,000 properties around the world now contribute their future and historical data to Demand360, with many more coming soon. Demand360 is the only competitive market intelligence product available to the hospitality industry that provides powerful forward-looking reservation metrics and competitive share by segment and channel. Using Demand360’s comprehensive picture of hotel demand over time, hoteliers can better optimize revenue management, distribution and marketing strategies.

“Our partnership with TravelClick gives us future visibility in the marketplace,” said Etienne Faisandier, Vice President, Revenue Management & Business Intelligence, Mövenpick Hotels & Resorts. “With Demand360, we now have a powerful tool in our arsenal to make the necessary strategic decisions that will optimize future opportunities to drive RevPAR – all of the while gaining a more holistic view of performance and where the business is coming from. This new development is a clear benefit of our integrated cloud-based commercial systems strategy, providing all of our hotels with the latest technology and tools to drive market share premium.”

Get the full story at TravelClick

Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/moevenpick_hotels_resorts_joins_travelclicks_demand360_program

EyeforTravel announces dates for the San Francisco Digital Travel Summit

October 18, 2017

The 2018 summit will focus on the following themes:

- Mobile & Innovation
- Social Media & Content
- Data & Partnership Strategies

The 2017 summit brought together over 300 heads of digital from brands like IHG, Lyft, Marriott Hotels, Booking.com, Google, Microsoft, Trivago, TripAdvisor, McKinsey, Cathay Pacific.

“The 2018 summit will look to build on our success and establish our status as the biggest digital travel conference on the west coast,” says Renu Kannu, summit director in charge of researching the 2018 agenda.

For more information about the conference, please visit http://events.eyefortravel.com/san-francisco-summit/

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

How Hotelbeds wants to play with Priceline and Expedia

October 17, 2017

It is undecided yet if the GTA and Tourico brands – acquisition of the latter was completed in June – will be kept, with Vilà saying that’s a “secondary” concern to be decided later, while the primary “big” task is to integrate “three specific companies into one new company with a new culture that will make it a great place to work”.

“You know, the price is too big too fail,” he told TTG Asia in a phone interview from Palma, Spain, adding that he guarantees the birth of a new organisation whose consolidation is driven by growth, not cost cuts.

To understand the scale of the integration, a source tipped that the combined value of the GTA and Tourico acquisitions is some 1.3 billion euros (US$1.5 billion), with GTA being “the bigger buy, but not much bigger”.

Get the full story at TTG Asia

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

Airbnb eyes expansion with affiliate program for sites with 1M+ users, new API

October 17, 2017

Airbnb is now rolling out a new call for affiliate partners, where high-traffic sites with over 1 million visitors can embed Airbnb property listings and make commissions when they are booked. Alongside this, Airbnb has now turned on an API for app developers to link in the backend to and offer an easier way to manage listings via other apps.

The two steps underscore how the company is looking for ways to open its platform for the next stage of growth, and come amid a spate of other partnership expansions.

A couple of weeks ago, co-working space WeWork announced it would team up with Airbnb to offer a co-working and accommodation double service to business travellers. And in Florida, Airbnb has been collaborating with a developer to build an Airbnb-branded apartment complex — one way that the company might get around some of the trickier rules regarding Airbnb rentals in private buildings, which are potentially hindering the company’s growth.

Get the full story at TechCrunch

Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/airbnb_eyes_expansion_with_affiliate_program_for_sites_with_1m_users_new_ap

A look inside Israel’s booming travel tech industry

October 17, 2017

Founder Itai Green has established a community of at least 250 Israeli travel tech entrepreneurs brought together with a common interest. While travel tech is one of the most competitive industries in Israel , the ITTS hopes to increase and strengthen an internal collaboration between Israeli startups, while also connecting them with investors and increasing their engagement with multinational corporations and investors.

“We want the travel corporates and investors from around the world to discover the rapidly growing travel tech ecosystem in Israel, from which they can get a huge benefit,” Green tells NoCamels.

Green had this in mind when he got behind the launch of the first-ever Israeli Travel Tech Ecosystem Map that reviews all the local travel companies.

Get the full story at No Camels

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

CWT signs distribution deal with BA and Iberia without GDS surcharges

October 17, 2017

The agreement, effective 1 November 2017, applies to CWT business travel and leisure clients. CWT continues to work with all key parties, to provide further surcharge-free BA and IB content for its customers.

“This agreement further strengthens our long-standing partnership with BA and IB and highlights our mutual commitment to the concept of new distribution capabilities (NDC) to drive improved product differentiation," said Brian Mogler, Senior Vice President, global supplier management, CWT. "While we believe GDSs provide the best technology platform available for CWT to enable best-in-market user experience and operating efficiency, we will continue to monitor and assess new technologies and capabilities.’

Ian Luck, Head of Distribution at British Airways, said: ‘We are delighted with this new agreement which will bring both immediate and longer term benefits. We are particularly pleased with the strong undertaking CWT has made to work collaboratively with us, GDSs and other technology partners in delivering NDC content and other benefits to our customers.’

Get the full story at Carlson Wagonlit Travel

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

Hyatt breach exposed customer payment data at 41 hotels

October 17, 2017

The three U.S. hotels affected were all in Hawaii, with the remaining 38 scattered around the world (China had the most trouble).

In a statement, Hyatt said it “has taken steps to strengthen the security of its systems, and customers can feel confident using payment cards at Hyatt hotels worldwide.” Wait, no. That’s from the statement it issued when it was hacked in late 2015.

The new statement reads: “we have resolved the issue and implemented additional security measures to strengthen the security of our systems. Customers can confidently use payment cards at Hyatt hotels worldwide.”

If these improvements are anything like the ones they put in two years ago, your confidence is clearly misplaced.

Get the full story at TechCrunch

Read also "Hyatt Suffers Second Data Breach in Two Years" at Skift

Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/hyatt_breach_exposed_customer_payment_data_at_41_hotels

Is GDPR the Y2K for B2B marketing?

October 17, 2017

Buckle in. Marketing - and your entire organization - is about to be overwhelmed with stiffer data privacy regulations around the globe. The poster child for this movement is GDPR, the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation. As a marketing leader, you’ll be spending hundreds of hours with the legal eagles and the data teams on what many analysts are calling the biggest thing to hit B2B marketing in a generation.

As we’ve been preparing for GDPR these last few months, I’m having flashbacks to my time in the IT world as we counted down to Y2K. The similarities between GDPR and Y2K are striking:

- Hype, hysteria and confusion that builds during countdown to enactment while people wonder about what’s really going to happen.

- Antiquated legacy tech and processes to figure out and deal with, which leads to discovering how messed up the systems and data are.

- A ton of money and resources spent - some valuable, most wasted - on trying to understand its impact and what to do.

Get the full story at Marketing Land

Read also "GDPR is coming, but nobody knows how it will be enforced"

Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/is_gdpr_the_y2k_for_b2b_marketing

How much should hotel marketers spend on paid search?

October 17, 2017

1. Hotel Discovery & Determining Competitive Advantages – this guides our keyword research which helps us determine the estimated cost per click for qualified keywords. We seek answers to questions such as, What adjectives describe the hotel? What are the nearby attractions that drive visitors to the market? What are the top business drivers for the hotel? What are the hotel’s top competitors? What special amenities, services or events does the hotel support? Then we utilize keyword planner tools from Google and Bing to determine keyword CPC and traffic estimates.

2. Establish business goals – we work closely with the client to determine their top priorities. Do they have a revenue goal they need to achieve? Does the client want to focus on driving more wedding or meeting business? Are they competing with OTAs to capture reservations? What are some of their biggest challenges and how might paid search help them overcome those hurdles?

3. Complete Competitive Research – paid search pay per click costs are based on a bidding model. Competitive research factors in how many other advertisers are bidding on the same keywords, whether or not other advertisers are bidding on your brand name and also provides an understanding of highly valuable keywords we should be including in our campaigns.

Get the full story at GCommerce

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

5 ways to protect your hotel brand online and increase profit

October 17, 2017

With so many travel websites, it may seem like an arduous task but it doesn’t have to be. If the responsibility is shared across staff members in your hotel the task will become less daunting and you’ll be more effective at spotting inconsistencies and mistakes.

When you find your listing, are you happy with how your hotel is being represented?

Here are some crucial details you should look out for.

Get the full story at Net Affinity

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

Meet the most successful CEO in online travel: Booking.com’s Gillian Tans

October 16, 2017

Of course, biking to work in Amsterdam is a way of life - cars come second to bikes in this city and pedestrians are a complete afterthought - but when you consider that Gillian Tans, the CEO of Booking.com, made $17.1 million last year (which means she made more than her boss at the time, Priceline Group Interim CEO Jeffery Boyd) you get an inkling of her down-to-earth personality.

Tans works in one of the most robust sectors of the travel industry. As one of the first employees at Booking.com, she has been integral to the team that transformed it from tiny website catering to Dutch holiday-makers into the world’s biggest accommodation booking site, with over 15,000 employees in 204 offices all over the world. After all, when you type in anything into your search engine about travel or hotels, Booking.com is one of the first options to pop up, if not the first. But you would never know that the somewhat soft-spoken and calm Tans is one of the most important and dynamic people in this massive industry.

Get the full story at the Observer

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

Airbnb’s home-hotel hybrid will open in Florida next year

October 16, 2017

Guests will also have access to an on-demand concierge, as well as luggage storage.

Tenants who choose to rent out their spaces on Airbnb will be automatically enrolled in the company’s Friendly Buildings Program, which launched in September of 2016. The program allows hosts to share revenue from each rental with the landlord or building owner.

Airbnb says that 11,000 units are enlisted in the Airbnb Friendly Buildings Program, which is a relatively small number, considering Airbnb has more than 4 million listings on the platform. Still, the program is relatively nascent and likely will build momentum on the heels of the Niido project. On average, tenants share 15 percent of revenue with landlords/owners.

Get the full story at TechCrunch and Bloomberg

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

How Hilton sees digital today and in the hotel of the future

October 16, 2017

Well, according to Hilton Worldwide, which is beta-testing a smart room where “the room knows you and you know your room” this futuristic-sounding experience could be available in its hotels by next year, along with advancements in in-room entertainment.

But this is just a glimpse of how digital, mobile, analytics and IoT technology is being used in the hospitality sector.

Hilton is among the vanguard of international hotel giants looking for increasingly creative ways to use technology in their bid to engage ever-demanding digitally-connected customers who seek to interact using apps, smartphones and tablets before, during and after their stay.

Get the full story at Tnooz

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

Not just rooms, hotels offer one-of-a-kind experiences

October 16, 2017

Hotels are looking to establish deeper connections with their customers in the face of growing competition from start-ups. So far, home rental services like Airbnb claim 12 percent of the traveler accommodations market, according to a report this year by the market research firm Mintel Research. But that share is expected to grow, especially among travelers who are 40 and younger, and that has prompted hotel brands to rework their rewards programs to cement loyalty with their frequent customers.

“Hotels have started to feel the pinch from encroachment,” said Gina Cavato, an analyst for lifestyles and leisure at Mintel. “They are trying to boost loyalty programs by offering unique rewards options.”

Marriott is trying to differentiate itself by focusing on self-improvement activities, in part because its own research suggests this is how people will increasingly spend their money when traveling. According to Marriott’s consumer research, younger travelers are willing to spend twice as much — or nearly $300 a month — on self-improvement, including bettering their sports or cooking skills.

Get the full story at The New York Times

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

Marriott’s new concept hotel takes on home-sharing industry

October 16, 2017

Moxy Times Square wasn’t specifically developed to take on Airbnb, but that was nevertheless the result with the launch of Marriott’s hip and innovative new midtown Manhattan hotel.

With its high-style, urban camping aesthetic; incredibly affordable room rates ($149) and a variety of industry innovations—such as dialing down the services offered and instead channeling energy into fostering a sense of community at the property—Moxy is aiming squarely at today’s modern traveler.

“It wasn’t intended to attack Airbnb but the result is that it’s a very formidable competitor of Airbnb,” Mitchell Hochberg, principal at Lightstone, the property developer, said during a telephone interview.

Get the full story at at TravelPulse

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

Google and the disintermediation of search

October 16, 2017

Here are just a few longer-term examples:

- Apps: whereas users once used Google as a starting point to reach a variety of websites, they’re far more likely today to visit smartphone apps associated with those sites. To the extent that there’s any searching going on, it likely takes place within the narrower confines of those apps or perhaps an on-device search engine.

- E-commerce: for online retail specifically, past studies have shown that some 55% of searches now originate not on Google.com but on Amazon.com, again cutting Google and its search and ad revenues out of the picture (and in the process allowing Amazon to quietly build its own search advertising business.

- Voice: people are increasingly using voice interfaces to search for information they once used a text search for, both on mobile devices and increasingly on smart voice speakers like Amazon’s Echo and Google’s own Home products. In many of these cases, even on Google’s platform, there’s currently no ad revenue opportunity associated with that.

Get the full story at Tech.pinions

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

Highlights from Facebook’s Global Partner Summit 2017

October 16, 2017

The first day of the summit focused on Facebook’s current products and solutions and how to best leverage them. Day two introduced holistic solutions and opportunities for serving small businesses and industry verticals. An enormous amount of information and case studies were presented in two days, but we’ve highlighted three of our top takeaways below:

Key Opportunities for Facebook Advertisers

- Video: There’s been an 80% growth year over year in the amount of time people spend watching videos online, so it’s no surprise that video was one of the main topics of the Global Partner Summit. Many of the talks and breakout sessions discussed creative ways to use video to increase ad engagement and why it’s important to take a mobile-first approach. The consumer shift toward video content is evident in the introduction of products like Instagram Stories and Facebook Watch, as well as an increasing number of ad types that support video.

Get the full story at Koddi

Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/highlights_from_facebooks_global_partner_summit_2017

Revenue management is key hub in hotel operations

October 16, 2017

There is no more dynamic or interdependent business than the operation of a hotel. It’s an environment that brings together various functions —from food and beverage to housekeeping to maintenance to sales and marketing — all under one roof, and with a common goal of maximizing profitability.

And while each function is separate, they must all work together and communicate with each other to create an operation that efficiently meets or exceeds guest expectations while maximizing sales and profits for ownership.

The key in that equation is communications, and one of the pivotal nodes of a property’s communications is the revenue manager. Because they control vast amounts of information vital to the operation of many departments, they must be able to disseminate and interpret data under their control to further the hotel’s goals.

Get the full story at Duetto

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

Why OTAs will line up against blockchain adoption

October 12, 2017

They are beneficiaries of the barriers to entry that the modern distribution environment places on access to content. This is compounded by an increasingly expensive customer acquisition landscape.

Viewed within the context of greater historical decentralization that has been driven largely by the Internet, Blockchain — or future iterations of the technology — feels like an inevitable progression. It’s a technology that allows for the dispersal of functions, powers, people or things away from a central location or authority, while importantly maintaining trust.

The global distribution systems delivered significant transformations in content access and booking ease, followed by a wave new entrants such as the online travel agencies piggybacking off of Internet and mobile disruptions. Fundamentally, however, they’re built off of the base of the Distribution 1.0 model that provides significant incentives to online travel agencies and along with it market power that makes it extremely difficult for new players, under the current system, to break in.

Get the full story at Skift

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

Winding Tree: Bringing blockchain to the travel industry

October 12, 2017

Lufthansa Group is always looking for forward-looking partners who share the vision of a new distribution landscape. The Lufthansa Group is, therefore, working closely with the Switzerland-based startup Winding Tree.

Winding Tree has dedicated itself to the reorganisation of travel distribution. With a decentralised B2B marketplace system powering blockchain-based travel booking transactions, startups and companies will be able to gain direct access to travel service providers' offerings without the inefficiencies given by a setup with many intermediaries.

Simply put, in the future, airlines, hotels and other travel service providers will offer their services on Winding Tree's platform, and companies interested in content will only connect to the B2B blockchain-distributed digital marketplace to present specific offers tailored to their customers' needs. This will result in a large number of new apps for travellers, who will then be able to book Lufthansa Group flights via the offer that best suits their preferences.

Get the full story at BizCommunity

Learn more about Winding Tree's plans to launch a hotel product at BTN

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

HOTREC unveils its assessment of OTA practices

October 12, 2017

In today’s MEP Breakfast meeting on online platforms’ transparency, several MEPs and representatives of the European Commission, as well as of the hospitality industry, consumers and of online platforms recognised the enhanced role platforms should take to the mutual benefit of consumers, businesses and the whole European Digital Single Market. Platforms are indeed playing a more and more crucial role in everyone’s business and private life, however their often dominant position leads to discrepancies in the market, which need to be rectified.

The European hospitality industry presented to the participants (among which several MEPs, Head of Units from DG Just and DG Connect and representatives of Member States) its position including the state of play of the situation both from a business and consumer perspective as well as the necessary action to be taken to rectify unfair commercial practices.

"Online platforms abuse their dominant position vis-à-vis their individual partners of the highly fragmented hospitality industry. When one platform accounts for around 2/3 of hotel bookings via Online Travel Agencies, the whole hospitality industry is impacted by its practices, specifically when these are unfair” stressed Markus Luthe, Chair of HOTREC’s Distribution Task Force in the meeting. "Moreover, despite the ban of parity clauses in Germany, France, Austria and Italy, representing almost 50% of the EU tourism market in terms of nights spent, such clauses in most countries in Europe are still depriving hoteliers from their entrepreneurial freedom to set the prices and conditions for their own products”, added Mr. Luthe.

Indeed, hospitality businesses are losing control over their products and distribution, as many conditions are dictated by the dominant platforms. Consumers are also often mislead and unduly pressured by online intermediaries towards immediate bookings while considering making a purchase decision.

"There should be a level-playing field for all actors in today’s digital economy and more transparency both towards businesses and of course consumers” said MEP Isabella De Monte, the host of the event. "Fair competition should be as well the guarantor of the governance and of the development of the Single Market in the EU to be reflected in the Digital Single Market Strategy” – added MEP De Monte.

"The hospitality industry demands that consumers are accurately and transparently informed about rankings and prices on the site and that platforms stop unfair commercial practices both towards businesses as well as consumers. Indeed, more transparency e.g. on algorithms, as well as clear and efficient process in case of disputes are essential for service providers to be able to work in a more predictable and performant market” added Christian de Barrin, CEO of HOTREC. "The current market situation can and shall be improved by policy makers, as there is lots of unexploited potential in platforms for the benefit of the whole Single Digital Market”, concluded Mr. de Barrin.

Read HOTREC position on the European Commission Communication on the mid-term review of the Digital Single Market Strategy HOTREC

Read also "Who owns the hotel customer?"

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

Airlines ‘making it more difficult to compare fares’

October 12, 2017

That is the conclusion of the report on ‘The Impact of Airline Consolidation on Consumer Choice’, published this week.

It notes: “Carriers’ relative bargaining position has been strengthened through consolidation and direct access to consumers and agents” and this “threatens the business models of independent distribution platforms that are the primary source for comparison shopping.”

It warns: “Carriers are employing commercial practices to shift consumers to their own websites where they avoid comparison-shopping, avoid ‘head to head’ competition and upsell services to consumers.

Get the full story at Travolution

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

Kayak sees potential with voice technology-assisted bookings

October 12, 2017

Reflecting the prevalence and sophistication of artificial-intelligence services, Stamford-based travel firm Kayak has quickly expanded its use of the technology in the past two years. Among its latest innovations, it has launched hotel booking with Amazon devices featuring the voice-activated Alexa assistant.

“This work is based on the explosion of everyone having one of these devices in the house, starting around the end of 2015,” said Kayak Chief Scientist Matthias Keller. “And, in the past, we’ve had great success with being early on new technologies. Our people were really excited about this, and it was a great match to develop with Alexa.”

The Kayak service on Alexa - known as a “skill” - launched in May 2016. In its first iteration, it allowed users to search hotels, flights and rental cars; provided updates on flight arrivals and departures; and gave travel recommendations for given budgets.

Get the full story at Stamford Advocate

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

The future of marketing in a blockchain world

October 12, 2017

As companies adopt blockchain technologies they are rapidly decentralizing tasks and authority. While a corporation answers to both shareholders and customers, in a decentralized company the customers are the shareholders. How will this change the face of marketing in the future?

First a refresher: what is a blockchain?

Essentially, blockchain is a database. It forms a public ledger of transactions that have been cryptographically encoded, or “hashed.” Periodically, all new transactions are written to a “block,” which is then linked back to the old block with a hash, like a chain.

Blockchains are distributed, which means they are kept on different servers and devices around the world. Because of the duplicate nature of each transaction, it is nearly impossible to alter or hack a block, which is appealing to businesses today.

Get the full story at Schaefer Marketing Solutions

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

Become a hotel advertising pro: Align your campaigns with the travel shopping journey

October 12, 2017

Of course, there is some leeway with defining these advertising channels, and some channels can easily fall into more than one portion of the funnel. The goal here is to better understand options when it comes to travel marketing and understand how to best allocate your budget based on both your goals and the potential return. We will explore advertising options through four distinct phases: Inspiration & Awareness, Interest & Consideration, Decision & Booking, Experiencing & Sharing.

From a hotel perspective, it is also important to understand your place in the ecosystem. In general, it is not in an individual property’s interest to focus on generating a demand for a destination. Of course, there are exceptions, with obvious examples like Disney or Atlantis. However, for the vast majority of leisure hotels, your time and energy are better spent persuading visitors with a predetermined intent to travel to your destination to stay at your hotel versus selling your destination. That being said, we will discuss all opportunities that are available from a hotel perspective to help generate and nurture prospective travelers throughout the travel planning journey. Also keep in mind that one needs to carefully consider not only the channel in question, but also the ad format, the messaging, the targeting, and the landing page experience during each step of this process.

Get the full story at Fuel

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

Spotlight on… online guest experience

October 12, 2017

But all too often we come across hotel websites that fail to match up to the hospitality guests experience in person.

Have you ever allowed a guest to wander the halls until they find what they need? Would you show them a fuzzy, decade-old photograph when they ask to see the pool? These might sound like extreme examples, but it’s not uncommon to see them replicated online.

This is a pressing issue, particularly when your customers are used to seamless online interactions through the likes of Amazon and Uber. So we decided to tackle the basics of online guest experience in our latest Spotlight on… report.

Get the full story at Triptease

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

OTA impact on hotels flattens

October 11, 2017

Has the hotel sector reached “peak OTA”? There was speculation at this year’s Hotel Distribution Event in London, that this may be the case.

In the strong UK market, the OTAs’ share of bookings has not increased according to data from Travelclick, reassuring many, as fears over the impact of Airbnb were also played down.

Hotel Analyst editorial director Andrew Sangster opened the conference quoting Phocuswright figures that the OTAs’ share of the online travel market was expected to rise from 39% in 2016 to 41% by 2020.

Get the full story at Hotel Analyst

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

Who owns the hotel customer?

October 11, 2017

With the advent of the internet, breadth of search functionality and purchase options available to hotel guests, it’s a question with many nuanced answers and an area that needs to be concretely addressed. The third-party intermediaries have offered an influx of “options” when it comes to transacting, but one must ask whether these options are truly a gateway or gatekeeper to higher guest satisfaction and increased occupancy.

Before the technological developments in distribution, efforts in creating customer loyalty were focused on the competition between and among hotel properties and companies. Sales and marketing budgets were dedicated to promoting the unique selling propositions of the property and differentiating Hotel ABC from Hotel XYZ. Hotel marketers would highlight the benefits of Hotel ABC’s physical plant versus that of Hotel XYZ, and why this unique combination of space and service provides a superior overall guest experience.

While that aspect of market distinction has remained mostly intact, there is a secondary competition for the time and attention of the guest throughout the travel-planning process. Part partnership, part rivalry, hotel brands compete with themselves for the eyes and loyalty of the consumer and across the third-party intermediaries whose primary goal is to generate bookings for their partners, which comes at a cost to the suppliers. This means that any discussion about “who owns the guest” has to be considered in a two-phased approach examining brand-versus-brand competition for the guest and examining brand-versus-third-party competition for the guest.

Get the full story at Hotel Management

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

Euromonitor: Global tourism will record a 4.1% increase in revenues during 2018

October 11, 2017

By 2022, Euromonitor expects that China will be the world’s largest source of outbound tourism demand, with 128 million trips, overtaking the US as the country with the highest propensity for travel abroad. Growth is set to be very strong, at 8.4% over the period 2017-2022. Outside of Asia, the US and France are likely to benefit the most, due to their China-ready approach.

China is already the largest source of tourism expenditure, growing by 10.9% over 2017-2022, driven predominantly by GDP per capita, and the rise in middle-class households.

Japan saw the strongest increase in China arrivals growth over 2013-2017, with a CAGR of 54%, amounting to an additional six million Chinese arrivals thanks to simplifying the visa process and the weak yen.

Get the full story at Tornos News and download the white paper at Euromonitor

Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/euromonitor_global_tourism_will_record_a_4.1_increase_in_revenues_during_20

GBTA: Business travelers identify top challenges they face on the road

October 11, 2017

The study, Creating a Frictionless Travel Experience – North America, conducted in partnership with Sabre Corporation (NASDAQ: SABR), identifies the main challenges business travelers face during their travel experience while also looking to understand what organizations are doing to make this experience a better one for their travelers. The top pain points all have one thing in common – they are time consuming. Given that 72 percent of business travelers are middle management or higher, it is not surprising that they are concerned about losing time or having an adequate work environment.

“It is no secret that business travel drives business growth and face-to-face interactions help get business done,” said Michael W. McCormick, GBTA executive director and COO. “Ultimately those who travel want to save time when possible, be productive and have a pleasant experience while accomplishing their business goals. A better understanding of the challenges business travelers face can help organizations better serve their road warriors as they work to provide the right tools, resources and policies.”

“With advances in technology, corporate travelers are plugged in and connected more than ever before. While the technology is out there, this report demonstrates that we still have work do to make corporate travel more seamless, reducing the number of apps and tools needed to organize their trip, while also optimizing compliance and reducing costs,” said Wade Jones, executive vice president and president, Sabre Travel Network. “It is critical we organize and align our resources to execute on integrating technology into a sustainable, data-rich platform that supports the business travel experience across the spectrum of planning and booking to reconciling expenses at the end of the journey."

Get the full story at GBTA and view the infograph "Most difficult aspects of business travel" at GBTA

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

The most rewarding hotel loyalty programs in 2017

October 11, 2017

On average, Wyndham Rewards returns 16.7% in value on every dollar spent on a room booking, nearly twice as much as Marriott Rewards, the second-ranked program in the study which was published by the Ideaworks Company.

Ideaworks used a unique calculation to evaluate the most rewarding hotel loyalty program. In short, the study took the number of points earned on an average hotel booking and determined how that payback could be applied to a portion of a future booking. In Wyndham's case, for example, an average of 16.7% of each hotel night booked could be used for a future stay. Put another way, a $100/night room at a Wyndham property would result in $16.70 of credit towards another room -- or it would take 5.9 stays for an average member of Wyndham Rewards to earn an additional free night.

Get the full story at Forbes

Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/the_most_rewarding_hotel_loyalty_programs_in_2017

Changes to social media platforms add flexibility for hotels

October 11, 2017

Instagram remains a focal point for showing off hotel properties, sources said, but Twitter and Facebook are great tools for engaging with customers and providing updates about a hotel company, brand or individual property.

Stephanie Ofreneo, social marketing and digital branding manager at social media consultancy The Social Element, said hotels are becoming more “digitally savvy” with offerings such as keyless entry and online check-in. As a result, she said, it’s becoming more important that “the speed of response on social media platforms … (matches) the real-time experience in hotels.”

As for platform trends: “We’ve seen Facebook as a staple when it comes to marketing content and engaging with customers. The very visual Instagram also plays an important part in selling a concept, idea or lifestyle to a wider audience,” she said. “Instagram is excellent for (taking) a consumer through an experience that they want to be part of, especially giving a (peek) of a location that they’re curious to visit and then entices them to come—through Instagram stories and feed.”

Get the full story at HNN

Read also "15 tips for restaurant social media marketing with examples"

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

Using CRM and data to curate unique experiences for guests

October 11, 2017

The software layer simply resides where the human layer of CRM cannot: in front of the customer when he or she is not in residence at a brand property, whether that be online, mobile, or email; in the back office, storing guest records and strictly maintaining the privacy of that information; in the marketing department, helping to formulate personalized campaigns for greater revenue and loyalty; and with the customer in between visits, reminding him or her of the affinity he or she has for the brand, and when the next stay might be.

In order for CRM in its full capacity to be successful, a hospitality operator must get to the heart of what drives all these touchpoints and what will ultimately enable them to provide a perfect experience for every guest – their data.

So, what is the aim of gathering all of this data? And what will the hotel do for the customer once it has been collated and analyzed? The aim is to learn about the guests' behavior and use it to predict what they may pick/do in the future. The hotel will identify opportunities to surprise and delight the guest, ideally during their first stay which in turn would encourage them to return and become a loyal customer.

Get the full story at Cendyn

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

Is your hotel’s digital strategy keeping up with the latest in search engine marketing?

October 11, 2017

Search marketing encompasses search engine optimization (SEO) and search engine marketing (SEM). SEO focuses on getting organic (free) traffic from the search results on search engines, while SEM focuses on acquiring customers by placing paid ads on search engine result pages.

In hospitality, the goal of these programs is to ensure your hotel’s website has a strong presence in search results to capture traffic and increase direct bookings. By optimizing both your paid campaign and your website via SEO, your hotel can drive a significant amount of traffic and direct bookings with a strong search marketing program.

SEO and SEM is hard work, but can have a high ROI in the long run. To ensure you are implementing the right strategies and keeping the pace with the latest developments, reach out to our digital experts to ensure your website is ready to bring more traffic and convert visitors to guests.

Get the full story at Sabre Hospitality Solutions

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

How OTAs are winning the direct booking battle in China

October 10, 2017

According to the report 77.5% of web bookings are made through an online travel agent website, rising to 81.2% for app bookings. Only 17.6% of travellers booked direct through a website, and 12.9% used the airline app.

So, despite pressure from the Chinese government on airlines to drive more direct bookings, the majority of digital bookings in China are still made through OTAs.

The dominance of OTAs in China is in marked contrast to Western markets where airlines have been able to hold their market share or in some cases grow it. According to Alex Hadwick, EyeforTravel Head of Research, this outlines the unique dynamics at play in China, where smartphones and apps play a much larger role in the travel booking process.

Get the full story at EyeForTravel

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

Hotels offer bundled packages to wrest bookings from OTAs

October 10, 2017

Airlines, too, are beefing up their vacation packages to keep customers off of sites like Expedia and Orbitz. And cruise lines continue to offer one-stop shopping. Should more hotels be in on the game, too?

Within the past two years, more and more independently owned hotels, as well as properties tied to a brand, such as Marriott Inclusive Vacations and Vacations by Marriott, are starting to bundle airfare and hotel rates.

On the fence about whether to employ this strategy? Stuart Butler, COO of Fuel Travel Marketing, cautions hotels to first consider their target audience. What the guest is looking for is an easy, simple experience that often includes hotel transfers, meals, drinks, airfare and the room, he said.

Get the full story at Hotel Management

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

India: OTAs go beyond discounts to net loyal customers

October 10, 2017

While price-conscious travelers – those who are ready to buy tickets on any platform that offers discounts – drive up volumes for online travel players, the ones that stick to a particular site bring better margins.

“The aviation market in India is growing dramatically and we want to offer an experience that will make customers come back again and again. We’ve realised that just offering discounts cannot be our primary mode for customer acquisition,” said Subramanya Sharma, Chief Marketing Officer, Cleartrip.

Cleartrip has, therefore, rolled out a programme called Cleartrip Local, where a customer gets to book experiences such as concerts, eating out, local trips and guided tours. “If a customer uses this channel to pay for a local activity or experience, she is more likely to come back to the website when she wants to book a flight. And even when she’s not travelling but wants to do something fun in her home city, she is still engaged with our website,” says Sharma.

Get the full story at Business Line

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

Loyalty is on the verge of major disruption

October 10, 2017

The travel industry has a long tradition of loyalty schemes thanks to hotel reward nights, frequent flyer airline programs, and co-branded credit cards. There are several different types of loyalty program structures with a wide range of benefits, such as points, free gifts, discounts, free shipping, exclusive events, tiers, and the like. However, the average consumer is suffering from loyalty fatigue.

According to the 2017 Colloquy Loyalty Census, the average U.S. household has 30 loyalty schemes, but 54 percent of them are inactive. To optimize every single scheme seems unachievable to many, bar those that thrive on the challenge of points collection and redemption.

According to Euromonitor International’s Global Consumer Trends Survey, only 28 percent of consumers globally said that they shopped more often at stores or websites where they have a loyalty card or membership in 2016, with the influence of loyalty declining, down from 34 percent in 2013.

Get the full story at Skift

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

The changing face of the Marriott hotel lobby

October 10, 2017

Eveything old is new. Once a vibrant public space that welcomed all manner of people, the hotel lobby for much of the past century served as a private, single-use waiting area for guests.

Here is a firsthand look at how this trend has played out in Marriott hotels. Downtown Portland is hopping with new lodgings, and the Marriott alone has opened two new hotels this year, the AC Hotel by Portland Marriott and the Hi-Lo, part of the Autograph Collection Hotels by Marriott.

Get the full story at Oregon Business

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

15 tips for restaurant social media marketing with examples

October 10, 2017

Social media and online reviews are the social proof restaurants need in order to develop and thrive. A spot-on restaurant social media marketing is a must.

Your goals here are simple: Let the world know you exist. Prove your place is better than your competitor’s.Let let even more people know that your place is awesome. Make them stop by.

Get the full story at Brand24

Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/15_tips_for_restaurant_social_media_marketing_with_examples

How can hotels halt the demise of guest loyalty?

October 10, 2017

Couple this with an overwhelming case of brand saturation and it’s not surprising many believe loyalty is dead. The problem is, it’s still important.

It’s no longer enough to implement a points-based rewards system or offer discounts to returning customers. The amount of places to promote and implement loyalty programs is ever increasing making the landscape more confusing for hoteliers. It’s hard to nail down exactly what will convince modern travellers to become brand-loyal again.

Thankfully it’s not impossible. That’s why SiteMinder’s Dean Elphick spoke to Jordan Hollander of Hotel Tech Report. Jordan previously worked at Starwood Hotels & Resorts with the Global Partnerships team, contributing to the award-winning Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG) program. Now, at Hotel Tech Report, he has co-founded the number one ratings and review platform for the hotel technology industry.

Get the full story at SiteMinder

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

How to turn OTA shoppers into direct bookers on your website

October 10, 2017

And that’s your moment to convince a travel shopper to book direct. In this article, we suggest some strategies for how to do this on your website, to help drive more direct bookings and reduce your OTA commissions.

The first thing is to try and capture contact information for your website visitors – the most important being their email address. This will allow you to continue a dialogue with them, promote special offers, and send other marketing messages to convince them to book.

One of the easiest ways to gather email addresses is to run a contest. It doesn’t have to be big or expensive. The prize could be a gift certificate for your hotel or on-site amenities, a free room upgrade, or passes to a nearby local attraction. The good thing about prizes like these is that they require the winner to book a stay to redeem them.

Get the full story at Vizlly

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

Hoteliers becoming more skilled at navigating distribution landscape

October 09, 2017

During a panel titled “Hotel owners and operators speak out” at the Hotel Distribution Event 2017 in London last week, panelists praised and damned both brands and online travel agencies, while admitting that consolidation with hotel firms and OTAs provides scale and benefits for both.

Still, they said, education and a continued push in direct-booking campaigns might help Brand.com regain some footing within the next few years.

Bottom line, cost-per-guest-acquisition strategies remain complicated, and distribution partners can best be described as “frenemies.”

Get the full story at HNN

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

TripAdvisor’s SVP Global Product is leaving the company

October 09, 2017

Adam Medros’ departure comes nine days after a statement by Mark Mahaney of RBC Capital Markets at the Skift Global Forum in New York City, arguing that TripAdvisor has been bereft of product innovation over the last few years, and that its profits have consequently suffered.

On stage at the Skift Global Forum the next day, TripAdvisor co-founder and CEO Stephen Kaufer responded to a question about Mahaney’s comments, saying “Travelers are happy with what we’re doing,” he said. “They’re not asking for whiz-bang feature, something here, something there. They’re looking for help planning the trip. And to that, we’ve done a great job helping to build those trip memories.”

Kaufer said he felt good about the company’s expansion into restaurants, as well as tours and activities, for their growth potential. He also said that consumers aren’t looking for fancy bells and whistles in TripAdvisor’s apps.

Get the full story at Skift

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

Sabre outlines strategy to innovate the next level of travel distribution and retailing

October 09, 2017

Menke emphasized that Sabre is committed to leading on the development of next generation distribution and retailing solutions that leverage the International Air Transport Association’s (IATA) New Distribution Capability (NDC) in ways that will benefit airlines, travel retailers and consumers.

Menke said that the development of NDC standards was just the first step in a series of changes that will impact the way airlines market their services and how travel agencies retail those services to consumers. But there are a host of other implications, including airline revenue management, ticketing fulfillment and servicing and other back-office functions that travel agencies provide in support of airlines – most especially travel management companies that support business travelers. “Sabre has a history of bringing together the interests of travel suppliers and travel retailers and finding ways for technology to move the industry forward. The conversations we have today with airlines and agencies are very different from our discussions even a few years ago. The forward-thinking people are focused on driving value creation for airlines and agencies alike. That’s how we will make NDC work. Over the coming months, we’ll be talking more about how we will bring this to market, but we have no intention of giving up the technology leadership role we have played historically,” said Menke.

Get the full story at Sabre

Read also "Sabre reimagines lodging with new content services solution"

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

How technology has changed how we travel

October 09, 2017

There can be few areas in our world that have been transformed by technology to quite the same extent as travel. Medical advances have been significant, of course, and the way we consume content is different today than it was 20 years ago but the travel experience today is virtually unrecognisable from what it once was. We look at those changes and how they have changed how we travel.

Online bookings: One of the earliest articles about online booking in this newspaper appeared under the headline “Myth of online travel bargains”. It was published in July 1999 and the authoer started by saying that “idea of buying air tickets online is pretty attractive” but concluded with the notion that the “ticket sites are terminally kludgy [and] sometimes they are far more expensive than a travel agent’s. Of course there is also the nagging fear of ending up standing in some far-off airport, wailing ‘but the website said my tickets would be at the desk’.” Months after the article appeared, Ryanair launched an online booking platform – a development that merited a single paragraph in this paper – and everything started to changed dramatically after that.

Get the full story at The Irish Times

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

Mobile devices, apps change how in-room phones are used

October 09, 2017

As hotel companies continue to enhance their mobile and online communications capabilities with guests, in-room phones are being reduced to a safety feature—to be used in case of emergency.

Most hotels still have in-room telephones, but sources said their usage and capabilities are likely to change in the near future.

While some hotel companies are doing away with standard in-room phone features, companies such as Hilton are enhancing them.

Get the full story at HNN

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

How Amazon is building up its advertising business

October 09, 2017

Amazon’s sales team for advertising is growing fast: It’s different from other platforms in that its team works cross-functionally across advertising and retail. For larger brands, Amazon has dedicated teams. The company has had a team in New York for many years but also has big ad presences in other places including Tokyo and Paris — “anywhere there are ad agencies in place,” said Saurabh Sharma, director of programmatic at Amazon.

Amazon is increasingly trying to pitch to what the company dubs “non-endemic” advertisers — brands that don’t sell on Amazon. Asked what he considers a challenge, Sharma mentioned that push, adding that it’s not really a challenge, but an opportunity. Non-endemic advertisers would cover, for example, brands in categories like cable, wireless, airlines or restaurants. “There are opportunities to bring that value,” said Sharma.

Amazon’s ad buckets cover everything from search (the sponsored products that appear when people search for things on Amazon.com), to more traditional display in the form of banner advertising, to newer video advertising or device-based advertising on Kindle, or through its new streaming service for entertainment. There’s also what is known as “custom” advertising, which could include anything from a full homepage takeover of Amazon.com on Black Friday to using Amazon boxes themselves as ad inventory.

Get the full story at Digiday

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

Report: The Latin American Traveler

October 09, 2017

Each trend includes a definition, an explanation of why it’s happening, and a suggestion for where you could take the trend next.

Innovation examples in this report hail from various industries because customer expectations can quickly transfer across industry boundaries. When it comes to tracking ‘competitors’, it’s necessary to look outside your industry.

As Latin American consumers gain purchasing power and are able to acquire more items, they will increasingly achieve their status fix from unique stories they can tell – about the places they go, the people they meet and the experiences they have.

Get the report at Sabre Hospitality Solutions

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

How to win big at Cyber Weekend and boost revenue

October 09, 2017

With a slow start for Europe retailers, statistics from the last year or so are showing that the commercial event of the year is well and truly a revenue opportunity not to be missed by any industry. Payment service Worldpay said it processed 20% more online transactions in 2016 compared with the year before, with global sales peaking at 16.01pm with a rate of 181 transactions per second.

We spotted some interesting trends in our data last year, so we’ve put together some advice on how best to approach the Cyber Weekend this year. It’s time to get your Cyber Weekend marketing organised, so you don’t miss out on a revenue surge.

Get the full story at Net Affinity

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

Advanced analytics in hospitality

October 05, 2017

Predictive analytics is the science of taking a wealth of data and applying a combination of algorithms and machine learning to make predictions about which future outcomes are most likely. Many technology companies are already adept at predicting the next product a consumer wants to buy and then serving up a recommendation. For instance, Amazon’s recommendation engine is estimated to generate more than one-third of its consumer purchases by using artificial intelligence to identify, rank and serve up the most appropriate product recommendations.

Over the last few years, hospitality companies have begun to deploy predictive analytics to better anticipate and meet customer needs and preferences. For example, in 2013-14, the US economy-hotel chain Red Roof Inn used public weather and flight data to predict which customers would face flight cancellations. Based on the results of this predictive analysis, Red Roof Inn launched a targeted marketing campaign aimed at mobile-device users in the areas most likely to be affected by harsh weather. In those areas where the strategy was deployed, Red Roof Inn saw a significant increase in business. Similarly, the Hawaii Tourism Authority ran a “Discover Your Aloha” campaign that used facial recognition software to analyze travelers’ expressions via webcams as they viewed a video. The campaign then applied predictive analytics to generate a custom offer along with a booking link.

Get the full story at McKinsey & Company

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

Lola unveils revamped app for business “road warriors”

October 05, 2017

Some observers of mobile technologies wonder if they’re killing people’s “do-it-yourself” mentality, as a multitude of apps enable users to hire others to tackle tasks for them on demand, from grocery shopping and delivery to assembling their furniture.

One area where smartphone owners apparently don’t want to completely hand off a task to someone else? Travel booking.

That’s what Lola discovered in testing early versions of its product. Boston-based Lola, a two-year-old travel technology startup led by Kayak co-founder Paul English, was betting that frequent travelers would gravitate toward a 21st century take on the travel-booking process: texting with a human travel agent who would research flights and hotels, make recommendations, help book the trip, and be on call to handle any questions or problems that arise.

Get the full story at Xconomy

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

Hotelbeds completes GTA deal and lays down challenge to Expedia and Priceline

October 05, 2017

Vila talked to tnooz about Hotelbeds’ growth plans now that its takeover of GTA – announced this April – passed all regulatory requirements. Earlier in the year, Hotelbeds also bought Tourico Holidays with that deal completing in June.

“We are a relevant size now to be able to challenge [Expedia and Priceline] in terms of our size, service and technology, which gives hoteliers an alternative route to market, globally,” he said.

Get the full story at Tnooz

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

Why do airline brands have all the data but none of the delivery?

October 05, 2017

At the high end, travel brands are basically saying “our core offering is exactly the same as those others, but we’ll make you feel more special than they do”.

The low-cost end of the market even makes this extra layer a virtue by its absence; “if you don’t want the frills, don’t pay for the frills." Given this focus, with more and more data available, and more and more sophisticated technologies at their disposal to help use that data in delivering truly personalised experiences, it feels like, with no pun intended, the sky should be the limit for travel brands seeking ways truly to add value. And yet…

Even if a passenger is not part of a frequent flyer programme (and far more so if they are), an airline knows a lot about a passenger, over and above the basics of name, date of birth and other profile data. It knows where we travel and how frequently; what class of travel we use and which fare category within it; how far in advance we book; whether we use online or airport check-in and when exactly we do that relative to departure time; whether we use their app if they have one, whether we use their airport services (lounges, travel assistance) and more beside.

Get the full story at The Drum

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

The life of a Fodor’s hotel reviewer

October 05, 2017

She started working with Fodor’s three years ago, focusing on nightlife — a natural fit for the bartender with the master’s degree in creative writing. When the 81-year-old travel guidebook company decided to plump up its hotel feature, Cameron expanded her coverage as well. Now, in addition to cocktails, she must focus her lens on the wider, and sometimes wackier, landscape of lodging. She squeezes mattresses, peers into showers and, with a straight face, asks such questions as, “Do you have ghosts?”

Before the revamp, Fodor’s reviews resembled CliffsNotes, with a brief introduction and a short list of bullet-pointed pros and cons. Last year, the publication decided to provide more images and meatier details about the properties. It also introduced a search tool called experiences, the colorful umbrella for such niche categories as “9021-Oooh-La-La: The 8 Poshest Hotels in Beverly Hills,” “5 Old Montreal Hotels With So Much Charm, You’ll Swear You’re in Europe” and “10 New York Hotels That Are a Serious Bargain.”

“User-generated sites have their benefits, but we want to cut through the noise and make [choosing a hotel] as easy as possible,” said Jeremy Tarr, Fodor’s digital editorial director.

Get the full story at The Washington Post

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

GDPR is coming, but nobody knows how it will be enforced

October 05, 2017

The General Data Protection Regulation may be a universal law for the European Union, but that doesn’t mean it will be applied equally. After all, 28 different countries will handle enforcement. That means Germany, for example, is expected to be tougher on enforcement of GDPR than elsewhere on the continent given data protection is conducted at a state level. Conversely, the U.K. has traditionally been the member state to push back against any overtly data-privacy regime that could impede global trade.

The cross-border differences have left some companies confused as to what to do; some are considering country-specific strategies, while others like AppNexus mull a strategy for Europe as a whole. That there is still such trepidation over how GDPR will be enforced in eight months is emblematic of its ambiguities.

“When it comes to how the law is going to be enforced on foreign companies we are still awaiting guidance [from regulators],”said Nathalie Moreno, a partner at law firm Lewis Silkin. “I’m often asked how the regulators are going to enforce it, and my guidance is that there are some data-protection authorities that have a culture of fining and will continue to do so, while there are others that have more of a business-friendly approach, and they will carry on enforcing in that way.”

Get the full story at Digiday

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

Profiling ‘The Neighbour’: Is this your hotel of the future?

October 05, 2017

‘The Neighbour’ is driven by guests who are looking for a purposeful way to engage with the local area and experience the heart of the destination’s culture.

Often guests find the spaces of a hotel generic and unappealing. It doesn’t seem like a place they want to hang out because it’s empty of the experiences they can find elsewhere in their destination. They want their hotel to be a welcoming extension of the exterior environment, further enriching the time they spend on their trip.

‘The Neighbour’ aspires to make this happen.

Get the full story at SiteMinder

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

Revenue Strategy Report: Hotel owners, asset managers lead new push for innovation

October 05, 2017

Owners, REITs and asset managers assume heavy costs to adopt new systems, whether to keep up with nimbler independents or lead new initiatives for their hotel brands. They’re also acutely aware of the problems caused by decades of underinvestment in innovation, namely aging technology that can’t execute new strategies. They bear the brunt of rising costs for acquisition and distribution that grow faster than revenue gains.

There always have been activist asset managers who recognized the value of revenue management.

But often that meant holding GMs and DORMs accountable for metrics like RevPAR and ADR. It didn’t necessarily mean getting involved in the push for innovation.

Get the full story at Duetto

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

How content improves the online shopping experience for hotel guests

October 04, 2017

This diversity in presentation creates confusion from a guest’s perspective. There is a tendency to deliver content based on how hotel companies are organized, and this is not synergistic with how consumers engage with them cross-channel.

One major hotel chain has found the ownership issue nearly impossible to address, so they introduced a new position—a customer advocate -who has a seat at the table when content decisions are being made. It is a novel idea.

Customer advocates are a welcome addition to the fray. However, there continue to be broader issues around channels, translation, new technology and emerging distribution models that still need to be addressed.

Get the full story at The Next Big Thing

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

Expedia releases data on U.S. travel shopping habits across generations

October 04, 2017

The findings, from a survey conducted by Northstar Research Partners, illustrate broad U.S. travel trends as well as the distinct shopping habits, influences and motivations of travelers across four generations, including Generation Z, Millennials, Generation X and Baby Boomers.

Across all generations, Americans are open-minded travelers who are deciding between two or more destinations and seeking help and inspiration during the travel planning process. Friends and family, online travel agencies (OTAs) and search engines are the largest influences on travel decisions. Although more than 90 percent of Americans say they look for deals and value, they ultimately prioritize activities and experiences over discounts when making travel decisions.

“While some of the findings were expected, such as Gen Z being more influenced by social media than Baby Boomers, we also uncovered surprising nuances and distinct habits within each generation, including the insight that Millennials are most likely to be influenced by advertising,” said Wendy Olson Killion, Global Senior Director at Expedia Media Solutions. “Our research into the generational influences, motivations and decision drivers of American travelers provides fresh insights and takeaways to help marketers successfully target and convert each age group.”

Get the full story at Expedia Media Solutions

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

InterContinental: the psychology of luxury

October 04, 2017

Across seven cities within the Asia, Middle East and Africa (AMEA) region, including urban hotspots like Abu Dhabi, Bali, Bangkok, Singapore and Sydney, the Club InterContinental ‘Psychology of Luxury’ survey examined attitudes and perceptions towards luxury experiences, sophisticated dining, bespoke design and personalised services, as well as guests’ lifestyle priorities, purchase intent and behavioural motivators.

Gathering insights from close to 200 affluent and discerning world travellers and guests ages 30 to 50, the findings revealed that happiness is rooted in the satisfaction of good service, dedication to quality and bespoke personalisation.

According to nearly 80% of those surveyed guests, key service qualities must be attentive, available and bespoke, while close to 60% of respondents are looking for rare, bespoke and unique experiences to make them happy.

Get the full story at Travel Daily News

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

Are Chinese FIT travelers the next opportunity for luxury brands?

October 04, 2017

Although 60 percent of Chinese consumers still prefer to travel on package tours to long-haul destinations mainly due to language barriers, more and more younger visitors, especially millennials, are opting to travel as FITs. This gives them the opportunity to create their own customized itineraries that are not bound to rigid schedules.

The growth of FIT travel is further demonstrated by data showing the growth of the $2.1 billion online car rental industry, which grew by 88.6 percent in 2016. According to TripAdvisor China Unbounded, nearly half of Chinese FITs plan to take more trips abroad and 52% will stay for longer periods. Currently, 40% stay 4-6 nights abroad.

Millennials will drive 55 percent of expansion in China’s consumption spending over the next five years.

Compared to their parents, FITs are better educated, more affluent, and have better language skills. They tend to use online resources, like travel review sites, destination websites, and social media accounts, like those on WeChat, to plan trip itineraries.

Get the full story at Jing Daily

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

How to cultivate customer reviews in the digital space

October 04, 2017

Encouraging customers to leave feedback for your business starts inside your business. Creating signage that sits in the right spaces and provides crystal clear messaging on exactly how to leave a review is critical. Small placards at checkin/checkout counters, lounge areas, bathrooms, and in rooms that provide a step-by-step process to leaving feedback via Google is a great start. Making sure employees encourage reviews and provide support to customers who may not be familiar with the process is critical as well. The key is to have customer reviews be a goal of not only the organization as a whole, but each individual customer-facing employee.

Email marketing is one of the best ways to receive feedback after a customer's stay because both the message and the review are both delivered within the digital space. Try creating an email template that thanks customers for their stay and directly asks for their feedback. Utilizing a tool like Mailchimp will even allow you to automate the entire process - from email capture to sending the email form. Again, focus on leaving detailed instructions for the customer to provide their comments and ratings of their stay.

Get the full story at Hospitality.Net

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

8 key takeaways from INBOUND 2017

October 04, 2017

You may have already experienced this on some websites or with a company through Facebook messenger. HubSpot is now experimenting with many of these since they acquired Motion AI, a leading visual chatbot builder.

HubSpot stressed that chatbots don't eliminate human interaction but they allow prospects and customers to get answers and support when they need it, 24/7. And with 1.3 billion Facebook Messenger users, it's a channel that's often overlooked.

B2C companies have been quick to leverage this technology and B2B companies should give it some serious consideration, too. The longer you ignore it the more likely you are to fall behind your competition.

Get the full story at Weidert Group, Forrester and Freshbooks

Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/8_key_takeaways_from_inbound_2017

Hotel storytelling done right: Spotlight on Hotel Ylem

October 04, 2017

Stories help develop an emotional connection with travel shoppers, which is important because emotion has been found to influence purchase intent. If a travel shopper is stuck deciding between your hotel and another across the street that is priced the same, they are more likely to choose the one with the best story; the best emotional connection.

In this article, we take a closer look at one hotel telling an excellent story – Hotel Ylem.

Get the full story at Vizlly

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

5 signs your revenue strategy is behind the times

October 04, 2017

An omnipresent IoT ecosystem finds new ways to connect personal devices with pretty much anything possible, not-so-subtlety encouraging those of us with a pulse to stay on the grid. Permanently.

Hotels, in particular, have woefully pined away for similar advancements in property technologies for enhanced guest services, enriched productivity and overall profitability.

But while we might be slowly climbing the proverbial hill of innovation in many ways, the contrast in revenue technology capabilities from 10 years ago to today is stark and compelling.

Get the full story at IDeaS

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

How Marriott plans to use Amazon Alexa to improve in-room guest experience

October 03, 2017

Marriott is set to test out Amazon Alexa in a number of its hotel properties, Toni Stoeckl, global brand leader for lifestyle brands at Marriott, revealed in a panel at Advertising Week. The move is a bid to provide increased personalization and improved in room service for guests.

As voice-activated connected device usage has jumped 130 percent over the past year, brands have begun to explore how the technology can be used to drive engagement and improve customer service — and the hospitality industry is in many ways leading the charge.

Why? As Stoeckl put it, “as a hotel brand, we’re in the experience business. This means [taking advantage of technology that can] connect our consumers to the local experience in the hotel or the neighborhood — as well as removing some of the friction of transaction in hotels.”

Get the full story at GeoMarketing

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

Analysts expect either new buyback plan or sale of TripAdvisor

October 03, 2017

TripAdvisor is a one-of-a-kind asset in a sector that will see secular growth for a long time. It is the world's largest travel site with over 415 million monthly unique visitors, and that figure continues to grow at a double-digit rate. The TripAdvisor brand is synonymous with travel research and planning, and its immediately recognized owl logo is ubiquitous around the world in hotel and restaurant windows. Travel is a $1.6 trillion global market and only about $500 billion of that is spent online. Not only is the travel market itself growing but also online is continuing to take share of the market. The less than one-third online penetration highlights the large opportunity ahead.

TripAdvisor has a strong competitive advantage in its user generated content that ensures its position as the go-to site for travel research and planning is sustainable over the long term. Other companies can collect reviews and opinions, and several of them are doing so, but none of them are known as the place to go for travel research and planning. We need no more evidence that TripAdvisor is not at risk from these review-collecting efforts than to simply look at the overwhelming size and continued growth of its site traffic. If other companies were eroding this moat, we would see monthly unique users declining. Of course, that is not the case.

Get the full story at Seeking Alpha

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

AccorHotels grows its business-to-business services with acquisition of Gekko Group

October 03, 2017

Gekko Group platforms offer search and reservation solutions for agents looking to book more than 500,000 hotels worldwide, ranging from budget to luxury properties.

Gekko includes two hotel-booking platforms for professionals. The first is Teldar Travel, the most-used hotel reservations tool for French travel agents, the companies said. It is the preferred partner in France of travel agency networks such as Selectour Afat, Thomas Cook, Carlson Wagonlit, and “thousands” of independent agencies.

The other major brand is HCorpo (Hotel Corporate System), which focuses on corporate and government accounts. Its software, which offers centralized invoicing for agents, has lured global partnerships with companies like American Express Global Business Travel and Booking.com.

Gekko also owns a hotel wholesaler dedicated to the French market, Infinite Hotel, and Miles Attack, a travel agency loyalty program that gives about 14,000 mostly French travel agents an online loyalty solution to encourage repeat business by customers.

Get the full story at Skift and Travolution

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

Viator by TripAdvisor lets travel agents book direct

October 03, 2017

TripAdvisor’s Viator has launched a booking platform created specifically for agents.

Both host agencies and independent agents can register on the Travel Agent Program or TAP. There are no fees or restrictions to book. Commissions are paid directly by Viator.

“While most platforms cater to the end-user or traveler, we’ve designed TAP specifically for travel agents and their businesses,” said Ben Drew, head of growth for Viator. “For the first time, agents will have direct access to the world’s largest collection of attractions and tours, and we’re working to make their booking experience seamless.

Get the full story at TravelPulse

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

Business travelers expect to be cashless by 2027

October 03, 2017

The survey also found 73 per cent of travellers predict they’ll be using driverless shuttle services between the airport and their accommodation. Furthermore, 82 per cent believe smartphones will be used as hotel room keys by 2027.

It would appear business travellers expect technology to eliminate the need for human interaction, as 81 per cent think hotels will make use of virtual, reception-free check-in. While pictures are commonplace in hotel marketing, 79 per cent of those surveyed predict that virtual reality previews will be the new norm within the next ten years. Clearly paying attention to popular science fiction, 63 per cent believe they’ll be using in-ear translators and nearly half think their passport will be replaced by an implanted microchip.

This belief in technology spreads to transportation as well, with 68 per cent saying they think supersonic planes will be in regular operation, and 63 per cent predicting that ride-sharing apps will replace car rental companies altogether by 2027.

Get the full story at Buying Business Travel

Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/business_travelers_expect_to_be_cashless_by_2027

Can the hotel industry benefit from blockchain technology?

October 03, 2017

Since Blockchain is a “foundational technology” like development of the internet itself (meaning that is goes beyond disruption and enables a whole new range of activities that weren’t possible before) there will be new industries and products brought to the consumer that weren’t possible a few years ago.

But, as with the early days of the internet, the projects that address tangible immediate problems stand to succeed early on – so many investors have been on the lookout for the Blockchain’s “killer app” that will get market share quickly. This means that crypto projects that can be readily applied to the existing Marketplace – such as with the hospitality industry – can win big early on. Lockchain.co is one such project. They are in the process of raising funds through an ICO for their hotel Marketplace.

This is a tangible problem to tackle – as their CEO Nikola Alexandrov said: “Our project stands out by being extremely business driven. We do not try to invent a new kind of service, but rather we want to solve a problem in a extremely in-demand service by changing the underlying technology.”

Get the full story at NewsBTC

Read also "Lockchain democratizes hotel booking" at CryptoCoins and "Swiss blockchain project eyes travel industry"

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

Direct Booking Summit Americas: over and out!

October 03, 2017

Aside from the fact that hoteliers really know how to party — we have the blisters on our feet from last night’s party to prove it! — we discovered so much about an industry that feels more exciting and inspirational than ever.

Here’s our pick of the learnings:

1. There's nothing better than bringing hoteliers together

Sound schmaltzy? Maybe - but it's true. The Summit was absolutely fizzing with energy from start to finish, as hoteliers opened up about what they loved (and hated!) about the ever-changing online travel industry. One hotelier told us, "I used to think I was the only one with the problems at my hotel - but then I came here and I heard everyone struggling with the same. I love it."

Another, "the content is amazing. I'm leaving with a bunch of notes on actions that I can take back to my hotel and share with my whole team!"

Get the full story at Triptease

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

TravelClick and InterContinental Hotel Group expanded strategic business intelligence partnership

October 03, 2017

This expanded relationship highlights the tremendous value of TravelClick’s Business Intelligence solutions, which empower properties to drive significant RevPAR growth and stay ahead of the game in an ever-changing, competitive global landscape. IHG and TravelClick will work together to increase adoption of three of TravelClick’s Business Intelligence solutions across IHG’s brand portfolio, which includes InterContinental Hotels & Resorts, Kimpton Hotels and Restaurants, Hotel Indigo, Crowne Plaza Hotels & Resorts, Holiday Inn®, Holiday Inn Express, Staybridge Suites, Candlewood Suites and more.

Andrew Rubinacci, Senior Vice President of Global Distribution and Revenue Management Strategy, IHG, commented: “Access to the right technology and data is vital to providing our brands with a competitive edge to significantly improve performance. By deepening our relationship with TravelClick in this way, our hoteliers will have the ability to use powerful forward-looking data to implement strategies that are tailored to their specific markets, enabling them to stay ahead of the competition.”

“The strategic relationship with IHG validates that TravelClick’s Business Intelligence solutions are best-in-class and essential for a hotel’s success in today’s rapidly changing environment,” added Greg Sheppard, Senior Vice President, Business Intelligence, TravelClick. “As IHG is the second major global brand to recommend TravelClick’s Hotelligence360 Business Intelligence solutions this year, TravelClick looks forward to sharing its valuable experience for the rollout across IHG’s properties around the world and supporting corporate-level business decisions moving forward.”

Get the full story at TravelClick

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

Airbnb to test branded apartments in Florida

October 02, 2017

Airbnb won't own the properties but they will carry its brand. The building, expected to have hundreds of apartment units, is being built in Kissimmee, near Orlando, Florida.

Airbnb’s trial of branded apartments in Florida is an intriguing move, and is one of a number of initiatives the rental platform is considering as it explores ways to broaden its revenue streams as listings growth begins to slow and legislative pressure increases.

The move would be its first attempt to physically create Airbnb-branded accommodation and, ironically given the hospitality sector’s reaction to Airbnb’s whirlwind arrival on the scene, will see it acting in a similar role to the global hotel chains. The Airbnb brand will effectively be franchised to buildings which are owned and operated by other parties, with Airbnb providing the booking platform and marketing clout.

Get the full story at Serviced Apartment News

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

Marriott creating additional points of engagement for guests, powered by artificial intelligence

October 02, 2017

Aloft's ChatBotlr empowers guests to request basic hotel services right from their own smartphones. Aloft introduced the first generation Botlr, a robotic butler, in 2014 as an inventive pilot program to allow front desk associates to respond more immediately to guest needs, one-on-one. This next evolution of Botlr, the ChatBotlr, is available to all our guests on their phones, anywhere and anytime they have a request. With ChatBotlr, guests may text to request services, information about the hotel, listen to the brand's #AloftLive playlist and connect with the front desk team during their stay, even when the guest is not on-property. By leveraging natural language understanding and machine learning, ChatBotlr gets smarter the more it interacts with guests. Early findings show that 2 out of 3 Aloft guests are interacting or making requests with ChatBotlr and the service has a five-second response time.

"By embracing emerging messaging technologies, we can expand service to our guests on their terms and through communication channels they increasingly prefer and feel comfortable using," said Stephanie Linnartz, Global Chief Commercial Officer, Marriott International. "The delivery of on demand service enables Marriott to simplify travel, remove friction and power up even better service for our guests at more moments throughout their travel journey."

Aloft's ChatBotlr joins Marriott's other newly implemented service innovations powered by technology. Marriott Rewards chatbots are available on Facebook Messenger, Slack and soon, We-Chat and Google Assistant, and serve loyalty members before, during and between stays. Marriott Rewards members on Facebook Messenger and Slack can research and book travel at more than 4,700 hotels, link their Marriott Rewards and SPG accounts, plan for their upcoming stay with articles from the digital magazine Marriott Traveler, and chat directly with Customer Engagement Center associates. Of Marriott Reward members using Marriott Rewards' Facebook Messenger this year, 44 percent received stay-related customer service such as changes to their reservation and 53 percent found assistance related to their Rewards account such as how to redeem points for stays. As technology becomes more integrated into our guests' daily lives, chatbots simplify the travel experience enabling guests to ask basic questions, make simple requests, and receive instant responses. They also free our Marriott associates on property from routine tasks, allowing them to deliver elevated, personalized hospitality to our guests.

Messaging is growing in popularity with people in the U.S. spending an average of 200 minutes per day in messaging apps according to The Economist and recent reports show messaging apps as the number 1 most frequently used feature on mobile devices. Years ago, Marriott recognized the growing popularity of text messaging when it launched the Mobile Requests feature on the Marriott Mobile app in 2015 enabling guests to chat directly with hotel associates. Since then, 2.5 million requests have been received with more than half coming before guests checked in. Mobile Requests inspired Marriott to expand mobile communications options to guests using the device they always have at hand, their smartphone.

Marriott's always-on approach to customer service enables the company to deliver the widest choice of engagement whether that is through messaging, call centers, or face-to-face on property with associates. Leveraging technology, we can deepen personalization, expand choice and connect our associates with our guests in a more meaningful way, as we lead the next generation of the guest experience.

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

Priceline CEO explains the key to cracking the Chinese market

October 02, 2017

With over $68.1 billion in gross bookings in 2016, Priceline is the world leader in online travel through different brands — priceline.com, booking.com, agoda.com, KAYAK, rentalcars.com and OpenTable.

Priceline is approaching 1,000 employees in China with three customer service centers across the country, according to Fogel.

“If you want to be successful in China, you absolutely have to localize. Things are changing there so rapidly. Innovation is unbelievable. It’s really amazing that people here sometimes think, ‘Oh, China they’re catching up and copying what we do.’ They’re so wrong. [China’s] the cutting edge,” he told Yahoo Finance at the Skift Global Forum.

Get the full story at Yahoo! Finance

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

Booking.com to provide accommodation content for Aer Lingus website

October 02, 2017

The airline’s marketing and digital experience director Dara McMahon said: “We are a value carrier. Our focus is centred on cost, efficiency and providing the very best guest experience to the 12 million guests we fly each year.

“Booking.com is a recognised world leader in the travel industry and is committed to offering the best value in accommodation properties across the globe so it’s an ideal partnership.

“Aerlingus.com is now very much a one-stop-shop catering for the varying needs of today’s travellers.

Get the full story at Travolution

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


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