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Is the traditional hotel chain dead?

February 21, 2018

Modern accommodation options such as Airbnb are an obvious threat to the industry, but Ian Schrager is quick to point out that hotels can offer what these services cannot: an experience. “The only way that hotels can compete is by offering the socialization and communal aspect that Airbnb cannot,” he explains. “This along with the level of service.”

His latest venture, Public, was developed with equally revolutionary ambitions, as a response to the threat of online booking services.

Public’s ethos is one focused on the democratization of luxury, making it more accessible and attuned to evolving consumer preferences. “New hotels need to respond to how people are today,” Schrager says. “Luxury now doesn’t have to be expensive. It’s not just for the rich—it’s a state of being.”

At Public, there are no superfluous five-star fixtures; you won’t find bone china, Egyptian cotton sheets, or suited-up bellboys rolling your bags for a tip. It’s all about providing service, style, and spirit for a reasonable price. And if you’re guaranteed a great experience for a similar cost, there’s really no incentive to roll the dice and stay in someone’s home instead.

Get the full story at Robb Report

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

Expedia talks travel tech trends

February 21, 2018

Just simply keeping up with the digital expectations of today’s tech-savvy consumer is no longer an option for the travel industry. Exceeding those expectations is now the expected norm.

One reason for the growing consumer adoption of new technologies is their growing digital impatience and expectation for instant responses, answers and solutions to their queries and purchasing requests.

Underscoring this is the growing adoption of digital assistants. Today, 62% of global consumers are comfortable with an AI (artificial intelligence) application responding to their query and providing fast and efficient results.

Get the full story at TTR Weekly

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

IHG to centrally negotiate OTA deals in bid to drive direct revenues

February 21, 2018

The move comes as part of a major organisational revamp unveiled to accelerate company growth. A “comprehensive efficiency programme” aims to produce $125 million of cost savings, according to new chief executive Keith Barr.

A new global marketing unit is being established together with a revised regional structure and an integrated commercial and technology arm.

This will include a new guest reservation system being developed with Amadeus to become a full range of hotel solutions on track to be introduced by the start of 2019.

Get the full story at Travolution

Get the full story at "Amadeus and IHG delay Guest Reservation System rollout to 2019"

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

As Airbnb branches into hotels, new apps take up its mantle

February 21, 2018

While its new Experiences offering is all about giving its users access to walking tours, photography workshops, cooking classes and other location-specific activities, a more jarring development is Airbnb’s plan to allow hotels to offer their rooms on Airbnb.

Don’t expect to see global hotel brands on Airbnb, but it is likely that there will be fewer differences between Airbnb and the likes of Expedia and Booking.com. Either way, Airbnb is now as much about empty rental rooms as hosted homestays.

So is “travel sharing” over? Airbnb may be headed in a more corporate direction, but digital marketplaces where travellers can find a host are mushrooming.

Get the full story at the South China Morning Post

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

Would you distribute your hotel on AirBnB?

February 21, 2018

However, the company has put strict conditions on board which I have to say I agree and support and that is that providers must fit with their brand alignment and their sales strategy. That is to say, the hotels that they allow on their platform must offer something different – something experiential. They need to have certain design characteristics, great photography and access to activities and most definitely offering something ‘local’. Having access to local activities and local produce is important – shouldn’t we as hoteliers even be learning from this lesson? this is what our customers want…

They are aiming this firmly at the boutique or ‘something different’ type of property (and I might go back to a favourite disruptive term of mine – quirky), so would your property fit the bill?

AirBnB already targets business travellers and its entry into flight search is much rumoured, so let’s face it, this is where the industry is going.

Get the full story at Right Revenue

Read also "Airbnb for hotels: Here’s how it works"

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

Reorganizing to capture maximum value quickly

February 21, 2018

An aphorism claims that “your organization is perfectly designed to give you today’s business results, so if you want to improve them, you should redesign your organization.” But this isn’t always true. Charlton Ogburn Jr. captured what happens in most cases: “We tend to meet any new situation by reorganizing; and a wonderful method it can be for creating the illusion of progress while producing confusion, inefficiency, and demoralization.”12

In McKinsey’s most recent survey of executives, only 23 percent of them reported that the reorganization had met its objectives and improved performance.13 Forty-four percent said that the redesign had bogged down during implementation and was never finished.

Another 23 percent of organizational redesigns are fully implemented but don’t meet their objectives.

Get the full story at McKinsey & Co.

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

HEBStrategy Q1 2018 Hotel Digital Marketing, Technology, and Trends Whitepaper

February 21, 2018

The HEBStrategy Q1 edition takes a deep dive into content marketing through the funnel and includes strategies for reaching different audiences with customized content.

Get the full story at HEBS Digital

Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/hebstrategy_q1_2018_hotel_digital_marketing_technology_and_trends_whitepape

Hoteliers fear robot-run future yet believe AI is key to guest personalisation

February 21, 2018

This finding was brought to light at a thought leader breakfast held during World Travel Market London in November, and during a December webinar, where leading hoteliers conceded that although robots could never replace genuine hospitality, they can decipher big data to learn about guests faster than humans.

Monica Or, Consultant at Star Quality Hospitality Consultancy and the facilitator of both events, says one reason for the sentiment is the recognition that hotel guest preferences have become more sophisticated over the last 25 years with the growing accessibility of digital technology.

“Hoteliers desperately need to get on board with the technological advances that we all, as consumers, are seeing and experiencing on the day-to-day. Guests today are more tech savvy, so what they have in their homes they now expect in the hotels where they stay,” says Ms Or.

Get the full story at SiteMinder

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

Airbnb for hotels: Here’s how it works

February 20, 2018

The media has carried out a widespread diffusion of the story that Airbnb is now offering hotels. The size of this giant company and its potential are well worth the fanfare.

Although it has already stated its low commissions, little has been written about the ticking time bomb for distribution which is the different system of costs and prices, which mixes the agency and the merchant models, adding unique characteristics to them.

Get the full story at Mirai

Read also "Airbnb officially opens up platform to hotel distribution"

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

UK hotels see a further year of impressive growth in 2017, says Expedia

February 20, 2018

The latest data from the Expedia group has revealed UK hoteliers experienced another year of encouraging growth in 2017, helped by a significant rise in hotel demand from international visitors to the UK.

The findings drawn from full-year 2017 data* (January – December 2017) show that while the nation’s capital unsurprisingly remains the top destination for travellers, taking almost 40% of the total market share, several other UK destinations witnessed encouraging year-on-year growth.

Demand for London remained strong, up almost 20% when compared to the previous full year, while Surrey increased by almost 40%, and Scotland’s Highlands and Islands, Oxford and Yorkshire, all increased by around 35% year on year.

Regionally, other destinations that enjoyed healthy growth included Bristol, Birmingham and Chester.

The data shows it was travellers from Spain (up almost 150%), Brazil (+110%) and Argentina (+105%) that fuelled triple digit year-on-year growth from these markets, bolstered by strong demand from Ireland (+ 85%), Mexico (+85%), India (+70%) and Poland (+60%). Allied to this, UK hoteliers experienced another year of strong demand from the US (+40% year-on-year). It was tech-savvy travellers from Brazil, Italy, Ireland, Switzerland and Spain that fuelled impressive mobile growth of over 70%.

The data also reveals that the average daily rate (ADR) for hotel rooms in the UK rose overall, notably with travellers from India, Poland, Australia and Austria choosing to spend more on their hotel rooms. Travellers from UAE, India, Poland and China booked their stays with the shortest booking window (less than 25 days), while travellers from New Zealand and Australia (65 days) booked the farthest out, followed closely by Austria (63 days), Brazil (55 days), Germany (55 days) and Canada (53 days). These longer booking windows are beneficial to hoteliers, offering more opportunities to upsell consumers – both prior to check-in and on-property.

Krishan Kadodwala, Director Market Management, JET UK & Ireland, the Expedia group, said: “Overall our UK hotel partners enjoyed impressive growth across the board in 2017, which is hugely encouraging – the UK as a destination of choice is on the rise. Our data reveals that we are successfully working with our hotel partners to increase demand from key international markets where visitors are more likely to spend more on rooms and other services, as well as stay longer.”

“In 2017, hoteliers benefitted from a strong marketing campaign from VisitBritain, highlighting a range of events and activities across the nation which no doubt contributed towards a rise in visitors choosing to holiday in the UK. With two royal weddings set to take place this year, 2018 is certainly shaping up to be another good year for the UK market.”

Top UK destinations 2017 – according to the Expedia group:

1. London
2. Edinburgh
3. Manchester
4. Birmingham
5. East Midlands
6. Glasgow
7. Yorkshire
8. Liverpool
9. West Midlands
10. Hampshire

Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/uk_hotels_see_a_further_year_of_impressive_growth_in_2017_says_expedia

Are hotel revenue managers using the best performance data?

February 20, 2018

Hoteliers might like the idea of being able to measure asset and market performance using a variety of metrics, but in the current European business environment, analysis is often far too narrow, according to sources.

During the Opportunity 2018 Revenue Management 3:0 conference held last week, sources discussed how the need to look at new ways to analyze and push performance is hampered by disparity in contract setup and business models, wide-ranging targets which are often in conflict and hoteliers working in silos to achieve these goals.

“The right conversations do not happen,” said Shauna Campbell, director of revenue management at InterContinental Hotels Group.

Get the full story at Hotel News Now

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

The WeWork Manifesto: First, office space. Next, the world.

February 20, 2018

It may sound simplistic, but around the globe, companies are buying whatever it is that Mr. Neumann and his co-founder, Miguel McKelvey, are selling. WeWork has rapidly expanded to 20 countries, assembled a formidable executive team and attracted some 200,000 members. Big companies like JPMorgan Chase and Siemens are signing on as tenants, and revenues are growing fast, expected to top $2.3 billion this year.

WeWork last year bought the iconic Lord & Taylor building on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan, which is being transformed into the company’s new headquarters. That deal was made possible in part by a recent $4.4 billion investment from SoftBank, the Japanese technology group led by the enigmatic billionaire Masayoshi Son.

Already the company has started WeLive, its residential offering, and Rise, its gym. It acquired Meetup, the social network that facilitates in-person gatherings, and the Flatiron School, a coding academy. Still to come: WeGrow, the company’s for-profit elementary school, set to open in September. WeWork has even invested in plans to create giant wave pools for inland surfing.

Get the full story at The New York Times

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

The parts of customer service that should never be automated

February 20, 2018

According to Harvard Business Review, the deck is stacked against automation in several important ways:

1. Service can be emotional; technology cannot. When we’re anxious about whether a check will clear or why our migraine won’t go away, we become advice-seeking. Even if it has the answers and can read the tone of our voice, or the expression on our face, people find the idea that technology “feels” and “senses” to be unnerving, and when a technology is deployed for such a purpose, the results can be unsettling.

2. We still prefer having people help solve our problems. In many ways, the capacity and computational power of technology far outstrips our own. Google has become our go-to for answers to a broad range of queries; machine learning determines which ads are shown to us online, which fulfillment centers our Amazon orders are shipped from, and which movies are recommended to us by Netflix. And research shows that we’re perfectly happy engaging through digital channels to look up information. Nevertheless, when we’re looking for creative solutions to service problems, we still seek out other humans.

Get the full story at Harvard Business Review

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

Facebook reveals new tool for posting personal lists

February 20, 2018

This is Facebook making good on its promise to make the social network more personal. Creating and sharing lists encourages people to reveal more about themselves, which could lead to greater engagement between friends and family members.

This update also serves Facebook’s interests of keeping people within the Facebook ecosystem. With a new form of native content to share, users may be less inclined to share content from outside sources.

One may also argue that getting users to create lists of things they like generates more personal info to sell to advertisers. A Facebook executive has already squashed that theory on Twitter.

Get the full story at Search Engine Journal and TechCrunch

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

Creating a personalized full-funnel hotel marketing strategy

February 20, 2018

In fact, 89% of US marketers report that personalization on their site drove more revenue. Here, we explain how hoteliers can personalize messaging throughout the marketing funnel to create an effective hotel marketing strategy.

In the dream and discover phase of travelers’ path to purchase, they are first starting to explore destinations, activities, and brands, and it’s important your personalization efforts begin here. Social media is extremely powerful for inspiring travelers as they begin dreaming of and planning their next trip.

In fact, over 50% of travel companies claim more bookings due to their Facebook presence, and 1 in 3 travelers reference social media as a main source of travel ideas and inspiration. Consider trying Facebook Collection ads which can help you drive more mobile bookings by combining your video and photo assets. It’s an engaging ad format that can be used to drive users to your website.

Get the full story at Vizergy / Sojern

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

Hotel Tech Report has named TrustYou 2018’s top-rated Reputation Management Software

February 20, 2018

“We have entered into what is called the trust economy where reputation is currency. The correlation between online reviews and revenue is immense and TrustYou helps it’s partners maximize their presence and improve their reputation” says Hotel Tech Report’s Adam Hollander.

Hoteliers recognized TrustYou's truly world-class onboarding process on hoteltechreport.com where the guest feedback platform exceeded the category average by 7%.

“TrustYou has very powerful tools to easily manage reviews from dozens of third-party sites and OTAs. This is by far the strongest aspect of the platform. Their global support team is very responsive and personable” says a hotel e-commerce manager from Sydney, Australia.

Get the full story at TrustYou

Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/hotel_tech_report_has_named_trustyou_2018s_top_rated_reputation_management

Is Google Flights the OTA antidote?

February 19, 2018

Phocuswright research indicates that overall, travelers going to airline websites are more likely to convert than those going to OTAs. This also proves true with Google's metasearch travelers – the disproportionate share of Google Flights' referrals to suppliers is translating to notably higher conversion rates on its leads than other metasearch sites where OTAs get more referrals.

Google Flights is speedily growing monthly visitors (it took them less than five years to surpass KAYAK despite KAYAK's eight-year head start to market), but fewer visitors are clicking onwards to airline or OTA websites. So, while Google may deliver conversions at a higher rate, it's delivering on smaller referral volume. KAYAK wins in the middle and generates more leads to downstream sites, leaving room for Google to bridge the gap between its two strengths.

Get the full story at Phocuswright

Read also "Google will let you book hotels and flights through search results"

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

Hotel executives sound off on industry’s new normal

February 19, 2018

Hotel News Now editors asked brand executives, hotel owners and hotel managers at the recent Americas Lodging Investment Summit to answer the question: “What is the new normal for your business?”

Geoff Ballotti, president and CEO of Wyndham Hotel Group: “I think what it means is there has never been a period in this industry where all of the (key performance indicators) have been more stable and have been more positive than they are today from a stability standpoint. … October was the first month in the last three years where new construction starts, according to STR last week, were actually lower than they were in the months prior, year on year. What that means is, the outlook in terms of the new normal could not be more optimistic than it is today.”

Get the full story at Hotel News Now

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

Carlson Rezidor rebrands as Radisson Hotel Group

February 19, 2018

The move is part of a five-year operating plan that seeks to exploit opportunities in terms of revenue growth and portfolio optimization. The overall goal is to get the profit in line with the market and create a strong growth platform to solidify its future sustainability, according to the company.

“Over the next five years, we will build on our unique service heritage of making every moment matter for our guests, owners, shareholders and employees by being a true host and best partner,” said Federico J. González, president & CEO, The Rezidor Hotel Group AB. “Success of our five-year operating plan means that whenever a guest plans a trip, whenever an investor or owner thinks of a partner, whenever a person wants to work in hospitality—they will all think of our company first.”

Based on an analysis of the current performance and future upside of the business, Rezidor aims to deliver revenue growth of 6-7% on an annual basis. The EBITDA margin is expected to reach 13-15% by the end of 2022. As investments are needed to successfully achieve these targets, the performance will be modest over phase one of the operating plan (2018 – 2020) where basics of growth will be put in place. The company expects higher growth between 2021–2022.

Get the full story at Hotel Business

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

Sabre says rollout imminent for Red Workspace desktop

February 19, 2018

Sabre is ready for the global rollout of its Red Workspace agent desktop after an extensive testing phase since its introduction in 2016.

During Sabre's fourth-quarter earnings call on Wednesday, president and CEO Sean Menke said "several large, global customers" are using Red Workspace, including American Express Travel and Lifestyle Services.

"We have set the stage to continue the rollout to all customers worldwide for 2018," he said.

Get the full story at Travel Weekly

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

How Marriott built one of the best brand newsrooms

February 19, 2018

She’d spent 25 years as a reporter and news anchor for an ABC News affiliate in Washington, DC, and she knew the power of a good story, especially when it came from a compelling figure.

She wanted Marriott to have a blog. And she wanted Bill Marriott to write it. “Why the heck would anyone want to read a blog from me?” Marriott, then 76 years old, responded.

Matthews quickly convinced Marriott he was the best person to tell the company’s story, even though he didn’t even use a computer. So they struck a compromise. Marriott would dictate a blog post once a week.

Get the full story at Convince & Convert

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

Eight reasons Facebook has peaked

February 19, 2018

It may seem madness, or voguishly contrarian, to argue that Facebook is a declining power. But here are eight reasons to think that, in terms of influence if not wealth, Facebook has indeed peaked.

1. A drop in users

In its latest earnings call, Facebook revealed that - for the first time - the number of active daily users in the US and Canada (its biggest market) dropped. This is remarkable. The drop was small: 184 million rather than 185 million. But it was a drop, and the first time there has been a drop, and the drop preceded the changes Mark Zuckerberg announced about making the News Feed prioritise "meaningful interactions" and de-prioritise content from news publishers.

Get the full story at BBC News

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

A hotelier’s guide to the top social platforms in Asia-Pacific

February 19, 2018

Here is an introduction to a few of the most influential social media platforms in China and Japan, along with suggestions for their best use.

WeChat

Created by Shenzhen-based internet giant Tencent, Weixin (literally “micro message”) WeChat is the go-to communication app for business and leisure in China. Tencent recently claimed that nearly one billion people use WeChat. While that might be a stretch, no one in China would be suspicious of claims in the 500-600 million user range. That means WeChat users could form their own nation more populous than the United States, and likely double or more its size.

Get the full story at Cendyn

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

Direct Booking Summit 2018/19: Five reasons you should be there

February 19, 2018

The first takes place in Amsterdam in June, the second in Dallas in September and the third, the inaugural Asia-Pacific summit, in Singapore in early 2019.

Here’s five reasons why you and your hotel should be part of it this year.

Get practical, relevant advice that you’ll actually use

From the very beginning, the Direct Booking Summit has had one clear goal: to provide hoteliers with tangible, take-home strategies they can put in action immediately. The entire event is designed with that in mind and in the years it’s been running, we’ve always delivered.

Get the full story at Triptease

Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/direct_booking_summit_2018_19_five_reasons_you_should_be_there

Google, Airbnb and the evolving distribution landscape

February 16, 2018

Both moves are indicative of the evolving landscape in distribution, creating new challenges to online travel agencies and additional options for hotels and other accommodation providers.

Google is known for its focus on user experience, and Gino Engels, co-founder and chief commercial officer of online revenue management provider OTA Insight, says that could give it an advantage in luring travelers who have been using OTAs.

“If Google gives a better experience for travelers, then it could be a good opportunity for hotels to fight back from OTA dependency,” he says.

Get the full story at PhocusWire

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

Why small property owners see OTAs as a “necessary evil”

February 16, 2018

The codependent nature of small property owners and their booking partners has its upsides, but primarily, it’s viewed by the underdogs as a “necessary evil.”

In turn, small property owners are left feeling “squeezed and often exploited, some of them to the point of quitting,” according to a new report from Sawday’s examining owners and their relationship with booking partners in the UK.

Despite this, OTAs are an important source of revenue and an undeniable influence, with 80% of accommodations providers saying they use at least one major service.

Get the full story at PhocusWire and Sawday's (PDF 1.3 MB)

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

OTAs grab larger share of Marriott bookings

February 16, 2018

OTAs accounted for 12% of Marriott's bookings last year, up one percentage point from 2016, Marriott CFO Leeny Oberg said during the company's fourth-quarter earnings call Thursday. She added that direct bookings held steady at about 70% of total bookings.

Marriott CEO Arne Sorenson said the percentage rose because Starwood Hotels & Resorts "had a higher reliance on third-party relationships." Marriott acquired Starwood in September 2016.

"The more leisure the hotels' demand base, the higher the third-party contributions," said Sorenson, implying that the Starwood portfolio's percentage of revenue from leisure travel was greater than Marriott's.

Get the full story at Travel Weekly

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

Trends shaping the travel startup ecosystem

February 16, 2018

1. Providing Experiences Rather Than Just Booking Arrangements

Travel sites are becoming far more comprehensive in the services they provide. Beyond just information and bookings, they are moving into the arena of providing more experiential opportunities for their travelers – events, restaurants, tours, and access to content regarding all of these.

Advances is in the areas of augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) are proving to be an exciting innovation for many industries. The travel industry is no exception. Travel companies provide much greater value to their customers by giving them the ability to virtually place themselves into resorts and attractions, and experience them in real-time before making decisions about booking.

Get the full story at e27

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

Webjet signs hotels onto blockchain

February 16, 2018

Webjet has been working on its Rezchain blockchain platform for the past two years. It developed a proof-of-concept solution with Microsoft, hosted in Azure, at the end of 2016 and moved the technology into pilot stage last year.

The solution is intended to remove the costly errors that can occur through the travel booking process due to numerous handovers of data through myriad different systems.

"Every day there are millions of transactions taking place and a single hotel stay could involve five or more transactions in the distribution chain," Webjet managing director John Guscic said at the time.

Get the full story at iTnews

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

Your Google rank doesn’t matter anymore

February 16, 2018

Organic search traffic and conversions are our primary search goals, so when we group our content into clusters to try and gain visibility for any searches related to a given topic, we look at the collective performance of these groups of webpages vs just the performance of individual pages.

This model of analysis helps us account for the varying goals of each individual piece of content. Also, running this analysis at scale tells us which topics tend to drive more traffic growth compared to others, and which topics tend to convert traffic at a higher rate.

This information tends to provide much clearer insights for the team as to what they should focus on next without obsessing over individual keyword rankings.

Get the full story at HubSpot

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

Is Airbnb a friend or foe to hotels?

February 16, 2018

If that idea and their new partnership with SiteMinder grows Airbnb’s hotel business, there’s a chance that the tech unicorn sets a new, low benchmark for distribution costs, answering many hoteliers' prayers.

You can even imagine that some hotels could use the Airbnb tech, collecting bookings via the site rather than a booking engine. This might streamline processes and costs for hotels, again a bonus for anyone looking to stick to tight budgets, though there’s the obvious drawback of losing ownership of the guest relationship.

Get the full story at Triptease

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

8 things we learned from the top 15 online booking channels for hotels

February 16, 2018

To attract, reach, and convert guests from every corner of the world, the right balance of online connections needs to be at the forefront of any hotel’s revenue plans.

But with today’s online travel landscape often described as a powerful ecosystem, it can be overwhelming for hoteliers to know which channels are the right ones to connect with. One of the ways to narrow down the search is to establish which online channels are generating the most revenue for hoteliers in your region.

Get the full story at SiteMinder

Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/8_things_we_learned_from_the_top_15_online_booking_channels_for_hotels

For Hilton, direct booking is key to improved guest experience

February 15, 2018

“We’ve been working very hard on strategies to have more direct relationships with customers, which I know sometimes can get interpreted as a marketing campaign like Stop Clicking Around or whatever, but it’s a much more complex and holistic approach to make sure what we’re doing with product, what we’re doing with service, what we’re doing with technology, what we’re doing with very specific parts of the Honors program … [is] working and getting more people in the program and a higher percentage of them engaged and higher percentage of them booking direct with us,” Hilton CEO Chris Nassetta said.

Loyalty also plays a big role in Hilton’s “Connected Room,” or smart hotel room concept.

Get the full story at Skift

Read also "Smart hotel rooms are almost here"

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

Duetto closes $80m financing round

February 15, 2018

Patrick Bosworth, co-founder and chief executive of Duetto, said: “As the pace of change has accelerated and the threats of digital disruption have grown, so have our efforts to help this industry we are so passionate about."

“For more than a decade, hotel companies have been looking for ways to compete more effectively with online travel agencies and drive more direct business. By unifying data across the tech stack, our platform has become the single source capable of delivering true personalization to consumers."

“Hoteliers now have the ability to increase conversion and drive more direct engagement with consumers by personalizing pricing and merchandising at the point of booking.”

Get the full story at Travolution and Duetto

Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/duetto_closes_80m_financing_round

Airbnb is set to launch a new tier of select properties

February 15, 2018

And it’s good news for those who have always longed for more quality assurance or control in the Airbnb accommodation experience.

Last month, Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky tweeted that on Feb. 22, the company would share “our biggest changes to our platform in our 10-year history” and it’s a good bet that Airbnb Select is one of those changes. On Tuesday, the company would not confirm what it plans to announce on that date.

Get the full story at Skift

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

Ex-Kuoni to transform Miki Travel

February 15, 2018

The three-pronged transformation has helped Miki Travel expand its business in Asia by 160 per cent last year, according to Moeschler, better known in the industry as Omo. He served Kuoni for 25 years, most recently as its senior vice president global sales and marketing.

On the technological front, Miki Travel last August became the first major B2B operator to adopt a hotel booking engine for groups to Europe, receiving good response from hotels, even the smaller ones that are not accustomed to dealing directly with Asia, he said.

There are 10,000 European hotels in its database and so far, five travel agencies each in China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Thailand and Indonesia are benefiting from the booking engine, Moeschler claimed during Miki Travel’s appreciation party for Philippine travel agencies last week.

Get the full story at TTG Asia

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

Skyscanner’s chatbots surpassed one million traveler interactions

February 15, 2018

Skyscanner has crossed the boundary of over 1 million unique travelers who have interacted with its chatbots across the different ecosystems it participates – from Amazon Alexa (voice) to Facebook and Skype. The company believes that over the long term, people will opt in for a free form of search as another channel for them finding the best travel options.

In terms of specifics, each different bot ecosystem displays a distinct search and book pattern – for example, Skyscanner sees from its Facebook users that they are quite active in search on Wednesday, while Skype users are the weekend bunch.

Get the full story at Econsultancy

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

Forrester: Three tiers of digital maturity

February 15, 2018

And the risk for companies just starting their digital journey is that they may have left it too late to catch up.

This is one of many insights you will get from reading our digital benchmark analysis, summarized in the new report Digital Business 2018: Benchmark Your Digital Journey. The research stems from a comprehensive survey of business leaders carried out in conjunction with our research partners, the executive search firm Odgers Berndtson.

The report identifies three tiers of digital maturity for companies undergoing digital transformation.

Get the full story at Forrester

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

Metasearch defined: A list of industry terms for travel advertisers

February 15, 2018

While the granularity of metasearch allows for some of the most in-depth and accurate reporting in the travel marketing space, as the industry continues to grow, so does the broad scope of terms used every day in metasearch reporting.

With early 2018 estimates predicting metasearch traffic to increase by nearly 40%, now is the perfect time to brush up on and enhance your metasearch vocabulary. Here’s an alphabetical list of some of the terms you may need to know.

Get the full story at Koddi

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

Is Google AMP the right choice for hotel websites?

February 15, 2018

Led by Google as a direct competitor to Facebook’s Instant Articles, the AMP Project is trying to improve the performance of web content and ads on mobile. This is a very important challenge to solve as not all mobile users have the luxury of lightning fast networks and state of the art smartphones. Think with Google’s 2016 report notes that 70% of cellular network connections globally will occur at 3G or slower speeds through 2020.

AMP Pages are built with 3 core components:

- AMP HTML – Restricted HTML for reliable performance
- AMP JS – Library to ensure fast rendering of AMP HTML pages
- AMP Cache – Serves cached AMP HTML pages

Get the full story at Leonardo

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

HEDNA: Hotels admit steep reliance on OTAs

February 14, 2018

The study spoke to chain hotels, independent properties and management companies.

Independents were found to have a "surprisingly balanced channel mix" and the cost of distribution was a key factor in their overall distribution strategy and use of data. Chains, in contrast, had a "surprisingly high" impact on their channel share from OTAs, the study finds.

For example, almost 60% of chain properties used OTAs for between 10% and 50% of their inventory, and 32% relied on the same channel for more than half.

Get the full story at PhocusWire

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

Expedia selling event tickets

February 14, 2018

Tickets can be searched by event type, destination, venue, team or performer, nearby events or popular events nationwide.

Considering travelers' desire to have unique experiences in destinations and a trend of building trips around events, "adding event tickets to our product offering makes all the sense in the world," said Jen O'Twomney, Expedia Local Expert vice president.

Get the full story at Travel Weekly

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

Survey: Seven meeting trends of 2018

February 14, 2018

The year ahead will see a strong showing in corporate meeting spending, according to the survey. Thirty-seven percent of survey respondents said they will plan more meetings for 2018, up from 30 percent in 2017.

“Meetings are seeing costs rising because there’s strong demand from the leisure and transient segments and because much of the new hotel supply is in the economy or mid-scale categories—which tend to lack meeting facilities and the leisure amenities preferred by both planners and attendees,” says Andre Fournier, executive vice president of sales, marketing, and revenue for Two Roads Hospitality.

“With 84 percent of survey respondents using upscale, upper-upscale, or luxury properties, it is anticipated that these segments will experience stronger demand than supply,” Fournier continues.

Get the full story at Lodging Magazine

Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/survey_seven_meeting_trends_of_2018

Smart hotel rooms are almost here

February 14, 2018

Technology companies and hotel brands alike are working to crack the various problems that come with bringing innovations like voice control into the hospitality environment at scale.

There are many challenges, like meeting the needs of hotel owners and grappling with the limitations of consumer technology, that are still being worked out. Guest privacy, as well, looms large as an uncertain aspect of this technology revolution.

Get the full story at Skift

Read also "Angie, an in-room assistant built specifically for hotels"

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

Marketing trends in hospitality: From technology to niches

February 14, 2018

Over the past year, Google made major inroads into the travel and tourism sector, changing the layouts of Google Flights and Hotels and, as a result, it’s hard to differentiate these from online travel agencies and metasearch sites. Further, Google Trips now offers discounts for tours and activities, and allows users to create folders for future travel plans. This option could help Google identify the travel intentions of consumers early in the planning process and make relevant suggestions based on the travel history.

Certainly, Google’s footprint in the travel ecosystem is expanding. Depending on hoteliers’ digital marketing competencies and budgets, some hoteliers will leverage Google to increase brand awareness and gain bookings. Nevertheless, Google is not free and serves as another paid channel for hoteliers. Given the dominance in the market of Google and the major OTAs, hoteliers will find it even more expensive and difficult to reach travellers. Discussions about the cost of customer acquisition may switch from ‘between OTAs and hotels’ to ‘between hotel brands and hotel owners’.

Get the full story at Ecole hotelière de Lausanne

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

Gmail is about to get dynamic

February 14, 2018

Starting today, developers can sign up for preview access to the AMP for Email spec and begin developing rich, interactive, engaging email experiences within Gmail.

Google notes the following benefits for incorporating AMP experiences into Gmail:

- Content that is kept up-to-date in real-time
- The ability for recipients to browse and interact with content
- Users getting more done in less time without having to leave email

Get the full story at Marketing Land

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

Personalizing the guest experience

February 14, 2018

As one of the top 25 hotels in Canada as rated by TripAdvisor, Nita Lake Lodge is a truly unique property. Located lakeside in beautiful Whistler, British Columbia, this 77-room boutique hotel offers a genuine Whistler experience through a commitment to personalized service.

Read more about how Nita Lake Lodge have been able to use Guestfolio CRM to become one of the most prestigious hotels in Canada.

Get the full story at Cendyn

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

Triptease is a HotelTechAwards winner

February 14, 2018

The awards, run by Hotel Tech Report, are designed to give hoteliers around the world an unbiased source of information, based on the views of their peers, to help them easily discover and learn about the best technology in the sector.

Hotel Tech Report co-founder Jordan Hollander commended our efforts to save hotels billions of dollars a year on OTA commissions. “It’s no surprise that hoteliers everywhere are joining the Triptease party by the thousands,” he said.

Get the full story at Triptease

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

Asia is the epicenter of a boom that is changing how we travel

February 13, 2018

Consider this: For the past seven years, the travel-and-tourism sector has outperformed the overall economy every year, contributing as much as $7.6 trillion in 2016, including the wider impact on the economy, according to the World Travel & Tourism Council. During the next decade, the council predicts, almost one in four jobs created worldwide will be related to tourism.

Nowhere is this revolution more dramatic than in Asia.

A rising tide of travelers from China is spreading out across the region, out-shopping, outspending and out-eating every other nation. They are filling hotels, tour buses and cruise ships. They are overwhelming airports and train stations, and they are sending home petabytes of pictures that encourage their compatriots to join the global invasion. Their ranks are being swollen by millions of others from around Asia, a generation who would rather raise their status with a foreign adventure than with a luxury bag.

“People’s personal brands are being defined by the places they visit,” said Simon Russell, chief executive officer of London-based luxury travel group Scott Dunn, which last month bought rival Country Holidays Travel from Singapore to expand its Asian clientele.

Get the full story at Bloomberg

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

New data from Ctrip illustrates how rapidly Chinese travel is changing

February 13, 2018

2017 was also the year China became the world’s largest tourism source market with 129 million outbound trips.

It’s important to note that many of the conclusions in the new report from Ctrip, done in partnership with the China Tourism Academy (CTA), are based on Ctrip’s data and is not representative of all macro trends in the Chinese travel industry. Nonetheless, given the increasingly digital nature of Chinese travel, the findings still provide valuable insights into Chinese travel as a whole.

Of particular note is how Ctrip users in 2017 were almost evenly divided between group and independent travel. 44 percent and 42 percent of Ctrip users opted for group and independent travel respectively. Free independent travelers (FITs) tend to utilize online resources to independently plan and book trips.

Get the full story at Jing Travel

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

Airbnb accuses OTAs of failing to deal with 90-day letting rules

February 13, 2018

The Californian company says that one year on from its introduction of an automatic block that kicks in once a host has notched up 90 days of lettings, no other online agency has followed suit.

Hosts are required by law to seek planning permission if they want to go beyond the 90-day limit. This is intended to prevent disturbances from unofficial and unregulated hotels.

According to the analysis by data company Transparent, Airbnb’s biggest rivals, Booking.com, Home-Away, TripAdvisor and Casamundo, have a combined 40,000 listings — none limited by an automatic 90-day cap.

Get the full story at the Evening Standard

Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/airbnb_accuses_otas_of_failing_to_deal_with_90_day_letting_rules

Choice Hotels banks on new reservations system for future wins

February 13, 2018

The distribution platform supports more than 6,500 Choice Hotels properties globally and is fully integrated with choiceADVANTAGE, Choice Hotels' property management system.

The switch, many years in the making, had Pat Pacious, CEO of Choice Hotels International, beaming when I spoke to him at the Americas Lodging Investment Summit in Los Angeles. There is a symmetry to Choice's new, shiny system: it arrives just around the same time Pacious does; the CEO having only held the top spot since fall.

In that way, Pacious has a new toy to take out for a spin.

Get the full story at Hotel Management

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

Angie, an in-room assistant built specifically for hotels

February 13, 2018

The purpose-built device was specifically designed to solve multiple challenges that the hotel industry faces, offering proprietors a wealth of operational proficiencies, and providing customers with a radical solution to in-room services.

Angie offers a multitude of services to guests, including ordering room service, making reservations, room control, and connecting to personal, secure and customisable Wi-Fi.

Through the use of integrated Bluetooth speakers, Angie can also connect to multiple guest devices to play music or serve as a speakerphone.

Get the full story at Travel Weekly

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

Content marketing strategies for corporate blogs

February 13, 2018

Used in this way, it will fuel your content marketing strategy and even save time, money, and resources for content creation.

Here’s how it works.

Why blogs are essential for corporate communication

- 56% of bloggers who maintain business blogs say it has helped their company establish a position as an industry thought leader.
- 81% of businesses reported that their company blog is useful to critical for their business.
- The average company that blogs, generates 55% more website visitors, 97% more inbound links, and 434% more indexed pages.
- 69% of businesses attribute their lead generation success to blogging.

Get the full story at Maximise Social Business

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

Ancillary Revenue and Personalization: 2018 revenue management best practices, Part II

February 13, 2018

A report done by Eye for Travel estimated total ancillary revenues worldwide at $80-130B. In a survey conducted among general managers, 57% planned to increase their investment into ancillaries in the next 12 months, and 23% of general managers said their RMS does not account for any ancillary spending, while another 20% indicated they do not have an RMS at their property.

In a survey conducted among hotel guests, 60% said they would purchase add-ons during their stay, but 40% said they still needed to be convinced. For guests that wouldn’t purchase add-ons, 58% felt that the property is simply trying to make more money off them, and 63% felt that the products or services offered were not relevant to them.

Get the full story at rainmaker

Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/ancillary_revenue_and_personalization_2018_revenue_management_best_practice

Vertical Booking adds more than 1000 new hotels in 2017

February 13, 2018

Hotels rapidly jumped on board to utilize the plethora of reservation upselling tools designed to achieve higher conversions. Popular tools include the new premium booking engine, the enhanced channel manager, OTA/competitors rate checker, and a host of other features developed to engage the guest during the booking process and maximize revenue.

“At Vertical Booking, we understand the challenges hoteliers face in this highly competitive market and having the right technology solutions is a must have to meet both the guests and the hoteliers’ expectations,” said Alberto Guadalupi, Founder and CEO of Vertical Booking.

Get the full story at Vertical Booking

Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/vertical_booking_adds_more_than_1000_new_hotels_in_2017

Amex to acquire Hogg Robinson Group

February 12, 2018

HRG is valued by American Express GBT at up to £410 million, with the deal expected to go through in the second quarter of the year subject to regulatory approval.

Details of the leadership of the combined businesses have yet to be announced. However, a statement to investors said the combined business would use “the best available talent from both Hogg Robinson and GBT”.

It is understood to be undecided whether the HRG name will continue.

Get the full story at Travel Weekly UK and Amex

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

CWT RoomIt gets a chief experience officer

February 12, 2018

His role will be to provide strategic leadership over RoomIt product and distribution channels and the user experience with the target of increasing customer retention and improving operational efficiency.

Hyden starts on February 12 and will be based out of RoomIt’s new Chicago HQ. He will report to David Falter, RoomIt’s newly-appointed President.

Prior to joining RoomIt, Scott was global vice president of the Enterprise Customer Group for Travelport and previously led Travelport’s business in the Americas.

Get the full story at Travolution

Read also "Carlson Wagonlit’s RoomIt unit is growing fast"

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

How much U.S. hotel rates will grow in 2018

February 12, 2018

According to PwC and American Express Global Business Travel, development has focused on large metropolitan areas, according to Amex GBT, and it’s in those spots where rate growth will slow the most.

- PwC forecasts that U.S. ADR will increase 2.4% to an average of US$ 129.72 in 2018

- Amex GBT forecasts that U.S. ADR will increase 2.5% in 2018.

Get the full story at Buying Business Travel

Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/how_much_u.s._hotel_rates_will_grow_in_2018

How automation is transforming the restaurant industry

February 12, 2018

The cost of machines, even sophisticated ones, has fallen significantly in recent years, dropping 40 percent since 2005, according to the Boston Consulting Group. Labor, meanwhile, is getting expensive, as some cities and states pass laws raising the minimum wage.

“We think we’ve hit the point where labor-wage rates are now making automation of those tasks make a lot more sense,” Bob Wright, the chief operations officer of Wendy’s, said in a conference call with investors last February, referring to jobs that feature “repetitive production tasks.” Wendy’s, McDonald’s, and Panera are in the process of installing self-service kiosks in locations across the country, allowing customers to order without ever talking to an employee. Starbucks encourages customers to order on its mobile app; such transactions now account for 10 percent of sales.

Business owners insist that robots will take over work that is dirty, dangerous, or just dull, enabling humans to focus on other tasks. Like restaurants where they place their orders at kiosks, employees now bring food from the kitchen to their tables. “That labor has been redeployed back into the café to provide a differentiated guest experience,” Hurst said.

Get the full story at The Atlantic

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

WeTravel builds a payment platform for small travel businesses

February 12, 2018

WeTravel saw a need for smaller merchants to access payment and organizational tools to make organizing and booking trips easier.

Typically these companies use ad hoc tools like PayPal, Square - and these payment companies (and big hospitality companies) are beginning to realize that their tools are not enough.

PayPal recently launched Money Pools to handle group payments and Airbnb has introduced its own group payment feature.

Get the full story at TechCrunch

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

Google sets deadline for HTTPS, warns to upgrade soon

February 12, 2018

A prominent warning may affect how secure users feel and may cause some visitors to leave a site, which will negatively impacting a sites bounce rate, advertising impressions, affiliate clicks and eCommerce sales.

A prominent warning will be shown in Chrome’s address bar (also known as the Omnibox), indicating that an insecure website is “Not secure.” This warning will show for all http websites. Google’s announcement was firm about their goal to warn users of insecure sites, with the intent of further shepherding more web publishers into upgrading to HTTPS.

Get the full story at Search Engine Journal and Google

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

Revenue strategy challenges for 2018 and beyond

February 12, 2018

Ally Dombey, Director of Revenue By Design and chair of HOSPA’s Revenue Management Community Committee, opened the webinar with her thoughts on how automation is changing the role of the revenue manager. As a precursor to the “Revenue Management 3.0 Where Next?” one-day conference, organised by Revenue By Design, Ally looked at how technology is proving the catalyst for change in the revenue management sphere.

“We are seeing a big change in the role of revenue management, in terms of scope, and in terms of the interplay between other departments, in particular digital marketing. This is no longer the operational role of changing rates or managing inventory – this still plays a large role, it is the extension of the role strategically which has changed most over the past few, years, and moving forwards improvements in technology and its relative affordability is going to be the catalyst for greater change,” she said.

Get the full story at Duetto

Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/revenue_strategy_challenges_for_2018_and_beyond

The Guest Feedback A-Z Guide for Hotels: Part I

February 12, 2018

While swimming in such deep waters, knowing and understanding all of its complex implications can sometimes come as a challenge. Especially since technology has started to impact hospitality and the importance of reviews and continues to do so, more and more every day, new and exciting concepts arise and you have to make sure that you keep up with them.

This is why we created the Guest Feedback A-Z Guide for Hotels, meant to break down all of the most relevant notions that are of interest to hoteliers and other members of the industry. We included short definitions and external references and divided the guide into 4 equal parts.

Get the full story at TrustYou

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

Expedia quarterly profit falls 30 pct as costs climb

February 09, 2018

This is the first full quarter under Mark Okerstrom, who succeeded Dara Khosrowshahi after he left to take the top job at car-ride provider Uber Technologies Inc last year.

Expedia’s HomeAway vacation rental business, a rival to Airbnb, reported a 16 percent jump in revenue to $193 million in the fourth quarter, compared with analysts’ average estimate of $225.4 million.

Trivago GmbH, majority owned by Expedia, reported a bigger-than-expected fourth-quarter loss on Wednesday as the hotel search platform spent more on sales and marketing.

Expedia’s previous quarterly report was equally disappointing to investors when reported last year, though that period included headwinds from a rash of disruptive hurricanes off the Atlantic in addition to brand shortcomings.

Get the full story at Reuters

Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/expedia_quarterly_profit_falls_30_pct_as_costs_climb

Hotels win small victory: So why are we still arguing about OTAs?

February 09, 2018

Hotels have long lamented their dependence on online travel agencies (OTAs) and their ascribed high cost of distribution (commission or mark-up). Over the years, Hilton, IHG and Hyatt are among the brands that have tried to cut the cord (generating dramatic headlines), only to rejoin the OTAs with fresh, new agreements. While it's easy to say that hotels are fighting a losing battle – since OTAs now make up more than one fifth of U.S. hotels' overall revenue – the fact is that chains are making some inroads. Perhaps hotel loyalty rates – whereby loyalty members get unique discounts for booking direct – are paying off after all.

The truth is that OTA hotel sales keep growing because U.S. hotel sales are rising modestly while the shift from offline to online is accelerating at nearly three times the pace. U.S. hotel sales gained 4% in 2017 to reach US$158 billion, but the online hotel segment (including both OTAs and hotel websites/apps) jumped 13% to $69.3 billion. These gains are based on the simple fact that offline processes, such as calling the hotel or using a travel agency, will continue to give way to desktop/laptop and mobile devices for young and old. Still, 56% of hotel sales are offline, including corporate, groups and traditional channels.

Get the full story at Phocuswright

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

Report: The Travel Marketer’s Guide to the U.S. Digital Travel Landscape

February 09, 2018

The Travel Marketer's Guide to the U.S. Digital Travel Landscape, a free research report by Phocuswright prepared in partnership with Bing, finds that digital channel share has surpassed two thirds of total travel industry expenditure on advertising (adspend). Online travel companies – including OTAs and metasearch sites – allocate significantly more of their adspend (nearly three fourths) to digital.

Mobile is also playing a larger role in travel advertising. On average, travel supplier brands allocate 44% of their digital spend to mobile channels, while online travel firms are even more focused on mobile advertising, allocating more than half.

Get the full story at Phocuswright and download the report at Phocuswright (free registration)

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

Trivago takes aim at smaller hotels as online partners cut spend

February 09, 2018

The company, which is majority owned by Expedia Inc, generated 72 percent of its revenue from Expedia and Booking.com-owner Priceline Group Inc in the fourth quarter of last year.

The remainder comes from small and medium-size online travel agencies (OTAs), independent hotels, hotel chains and alternative types of accommodation like campsites or vacation rentals.

Trivago is “broadening the offering of hotels and accommodations, which includes all alternative accommodations” Chief Executive ‎Rolf Schrömgens told Reuters in an interview after quarterly results on Wednesday.

Get the full story at Reuters

Read also "Trivago tackles the fluctuations of concentration" at Tnooz

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

BCD releases new product platform

February 09, 2018

With Solutionsource, BCD says travel buyers gain access to expansive technologies in key categories including risk management, price assurance, flight disruption, programme optimisation and more. Freebird, Rocketrip, Fairfly and Yapta are among the initial partners available on the platform, though BCD says it will continue to add partnerships throughout 2018.

Yannis Karmis, senior vice president of product planning and development at BCD Travel, said: “It’s a tremendous time for innovation in travel. By building an open platform, Solutionsource opens the door to emerging technologies for our clients. Our open ecosystem allows technology providers to integrate with our proprietary platforms to create a seamless travel management experience.”

Get the full story at Buying Business Travel

Read also "New tools and platforms are changing business travel" at Skift

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

Google Search, Facebook deliver the best ROI

February 09, 2018

A December 2017 survey of US senior ad buyers by financial services firm Cowen and Company showed Google search was held in the highest esteem when it came to ROI. Nearly half of respondents named the platform as offering the highest ROI. Facebook ranked second, named by 30% of those polled.

Google and Facebook both improved their positions from last year. In 2016, the survey found that 32% of senior ad buyers thought Google search had the best ROI, while 27% chose Facebook.

In 2017, no other advertising platform garnered double-digit percentages among ad buyers. Just 8% of respondents thought ad exchanges and networks had the best ROI, while Instagram and YouTube were each named by just 4% of ad buyers.

Get the full story at eMarketer

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

The tightrope between privacy and personalisation for hotels around data

February 09, 2018

From personalisation, to making sure that you’re in line with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), data is definitely going to be a hot topic for the first half of the year.

Personal data is a powerful marketing and guest experience tool and key to a hotel’s relationship with their guests. However, hotels must be cautious as to how they handle personal information [so that they don’t] violate their guests’ right to privacy.

Get the full story at GuestRevu

Read also "Trend digest: What to expect in 2018" at GuestRevu

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

Promote your hotel before it opens – 9 strategies for success

February 09, 2018

1. Have a Website or Landing Page

What good would promoting your fantastic new property be if you don’t have anywhere to drive traffic? If you have no way to collect information for future communications?

Setting up a website or, at minimum, a well thought out landing page is the very first step in promoting your new property. You might not have every single detail ironed out with room layouts or amenity offerings – and that’s fine. But, as soon as you have enough information related to your hotel’s concept, go ahead and secure your domain and set up your website.

The first iteration of your hotel or resort website should be designed with consistent branding and messaging that will be featured throughout your other marketing collateral. This can evolve over time, but consistency is key when using multiple channels to generate awareness and drive interest.

Get the full story at Fuel

Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/promote_your_hotel_before_it_opens_9_strategies_for_success

Airbnb officially opens up platform to hotel distribution

February 08, 2018

Airbnb is to allow hotels and other accommodation providers to list on the site for the first time through an official third-party distribution network.

SiteMinder will be the first platform to act as a channel manager on a global scale so that its portfolio of properties can be featured alongside existing properties form Airbnb hosts.

The deal is not exclusive, with SiteMinder the first of a number of distribution platforms expected to be given connection rights to Airbnb over time. The connection will be available from March 2018 but SiteMinder has been working with a select number of hotels in different markets around the world to test the service.

Hotels and B&Bs have listed on Airbnb in the past but have done so independently and not through a third-party distribution service.

Get the full story at Travel Weekly and Airbnb

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

Booking.com leads the way as top hotel channel

February 08, 2018

Expedia came second in the list in all but one of the countries - with Germany featuring local provider HRS.

The top 15 channels in the U.S. and Canada:

1. Booking.com
2. Expedia
3. Hotel websites (direct bookings)
4. Global distribution systems
5. Agoda
6. GTA
7. Priceline
8. Hotelbeds
9. Hostelworld Group
10. Hotusa
11. Rakuten
12. Hotwire
13. HotelTonight
14. Orbitz
15. Tourico

Get the full story at Phocuswire and SiteMinder

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

Trivago forecasts slower growth and ‘difficult’ quarters in 2018

February 08, 2018

As context, Priceline Group rival Expedia Inc. owns a majority of the equity and the voting rights at Trivago. So competitive motives may partly explain the move.

The Skift Daily newsletter puts you ahead of everyone about the future of travel, subscribe.

Chief executive Rolf Schrömgens told investment analysts that Trivago would face “difficult quarters financially” in the coming year. But he said the unpleasant surprises of 2017 - and the accompanying “full bandwidth of emotions” - are over.

Get the full story at Skift

Read also "Trivago ends first year on public markets with 37% revenue jump" at Phocuswire

Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/trivago_forecasts_slower_growth_and_difficult_quarters_in_2018

Fragmented distribution makes corporate hotel booking compliance a challenge

February 08, 2018

In addition, tools such as Concur’s Triplink supposedly catch all purchases, compliant or otherwise, while travel management company platforms, such as CWT’s new Roomit, also embrace pretty much everything. Then there is the need for buyers to audit negotiated rates. How on earth can travel buyers possibly implement policy and monitor their programme in such a disparate – not to say desperate – environment?

But is it all it appears? Jef Robinson is a senior travel buyer for a major US software firm. He says: “This is a general trend within business travel, and disruptors are given significant media coverage. However, data suggests that GDS bookings are on the increase with a growth of 2 million bookings forecast over volume for 2016.”

Hotel product manager for FCM, Rachel Newns, agrees. She also thinks GDS covers many of the available options. “We still find that GDS reservations fulfil most requirements for travellers and tend to be the preferred options for travel managers, because they give access to a company’s negotiated rates, best available rate, FCM/Flight Centre negotiated rates, and we can give loyalty programme rates to those – all in GDS,” she says. “It is all available through one platform with multiple payment options; it is trackable, traceable, so it helps with compliance, traveller safety and security; and it has all the benefits of policy in the tool as well.”

Get the full story at Buying Business Travel

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

Data accuracy biggest barrier to personalisation for hotel marketers

February 08, 2018

Over half (51%) of respondents reported getting accurate customer data to be a challenge. When asked: What challenges do you face in personalisation? – the findings were as follows:

51% – Having accurate customer data

44% – Getting the right mix of marketing and IT

44% – Identifying customers at the right times

35% – Building links between products

32% – Privacy and compliance challenges

15% – Overcoming company silos

5% – Don’t face any challenges

Get the full story at http://www.traveldailymedia.com/443944/data-accuracy-biggest-barrier-personalisation-hotel-travel-marketeers/">Travel Daily UK

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

Report: 6 shifts in China’s internet sector from 2017 into 2018

February 08, 2018

In the report, Jefferies analyst Karen Chan and her team listed Tencent, Alibaba, and Weibo as the top picks for China’s internet sector. The team noted that tops apps, especially social apps, are seeing an increase in traffic, while video and news apps show the most robust growth.

Here are the six key industry trends highlighted in the report.

Get the full story at TechNode

Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/report_6_shifts_in_chinas_internet_sector_from_2017_into_2018

Case study: How Bilderberg Hotels is using big data

February 08, 2018

“Wouldn’t it be great if we knew all our guests in the way a general manager knows his regulars?” That was the dream of Arlette Gilbert and her team at Dutch hotel and restaurant chain Bilderberg.

Industry conferences and workshops told her that “big data”, in other words large data sets that can be analysed to reveal patterns and trends, was the way to fulfil that dream. But the prospect seemed “scary” for someone who admits to failing her maths exams.

Fast forward and Arlette is a big data convert. Last year at the Direct Booking Summit in Barcelona she took to the stage to show us how her team amalgamated 17 different property management systems, 17 different point of sale systems, a CRS, a CRM, reviews and more to get closer to a 360-view of her customers.

Get the full story at Triptease

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

Why rate management is not revenue strategy

February 08, 2018

As two very different, yet fundamental tasks of building a revenue strategy, are revenue managers still finding themselves spending too much time on one of these tasks—and not enough time on the other?

Rate management is the act of distributing rates and length-of-stay controls, in addition to ensuring there is appropriate rate parity across all selling and distribution channels. Depending on the tools available, this activity alone can eat up hours every day and due to its arduous nature, it may not even make a dent on changes needed at the far end of a booking window. This can often translate into a missed opportunity and limited efficiency for a hotel.

Revenue strategy, on the other hand, is the act of determining, executing and analyzing the desired rate structure and inventory controls for a hotel property, or portfolio of properties. This umbrella includes different strategic considerations, such as inventory strategy, room upgrade paths, online sentiments like guest reviews and reputation scores, and insightful market intelligence and guest behaviors. Based on the tools a revenue manager is using, they could be making decisions that are informed by all elements - or just a few of them.

Get the full story at IDeaS

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

Google will let you book hotels and flights through search results

February 07, 2018

The company said hotel and flight bookings can now be made through Google Search results. Users can scroll through search results for hotels that include photos, and swipe through those photos without having to leave the list of results. Date and price filtering can also be done through the results page, and users can also now book through Google.

It’s a similar story for flights, as bookings can be done through search and the same filtering and comparisons as hotels can be done on air travel searches. Google says users can now toggle more easily between flights and hotels with a new tab layout. Users can also search by destination to determine the best hotel and flight options. The “More Destinations” tab also offers suggestions on nearby trips for that original destination and, of course, Google-approved companies that might offer additional services along the way.

Google’s realization here is that more and more people are doing planning and booking for travel on a smartphone, rather than carving out time on a computer at home. Or that more people are deciding to make last-minute changes and don’t have the patience to flip through multiple windows and apps to get where they want, or need, to be.

Get the full story at The Verge and Google

Read also "Google is one step closer to its user-centric vision of travel booking" at Skift and "How Google is getting a boost in online travel"

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

GDSs still key for hotel distribution

February 07, 2018

Siteminder analysed data collected from its channel management solution from 28,000 hotels throughout 2017 to find out the top 15 booking channels in various markets. The lists feature a range of both B2B and consumer channels, from OTAs and direct bookings to wholesalers and GDSs.

In the UK, GDSs were the fourth biggest channel for hotel bookings, with the top three made up of Booking.com, Expedia and direct bookings through hotel websites. Number five on the list is Laterooms.com.

The top four are exactly the same across the pond in the US and Canada, while discount site Agoda comes in fifth.

Get the full story at Buying Business Travel and SiteMinder

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

Buyers predict more travel but tighter budgets

February 07, 2018

In a survey of its clients, ATPI learned that 70 per cent of corporate travel managers believe their travellers will be on the road more often in 2018 than they did in 2017.

When asked where their concerns lie, the top answer was the safety and security of travellers (duty of care), followed by improving traveller satisfaction. Rounding out the top three was the pressure to reduce overall travel programme costs.

The top three points that travel managers feel can help them create cost savings are managing traveller behaviour, having a better overview of incurred expenses en-route and booking air travel in advance.

Get the full story at Buying Business Travel

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

Which hotels are most popular among business travelers?

February 07, 2018

The average amount that travelers spent at Hampton Inn in 2017 was $240.59. Marriott Hotels came in second with an average cost of $272.15.

The other most popular hotel chains are as follows:

- Courtyard by Marriott
- Holiday Inn Express
- Hilton Garden Inn
- Hilton
- Holiday Inn
- Doubletree
- Hyatt
- Fairfield Inn
- Comfort Inn
- Embassy Suites

Get the full story at USA Today and the complete report at Certify

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

Hotels - not OTAs - own the data that makes the difference

February 07, 2018

OTAs undoubtedly make good marketing partners for hotels, during need periods and as a means to acquire new customers. Expedia and Priceline are now pitching themselves as data partners, inviting hotels to leverage the millions of data points from listed rates, transactions, and competitor rate shops that occur on their sites every day. Expedia executives have said publicly that the site sees more than 2 billion price and availability changes every day.

However, the big caveat hoteliers must consider is that Expedia and Priceline do not have access to the real-time data hoteliers store in their own systems. Without a connection to the hotel PMS, they don’t get the inventory and CRM information needed to make the best pricing and promotion decisions.

When it comes to data, hoteliers make better decisions with depth, not just breadth. OTA-sourced reservations and rate shops produce very basic rate recommendations. To them, a market is “compressed” simply when the OTA receives less inventory than usual from its hotel partners. They can scrape thousands of competitor rates, yet if that’s a hotel’s sole basis for yielding its own prices, it is still largely just following the market.

Get the full story at Lodging

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

‘Dynamic pricing’ could make airfares even more confusing

February 07, 2018

This could be troubling for both consumers and regulatory agencies such as the U.S. DOT. A report prepared for ATPCO "Advances in Airline Pricing," ominously states, “There may ... be implications of next-generation pricing for consumers and regulation. Consumers would react negatively if transactional pricing mechanisms resulted in an identified individual receiving a higher price than an anonymous shopper. There is also the possibility that customers would try to game the pricing engines to obtain prices for which they are not eligible. Furthermore, while regulators have to date been relatively permissive of new pricing technologies ... some new pricing mechanisms could trigger regulatory reviews with uncertain outcomes.”

If you thought airfare shopping was challenging before, it’s only going to get more so.

Get the full story at USA Today

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

The early bird catches the bookings

February 07, 2018

Price-savvy guests on the hunt for a deal are incentivized to book early, and outside of a hotel's typical booking window. By the time you're into your regular booking window, you already have a healthy base of guests and you can adjust your rates sensibly. Clear, well-signposted advance booking offers on your website are absolutely key to scooping up those early browsers.

Last-minute deals, on the other hand, aren't for everyone, but there's no doubt that consumer behavior is shifting in the last-minute direction. Ctrip's most recent white paper revealed that Chinese guests in particular are booking within an ever-shorter reservation window, with only 13% booking a week or more in advance. If you make a quick decision to drop a rate, you need to be able to quickly advertise it on your direct site; guests should know that they can come to you direct for cheap last-minute deals, rather than having to go to an OTA which makes last-minute bookings its USP. However, exercize caution: with the rise of re-booking services like Service on the horizon, widespread last-minute discounts could become a dangerous game. Stay tuned for more on that topic.

The potential guest looking to book over a season in advance needs to be tempted in a very different way to one looking at a room the night before. A flexible campaign manager for your online messaging is crucial to making sure your carefully-honed revenue management strategies aren't set up in vain.

Get the full story at Triptease

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

How to stop your hotel marketing strategies becoming stale

February 07, 2018

Here are a few ways you can strike a healthy balance within your own marketing strategies so you can keep the guests flooding through your doors:

Use video and live feeds to engage your prospective guests

During the infancy of most social media platforms, photographs reigned supreme. Today however, users are more interested in videos and live streaming. Make sure you’re using video as often as possible within your hotel’s social media marketing strategy. This will help you attract the attention of your target market segments, and also keep them engaged with your brand for longer.

Get the full story at SiteMinder

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

Hotel CEOs reveal strategies for Expedia, Google and Airbnb

February 06, 2018

Skift discussed these topics with several hospitality executives attending the Americas Lodging Investment Summit last month in Los Angeles, and what they had to say may or may not surprise you.

Generally, these hotel executives seemed to welcome the idea of other players coming into the distribution space and challenging the Priceline Group and Expedia duopoly. Some also expressed concerns about the growing importance and influence of Google and Airbnb.

And while direct booking pushes were a major point of focus for hoteliers in 2016 and 2017 — and to some extent still are, given Wyndham’s news this week — the executives have certainly softened their stances when speaking about their companies’ relationships with third-party booking channels. Today, it feels like the hotels have reached an equilibrium with the online travel agencies, with both sides acknowledging that they need one another to succeed.

Still, that won’t stop others, namely Google and Airbnb, from trying to get their share of the hotel booking market, and smart hoteliers are keeping an eye on those companies’ efforts.

Get the full story at Skift

Read also "Independent hoteliers discuss challenges, to-do lists for 2018"

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

With Marriott policy, fear of history repeating for travel agents

February 06, 2018

Judging from comments under articles about the cuts, some readers are interpreting the action as equivalent to the first step in the slow erosion of pay that ended with the elimination of base airline commissions in 2002.

There are similarities, but there are also important differences. Airlines, in aggregate, were in dire straits overall in 1995 (in aggregate, they lost money each year from 1990 through 1993, and they barely squeaked out 0.4% profit in 1994), but Marriott says it is reacting specifically to a significant rise -- characterized to me by Brian King, Marriott's global officer of digital, distribution, revenue management and global sales, as "alarming" - in costs associated directly with meetings.

Travel Weekly's sister publication Business Travel News cited a report compiled by hotel benchmarking company Kalibri Labs and the auditing and consulting firm PwC. It stated that, across all U.S. hotel companies, pre-event meetings costs associated with sales amounted to 35% of room revenue, and third-party commissions of $1.4 billion accounting for 4.3% of pre-event costs.

Get the full story at Travel Weekly

Read also "Some see Marriott rate cut as step toward tiered commissions"

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

The travel agent of the future

February 06, 2018

What the experts also hadn't taken into account was that OTAs lacked the human touch, which in a digital age, customers are now craving more than ever before.

Successful travel agents have therefore focused their efforts on the customer experience and building long-term relationships with their clients - and they have used technology to make this happen.

The 21st Century travel agent is - and will continue to be - a concierge, advisor and confidante, using a variety of tools, from social media to online messaging services, to communicate with their clients.

Get the full story at Travelmole

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

Managed travel: Corporate and personal loyalty aligned

February 06, 2018

However, there’s an increasing middle ground where both sides benefit. “A lot of executives now try to do both – they’ll look to book within guidelines, but then use their own money and points to manufacture a trip that fits policy but is also the best possible journey that they can get,” says Concur UK managing director Chris Baker. “When someone’s been a constant business traveller for a number of years, they do tend to have less patience when it comes to poor trips.”

A lot of corporates are allowing travellers a degree of flexibility to retain and use their existing memberships, as long as they achieve the best rates within a mandated booking policy. This way the company and the individual both do well. As one travel manager puts it: “I am prepared to downgrade suppliers who market direct to employees but do not offer benefits as part of a corporate programme.”

Technology and smart apps are certainly making life much easier for executives to identify, select and track the company’s preferred travel suppliers. Personal and corporate loyalty can also be aligned, so long as the traveller is made aware of the preferred hotels and airlines in no uncertain terms.

Get the full story at Buying Business Travel

Read also "The cost of hotel loyalty schemes"

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

How voice search will impact travel marketing

February 06, 2018

Did you know that 40% of US adults use voice search per day? According to Search Engine Watch, people now perform 35 times more voice searches on Google than in 2008. Nowadays, speech recognition technology is more precise - with only an 8% error rate.

According eMarketer, there are over 45 million voice-assisted devices currently being used in the United States. This number is likely to climb to 67 million by 2019. Some of the more widely recognized voice AI systems are Google Home, with its Google Assistant, Amazon Echo with Alexa, and Apple HomePod with Siri. There are also assistants on smartphones, including Cortana for Microsoft and Bixby for Samsung. Although voice recognition has been around for a few years, the market is now seeing a significant increase in the popularity and use of smart, connected devices. If Siri is currently handling more than 2 billion voice queries each week, imagine what the future holds.

Get the full story at Frederic Gonzalo

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

We’ve got omnichannel all wrong

February 06, 2018

Even an integrated dashboard that provides detailed cross-channel data around spend and results typically yields zero insight into causation or correlation of attribution. We’ve yet to master that science.

Looking at omnichannel from a campaign-outward perspective is hopelessly misguided. If you ask any direct marketer what they rely on to enhance their targets, they’ll tell you the best data comes from regression analysis on conversions. It’s the most reliable way to uncover what’s working - and what they need to be doing more of and test against.

So, what if omnichannel wasn’t about pushing out marketing, but instead about regression analysis by purchase channel? Each purchase maps back to one individual person in one household. Therefore, if we look at where people make purchases by channel, and then append data about the product segment and what level of consideration the purchase required, we’ll have some incredibly useful data about that buyer and that purchase.

Get the full story at Marketing Land

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

North American hoteliers welcome uptick in rates & bookings across all travel segments

February 06, 2018

The transient leisure segment in particular stands out during the first quarter, with bookings up an impressive 6.8 percent and strong revenue per available room (RevPAR), up 7.3 percent.

“The inconsistency that most hoteliers experienced throughout 2017 has substantially subsided in recent months, proving that 2018 is already off to an encouraging start,” said John Hach, senior industry analyst, TravelClick. “There is a healthy balance of group, transient leisure and business demand, which shows sustainability throughout the upcoming year.”

Get the full story at TravelClick

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

How the new Facebook news feed changes affect hotel marketers

February 06, 2018

On January 11th, Mark Zuckerberg announced that Facebook would be changing its news feed algorithm to prioritise content from “friends, family and groups.”

“As we roll this out,” Zuckerberg wrote, “You’ll see less public content like posts from businesses, brands, and media. And the public content you see more will be held to the same standard—it should encourage meaningful interactions between people. In terms of advertising, this means that the space in News Feed will be limited (less ads displayed at a more expensive price / higher bid).

As the changes roll out over the next few months, businesses will most likely see a significant decrease in organic reach.

Get the full story at 80 DAYS

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

Airbnb is taking over London

February 05, 2018

At first, Airbnb grew slowly in London. By 2012, four years after it first launched, there were only a few hundred rentals in the capital each week. Then, in 2014, word started to spread. That year, there were approximately 90,000 rentals in the city.

But it wasn't until 2015 that Airbnb really took off in London, as our new visualisation, shown below, illustrates. Based on data scraped from Airbnb’s site, it shows the startup's seemingly unstoppable advance, with around 215,000 rentals in 2015, followed by around 480,000 the following year.

Based on current growth, Airbnb has probably already made its millionth London booking. As of spring last year, it was on 935,000 – and, while it showed some signs of slowing in central London, its growth in the city’s outer boroughs remained strong.

Get the full story at Wired

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

Inside the shakeup at Airbnb

February 05, 2018

In an executive shakeup, Airbnb Thursday said that its CFO, Laurence “L.T.” Tosi will be leaving the company and that CEO Brian Chesky’s longtime deputy, chief business affairs and legal officer Belinda Johnson, would be elevated to the new role of COO. The company also said it is not going public in 2018.

The Tosi news was sudden and unexpected, despite recent reports of tensions between him and Chesky; the news about Johnson is not likely to surprise anyone familiar with her prominent role and reputation within the company.

Tensions between Tosi and Chesky had recently escalated, due in part to Tosi’s wanting more responsibilities. According to an in-depth report from The Information, he was seeking to become either COO or president of the company’s core homes division.

Get the full story at Fortune

Read also "“The woman who runs Airbnb" at Wired

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

Some see Marriott rate cut as step toward tiered commissions

February 05, 2018

Last month, Marriott said that beginning March 31, it would reduce its commission rate on group bookings to 7% from 10%.

Chekitan Dev, professor of marketing and branding at Cornell University's School of Hotel Administration in the SC Johnson College of Business, said Marriott might be resurrecting the strategy it employed with its Hotel Excellence training program. Marriott launched the program in 1999 with a commission-rate cut but gave agents a chance to earn back commission points.

Wyndham Hotel Group spokeswoman Gabriella Chiera confirmed last week that the company had no plans to alter its 10% commission rate "in the near future." And while representatives of Hilton and InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) declined comment on the policy change, no other major hotel group, as of last week, had indicated it would follow Marriott's lead, according to both ASTA CEO Zane Kerby and Jennifer Wilson-Buttigieg, co-president and co-owner of Valerie Wilson Travel.

Get the full story at Travel Weekly

Read also "What corporate travel is saying about Marriott’s commission cut"

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

Top loyalty trends in hospitality

February 05, 2018

That is according to Barry Kirk, vp of loyalty at Maritz Motivation Solutions, which creates loyalty programs for U.S. and global companies. The first of these trends concerns liquid currency, which refers to the ability to spend loyalty points in a retail setting, as if it was actual money.

“It’s a growing loyalty trend that could help hotel brands significantly increase on-property spend outside of the portfolio,” Kirk said. “Some hotel brands may see value in having their points be totally liquid and spendable at any point of sale. This is the approach La Quinta has taken, but I suspect most companies will see value in a less liquid approach by enabling points to be spent only within the brand experience. This could include guests using points at an on-property restaurant, spa or gift shop.”

With consumers demanding more flexibility and less friction in their loyalty program experiences, a hotel’s point currency needs to be flexible enough to offer value that represents the member’s current life stage and needs. After all, not everyone wants an extra night’s stay in exchange for their loyalty, or they may have other high priority near-term needs that aren’t travel related.

Get the full story at Hotel Interactive

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


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