Speaking after a panel appearance at the WebInTravel conference in Singapore this week, Hua believes Booking.com’s biggest strength is a combination of its inventory and “geographic footprint”.
The existing Booking.com portfolio of hotels, B&Bs, rentals and homestays is now hitting the 1.2 million mark. But the spread of product in cities that perhaps its rivals do not have as much exposure is where Hua sees it having an advantage.
These “second and third-tier cities”, as Hua calls them, are where outbound travellers from Asia-Pacific are heading to next after already experiencing one trip to Europe or North America.
Get the full story at Tnooz
Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/booking.com_eyes_asia_pacific_for_next_move_in_global_domination
During the digital revolution about 20 years ago, many cried that the death of the travel agent was looming, as online travel agencies appeared, giving consumers the ability to book trips themselves. In a presentation during Luxury Interactive 2016 on Oct. 18, the speaker explained how contrary to this prediction, most travel agencies are looking to hire as affluent travelers in particular call upon their service.
"In a sense the human order takers - 20 to 30 years ago, you went to an office, sat down with someone, maybe had a conversation, looked at some brochures and that transactional business—those folks have gone away," said James Ricks, global marketing strategist at Virtuoso. "But technology, in the thought that maybe the advisor would go away because of the advent of technology has actually created a stronger desire for human interaction and bespoke, customized content curation."
Get the full story at Luxury Daily
Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/travel_advisors_are_hottest_new_thing_that_never_went_away
“Stories of the InterContinental Life” has three episodes, all of which begin at an InterContinental property and explore the travel emotions of fascination, worldliness and empathy. The brand has commissioned various experts to explore the themes in each episode.
The first episode, which launched last week, features historian Donald Miller, who takes listeners through a tour of the underground tunnel beneath the InterContinental Barclay in New York and tries to explain why such secret passageways are so fascinating. In the second episode, art expert Philip Tinari explains how the evolution of a quiet diplomatic quarter in Beijing connects to China’s evolution. The third episode is based in London and is set to release next week.
“We know podcasts are on the rise and are the most effective medium for driving purchase intent with our target consumer,” said Jason Moskal, vp of lifestyle brands at InterContinental Hotels Group Americas. “We want to speak to their interests, offer experiences that enhance their understanding of the world and ultimately drive them to seek these experiences through their own travels.”
Get the full story at Digiday
Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/intercontinental_launches_its_own_podcast_series
Hotels sell an intangible product, with consumers unable to touch or experience a certain property before booking. Convincing them to buy then relies on a combination of loyalty and positioning.
Luxury hotel brands are feeding the insatiable consumer desire for travel research with a number of digital tactics.
While consumer reviews on travel Web sites and word of mouth still hold sway over many travel decisions, hotels are becoming increasingly transparent to reel in the consumers busily browsing for their next trip. Microsites, mobile applications, social media feeds and content hubs are employing enhanced research tools to convince consumers to book.
Get the full story at Luxury Daily
Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/hospitality_can_overcome_obstacle_of_virtual_perishable_product_via_digital
The next time you search for directions to a location in the Google app on your iOS or Android device, you’ll see options to hail a cab below the map, along with real-time fare estimates and wait times. Tapping through will launch the cab service’s app you have installed, so you can proceed to book your ride with your location and destination pre-filled.
Get the full story at The Next Web
Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/google_now_lets_you_hail_an_uber_straight_from_mobile_search_results
With this feature - called the Pin Collective - the company behind the popular visual search and idea engine has hand-selected a group of publishers, production shops, and creators to craft pins that capture users’ attention.
Pinterest has brought on board Brit + Co, Tastemade, Refinery29, PureWow, The Mill, McBeard, Loop88, Moment Studio, and a “global group” of individual creators: Kyla Herbes, Gary Arndt, Amanda Holstein, Sarah Barnes, and Peter Lombardi.
“We know marketers have a lot to manage,” wrote Pinterest creative strategist Nikki Bazzani in a blog post. “To make sure it’s always easy to advertise on Pinterest, we’re developing a creative ecosystem that helps marketers of all sizes create inspiring, actionable Pins - no matter their budget or production resources. Our goal is to help brands get what they need to produce content that’s optimized for Pinterest’s visual format and Pinners’ unique behavior.”
Get the full story at VentureBeat
Read also "Pinterest reaches 150 million monthly active users" at Social Media Today and "Pinterest launches promote button" at SocialTimes
Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/pinterest_launches_the_pin_collective
In a 2016 TNS Global marketing monitoring survey through 11 countries in Asia-Pacific, it was revealed that social media is now the top element guiding brands’ planning process and is the top metric used to measure the performances of marketing campaigns.
Social media insights have now overtaken more traditional metrics such as market share data and brand tracking to become the most popular component used by marketers. According to TNS Global’s survey, the top five metrics informing planning in order are social media monitoring, market share data, brand tracking, competitor tracking, and finally information from media agencies.
The study also highlighted that the top mandate for marketing departments these days is customer relationship management and not the traditional aim of increasing brand awareness. It said the “end-to-end customer experience is now top priority.”
Get the full story at Duetto
Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/social_medias_impact_on_hotels_seen_throughout_asia_pacific
If you’ve ever felt a bit lost staring at reams of big data, don’t worry you aren’t alone. As a hotel data analytics company, we're certainly familiar with this challenge many hoteliers face. In fact, most of us in the hospitality industry just aren’t used to seeing such a huge quantity of aggregated data. There is so much raw information, it’s hard to know where to start.
The best thing to do is take a deep breath, have a long sip of your coffee, and, for the moment, turn off the analytical part of your brain and flex your inner creativity.
The overall goal of any analytics is to give you the most accurate understanding of what is, or might, be occurring that affects your hotel. The specific reports you’re most familiar with range widely from department to department, but at the end of the day the end objective is all the same: improve revenue. By taking a step back and considering data from a creative, holistic, standpoint you can utilize data to find new ideas and new ways of understanding your business.
Get the full story at SnapShot
Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/when_it_comes_to_big_data_hoteliers_must_think_creatively
The best thing a brand can do to retain direct bookings is to create incentives. If there’s a tangible benefit to booking directly, the decision is a no-brainer. It’s why Marriott offers lower booking rates to Marriott (and now Starwood) rewards members who book direct, in addition to perks like mobile check-in, free Wi-Fi and the ability to earn points toward free stays. Other brands offer loyalty members travel benefits like Uber discounts or Amazon credits.
Offering incentives can also mean leveraging some of your brand’s natural advantages over the competition. OTAs are great at selling hotel rooms, but they can’t compete when it comes to local expertise. Immerse the consumer in your destination through customized content: expert insights on the area, unique restaurant experiences or luxury lifestyle amenities. This goes a long way toward establishing trust and, ultimately, booking confidence. If you sell the experience and not just the room, your brand will get a significant leg up on the OTAs.
Get the full story at Forbes Page 1, Page 2
Read also "Traffic to hotel websites declining: How to respond?"
Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/give_consumers_a_reason_to_book_direct
In the official email to hotels using their system, Booking.com wrote:
"Beginning January 1, 2017 BookingSuite will no longer offer Search Engine Marketing (SEM/PPC) campaign management.
This was a difficult decision to make as we understand that SEM is an important component of your digital marketing strategy. In a hyper competitive online marketplace, SEM deserves the continued attention of a dedicated specialist."
Get the full story at Vikram Singh
Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/bookingsuite_no_longer_offering_search_marketing_campaign_management
AccorHotels has joined forces with LinkedIn to enrich its mobile app with an unprecedented new service for travelers. All AccorHotels guests can use this new feature, Business Check powered by LinkedIn, to create and facilitate business opportunities.
By allowing travelers to identify people in their professional network who are based in the city they are in and suggesting relevant profiles to connect with, this new feature enables professionals to stay connected on the move.
Romain Roulleau, Senior Vice President for E-commerce & Digital Services at AccorHotels commented, “This partnership between AccorHotels and LinkedIn is a world first in the hospitality industry. It will enrich the services we already offer on our mobile app which is used before, during and after the stay, notably by business travellers, who represent 60% of the app’s users. This new feature creates business opportunities, and our app will therefore facilitate and foster seamless, instinctive business travel sharing, thus generating guest engagement and visibility for our hotels.”
Joshua Graff VP Marketing Solutions EMEA at LinkedIn commented, “There are over 26 million business travellers on LinkedIn and by partnering with one of the world’s leading travel groups, these professionals can now be even more informed, connected and productive while on the go. We all like to get the most out of our business trips abroad and this new feature will make it even easier to connect with clients, prospects, suppliers and colleagues old and new.”
Before and during the stay: share with your network and develop it in one click
With Business Check powered by LinkedIn now available on the AccorHotels app, mobile and tablet users with bookings in an AccorHotels establishment can:
- Connect to their LinkedIn account and share their next business trip destination with their network in one click.
- Find out which of their LinkedIn contacts reside in the city they are staying in again, see them again or get to know them better and contact them directly using either a personal email or Inmail.
- Develop their network thanks to Business Check powered by LinkedIn’s suggested list of relevant profiles residing in their travel destination.
- Business Check powered by LinkedIn has been available on the AccorHotels app since September 2016 in its 18 languages (English, French, German, Portuguese, Italian, Spanish, Dutch, Chinese, Japanese, Polish, Brazilian Portuguese, Russian, Indonesian, Korean, Arabic, Turkish, Thai, and Swedish).
This new service rounds out AccorHotels’ feature-rich app which is designed to assist travellers before, during and after the hotel stay and is currently downloaded five times a minute.
To accompany the launch of BusinessCheck powered by Linkedin, AccorHotels is enriching its LinkedIn content strategy to target international and national travellers in France, the United Kingdom, Germany, Italy, Belgium, Australia and Brazil.
From 19th October to 19th December, it will run a campaign of Sponsored Content and InMails under the slogan “Boost business opportunity all over the world”. These informative, useful and entertaining messages, complete with illustrations, computer graphics, stop-motion, photos and more, will insert effortlessly into business travel life.
Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/accorhotels_and_linkedin_create_business_check_app
Further findings from a poll of more than 2,000 consumers by Travelzoo shows that a quarter of Britons have noticed extra security measures when travelling this year and more than half are prepared to undergo further security checks to improve security.
A third (31%) are willing to pay at least 5% more for their holidays - one in ten (10%) would pay 10% more – if it meant there was extra security when travelling abroad.
When asked about the impact of recent events on their destination choice, 41% say they are now actively avoiding places affected by terrorist attacks, 34% say they are more likely to holiday in the UK, while 11% are more likely to take all-inclusive holidays in Europe to safeguard themselves against the falling value of the pound.
Get the full story at Travel Weekly UK
Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/travelzoo_research_reveals_impacts_of_falling_pound_on_holiday_plans
Described as the most popular revenue management and dynamic pricing software for the $100bn rental and home-sharing market, Beyond Pricing was nominated by a panel of judges led by Travelocity founder Terry Jones and voted by the audience.
EyeForTravel caught up with co-founder and CEO Ian McHenry after the conference to find out more about what he believes is propelling the industry forward.
EFT: How prevalent is automatic pricing for rentals? Is it going to become standard practice for renters anytime soon?
IM: Revenue management is just starting to catch on in the vacation and short-term rental space. Similar to how it took a while for hotels to adopt a more sophisticated approach after airlines pioneering the practice, vacation rentals took a long time to really focus on revenue management. When Beyond Pricing started three years ago, no one was really doing it in the space. In just the last year, it's become the top priority for most vacation rental property managers, software providers, and listing sites.
Get the full story at EyeForTravel
Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/the_future_of_automatic_pricing_in_travel
Denver's newest and largest hotel is a visual stunner. The 519-room Westin, an example of Starwood Hotels & Resorts' upper-upscale brand, opened last November and is located in a glass-clad structure shaped like the wings of a bird. It offers guests floor-to-ceiling windows with panoramic views to the west of the Rocky Mountains.
It also provides a great jumping-off point to explore the city, and visitors are sometimes treated to screenings of classic 1980s films such as "Top Gun" and "E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial" in the outdoor plaza next door. The property is located on the grounds of the Denver Airport, just steps from the Jeppesen Terminal, but don't make any assumptions because of its location.
"We're not an airport hotel," said Michele Chalupa, director of sales and marketing at the Westin Denver International Airport (DIA). "We're a four-diamond Westin just steps away from a world-class airport."
Get the full story at Travel Weekly
Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/airport_hotels_have_become_more_than_a_convenient_pit_stop
Data management doesn’t need to be daunting. In this blog, we focus on three key types for hotels: Marketing Data, Revenue Data and Review Data.
Data is information (facts, statistics, codes), BIG Data refers to the volume. Hotels can leverage the power of big data to see measurable results at their properties.
Travelers leave digital footprints everywhere they go, presenting opportunities for hotels to gain insight into their behavior, preferences and interests. We can learn how they book, where they stay, how much they spend and how they feel about the hotels they choose.
Get the full story at ReviewPro
Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/three_important_types_of_data_for_hoteliers
In late 2013, Petit Palace Hoteles partnered with the world’s largest guest feedback platform, TrustYou, and the results have been nothing short of remarkable.
To start, some of Petit Palace Hoteles 31 properties, increased revenue up to 200% with increased reputation scores and visibility. To achieve this success, the hotels integrated guest feedback into every stage of the guest journey with the ultimate goal to increase bookings on scale.
First, in order to attract more traveler attention during the search-shop-buy process, Petit Hoteles sought to respond to more online reviews - both negative and positive. With the implementation of TrustYou’s online reputation management (ORM) features, they were able to increase their response rate from 28% to 95%. Thoughtful response management has proven to be a successful tactic to increasing bookings and hotel revenue, and in Petit Palace Hoteles case, the result was no different.
Get the full story at TrustYou
Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/hotel_case_study_how_one_hotel_group_leveraged_guest_feedback_to_increase_b
According to a recent Hitwise study, monthly visits to sites like Airbnb, VRBO and HomeAway has surged by 70% over the past three years while direct traffic to hotel sites has decreased by 3.6%. While the latter might seem like a modest decline, consider this: Hitwise estimates that within the next 12 months, visits to residential rental sites will surpass direct visits to hotel sites.
What's more, the Airbnbs of the world would appear to have potentially more favorable traffic profiles than their hotel site competitor. They are slightly less dependent on search engine traffic than hotel sites and they generate more than double and triple the traffic from social channels and email, respectively.
Hitwise speculates that this "may be due to the fact that travelers seeking rentals may be emailing property links to friends" at a much higher clip, a behavior that is beneficial for rental sites for obvious reasons.
Get the full story at Econsultancy
Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/traffic_to_hotel_websites_declining_how_to_respond
The deal will add popular online ticketing websites such as, goibibo.com and redbus.com, to MakeMyTrip's portfolio, which owns the flagship brand and the alternate accommodation site Rightstay.
The online travel agency has been facing increased competition in its hotels booking business from established Indian companies such as Cox & Kings Ltd, Thomas Cook (India) Ltd and new entrant such as OYO Rooms.
The combined company will command a market share of about 20 percent of the Indian online flight bookings, MakeMyTrip said on a call with analysts on Tuesday. The combined company's market share in online hotel and bus bookings will be in single digits, the companies added.
Get the full story at Reuters, Skift and The Economic Times
Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/indias_largest_otas_merge_focus_on_hotel_business
More than 6,600 travelers in 14 international cities including Chicago, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, Washington, DC, Toronto, London, Mexico City, Mumbai, Paris, Dubai, Tokyo, Shanghai and Munich participated in the online survey that show trends in traveler’s habits on the road.
“It’s fascinating to see that the habits formed and stories gathered might be personal in nature, but universal in experience,” said Karin Timpone, Global Marketing Officer, Marriott International. “Global Travel Day celebrates the merger of Marriott and Starwood and the linking of our loyalty programs, so now travelers everywhere can find the perfect hotel almost anywhere around the world.”
According to the study, travelers from around the world have a host of stories to share:
- The Lure of Email: Rather than unplugging and recharging, travelers prefer to stay connected with work via email, with less than half those surveyed (47 percent) being able to completely disconnect while on vacation. While women do a better job than men (34 percent vs. 23 percent), men tend to return to work less stressed than women (44 percent vs. 36 percent). Travelers from Tokyo reported to be the most stressed after a vacation (35 percent) and those from Mexico City the least stressed (four percent).
Get the full story at Marriott
Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/marriott_illustrates_trends_with_first_global_travel_tracker
Marriott International has unveiled a new distribution and booking solution that provides thousands of authorized wholesalers, destination marketing companies, and tour operators access to real-time rates and inventory for more than 4,200 Marriott properties around the world. Marriott has partnered with Sabre Hospitality Solutions to develop and launch this new platform.
The solution is part of Marriott's strategy to transform the wholesale and leisure segment with technology and shift to dynamic rates and automated reservations, replacing antiquated processes for contracting, accessing inventory and booking hotel rooms. Approved wholesalers can now search real-time hotel net rates and inventory globally to create tailor-made packages for their customers. All hotel bookings are confirmed instantly online.
"Marriott works with more than 3,000 wholesalers and we have been eager to modernize our process for collaborating with the wholesale and leisure segment. MarriottWholesalers.com provides our partners with dynamic access to a broader selection of hotel products at the best prices, and allows them to focus on serving leisure travelers," says Drew Pinto, Senior Vice President, Distribution, Marriott International. "Selecting Sabre as our technology provider brought the speed to market, experience, and capability that we needed to bring this solution to fruition."
The solution provides significant value to smaller wholesalers by removing the need for them to make a technology investment to gain direct, dynamic access to rates and inventory. The solution will make it more efficient than ever to distribute Marriott's inventory to the broader leisure package segment.
Wholesalers can establish or renew access in seven languages at MarriottWholesalers.com and once authenticated, they immediately have access to the booking engine.
The STARnet (http://www.starwoodnet.com) program supporting wholesaler activation for Starwood hotels will continue to operate in tandem.
Related Link: MarriottWholesalers.com
Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/marriott_launches_new_solution_for_travel_agents_to_book_direct
The breadth of their top-rated experiences was impressive, from elegant castles in the Irish countryside to tented safari camps trailing the Great Migration across the Serengeti.
They chose tiny private islands in the tropics, small culture rich cities in Europe, and intimate river cruises.
Most notably, they declared a passion for the authentic, the personalized, the unexpected—finding all three in both newcomers and stalwarts around the world.
Here are all the results, including Condé Nast Traveler's web-only exclusive list of the 50 Best Hotels & 50 Best Resorts in the World.
Get the full story at Condé Nast Traveler
Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/conde_nast_travelers_readers_choice_awards_2016
Thinking about your guest's path to purchase – what is the point of your website? Are you looking to inspire a traveller with not only your hotel but your location? Do you want to draw them in and engage them, or do you simply want to 'wow' and make booking as simple as possible? It could be one, or all three, but if the words you use don’t back it up, travellers will be left directionless.
Once you have decided what you would like your website to achieve, keep in mind these basic best practices to make sure that your copy doesn’t get lost in the quagmire of commonality that is modern travel writing.
1. Avoid clichés
Every second guesthouse you read about is “nestled” somewhere, hotels are always in “vibrant” cities, and the scenery around lodges is “breathtaking” so often it’s a wonder no one has suffocated.
Get the full story at GuestRevu
Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/a_writers_guide_to_effective_website_copy_for_hotels
In the real world, modest budgets, finite client hours, and unexpected obstacles mount barriers on the journey to behemoth content. Fortunately, you don’t actually have to reinvent the wheel to create great content. By making efficient use of search analytics, Google AdWord data, and some crafty search engine sleuthing, you can create great content with limited time and resources. When it is time to create your next landing page, take advantage of these simple techniques to become an Alpha King in the SERPs.
For the purpose of this illustration, we will examine a fictional hotel in the scenic town of Munster, Indiana, located just across the state line from suburban Chicago. Let’s call it the Gumball Inn Munster. We will explore the steps a hotelier can take to create epic content, from idea generation to copywriting to implementing interactive elements on a brand new landing page. With the right data and a little bit of savvy, you’ll level up in no time.
Strap in. We’re going to Munster.
Get the full story at Blue Magnet Interactive
Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/how_to_create_great_hotel_content_with_limited_time_and_resources
And now, more and more smart hoteliers are taking ‘word-of-mouth’ marketing to the next level by investing in technology that converts their own guests into a powerful extension of their hotel marketing team.
By using social advocacy platforms like Flip.to, hotels are providing a system for guests to spread their excitement about their upcoming stays via social media. Flip.to automatically sends an offer/incentive to the social connections of each new guest after they book… and leads their connections back to a personalized landing page on the hotel website
We spoke with Flip.to’s Richard Dunbar, Director of Partnerships and Diane Van Leunen, Director of Marketing to explain why social advocacy reaps so much success and tips on how hotels can start turning their own guests into their proudest and loudest brand champions.
Get the full story at Tambourine
Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/how_guests_can_amplify_your_hotel_marketing_budget
As Expedia’s recent Marriott Vacations and Red Lion deals, along with the needs of smaller hotels, show, there is substantial upside for Expedia.
Expedia Inc. is in the process of introducing globally a new way for hoteliers to promote ancillary services such as discounted spa treatments, loyalty points or free parking on brands from Expedia.com to Hotels.com - but the new product is mostly interesting because it is emblematic, although a small element, of the online travel agency’s huge ambitions in providing new business services to the hotel industry.
And getting a greater foothold in the hotel industry as a service provider is a way for Expedia to increase its influence, gain a wider audience and offset the hundreds of millions of dollars the company invests annually ($830 million in 2015) in its wide-ranging technology platforms.
Get the full story at Skift
Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/expedia_begins_revealing_its_big_ambitions_in_hotel_services
With millions expected to travel this holiday season, this new feature should alleviate some of the stress of trip-planning, especially for those doing so through a mobile device.
Google will now tell you if you’re getting the cheapest flight possible - based on when the prices for the flights and routes you are interested in are expected to increase. In some cases, a notification will appear on those flights when Google determines that the current fare will expire, along with a note detailing how much you’ll be able to save if you book immediately.
Whether you’re interested in flights or not, if you want a place to stay, Google can provide similar notifications. It’ll now allow you to filter out hotels based on whether they are offering a deal during your travel dates. The service already labels deals when a hotel’s price is lower than usual - based on discounts or historical pricing - but that was not a specific setting you could select, until now. Google also now alerts you if there’s specific savings for loyalty members listed on a hotel’s website.
Get the full story at VentureBeat and Google
Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/google_flights_adds_filter_for_hotel_discounts
According to Merrill Research and verified by an Expedia survey*, the top five most desired amenities, are:
- Free Wi-Fi: 75 percent
- Special rates: 70 percent
- Free parking: 65 percent
- Loyalty points: 40 percent
- Breakfast: 20 percent
Value Add Promotions enables hoteliers to create unique travel offers which are prominently displayed across Expedia, Inc.’s websites, allowing travelers to clearly differentiate hotel offerings and select the hotel and promotion that best meets their needs. Expedia offers this feature to hoteliers at no additional charge.
Within Expedia® PartnerCentral, there are currently over 25 categories of Value Add Promotions for hotel partners to choose from, ranging from Wi-Fi to room upgrades, and the offerings are updated frequently to meet the hospitality industry’s evolving needs. This new approach makes it easy for hotels of all sizes to better promote their property and differentiate their offers while staying competitive on price and maximizing their revenue per available room (RevPAR).
“Interestingly the lack of amenities is one of the most likely reasons for travelers to shop at another property. For example, research shows that if a hotel does not include free Wi-Fi, 44 percent of the customers said they would look for another hotel. Similarly, if a hotel does not offer free parking, we know almost half (48 percent) of them will look shop around,” said Benoit Jolin, vice president of Expedia’s Global Product. “In addition to greater visibility, Value Add Promotions offer hotel partners flexibility and control, giving them the ability to customize promotions by length of stay the promotion by redemption rules, and room type restrictions.”
The initial rollout of Value Add Promotions started in early 2016 in North America.
Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/expedia_launches_value_add_promotions_for_hoteliers
Alice, a technology platform that connects hotel departments and guests, recently conducted a survey of 400 people to determine how long a hotel could wait to respond to a request via digital channels (text messaging, mobile apps, email, and social media) before a guest became frustrated.
The survey found that, on average, people were willing to wait about 12 minutes for a response to a text message, approximately 19 minutes for a mobile app request, about 26 minutes for an email reply, and 27 minutes for a response to a request delivered via social media. Alice collected responses from 400 people who have booked and stayed in a hotel within the last six months and earn more than $60,000 in annual income.
Get the full story at Skift
Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/hotels_find_that_guests_wont_wait_when_it_comes_to_mobile_messaging
While Google and hospitality marketers would like to believe that their presence on the social media platform is making a difference, unfortunately consumers just do not flock to the channel as much as others. Facebook and Instagram are proving to obtain the most engagement from consumers for luxury hotels, but many brands are spending budgets on platforms such as Google+ that are proving ineffective.
“Many brands waste time and money on unnecessary platforms, instead of focussing on the key players,” said Fritz Dickamp, managing director at L.I.K.E. Hospitality Consulting. “Google+ is one of the most used platforms across all brands, which does however not reflect the number of followers in all parts of the world. Hence brands on Google+ are neither positioning themselves strategically efficient, nor budgeting for social media appearance correctly.
“There is no social media strategy recognizable for most of the studied brands: it seems that some brands do not communicate well enough with their properties regarding the platforms to be present on, or to avoid,” he said. “This undoubtedly results in unnecessary budget spending on platforms that don’t generate a good enough ROI.”
Get the full story at Luxury Daily
Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/luxury_hospitality_brands_must_focus_on_fine_tuning_social_media_strategies
Google is going to create a separate mobile index within months, one that will be the main or “primary” index that the search engine uses to respond to queries. A separate desktop index will be maintained, one that will not be as up-to-date as the mobile index.
The news came today during a keynote address from Gary Illyes, a webmaster trends analyst with Google, at Pubcon. Illyes didn’t give a timeline in his talk, but in a follow-up with Search Engine Land, he confirmed that it would happen within “months.”
Google first announced that it was experimenting with the idea of a mobile index last year at SMX East. Since that time, Google’s clearly decided that a mobile index makes sense and is moving ahead with the idea.
Get the full story at Search Engine Land
Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/google_to_divide_its_index_giving_mobile_users_better_fresher_content
I keep thinking back to Greg Marsh’s closing keynote address at the Revenue Strategy Summit this past summer in Washington DC. The founder of OneFineStay said the hotel industry would look fundamentally different in the next two decades:
“Change is coming. I think we’re seeing the beginning of it as we come off the current investment cycle and start to feel these factors really bite. And what will emerge 10, 15, 20 years from now will be a global hospitality industry that has a fundamentally different shape than the one we’ve grown up with. The way people use technology, mobile phones and the way people use marketplaces for accommodation services - it’s not going to go back in the bottle. The genie is out. The hotel industry will not emerge in its current form.”
Marsh said exactly what I’ve been thinking for more than a year. Those same thoughts returned again this past month when I read that Expedia was launching revenue management services. On the surface, it’s not huge news. But the powerful online travel agency is now offering hotels more traditional business-to-business services, much like Priceline has done with BookingSuite. The other half of the duopoly acquired Buuteeq and PriceMatch and now provides digital marketing and revenue management solutions for hotels.
Get the full story at Duetto
Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/industry_sea_change_surging_upstream_to_major_hotel_brands
STR’s 2017 projections for the United States expect occupancy to decrease by -0.3%, while ADR increases by 2.8% and RevPAR by 2.8% respectively. Interestingly, the average supply and demand will level off at 1.6%, with some markets experiencing significant increases in supply: New York +14%, Denver +10%, Seattle +8%, Houston and Dallas +7%, Miami +6%, etc.
In short, 24 out of 26 major markets will experience higher supply vs demand growth, which inevitably will lead to occupancy declines due to over-supply and the negative impact of Airbnb.
What can hoteliers do to improve the bottom line?
Get the full story at HeBS Digital
Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/hotel_distribution_cost_the_only_cost_driver_that_can_save_your_propertys_b
Over a third of OTA customers (36%) are between the ages of 25-39 years – a blend of Generation X (those born between the 60s and 80s) and millennials (those who reached adulthood around the year 2000) 7. But what do we know about these customers?
- Travellers aged 25-34 are the generation most on the go, with 82% of this age group travelling for leisure in 2015; the second highest-travelling group are 18-24 year-olds at 76% for leisure
- Millennials now represent almost four in 10 leisure travellers. They are also the group who travel internationally more than any other age group, with half of 18-34 year-olds travelling overseas (compared with 39% of 25-54 year-olds and 20% of the 55+ bracket)7
- More than a third of 18-34 year olds (38%) typically use an OTA to book a hotel, while less than one fifth (18%) book on a hotel website. More than a third of 35-54 year olds also typically book their hotel on an OTA versus a quarter (26%) who book on a hotel website.
Get the full story at eHotelier
Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/customers_who_book_through_otas_facts_trends_and_some_surprises
The report examines the technological innovations and consumer trends that combine to shape the mobile travel ecosystem, with perspectives from a wide range of stakeholders on the ways they are delivering a mobile-enabled end-to-end experience.
Other forms of digital advertising are limited to the time that potential customers have their eyes on the screen, but the fact that mobile devices are ever-present means hoteliers can engage with guests 24/7.
However, asking too much of customers can sour the experience, even pushing would-be guests out of the funnel. "When we look at the shopping experience, it's all about less is more and finding the minimum number of steps needed for a guest to be comfortable making a booking on their mobile device," said Sarah Kennedy Ellis, vice president of global marketing for Sabre Hospitality Solutions.
Get the full story at Sabre Hospitality Solutions and download the full report at Tnooz (free registration)
Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/how_hoteliers_are_meeting_the_challenges_of_the_mobile_first_world
Spain reigns once again with almost half of those surveyed (47%) saying they would book their holiday to Spain and its islands over the next 12 months.
However, the report (Post-Brexit: Confidence Remains the Key to Success in The Travel Industry) which included a survey of 1,000 British holidaymakers also found a huge boost in interest of Greek holidays after Brexit, which shows 40% will enjoy a holiday in Greece and its islands compared to just 17% before Brexit.
The report also reveals several other European destinations which will see more visitors post-Brexit such as Portugal. In May, just 8% of those surveyed said they would visit the country, however in the latest post-Brexit research, that figure has risen to 11.2%.
Top 10 destinations consumers intend to visit over the next 12 months (% of total respondents)
1. Spain: 47%
2. Greece: 40%
3. The US: 19%
4. France: 15.9%
5. Italy: 15.8%
6. Portugal: 11.2%
7. Caribbean: 10.5%
8. Australia: 9%
9. Cyprus: 6.9%
10. Croatia: 6.6%
Confidence is growing
In the latest survey, security is still the biggest concern amongst British travellers, however confidence appears to be growing with the number of consumers stating security worries as the biggest influencing factor dropping to less than one in three (30%). In May, when asked the same question, 42% stated security concerns as the biggest influencer.
Those influenced by their personal economic situation and job security concerns also dropped to 29.7% (from 33% in May).
However, the number of consumers whose travel plans had been influenced by exchange rates and the strength of the Pound rose to 21% after Brexit, compared to less than one in 10 (9%) in May.
Ian Johnson, Commercial Director Europe, Virtual Payments, at WEX said:
“Spain is the most popular choice with almost half of Brits heading to the destination; however, consumers are gaining confidence in Greece as a holiday destination and post-Brexit, it appears to be the biggest winner.”
Johnson continued by saying, “This growing confidence is also seen in terms of security concerns, and over the past few months, people’s attitude to foreign travel is changing and our survey suggests this trend will continue.”
A full copy of the WEX Whitepaper “Post-Brexit: Confidence Remains the Key to Success in The Travel Industry” is available here.
Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/survey_reveals_brexit_impact_on_destinations_of_choice
In a panel debate at the 2016 BDRC Hotel Insights conference last month, Julie Fawcett of Qbic Hotels said hoteliers needed to embrace OTAs and let them do the work of bringing the guest to the business.
She says: “We have to change the vernacular around OTAs. They’re powerful and well-funded [and] we do need them to market, especially to reach the international market. I would say, use OTAs for marketing, but once the customer is there, you can gain their loyalty through a direct channel.”
Hayley Lowe, managing director, global industry relations at one of the most powerful OTAs - Expedia – unsurprisingly agrees, but also underlines why it makes sense to use an OTA for the booking process.
“Hotel brands are feeling more pressure to drive direct business and a number of chains have used that strategy, but we think this is damaging for owners,” she says. “The OTA customer is very different to those who book brand-direct. They are younger, brand agnostic and international. Once they have booked they are also more valuable as they tend to stay longer and book in advance.”
Get the full story at Big Hospitality
Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/how_hotels_can_work_with_not_against_otas
“For the time being, we want to use VR as inspiration for you to really love something and want to go there,” he said. “Can it be a replacement? I think that’s far off at this point.”
Despite his dubious attitude toward VR travel, Khosrowshahi was careful not to rule it out altogether. Expedia is acutely aware of the fact that disruption happens when big companies slow down. Because of that, the travel giant wants to keep its finger on the pulse of emerging technologies.
“We’re very, very aggressively investing in marketing and especially technology to stay ahead of the pack,” said Khosrowshahi. “The minute you stop improving on the internet someone catches up and takes over.”
Get the full story at GeekWire
Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/expedias_ceo_on_virtual_reality_travel_i_hope_it_fails_miserably
Furthermore, the proliferation and diversity of smart devices and “things” have enabled the ability for constant communication and sharing, while social networking natives (Snapchatters of the world unite!) have turned constant sharing and self-expression into a “need.” The result is the emergence of what we have coined as pervasive connectivity.
Pervasive connectivity leads to an explosion of ever richer and personalized data, which creates entirely new opportunities for new ways to process that data and extract valuable and actionable insights. Artificial intelligence allows for just that.
AI is defined, rather broadly, as the capacity of machines to exhibit intelligence. It has several components, such as learning, reasoning, planning and perception, all of which have improved greatly in the last few years.
Get the full story at TechCrunch
Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/the_ai_disruption_wave
A successful hotel website must incorporate the right balance of excellent design, state-of-the-art website CMS (Content Management System) technology, robust merchandising capabilities and engaging visual and textual content, while providing optimum user experience from top to bottom. Created by HeBS Digital, The Complete Guide to Choosing the Right Website CMS provides hoteliers with concrete ways to evaluate this crucial website technology, including what features and functionalities to look for that are essential in driving direct bookings and selling the overall hotel experience.
The Complete Guide to Choosing the Right Website CMS Technology includes:
- Big picture factors to consider such as whether the CMS has been designed around hotel direct distribution and marketing needs and if the technology plays a role in the overall marketing mix to fuel the path to a booking.
- Hospitality-specific capabilities and modules to drive direct bookings, including real-time automated targeting with dynamic promotions for website visitors, full content control (visual, promotional, textual) of every page plus ability to create unlimited content, promotional, group and marketing landing pages and content sections; ability to have multiple website designs and page layouts to showcase your products and services, etc.
- Merchandising capabilities that should be evaluated to present the hotel product and value proposition directly to the online travel consumer and is centered on communicating the unique features of the property (hotel services, meeting & event space, latest promotions and special offers, local attractions, and more), allowing the hotel to “sell on value” as opposed to “sell on rate” alone. before.
- Integrations that need to be considered with booking engines/CRS, PMS, RFP and loyalty programs, technology vendors, spa and dining reservation technologies, Social Media Feeds, Weather feeds, etc.
- Technical capabilities that need to be included that are in line with SEO best practices.
- Top ten questions to ensure your property website success.
- Checklists to determine must-have technical needs and property business-needs the CMS technology must take into account.
- Evaluation checklist for choosing the right website CMS technology.
“The real long-term cost of choosing the wrong CMS for the hotel website is a dramatic loss of direct revenue, increased distribution costs and increased dependency on the OTAs. Without the right technology powering the hotel website, hoteliers not only fail to engage, retain and acquire past and future guests, but seriously jeopardize direct revenue in this time of flattening occupancy rates and increased distribution costs” said Max Starkov, President & CEO of HeBS Digital. “We created this guide to help hoteliers evaluate the right website CMS technology for their hotel that will decrease OTA dependency and increase direct website revenues and customer engagement.”
Download the full report at HeBS Digital
Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/the_complete_guide_to_choosing_the_right_hotel_website_cms_technology
Duetto is one of the first hospitality technology companies to work with Oracle’s next generation property management systems, making Duetto’s insights on pricing and demand available to thousands of hoteliers worldwide who are planning to migrate or already are managing their properties through Oracle OPERA Cloud.
Duetto’s integration with Oracle OPERA Cloud is designed to bring enhanced data fidelity to hoteliers using both technologies. With both systems running on cloud infrastructure, data can be easily transferred safely and accurately in real time. By moving to the cloud, hoteliers can deploy new capabilities much quicker, reduce overall IT costs and benefit from increased innovation through frequent product releases delivered without system downtime.
“I am thrilled that Duetto is setting an example for hospitality technology companies to provide a combined solution with Oracle Hospitality OPERA Cloud,” said Patrick Bosworth, CEO and co-founder of Duetto. “The hotel industry has lagged in technology for years, but the new combination of Oracle’s cloud-based property management system and Duetto’s innovative Revenue Strategy platform provides hoteliers in all markets and at all types of property with cutting-edge solutions to help them run their businesses more efficiently and more profitably. Now hoteliers can optimize revenue and manage distribution complexity with enhanced data accuracy.”
Get the full story at Duetto
Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/duetto_brings_pricing_and_demand_insights_to_oracle_opera_cloud_with_new_in
Although Japan is the world’s third-largest economy—trailing only the United States and China—it remains a mystery to many tourists. While hosting the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games will provide a global platform to showcase its people, culture, and landmarks, action is required now. For the tourism industry to overcome barriers and achieve its target of doubling annual inbound tourism by 2020, the country’s public and private sectors must come together to address three primary issues:
1. The lack of non-Asian visitors. International travelers are attracted to destinations for many reasons, including iconic sites, proximity, and familiarity. Yet Japan has a significant imbalance in its portfolio of visitors: non-Asian visitors accounted for just 16 percent of international tourists to Japan in 2015. The country struggles to convert interest from Western tourists into actual visits, especially when compared with visitors from other Asian nations (exhibit). That may be partly because Western visitors simply aren’t sure what they can see in Japan, even though they profess interest in the country’s major tourism assets once informed about them.
Get the full story at McKinsey & Company
Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/can_inbound_tourism_fuel_japans_economic_growth
The luxury hotel in Paris recently opened its doors again after a major renovation and is working to ensure its customer service is up to the highest standards. Partnering with hospitality platform Knowcross, the Ritz Paris has installed the technology program in its establishment for staff members to access on any device to manage the hotel.
“In a hotel like The Ritz Paris, staff are the face of the hotel and they are the ones that drive service,” said Nikhil Nath, CEO of Knowcross. “Knowcross provides staff the technology tools to help them be more informed, react quickly to requests, anticipate guest requests and provide speedy and accurate resolution of complaints."
Get the full story at Luxury Daily
Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/ritz_paris_streamlines_customer_service_to_ensure_positive_reopening
It’s a useful tool that integrates some data, but it would be more helpful if it understood that I’m the kind of leisure traveler who flies into a major city, spends one or two nights then heads to the country. It isn’t able to pick up much in the way of reservations outside of major cities as far as I can tell, and it definitely doesn’t do attractions and restaurants. Not yet at least.
What would be a game-changer is to make it more personal. Google Trips is on the cusp of doing this with the itineraries feature, but it must go further than this. It needs to understand how I travel more than it needs to understand what I like to do. What would be useful is to have the app locate where I am and design opportunities for me to get from point A to Point B. For instance, given Google’s mapping capabilities, it could tell me which train station I’m closest to when I request an Uber, so I know where to go, or the easiest way to get from mid-town Manhattan to the Upper West side based on where I’m standing.
Get the full story at Puzzle Partner
Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/google_trips_a_step_in_the_right_direction_but_only_a_step
Remember the saying, there is no place like home?
The rise in popularity of boutique hotels proved that there was a growing segment of travellers who wanted a more varied choice of accommodation; an experience characterised with personalised touches and the chance to be immersed in the local culture.
Essentially, Airbnb is a boutique hotel on steroids.
Get the full story at Econsultancy
Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/how_airbnb_is_shaping_the_future_of_the_travel_industry
“Even a single negative review can cause someone to choose a different hotel or restaurant, so the threat of a bad review is real,” said Sarah Tanford, an associate professor at the William F Harrah College of Hotel Administration at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.
Her research has found that negative online reviews can outweigh other decision-making factors for prospective guests, including price, when they are selecting where to stay or eat.
People in the hospitality industry know that the power to soothe the aggrieved guest is more important than ever in the era of “crowdsourced negativity”.
Get the full story at Today
Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/the_threat_of_a_bad_tripadvisor_review
The survey found some intriguing tidbits that should go a long way to carving out a game plan for brands looking to model campaigns to the modern traveler.
For one, the study found that 84 percent of respondents considered millennials actually picked where their next vacation would be based on images they spotted across social media channels.
More specifically, “someone else's vacation updates and photos in social media.”
Get the full story at TravelPulse and download the full report at Blitz (free registration)
Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/what_are_the_best_ways_to_inspire_travelers
Through the 25th of October, people are invited to submit images of inspiring travelers through the brands’ Facebook pages, tagging the nominee’s name along with the hashtags #WhySettle and #Entry.
Hyatt has hired a digital manufacturer, Capture Me, to build Oscar-style statuettes of these road warriors, one layer at a time, from standstone (rather than chiseling, drilling, nailing or otherwise machining them).
Get the full story at Tnooz
Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/hyatt_adds_3d_printing_to_its_digital_marketing_toolkit
On Tuesday morning, Wyndham announced that it was launching a “historic opportunity,” promising that people would receive four Wyndham Rewards points for every Starwood Preferred Guest point donated to charity between 12 p.m. and midnight on Oct. 11. The promotion was Wyndham’s way of attempting to boost charitable donations, while wooing loyalty members over from Starwood, which recently merged with Marriott to become an even more formidable competitor in the hotel business.
Wyndham’s special promotion called for participants to email two screen shots to prove their donations were legitimate—one confirming the donation, and one of the Starwood member account page showing a zero point balance. Unfortunately, the offer proved too good for fraudsters to pass up. Around noon, Wyndham abruptly pulled the plug the promotion.
“Today’s Wyndham Rewards trade up was offered in the spirit of generosity. Before the offer even began, there were obvious and significant examples of fraud. Much to our dismay and disappointment, we have to cancel this promotion,” Wyndham said in a statement. The company added they would donate 5 million Wyndham Rewards points to charity.
Get the full story at Money
Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/wyndham_cancels_huge_loyalty_points_giveaway_amid_fraud
Over 50% of those surveyed say they'll spend more on Bing. With 41% saying they’ll spend more on Instagram, 34% on LinkedIn, 21% on Twitter, 18% on Pinterest and 15% on Snapchat, along with the 69% who will increase spending on Facebook, it’s clear that social is eyed as massively important to US marketers.
In fact, the same survey highlights that both brands and agencies said in August 2016 that the most important tactic or metric for the digital marketing industry over the previous 12 months was social advertising.
Over 50% of brands cited social advertising as most important over the prior 12 months, while 46% of agencies did the same. But with social, it isn’t only about advertising—38% of agencies, for example, also called social commerce one of the most important. Brands, however, find it less critical: Only 26% of respondents called it most important.
Get the full story at eMarketer
Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/marketers_say_more_to_search_mobile_facebook
Solicited guest reviews are positive 81% of the time and result in 8% higher scores for the hotel. Therefore, hotels should make use of any opportunity to encourage their guests to review their stay. More reviews equals better scores, higher rankings, and more bookings!
Here are some “tried and true” methods of collecting feedback and utilizing it to counter OTAs.
Get the full story at TrustYOU
Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/win_against_otas_with_post_stay_feedback
Why? Because once a person converts once, they are much more likely to convert again. On top of that, it is 5 Times more cost effective to retain current guests than find new ones.
In today’s podcast we’re going to cover an excellent article on CopyHackers.com with tips, tricks, and hard data on making your thank you pages convert your guests a second time.
Get the full story at Fuel
Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/converting_after_the_conversion_making_your_thank_you_pages_work
The report, “Travel Distribution: The End of the World as We Know It?,” was conducted by the London School of Economics and commissioned by Amadeus IT Group.
“Now is an opportune time for the travel industry to reflect on alternative pathways and examine new approaches that are more innovative and collaborative,” the report states.
The report identified five major disruptive factors: consumer expectations, mobile, big data and AI, regulation and travel risk.
Get the full story at Travel Weekly and Amadeus (PDF 1.8 MB)
Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/travel_distribution_entering_period_of_unprecedented_change
Expedia’s Dara Khosrowshahi said the conventional wisdom is “a mischaracterization that this is a war,” while Arne Sorenson of Marriott added, “The tension in the relationship is not really there.” I would argue slightly differently. There is a creative tension between hotels and OTAs. But it’s something we should get comfortable with, because it’s not going away and it’s actually moving hotels in a positive direction.
First, as Lodging editors have noted, Expedia has been at the forefront of major OTAs trying to move beyond merely distribution and into more services provided to hotels. Expedia is now helping Red Lion Hotels Corporation grow its rewards program by advertising loyalty rates in its listings on the OTA, and it is helping Marriott sell vacation packages. Elsewhere, Booking.com acts as a white-label booking engine for hotels in certain foreign markets and offers very basic revenue management to independent hotels through its BookingSuite.
At the same time, the story of this year has been hoteliers’ efforts to drive direct bookings by publicizing loyalty rates. Ads from Hilton Worldwide, Hyatt Hotels and Marriott have been viewed as a shot across the bow of Expedia and Priceline. The OTAs thus far have said they’re not too worried about direct-booking campaigns’ effect on their bottom lines.
Get the full story at Lodging
Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/hotel_ota_competition_improves_focus_on_distribution
Expedia's hotel search results page is pretty much a masterclass in conversion optimized design:
1. Upsell: Expedia subtly reminds you that you can have a more comfortable trip by upgrading your flight class.
Since Expedia knows that you are searching for vacation packages, comfort and not cost is likely your top concern.
2. Countdown Timer: The “Deal of the Day” with the countdown timer is a great way to show scarcity and compel action.
3. Social Proof: By showing the number of people viewing a listing right now, and the total number of reviews, Expedia gives you social proof of the hotel’s quality.
4. Scarcity: “Only 2 tickets left” is a good example of how Expedia uses scarcity (real or artificial) to compel action.
Get the full story at Econsultancy
Read also part one of this article series "How Expedia turns visitors into customers"
Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/more_on_how_expedia_converts_visitors_into_customers
From keyless entry upon arrival to digital experiences in the fitness studio, every corner of the hotel allows for rapid prototyping, inviting guests to test and give feedback in real-time, ultimately shaping their future hotel experience.
“As the leader in the premium full-service category, Marriott Hotels is transforming the traditional hotel experience,” said Mike Dearing, managing director, Marriott Hotels. “We are inviting guests to be part of the innovation and decision making.
“M Beta at Charlotte Marriott City Center is a forward-looking testing ground for exciting new concepts as we constantly evolve and challenge our way of thinking,” he said.
Get the full story at Hotel Management and Travel Weekly
Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/marriott_launches_worlds_first_hotel_innovation_incubator
A visitor to the website first grants permission for transmitting the video from a desktop computer or mobile device to Expedia. Then the visitor lines up a green outline of a face with their actual face, which is followed by a two-minute video of various scenes from the island state. The video instructs the viewer to smile if the imagery is appealing, and a bar indicator at screen bottom indicates when you’re smiling.
The facial analysis software, developed by digital agency Realise, measures 76 points on each face. Miller said that, although the technology can measure such emotional states as sadness, surprise or happiness, for this campaign the trigger is happiness expressed as a smile.
If the viewer watches at least half of the two-minute video and has smiled what the algorithm considers a sufficient number of times, a personalized travel package is presented as a web page, along with one of three 30-second videos representing either Iwa (Bird, and Hawai‘i’s all-knowing guide), He‘e (Octopus, Hawai‘i’s loving spirit) or Pua‘a (Pig, Hawai‘i’s bold adventurer). The idea is that the scenes you found most appealing — because of your smile — indicate what kinds of activities or locations would appeal most to you in a travel package.
Get the full story at Marketing Land
Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/expedia_now_lets_you_pick_hawaii_travel_packages_with_your_smile
In May 2016, Verve Mobile surveyed 3,000 US internet users ages 14 to 29 and asked them which elements would be key to a “perfect” mobile ad experience. The responses were a bit surprising. For instance, more than a third said they wanted to be able to easily share a mobile ad, and nearly half (46%) said they wanted to save the ad and be able to access it later. Given that many users find ads to be annoying, it’s hard to imagine that some would want to save an ad and view it later—unless, of course, it had an offer or incentive attached to it.
Some responses, however, were more typical of consumer attitudes toward ads. Nowadays people crave personalized content, and teens, as well as millennials, expect that from the “perfect” mobile ad. Indeed, 39% of teen and millennial internet users said they wanted the ad to be customized based on products they want to buy, and fewer—said they wanted the “perfect” mobile ad to be relevant in terms of proximity and location.
Respondents also wanted to be able to add coupons or offers to their mobile wallet, as well as directly shop for products, via this ideal ad.
Get the full story at eMarketer
Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/what_makes_the_perfect_mobile_ad
In a webinar we hosted earlier this year, we asked hoteliers what direct booking challenges they were currently facing. The results were nearly evenly split:
- 30% told us they were having difficulty standing out in search results
- 36% said they couldn’t compete with the huge marketing budgets of OTAs
- 34% admitted they didn’t know what motivated travel shoppers to book directly
These are common problems for hoteliers, especially in today’s every-changing online world. In fact, when it comes to consumers’ browsing and purchasing behavior online, the travel industry boasts one of the most complex digital landscapes.
Get the full story at Leonardo
Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/the_evolving_travel_shopping_journey_and_its_impact_on_direct_bookings
So as a hotelier, how do you influence travellers during these powerful yet fleeting moments? Well, Google discovered that about 72% of travellers are more loyal to their need during the micro-moment than they are to any particular brand.
This means that the searcher simply wants the most relevant information in the shortest amount of time, regardless of where that information is coming from. So to have the greatest influence on travellers during micro-moments, hotel brands need to get found and be relevant to what each user is searching for.
Here are a few micro-moments that occur on a daily basis, and how your hotel can actively work to influence travellers during these situations.
Get the full story at SiteMinder
Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/how_to_use_googles_mobile_micro_moments_during_your_guests_booking_process
At United this is put into practice internally by ensuring close collaboration between the commercial and customer experience teams; data is collected across all platforms - from social media to text messages – and used to deliver better services. Return on investment is, of course, important but the customer, said Grewal, must always be top of mind.
Sounding a similar note was Dan Christian, Chief Digital Officer, The Travel Corporation, who said a core message of the morning session was to listen carefully to your customers and leverage what they tell you. The big opportunity in digital was do this at scale, and in doing so drive more interest and consumer demand in the experiences on offer.
Having the right data and analytics technology is considered a top priority for 61% who voted in a live online poll. However, on this score travel brands have a long way to go! Moderator Susan Black, an expert in the business of online travel, had a paltry show of three or four hands when she asked how many brands present are actually using data to deliver a great experience.
Get the full story at EyeForTravel
Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/desire_for_loyal_customers_is_driving_digital_and_data_innovation_in_travel
Despite an array of challenges, positivity remains the overriding factor allowing hoteliers to forge ahead, according to sources.
Panelists on “The view from the boardroom” session at the 2016 Hotel Investment in Europe Conference said it is not blind hope, but a state of affairs emanating from industry fundamentals.
Fredrik Korallus, CEO of Generator Hostels, said he was not sure the current peak would ever come. “There is no peak. Look at the population growth of the planet,” Korallus said, whose Generator chain opened a property in Rome in August.
Get the full story at HNN
Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/european_hoteliers_hope_for_an_up_cycle_with_no_end
The programme will give budding companies the chance to grow through expert guidance and the opportunity to pilot their product within the Marriott Hotels portfolio within Europe. Upon completion of a successful test period, Marriott Hotels could potentially offer an ongoing partnership with the start-up.
As a brand that fosters creativity and ingenuity, Marriott Hotels is the ideal sponsor of a programme such as the Marriott TestBED. Two start-up companies benefit from a six-week pilot of their product or service in two European Marriott Hotels, following a pitch process. The companies will be able to use an individual hotel as a 'test bed' while receiving publicity and support from Marriott Hotels, as well as exposure at relevant events and introduction to industry leaders.
The companies will also benefit from a mentoring programme including training and workshops delivered by professionals from the travel and hospitality industry as well as from leading marketing agencies to provide the knowledge and tools to promote their product.
Get the full story at Marriott
Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/travel_tech_start_ups_can_apply_to_marriott_hotels_first_accelerator_progra
Airbnb uses data to not only improve their service and search, but their hiring practices and customer groups as well. They’ve actively looked to hire female data scientists and take great strides to ensure that there is no unconscious bias in their hiring practices. Much in the way one would approach conversion optimization, they looked at the top of their hiring funnel and found that, historically, about 30% of their applicants were women. That meant that the opportunity to include a more diverse workforce was ripe.
But simply “hiring more women” wasn’t enough. Traditionally, the job of “data scientist” isn’t something young girls dream of. There are plenty of opportunities sprouting for girls who code, as well as women engineers, but very little in the way of data science. So Airbnb created it through a series of community events and talks. Women from all types of data science backgrounds were invited to speak, collaborate and mingle. The events were sold out.
However, they still weren’t done. They continued to scrutinize their interviewing process to ensure that applicants weren’t just a match analytically and communicatively, but culturally as well. They do this through a set of one-on-one conversations, a presentation and a take-home challenge. For the conversational point, the conversation was strong, but very different for both the presentation and the take-home challenge.
Get the full story at KissMetrics
Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/how_airbnb_uses_data_science_to_improve_their_product_and_marketing
Internet overload has led millions of people in the UK to take a “digital detox”, according to research from regulator Ofcom. The study of 2,025 adults and 500 teenagers forms part of Ofcom’s annual Communications Market Report, which assesses the state of the digital nation.
Digital detox is an act of taking time off from the digitally addicted lifestyle that is habit for much of today’s population. It requires switching off all gadgets to enjoy the screen-free time while exploring more active alternatives of enjoyment.
Statistics reveal how the sentiment of a ‘tech-free break’ is now snowballing and catching the fancy of today’s traveler. The Ofcom’s Communications Market Report, 2016, reveals that one in three adult internet users have sought a period of up to a month offline, with one in ten admitting to having done so as recently as the previous week. For a third of the people studied in the report, staying online for too long prods them to go for a complete break offline.
Get the full story at eHotelier
Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/are_you_prepared_for_digital_detox_travelers
Facebook launched a communications tool on Monday for businesses, nonprofits and other organizations. Called Workplace, the platform is ad-free and not connected to users' existing Facebook accounts. Instead, businesses sign up as an organization and pay a monthly fee based on the number of users. It's free for nonprofits and educational institutions.
Julien Codorniou, head of Workplace at Facebook, said in an interview that the tool's aim is to "connect everyone" in all sorts of workplaces — from desk-bound professionals to on-the-go employees who don't have email or a computer. Think baristas at a coffee shop, field workers for a disaster-aid charity, salespeople at a clothing store or people making electronics at a factory.
Besides group chats and video calls, Workplace has live video and a news feed, much like the regular Facebook. In a departure from Facebook, the background is gray, not blue. Users can build profiles and see updates from co-workers on their news feed. As with the regular Facebook, the company will display posts that are more relevant based on its own formula. The idea is that because more than 1.7 billion people already know how to use Facebook, Workplace, which works much in the same way, will be easy to learn and use.
Get the full story at TechCrunch and Facebook
Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/facebook_launches_workplace_a_business_version_of_facebook
Key takeaways include:
- This year’s hot spots: We’ve spoken about Iceland’s growth in popularity among travelers, and it shows no sign of slowing down. Reykjavik finds itself atop the fastest-rising searches from the first half of this year. Other emerging hot spots include Havana, Toronto, Mexico City, and Tokyo.
- YouTube influences trip planning: Travelers aren’t just using YouTube for destination inspiration, they’re finding ‘travel hacks’ there too, including advice and tips for every stage of travel planning, booking, and trip preparation.
- Desktop for booking, mobile for searching: For travel advertisers, mobile messaging is crucial during the dreaming phases of travel, to remain top of mind when users book. Most users then book via desktop, with Tuesday being the top day for bookings.
Get the full story at Sojern and Think with Google
Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/sojern_and_google_collaborate_on_search_booking_travel_data
In the hotel industry, there’s a longstanding tradition of leaders making decisions based on gut instinct. Whether it’s a general manager who’s been in the business for decades or a corporate executive who quickly climbed the ranks, hoteliers take pride in drawing from experience and expertise to make bold decisions and snap judgments.
This may have been acceptable when there was little data to draw upon, but in the digital age virtually every department, at property level and enterprise level, holds vast amounts of data to help managers understand guests, increase efficiency, and guide strategic planning.
Today, big data’s biggest challenge is to convince people not to trust their judgment. “As the amount of data goes up, the importance of human judgment should go down,” says Andrew McAfee of the MIT Sloan School of Management. “Human intuition is real, but it’s also really faulty.” (Harvard Business Review, 2013.)
Hotel companies that don’t embrace analytics-driven decision making will increasingly lose market share, guests and profits to more forward-thinking competitors—not to mention data-obsessed companies like Priceline, Expedia, Airbnb, TripAdvisor and Google.
Get the full story at SnapShot
Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/enterprise_data_and_the_future_of_hospitality
When you book a hotel on Booking.com, the site asks whether the prospective booking is for leisure or business travel, and if you select the latter and go ahead with the booking, an invitation for a free upgrade to Booking.com for Business arrives by email. Five bookings bring access to “exclusive discounts and travel perks for future trips,” the rewards program states.
Booking.com Travel Rewards members who achieve at least five bookings earn the “Genius” label, and get access to the program’s separate customer service phone line. Other perks include “late checkout priority exclusively” for Geniuses, and, at select properties, freebies such as welcome drinks and free airport shuttles.
Priceline Group officials have said in the past they thought perhaps 20 percent of the hotel reservations on Booking.com came from business travelers but they only started querying consumers on the purpose of their trips, whether they are for leisure or business travel, in the last year or so.
Get the full story at Skift
Read also "Booking.com sees loyalty programs as a burden, not an opportunity" at Skift
Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/booking.com_launches_loyalty_program_for_business_travelers
While U.S. hotel room revenue rose 7.3%, to $145.4 billion, last year, transaction costs in the form of commissions and wholesale room discounts rose 10%, to $25 billion, according to a study undertaken by Kalibri Labs at the behest of the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AH&LA).
Meanwhile, the percentage of bookings for U.S. hotels with room rates of more than $100 a night that were handled through an OTA, a GDS, a travel agent or a travel wholesaler rose to 27% last year from 19% in 2011, indicating a 40% surge in indirect bookings over the last five years, according to the 62-page report.
With an OTA reservation costing a hotel as much as 25% of room revenue, such a shift has spurred a raft of campaigns promoting direct booking, offering discounts and value-adds to loyalty members who book through hotel websites and call centers.
Get the full story at Travel Weekly
Read also "Hotel direct booking campaigns won’t hurt Priceline and Expedia says study"
Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/book_direct_push_failing_to_slow_down_otas
“This is one of the first studies of its kind to examine the motivations of Airbnb tourists,” says Daniel Guttentag, an assistant professor in the Ted Rogers School of Hospitality and Tourism Management. “Airbnb has grown rapidly since its launch in 2008 and has attracted a great deal of attention from the hotel industry, as well as from policymakers who are looking to find ways to regulate the sharing economy.”
To examine the motivations of Airbnb users, Guttentag conducted an online survey between July and October 2015, which was completed by 844 respondents who stayed in an Airbnb accommodation at least once within the previous year. The survey asked participants, mostly from Canada and the U.S., about their motivations for choosing Airbnb, and whether they used the service as a substitute for existing accommodations. The participants were also asked about the purpose of their trip, party size, and length of their vacation stay. Finally, the survey also asked how often the tourists booked accommodations on Airbnb and the likelihood they would recommend the service to friends and family members.
Get the full story at Hotel Online
Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/airbnb_guests_tend_to_be_motivated_by_low_cost_use_it_as_a_hotel_substitute
"Egencia is meeting the demand among business travelers for consumer-quality products. Since we own, develop, and run our own technology, we are able to quickly bring these wearable apps to market based on that demand," said Michael Gulmann, vice president of global product for Egencia. "When travelers are shown a familiar and consumer-like experience, adoption and compliance follow."
Using an average of three devices on the road, today's travelers expect to see their content and settings carry over to each one, no matter the screen size, for a truly continuous experience.
With its sharp design that can be read at a glance, the Egencia watch app is a discreet personal assistant under your shirtsleeve, sending step-by-step alerts to guide you along your trip. The watch app stays on top of disruptions in real time and provides map-driven directions and transportation choices to help you reach your final destination. When you need help, you can summon an Egencia Travel Consultant just by tapping the watch.
The Egencia app for Apple Watch was built for the latest version of watchOS for the best possible performance. When travelers tap their watches to access Egencia, the app shows up-to-the-second information, automatically refreshed in the background. The app also includes features built for other devices, including Egencia AssistMe® and its ground transportation guide with the Citymapper and Uber API integration, originally built for mobile.
Extending the continuous experience even further, Egencia has recently significantly redesigned its mobile hotel experience for business travelers using iPhone, iPad, and Android devices to make it consistent with the desktop version found in every Egencia web site around the world.
Guided by mobile design in use at Expedia, Hotels.com®, and other sister brands, the company made user-tested improvements in map-based searching and the presentation of hotel inventory and attributes, including travel policy status, cancellation rules, and loyalty point eligibility.
Apps for Apple Watch and Android Wear are now available in the App Store and Google Play. A hotel update for iOS and Android will be available later this month.
Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/egencia_makes_smartwatches_even_smarter_for_business_travelers
"People like interaction in five- and six-star hotels," Jeremy Hopkins, general manager of London's Athenaeum said. "However, talking to people can also be an inconvenience. It's like a police officer: You don't really want to talk to one until you need one."
But even with that understanding, I wondered if one can deliver service that makes a lasting impression via technology. New, cutting-edge systems can impress, but wouldn't a key benefit of technology - consistency - commoditize service standards and erode loyalty?
"I honestly don't know," Hopkins said. "Fifty percent of me says that's the way the world's going, and 50% says no. It will become more technological, I'm sure it will, but yes, how do you build loyalty without human interaction?"
Get the full story at Travel Weekly
Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/hotels_without_humans
One of the top-line findings is that the number of organic links displayed on page one has fallen from the original ten to around 8.5, with the real estate taken up with other modules and items.
In addition, almost every search query now produces at least one related image, video, Twitter card, or news item.
But SearchMetrics found there are some major differences in how SERPS work on desktop and mobile devices.
Get the full story at Tnooz
Read also "A year in review: How Google’s mobile algorithm updates have improved hotel SEO" at SiteMinder
Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/how_page_one_on_google_has_changed_for_travel_brands
New supply in your market is always reason for concern. Fortunately, a new competitor most likely means there has been strong demand in your market, and there are strategies hotels can put in place in advance.
Revenue teams should play a strong role in coordinating property-wide and companywide revenue strategies to protect rate and find ways to drive revenue.
How should hotels prepare for new competition?
Get the full story at Duetto
Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/hotel_revenue_teams_can_prepare_for_new_competition
With the relaunch, Onyx CenterSource officially retires the names Onyx Payments as well as Net Trans Services and Worldwide Payment Systems, companies it acquired in recent years.
"While it is time to retire these brands and move forward under Onyx CenterSource, our customers will continue to benefit from the people, products and services associated with those groundbreaking platforms," said Onyx CenterSource CEO Mark Dubrow.
"We've transformed over the last few years, first being spun off from Pegasus Solutions in 2013, winning significant new clients as Onyx Payments and more recently acquiring two companies to greatly expand our market coverage to new and existing customers around the globe," he said."In recognition of this evolution and based on feedback from our customers, we decided it was time to better reflect our market position with a brand name that conveys our position as a center point within our industry – a name that will also take us into the future as we continue to grow."
Dubrow said the reason behind the rebranding is twofold: "First, as we've evolved from primarily issuing commission payments on behalf of hotels to also serving the commission-recovery needs of travel agencies, the descriptor 'payments' was no longer fully representative of our suite of offerings.
Get the full story at Onyx CenterSource
Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/onyx_centersource_debuts_unifying_three_brands_under_one_name
“It surprises me that there isn’t more of a focus on the rise of metasearch,” she says. “It’s not that the online travel agencies aren’t dominant and very strong in the marketplace, but this is what is coming, and it is coming fast and furious.”
She notes that Google has designs on the hotel booking market and could become a strong competitor to existing OTAs.
“Google is in plain sight and is being very aggressive about creating some of their new products, which are direct competitors to the OTAs,” she says. “But the question remains what this all will mean for hotels.”
Estis Green is lead author of an update to a 2012 publication titled “Distribution Channel Analysis: A Guide for Hotels.” The new study, “Demystifying the Digital Marketplace,” will be released in three parts, with the first section due for release this month.
Get the full story at Duetto
Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/the_rise_of_metasearch_and_its_effect_on_hotel_distribution
At the same time, hoteliers are experiencing healthy increases in both transient leisure (individual reservations that are made by leisure travelers) and group bookings in the third and fourth quarters of 2016, according to new data from TravelClick’s September 2016 North American Hospitality Review (NAHR).
“The current hotel environment is requiring a renewed need to focus on competing for new business as early as possible,” said John Hach, TravelClick’s senior industry analyst. “The group segment is showing signs of longer-term incremental opportunity, especially as we look out into the second quarter of 2017.”
For the next 12 months (September 2016 – August 2017), transient bookings are up 2.1 percent year-over-year, and ADR for this segment is up 1.8 percent. When broken down further, the transient leisure (discount, qualified and wholesale) segment is showing occupancy gains of 3.7 percent, with ADR gains of 2.3 percent. The transient business (negotiated and retail) segment is down -1.5 percent, but ADR is up 2.0 percent. Lastly, group bookings are up 4.4 percent in committed room nights over the same time last year, and ADR is up 3.0 percent.
“There is increasing need for hoteliers to engage with the group channel as an opportunistic resource for attaining upcoming revenue per available room (RevPAR) growth,” added Hach. “Doing so reduces hoteliers’ dependency on shorter-term reservations that are becoming more and more competitive to covert, especially given loyalty program membership discounts.”
Get the full story at TravelClick
Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/group_booking_pace_provides_longer_trerm_opportunities_for_hoteliers
Wyndham, with more than 7,800 mostly budget and midscale hotels and a collection of four-star and five-star properties including some beach resorts, changed its program in 2015 to price every award room the same: 15,000 points. There are no capacity controls or blackout dates and you earn 10 points for every dollar spent, so points accumulate quickly. You can earn a free night at the New Yorker hotel in Midtown Manhattan after only a three-night stay on a $500 rate.
“You combine a very low award price and rooms at luxury properties that are always available and it’s stunningly amazing,” says Jay Sorensen, president of Shorewood, Wis.-based IdeaWorks.
Wyndham says redemptions are up 90% since before the change and seven million people have joined the program since the 2015 relaunch, a 17% increase to 47.5 million members.
Get the full story at The Wall Street Journal, "Time" and IdeaWorks
Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/the_best_and_worst_hotels_for_cashing_in_rewards_points
There have been at least six hotel acquisitions since January totaling more than $16 billion, with the bulk of that amount coming from the Marriott International-Starwood Hotels & Resorts deal that closed last month. Other deals included AccorHotels $2.7 billion buy of Fairmont Raffles Hotels International and SBE Entertainment’s $794 million grab of Morgans Hotel Group.
AccorHotels also waded into alternative accommodations when it bought onefinestay for $170 million and also acquired hotel software company John Paul. Two other hotel software exits include Trivago buying Base7booking and TrustYou buying CheckMate (terms of both deals were undisclosed).
Still, there has been plenty of smaller acquisition activity in other sectors and among travel startups in 2016. Some 71 travel companies have been acquired, including both startups and more established players, so far in 2016, according to Mike Coletta, managing director of Travel Startups Incubator.
Get the full story at Skift
Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/lodging_deals_dominating_travel_acquisitions
Summer travel was surprisingly robust in the United States, despite a slew of factors that threatened to keep visitors at home.
According to the U.S. Travel Association’s Travel Trends Index, released Tuesday, travel volume in the U.S. was up 4.4 percent in August compared to a year earlier.
“Although travel has outperformed the economic recovery overall, our grip on prolonged growth has felt tenuous at times because of the dollar’s impressive run and a rogue’s gallery of other concerning factors,” Roger Dow, president and CEO of the U.S. Travel Association, said in a statement. “Between TSA’s early summer issues, Brexit, Zika, and a tumultuous U.S. election cycle, it’s been a year of news stories that don’t particularly create the yearning to travel, particularly among internationals. Here is evidence that travelers around the world have been able to look past the headlines to see the reality: the U.S. is open for business.”
Get the full story at Skift
Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/u.s._travel_picked_up_this_summer_but_dont_expect_the_trend_to_last
In the past year during strikes by Lufthansa, a computer meltdown at Delta, storms, terrorism, Zika and other things that throw a wrench into travel plans, travel agents have again and again shown their worth by getting their clients to important business meetings, vacations, or home to loved ones, while consumers who booked direct or via OTAs were posting messages of frustration to Twitter and Facebook.
In fact, the profession is seeing both an influx of new blood, and a talent shortage. Nearly 70 percent of Virtuoso agencies reported they are planning to hire more advisors. What’s more, the demographics of agents themselves are changing dramatically. Anthony Huffman, owner of Huffman Travel says, “Five years ago we had nobody here (at Virtuoso Travel Week) under 50. Today, I’m the only one over 50.”
That’s partly because the job of travel agent, which used to mean sitting in front of a flickering computer terminal from nine to five, tapping on a keyboard, has changed dramatically. Many agents work from home, or if they have an office are rarely in it, instead traveling the world, scouting out what’s best, newest and next for their customers. While it may not pay like investment banking, with the median salary under $50,000, top advisors get well into six figures, and it is the type of job where if you are OK answering client emails 24/7, you aren’t tied to a desk, you get to see the world, stay in nice places and often get VIP treatment as if you were a big company CEO.
Get the full story at Forbes
Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/these_travel_agents_are_staying_a_step_ahead_of_google
With supply increasing in most major markets, demand equalizing, competition from non-traditional suppliers like Airbnb, and hotel operation costs increasing, lowering distribution costs is the most important way, if not the only way, many hoteliers will see revenue increases year-over-year.
How will HeBS Digital help you boost direct revenues by 25%, guaranteed? By:
- Overhauling your online presence: HeBS Digital will build you a website that incorporates the right balance of excellent design, state-of-the-art CMS technology, robust merchandising capabilities and engaging visual and textual content, while providing an optimum user experience from top to bottom.
- Implementing a 'Book Direct' strategy for your property: your dedicated Website Revenue Optimization Consultant, along with teams that specialize in professional copywriting and SEO, SEM,
- Smart Data Marketing, Social Media, Website and Campaign Analytics, Programming, and more will help your property own its customers and drive revenues the most cost efficient way possible – through their own property websites.
Get the full story at HeBS Digital
Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/how_can_your_property_boost_direct_revenues_25_guaranteed
One of the most challenging and important aspects in revenue management is providing the right price for the right customer at the right time. It can be a struggle to mix together pricing strategies that won't fall flat in a complex and time-consuming process.
Over the years, hotels have been steadily moving away from fixed pricing strategies toward dynamic pricing strategies. Dynamic pricing is the continual adjustment of prices based on the value of demand for the remaining available capacity. There are a lot of variables that contribute to successful dynamic pricing, and the ultimate goal is to determine the highest price that a guest is willing to pay to stay at your hotel.
Dynamic pricing strategies don't focus on only setting prices. Rather, successful dynamic pricing optimizes a hotel's demand and revenue to maximize total revenue performance. These are the two crucial aspects for hotels to balance because the combination of the two will have the greatest impact on overall revenue performance.
Get the full story at Hospitality.Net
Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/the_key_to_pricing_your_hotel_just_right
I’ve spotted a trend: we don’t simply base our bookings on great deals anymore (though these do help!). Whilst at Expedia, I’ve noticed that more and more holidaymakers want to guarantee they’ll be getting an authentic experience: local produce, authentic digs and adventures they’ll never forget. Traditionally, this is nothing I couldn’t uncover without a good bit of internet trawling, but with the rise of virtual reality, I think I can go one step further.
Picture the scene: I can pop on a headset and stand on top of Iceland’s Gulfoss waterfall, or, perhaps, Peru’s Machu Picchu. I could even find myself wandering the bustling streets of an Asian city, where the tourist industry may or may not have taken away some of the local charm.
Fully immersive VR has the potential to captivate potential travellers with style and substance, offering true-to-life expectations and matching wearers to their ideal experience.
Get the full story at the Expedia blog
Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/the_future_of_travel_looks_like_science_fiction
As for most of the changes rolled out by Airbnb, the new homepage has been released as an A/B tests and thus is not yet live for 100% of the traffic.
To ensure you can view the new version, visit http://www.airbnb.com in incognito mode or clean your cookies until when you see it.
Compared to the old version, the new homepage has a more condensed look, fewer sections and a clearer focus on the “live an experience” message that the company has been pushing more and more as the center of its brand identity.
Get the full story at All About Airbnb
Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/airbnb_rolls_out_new_homepage_focused_on_experiences
Technology has given many people the ability to rent out their own homes, or even a room in apartment through services like Airbnb and Expedia-owned HomeAway. In separate sessions during the GeekWire Summit 2016, Expedia CEO Dara Khosrowshahi and Jeff Jordan of Airbnb investor Andreessen Horowitz spoke about competition in the market and the effects these companies are having on travel.
When Jordan first learned about Airbnb years ago, he thought it was one of the stupidest ideas he had ever heard, primarily because he likes his privacy and the concept of renting a room in an apartment or renting out his house didn’t sound appealing. But after hearing Airbnb co-founder Brian Chesky speak at a conference years ago, he “went from a complete skeptic to a complete believer in 29 minutes.” In Airbnb, Jordan saw the next eBay, where he previously worked.
“It’s a different vertical, but it’s a community-driven model that started with a quaint little idea that seemed small, and the community took it and expanded the idea,” Jordan said.
Get the full story at GeekWire
Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/airbnb_vs._expedia_insiders_explain_how_the_rivalry_is_changing
The prefunction space outside the hotel’s 9,000-square-foot ballroom is a case in point. Now called the Event Hub, Marriott has added flexible elements (modular seating, moveable partitions) as well as a residential-style kitchen, the LG Studio. Outfitted with LG-brand appliances (2 refrigerators, oven, and induction burners), the space can be used for education, teambuilding, small meetings, or to support receptions (up to 160 people) in the Event Hub. The area that used to be dedicated to meeting registration (now called Event Edge) has also been redesigned as a multi-use space and includes an 80-inch television.
To get natural light into its City Center boardroom, the property had to break down a wall, says Wright, but the transformation didn’t stop there: Soft seating, a digital whiteboard, magnetic panels, 80-inch television, and a flexible table are also being tested by Marriott. If planners or participants like what they see, they can press the boardroom’s “beta button,” a feedback technology that allows users to signal their approval.
Get the full story at MeetingsNet
Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/beta_buttons_and_lots_of_flexibility_marriotts_new_innovation_lab_hotel
Typically, hotel refund policies are far more lenient than airline rules. But not always. Some reservations, in exchange for a modest discount, are totally nonrefundable from the moment you click the “book” button.
The only real beneficiaries are hotels and their shareholders. Too often, the restrictions are buried in the fine print where inexperienced customers don’t bother to look. And too often, hotels are able to pocket the money for a “nonrefundable” room and then resell it to someone else, effectively double-dipping.
Get the full story at The Huffington Post
Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/why_hotels_need_a_24_hour_refund_rule
There was a point four years ago when marketing agencies—that sprouted up thanks to the explosion of social media—didn't want to be identified any longer as purely "social" practitioners. They contended: We have grown to be so much more.
In recent weeks, it's become clear that a similar mindset has fully taken hold among the social media platforms themselves. Snapchat is now a "camera company," accented by its recent announcement of its video-recording sunglasses called Spectacles. The Venice, Calif.-based company, now known as Snap Inc., has been trying to shed the "social" tag in recent months when meeting with the press. Twitter COO Adam Bain last week mentioned at Advertising Week that his company recently moved its mobile app listing in Apple's App Store from the social section to news—and his team saw downloads of the app accelerate.
The idea that Facebook is a social network? Pfft.
Get the full story at Adweek
Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/why_snapchat_facebook_and_other_platforms_are_trying_to_shed_the_social_lab
Over time, web and app-based interfaces (interface = how the product looks and how users interact with it) evolve and change to adapt with user preferences. As with many of the product and app updates we are used to, we believe that form should follow function. Therefore, TrustYou 6.0 users will find some new and improved navigation options.
The main menu, which allows users to toggle between product features, has now been moved to the left sidebar. This will make overall navigation between tabs easier, as more product features are now included where they are always visible. New guest reviews can be found in the “Inbox” tab, while the “Settings” option has been moved to the bottom of the sidebar.
Get the full story at TrustYou
Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/trustyou_6.0_introducing_a_brand_new_trustyou
OTAs and third-party travel websites focus the majority of their efforts on marketing and selling hotel rooms. They aren’t focused on selling the ancillary services – restaurants, spa services, meeting facilities or other unique experiences and amenities that many hotels offer on-site. This is where your opportunity lies. Competing with the OTAs is all about finding (and marketing) the extra advantages your hotel offers to guests and cross-promoting them online along with your hotel. Ask yourself this: “What do we offer that we can use as a hook to attract more guests?
Get the full story at Leonardo
Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/your_hotels_restaurant_an_untapped_amenity_that_can_drive_more_direct_booki
1. Although 2017 U.S. lodging industry occupancy will be high relative to long term averages, it is forecast to be lower than it was in 2016, which will have been lower than occupancy in 2015.
2. The negotiations for corporate rate increases in 2016 were at a time when there was an expectation for larger rate increases than actually occurred; many corporate travel managers and convention planners believe they have been overpaying in 2016 and will seek to recover some of that "overpayment" in 2017.
3. Some corporate travel managers and convention planners have been surprised at the published "member rates" and non-refundable rates published on brand websites because they can be lower than the corporate, contract or convention rates that were expected to be lower than rates available to the public. These published rates are part of major and long-term initiatives to respond to the power of and commissions earned by on-line travel agents (OTAs).
4. Airbnb, which has not generally been embraced by corporate travel managers and convention planners, has been "endorsed" through business relationships with American Express Business Travel, BCD Travel, and Carlson Wagonlit Travel. Also, Airbnb has announced and promoted its Airbnb for Business and Business Travel Ready programs, and Chip Connelly, Airbnb's head of Global Hospitality & Strategy, has made public comments about Airbnb's focus on group and convention demand.
Get the full story at NYU School of Professional Studies
Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/corporate_hotel_rate_negotiations_2017_a_change_in_the_balance_of_power_fro
A Morningstar research report characterizes the risk to the online travel agencies from major chains’ direct-booking campaigns as “overblown,” and forecasts that they will produce a 1 percentage point headwind for the Priceline Group (compared with Morningstar’s mid-teen percent annual booking growth estimate for Priceline through 2020); a 1.5 percentage point headwind for Expedia (in conjunction with a low-teen percent annual booking growth forecast through 2020), and a 0.5 percentage point headwind for Ctrip (which is forecast to grow bookings at an annual mid-30 percent clip through 2020).
Why would the impact to the online travel agencies be so negligible?
Morningstar points to “Priceline and Expedia’s network, marketing, and technology scale; the cost that sustained discounting of rooms has on hotel financials and brand (key sources of moats in the lodging industry); the Priceline and Expedia’s ability to participate in direct bookings of hoteliers; and the higher fragmentation of hotels relative to airlines.”
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Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/hotel_direct_booking_campaigns_wont_hurt_priceline_and_expedia_says_study
In the second quarter of 2016, total revenue declined 3% to $391 million, with the hotel segment (TripAdvisor's largest by far) declining 8%. The biggest reason? Click-based ad revenue -- which makes up more than half of total revenue -- fell 15% to $201 million. While this looks bad on the surface, keep in mind it's the strategic path the company has chosen to compete more directly in the travel-booking game. In coming quarters, TripAdvisor hopes this drop-off in ad revenue will be offset by revenue generated from Instant Booking. And since this revenue isn't realized until a customer completes a stay, that timing has the potential to make revenue results -- when compared against the previous year -- look worse for another quarter or two.
Earnings per share for the second quarter fared even poorer, falling 42.5% to $0.23. The big factor here was spending on technology and content -- which grew 24% to $62 million for the period. The global launch of Instant Booking meant that TripAdvisor incurred significant costs related to its expansion into direct hotel bookings, airline reviews, and an improved mobile experience.
Though both of these results missed analyst estimates, CEO Steve Kaufer says the company is playing "the long game" and will continue to make investments to create the best user experience in the industry. These efforts are already yielding success, according to management. A return to overall revenue growth would do a lot to soothe investors' anxiety.
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Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/what_tripadvisors_management_doesnt_want_shareholders_to_focus_on
Take Mint Julep Tours. The Louisville, KY, firm has invested strategically in Google marketing and attributes the bulk of its new customer acquisition and a 70% annual growth rate to its activities on Google.
Co-owners Sean and Lisa Higgins started offering custom tours of the Kentucky Bourbon Trail, Kentucky Horse Farms and the City of Louisville in 2008, operating out of their home. At the time, the Louisville area tourism and bourbon industries were investing millions in marketing the newly developed Kentucky Bourbon Trail. Distilleries were preparing to host large groups.
“We could see that there was a conversation starting on the web about bourbon and the bourbon industry. We wanted to get in early on that,” Sean Higgins said.
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Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/travel_firms_leverage_internet_search_to_attract_customers
While Marriott went to their destinations and said, “Here’s what you can do inside the room.” The difference with the St. Giles campaign is we’re not just using VR inside the hotels—we’re enabling guests to experience the city [they are visiting] and create a story that St. Giles can then share with everyone through virtual reality.
eMarketer spoke with the hotel's agency about the project and their plans to edit the videos for an upcoming marketing campaign.
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Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/st._giles_hotel_gives_guests_360_degree_cameras_to_shoot_a_vr_marketing_cam
Altimeter and Phronesis Partners surveyed 528 strategists and executives in North America and Western Europe across various industries about digital transformation. Perhaps troublingly, solid majorities of respondents rated each of six potential obstacles as “challenging” or “very challenging.”
Figuring out new consumers and their behaviors was most likely to be characterized this way, at 71% of respondents. This was closely followed by lack of data to justify transformation (69%), and worries about compliance and legal issues (67%).
Yet what’s interesting is that some of the challenges mentioned above are, in fact, what those surveyed also said is why digital adoption is surging ahead. In the same study, widening customer habits and choices, as well as keeping up with regulations, were also key reasons for pushing their organizations toward greater digital transformation.
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Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/key_drivers_of_digital_transformation_are_also_key_challenges
AM: Thinking about the evolution of revenue management industry, what would you say are some of the top considerations driving today’s revenue technology?
DW: We’ve seen an enormous cultural shift in not only the available industry data, but in the dynamics between the hotel and its guests. Hotel marketing and communication programs have transitioned from direct, personal and one-to-one into a more digital guest relationship. Accounting for this change plays a large part in how hotels can use big data in their analytics, technology and revenue strategy. Thoughtfully incorporating big data and predictive analytics into technology – as well as using analytics that can personalize the guest experience – are two huge considerations that our solutions have been using to enhance and refine our product features and capabilities.
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Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/when_your_rms_removes_its_headphone_jack
Pricing is one of the most challenging aspects of selling a product or service. Why is revenue management such a critical function for hoteliers and what are the factors that influence pricing the most?
Pricing is one of the most challenging aspects of selling a product and one of many critical elements that make up the process of revenue management. Knowing how to set these, when and why to change them is critical in driving maximum revenue from your product. Yet there is no exact science that can accurately tell you what your exact price points should be at a given point in time, and there are many factors that influence your price points which can also differ amongst the varying types of operators in the market.
Apart from market demand, property supply and market willingness to pay, other strong factors that influence pricing include guest reviews, variations in the cost of distribution and differences in market data. Reviews influence product perception which influences your demand and market price points, whilst properties in competition with one another are not necessarily basing their pricing decisions on the same type of market data. For example, some properties work with unconstrained market demand data and others work in a more constrained environment.
The key is to regularly review your competitive set, ensure your competitive set is accurate and determined by the customer, constantly check your price positioning in the market to ensure it makes sense and maintain a flexible demand driven pricing structure for your product.
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Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/qa_with_the_australian_revenue_management_association
The app has integrated air and hotel booking capabilities through Sabre’s GetThere, TripCase’s itinerary management and messaging features, and a travel risk management solution from SafePoint, giving travelers the ability to check in with employers and request assistance if necessary.
Sabre said the Travel Experience Platform is designed to be a single app for business travelers, replacing the multiple apps they may have used in the past (a Sabre and GBTA Foundation study found business travelers use an average of nine apps to manage their travel).
Sabre said the platform is available to travelers through their employers’ travel program. It adheres to a company’s booking policies, captures expenses and auto-fills expense reports upon a trip’s completion.
Get the full story at Travel Weekly and Sabre
Read also "Sabre creates mobile link between hotels and guests"
Article location: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/sabre_launches_mobile_platform_for_business_travelers