Distribution

Inside the rise and fall of a multimillion-dollar Airbnb scheme

Feb 28, 2019 / Airbnb
Airbnb
Airbnb

Multiple misleading identities, more than 100 host accounts and 18 corporations were created to run an illegal hotel business in Manhattan, according to a lawsuit filed by the city.

The crackdown on the empire last month was a milestone in the escalating battle between Airbnb and New York City - the company’s largest market in the country. Airbnb condemned the exploitation of its platform, but the scheme showed how the home-sharing site has given opportunists a new kind of hustle.

According to the suit, the ring used multiple misleading identities to dodge Airbnb’s rules, text tourists and book apartments to budget-minded travelers.

AHLA: Statement on illegal Airbnb scheme in New York

Distribution

Booking Holdings shares fall 10 percent after weak Europe outlook

Feb 28, 2019 / Booking.com
Shutterstock
Shutterstock

Shares of Booking Holdings fell more than 10 percent after the company said it was seeing a sharp demand slowdown in Europe, its biggest market.

Booking Holdings, which gets more than two thirds of its sales from Europe, said uncertainties related to Brexit and political issues in France lead it to forecast lower first quarter room bookings.

“While we acknowledge that many of the factors causing the slowdown are unrelated to Booking's execution, there was little indication on the call that European travel demand would reaccelerate any time soon,” Jefferies analyst Brent Thill said.

CEO Glenn Fogel said the trade war between the United States and China was making conditions worse for European economies including Germany, whose slowing automotive industry was weighing on Europe’s overall growth.

Related: Booking.com invests in traffic for home-rental listings

Products & Services

What hotels can learn about the guest experience from Starbucks

Feb 28, 2019 / Guest Experience
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Shutterstock

The long-term and strategic vision for Starbucks is not just about coffee and compelling you to consume every ounce of caffeine exclusively from them; it’s about the culture.

Culture starts with the concept of a sense of place. Think of your lobby as a living room. Encourage guests as well as locals to linger, to check their phones, to chat, to grab a drink, to explore, to enjoy the furnishings, to interact with staff.

Aside from physical upgrades, a key factor of this sense of place is your staff and their guest service aptitude. Friendly, helpful, responsive, knowledgeable, insightful, funny, stylish and charming are but a few of the adjectives you want people to ascribe to your team.

It came as no surprise when the company announced the closing of its online store. The brand knows that it’s unique selling proposition is in its great in-person experience. Culture isn’t fostered through computer clicks; it’s made through human interactions.

Digital Marketing

How Hilton Head Island attracts visitors through Instagram stories

Feb 28, 2019 / Instagram
Instagram
Instagram

Many Destination Marketing Organizations have turned to social media to help inspire people through contextual visual media about their location.

According to a new report, DMOs stated that 29% of all of their digital ad spend in 2018 was allocated towards social media advertising. And, that number will continue to rise as more than half (55%) of DMOs report they plan to spend more on social media this year - with 62% reporting that they plan to spend more specifically on Instagram Stories.

Hilton Head Island Visitor & Convention Bureau is one such DMO that embraces social media to target new users and engage with current in-market travelers. They spent the majority of their social media budget on Facebook and Instagram in 2018 with a plan to increase their social budget this year.

Digital Marketing

Forrester: Digital marketing spend growing, but search landscape is changing

Feb 28, 2019 / Voice Recognition
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Shutterstock

The Forrester research sheds light on how marketers may be adapting their search strategies to account for a slowdown in the format's traditional channels.

According to Forrester's "The US Digital Marketing Forecast, 2018 to 2023," about half of marketers expect their search budgets to stay the same in 2019.

However, search ad budgets are predicted to shift to voice and voice-activated queries of voice assistants like Amazon's Alexa and Google Assistant will be mainstream in five years. Marketers will move from pay-per-click to voice skills, SEO, content on sites like Pinterest and branding to better capitalize on voice.

Amazon's growth is additionally boosted by consumer behavior. More shoppers now begin their purchasing journeys on Amazon than Google.

Related: Listen up: Voice search 101 for marketers

Distribution

OTA Insight announces geo point-of-sale innovation

Feb 28, 2019 / OTA Insight (sponsored)
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Shutterstock

The Parity Point of Sale (POS) add-on will allow hoteliers to investigate rate disparity in different geo-specific source markets.

For strategic reasons, Brand.com and OTAs often display prices that change according to the country-level information in a user’s IP address. But what happens when disparity arises between the rates shown on a hotel’s booking engine and a third-party channel for such source markets?

With unlimited live-shopping, this new add-on helps identify these geographic discrepancies. Tapping into select source markets in North America, Europe and Asia - it offers actionable proof of disparity for revenue and distribution managers, helping minimise revenue loss and maximise profit.

Revenue Management

IDeaS Revenue Solutions reports unprecedented momentum in EMEA markets

Feb 28, 2019 / IDeaS (sponsored)
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Shutterstock

The company reported record-breaking client wins across the EMEA region in 2018.

IDeaS’ EMEA sales team celebrated a hugely successful year, securing major wins in a diverse range of countries across the region, including Greece’s Electra Hotels & Resorts, Italy’s Grand Hotel Baglioni, Portugal’s NAU Hotels & Resorts, Spain’s Hotel Camiral and The Netherland’s Van der Valk Hotels & Restaurants.

IDeaS’ innovative revenue science solutions feature the latest advances in artificial intelligence and deep machine learning, including voice and two-way integration capabilities.