Distribution

Ireland: Majority of revenue on Airbnb comes from rentals which will be hit by new laws

Jun 30, 2019 / Airbnb
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Regulations aimed at stopping people from converting residential homes to short-term let businesses are due to take effect from 1 July.

Inside Airbnb, a New York-based data project, uses modelling to create estimates of the number of days a property has been booked on Airbnb, based on the number of reviews of that property.

Analysing nationwide data for Ireland for the first time, Inside Airbnb found that around 4,978 ‘entire homes’ on the platform appear to have been rented out for more than 90 days – a good indicator that the host is not living in the property and one that will be used in the new legislation to label such a let as a commercial venture.

Distribution

Baidu suspends operation of travel platform

Jun 30, 2019 / Baidu
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Baidu will suspend operation of its travel information platform Baidu Travel on June 30 due to “business adjustments."

The suspension is related to Baidu Travel’s profitability concerns and competition pressure, Baidu said the platform mainly functions as a travel information sharing platform, and thus is different from booking service providers such as Ctrip.

However, Baidu Travel also offers links to Ctrip's flights, trips, and ticket booking services. Ctrip has yet to comment on Baidu Travel suspension. It is not clear if the partnership was revenue-related or driven by either of the two companies.

Related: Baidu launches hotel ads product

Technology

Expedia on navigating the complexity of online travel

Jun 30, 2019 / Expedia
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Machine learning enables lodging players to become better and smarter about how they interact with travelers and optimize their business.

An example is Expedia's free revenue management tool, Rev+, that can provide possible predictions such as what a hotel should charge based on competition, compression and other market dynamics. Through the tool, the property’s competitive set is machine generated based on market knowledge, hotel attributes and prices.

Looking forward, Expedia is looking at AI to take machine learning one step further and recommend which of the available tools and actionable insights are going to most efficiently optimise business for its lodging partners.

Distribution

How hotels are adapting to the biggest disruptors

Jun 30, 2019 / OTAs
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The hospitality industry is focused on a "return on experience" metric, which calculates the value of investing in customer experience enhancements, digital branding, and new technologies that automate and improve customer service.

Occupancy rates have continued to climb, despite competition from the short term rental community. Leisure travel is healthy. However, it's shifting, as travelers become ever more informed and have more channel choice.

OTAs like Expedia and Orbitz provide easily accessible platforms that whittle down thousands of booking options to the most relevant ones for each user. And destinations are also creating their own search and booking websites.

While these online sites entice travelers, they don't deliver the holy grail of customer relations: brand loyalty.

Technology

The impact of technology on hotel sales and marketing

Jun 30, 2019 / Guest Experience
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Hospitality sales and marketing in the 21st century is a much more vibrant, complex activity, populated by multifaceted stakeholders at every level of the industry.

As the hospitality industry evolves, it's clear that technology is making many more channels available for reaching potential guests. These aren't traditional marketing methods, but channels integrated with various online platforms.

Airbnb, for example, while currently somewhat a pariah for the hotel industry, is a prime example of a company using a technology platform to become a hospitality provider, instead of a hospitality company trying to become a tech platform.

The same can be said of ride-sharing services such as Uber and Lyft, which play a primary role in many travelers' journeys. These now qualify as hospitality companies in a way, because technology is helping to create a broader meaning of the word.

If the industry can't keep up with the opportunities presented by technology, it risks being outplayed and outlasted. If it can, however, there's a chance that future collaboration could benefit all parties.

Revenue Management

Finding new ways to drive ADR

Jun 30, 2019 / Duetto (sponsored)
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Shutterstock

An Open Pricing strategy enables you to yield each segment, channel and room type independently in real time, rather than setting rates tiered off a Best Available Rate (BAR) benchmark.

RevPAR Index is an important metric, but simply following the crowd is not going to put your hotel ahead. Those hotels who are brave and constantly flex their pricing in line with market demands will turn a greater profit.

Placing a focus on optimizing business mix will help you drive the most profit. Take advantage of upselling opportunities, yield room types appropriately, and understand your guest segments.

Digital Marketing

The top 5 things you need to know now in hotel digital marketing: June Edition

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Shutterstock

This month, the latest digital innovations include new voice search and SEM studies presented at SMX Advanced, the rollout of Instagram branded content ads, and native advertising becoming a more impactful display format as it gains more traction.

In an SMX Advanced speaker session by SEMrush titled “Optimizing for Voice Search and Virtual Assistants,” SEMrush revealed research that suggests the key to voice performance is high SERP placement, site speed, content readability, and high-quality backlinks.

In addition to the top three placements in SERPs being closely tied to voice search results, SEMrush also found that 60% of results came from Featured Snippets. Tracking common long-tail queries associated with your hotel brand and creating content that answers these questions is one strategy for appearing in Featured Snippets.