OTAs ‘ready’ for new online payment rules

Jul 02, 2019 / Data Security

OTAs say they are prepared for new anti-fraud online payment rules but warn it could be ‘painful’ and a ‘learning curve’ for consumers.

Phase two of Europe’s Second Payment Services Directive (PSD2) comes into force on September 14, imposing new verification requirements for any payments made online of £30 or more.

This is a European wide initiative not specific to travel businesses so it affects the entire market. PSD2 will provide consumers with greater security and purchasing confidence online, whilst also giving businesses greater protection against fraudulent activity and we welcome the new regulation.

Related: Europe’s Second Payment Services Directive

Reputation Management

UK: How people-powered reviews are driving UK travelers booking habits

Jul 02, 2019 / Booking.com

New research from Booking.com reveals a more discerning consumer, who is turning to ‘people powered’ guest reviews when parting with his/her money.

42% of UK travelers admit they have chosen not to book accommodation because of negative reviews about the host, despite the price, location and quality of the accommodation being exactly what they were looking for. Globally this figure increases; more than half (53%) of global travelers admit to not booking an accommodation because of negative reviews about the host.

Additionally, nearly three quarters (70%) of UK travelers rate other traveler’s reviews as an important factor in helping identify friendly and welcoming hosts ahead of booking. When compared with insights obtained from 21,500 travelers across 29 markets, the figure increased to 75% of global travellers.

Market Data

UK hoteliers share advice for navigating uncertainty

Jul 02, 2019 / UK

Storm clouds remain in the U.K. hotel industry, but forward-thinking hoteliers and government initiatives likely will combine to produce sunnier skies.

Uncertainty remains the guiding force in the United Kingdom, as Brexit rumbles into its fourth year of dominating the discussion. Where this leaves business, specifically the hotel and hospitality industry, was the main subject at the UKHospitality Summer Conference.

Stephen Cassidy, SVP and managing director for the U.K. and Ireland at Hilton, said two mega-trends - the requirement for experiences and the continued desire to travel - bode well for the country’s hospitality industry.

Cassidy said inbound travel due to favorable exchange rates still props up London hotels, driving demand among both business and leisure travelers, but the domestic market feels threatened, which is a real concern for regional markets mostly dependent on weekend bookings.

Revenue Management

The top issues facing select-service revenue management

Jul 02, 2019 / Boutique Hotels

As the revenue-management discipline evolves and grows in importance, select-service hotels have hurdles to maximizing success, including finding the time and people to do the job right.

While revenue management at select-service properties might have historically been viewed as less complicated than handling revenue at larger full-service hotels, experts said that’s not necessarily the case.

Many select-service hotels simply don’t have the trained revenue staff of larger, more sophisticated properties, which can make what seems like simple tasks more difficult.

Partially due to the staff and time restraints, artificial intelligence and machine learning are increasingly important as the hotel industry moves toward more widespread use of automated revenue-management tools.

Reputation Management

The problems with 5-star rating systems, and how to fix them

Jul 02, 2019 / Guest Experience

Online marketplaces are increasingly valuable and powerful. Yet many remain surprisingly unsophisticated when it comes to their reputation systems, which typically take the form of five-star ratings.

While simple five-star systems are good enough at identifying and weeding out very low-quality products or suppliers, they do a poor job of separating good from great products or suppliers.

As currently implemented, five-star rating systems suffer from several shortcomings. Lacking incentives for providing truthful feedback, users who have extreme experiences (either very bad or very good) are much more likely to leave feedback than users who have average experiences, thus creating selection biases.


Cendyn announces expansion of Guestfolio CRM team across the globe

Jul 02, 2019 / Cendyn (sponsored)

After the acquisition of Guestfolio in 2016, Cendyn worked hard to ensure Guestfolio CRM integrated into its product family and that it continued to evolve with the changing landscape of the hospitality industry.

Three years later, the company continues with the evolution of Guestfolio CRM to ensure it meets the needs of your team’s day-to-day workflow and enhances the experience for your guests for many years to come.

Cendyn has also created a seamless upgrade path from Guestfolio CRM to eInsight CRM, its enterprise CRM platform, for customers whose needs evolve to require more advanced CRM functionality.

Cendyn’s Guestfolio CRM continues to resonate with hoteliers and is now in use at over 1,000 independent and boutique hotel properties and small chains around the world.


Want direct bookings? Train your team to ask for them

Jul 02, 2019 / Direct Bookings

If you are looking to increase your front-desk team’s focus on securing return reservations while guests are in-house, here are some training tips.

Hotels are spending huge sums to focus on these opportunities, seemingly fishing for new bookings in a deep blue ocean of virtual opportunity.

Meantime, one often-overlooked opportunity is to simply train your front-desk colleagues to encourage in-house guests to rebook. This initiative is easy to implement, has a very low cost, and when you do the math, has a potentially huge upside.