Distribution

Hotel CEOs: Loyalty and distribution still top of mind

Feb 05, 2019 / Direct Bookings
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Shutterstock

Speakers at the Americas Lodging Investment Summit talked a lot about the intersection of loyalty and distribution, including how to court the most high-value and loyal guests.

According to Michael George, president and CEO of Crescent Hotels & Resorts, brands are winning against the OTAs, attributing that edge to “the ability to attract and retain that guest and get them to book direct."

RLH Corporation's Greg Mount talked about how channel management has matured, and companies including RLHC are better equipped to “understand when to leverage (certain) channels and understand consumer booking on them … because understanding those channels and when to use them is really where the direction is going.”

Distribution

Booking.com can be trademarked

Feb 05, 2019 / Booking.com
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Shutterstock

A federal appeals court said Booking Holdings could trademark the Booking.com name, rejecting the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s contention that the name was too generic.

The 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond, Virginia said adding “.com” to a generic word such as “booking” could in “rare circumstances” create a protectable, non-generic composite when the composite’s primary significance to the public is the source, not the product being offered.

Market Data

Undertourism is the new overtourism

Feb 05, 2019 / Overtourism
Tourism-190205
Tourism-190205

Some emerging destinations are framing themselves as peaceful yet exciting alternatives to the packed streets of other cities.

As undertourism enters the industry’s collective consciousness, offbeat destinations or those with new stories to tell are marketing immersive experiences that build relationships with people, places, culture, and community over Instagram-worthy photo ops and mass touring.

Destinations increasingly say that they’re committed to spreading tourism beyond congested areas to neighborhoods in need of tourism spending, or grow tourism during less popular seasons. But the dispersal approach, if successful, only marginally shifts the problem elsewhere rather than solving it.

Personalization

Hotels: Overcoming personalization’s creepiness factor

Feb 05, 2019 / Guest Experience
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Shutterstock

The hotel industry’s innovation challenge was on full display at last week’s HSMAI Digital Marketing and Strategy Conference in New York City.

Despite the promise of personalization, even HSMAI attendees and Executive Perspective panelists acknowledge their own discomfort with overt personalization.

"We’ve got to be creative. We have to go back to asking our customers what they want. Remember you’re a customer, too,” says Tammy Lucas, vice president of marketing for Best Western Hotels and Resorts.

To combat the creepiness factor, Radisson Hotel Group has built a database of 250 fields upon its CRM that looks at behavior of the guest as they’re interacting with the brand.

Technology

Consumers don’t believe the chatbot hype

Feb 05, 2019 / Chat Service
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Shutterstock

Forrester Analytics data shows very clearly that, to consumers, your chatbot isn’t exactly “swipe right” material.

That’s unfortunate, because using a chatbot for customer service can be incredibly effective when done right. Brands have seen interaction volume reduced, cost savings improve, and customer satisfaction boosted when implementing a chatbot.

According to the Forrester study, 54% of US online consumers believe that interacting with a chatbot will have a negative impact on their quality of life. Consumers anticipate the worst when engaging with a chatbot today and haven’t yet seen a chatbot that can meet or even exceed those expectations.

Digital Marketing

How to get the most out of the new Google hotel search interface

Google
Google

The new design now displays four hotels instead of three and has updated filters available to the user, all in an effort to help people easily find the hotel that best fits their needs.

Google’s new hotel listings place more emphasis on the featured properties with larger images, and bigger fonts for hotel descriptions and prices. The display on mobile is much more prominent, meaning there’s little space for organic search results to appear above the fold.

The goal for hotels is to obtain a spot on the first page of hotel listings, with a definitive description of the brand and a visible image of the hotel in order to drive traffic and conversions. However, getting to the top of search results pages is not always an easy task.

Technology

Oakwood enters strategic partnership with TravelClick

Feb 05, 2019 /
Oakwood
Oakwood

For TravelClick, the agreement marks its foray into the furnished and serviced apartment sector.

Oakwood's revamped reservation platform will integrate TravelClick's iHotelier software, creating an online booking experience that allows users to easily search and book global furnished and serviced apartment accommodations.

The new platform will allow consumers and business travelers alike to book immediately online – a major shift in preferences in a rapidly-changing industry.