Distribution

Booking Holdings boosts restaurant arm with acquisition of Venga

May 05, 2019 / Booking.com
Venga
Venga

Booking Holdings is to acquire Venga, a guest management platform for restaurants and other businesses, with terms of the deal not disclosed.

The Washington-based software-as-a-service business, which was founded in 2010, enables restaurants to personalize the experience for customers.

According to a statement, post-acquisition Venga will be aligned with the OpenTable brand, which Booking Holdings acquired in mid-2014 for $2.6 billion.

Technology

Why technology and hospitality need to be a balancing act

May 05, 2019 / Guest Experience
Shutterstock
Shutterstock

Hotels today have an opportunity to be more than just a place to sleep for guests by playing cultural matchmakers, connecting guests to the local experiences that best fit their preferences.

The competition is at an all-time high for hotels to earn guests’ loyalty and many have turned to the latest technology to help them do so, whether it’s Japan’s hotel staffed entirely by robots or the new FlyZoo hotel using facial recognition in lieu of room keys.

While these flashy tech initiatives are trending among media headlines, they don’t always align directly with customer satisfaction. Hoteliers today need to find the right balance of technology and hospitality to cater to what their guests want.

Market Data

London hotels report revenue boost while UK regions drop

May 05, 2019 / UK
Shutterstock
Shutterstock

London hotels reported like-for-like RevPAR up 3.6 percent year over year while occupancy reached 77 percent, up 1.7 percent.

Strong performance in the last two quarters lifted the last 12 months’ RevPAR 4.1 percent, despite a relatively subdued six months trading, the report noted.

This was in marked contrast to revenue per available room (RevPAR) in the U.K.’s regional hotels dropped 2.8 percent in Q1, according to the latest U.K. Hotel Market Tracker: Q1 2019 from HVS London, AlixPartners and STR.

Download: HVS UK Hotel Market Tracker Q1 2019

Products & Services

Hotels are taking branded products to the next level

May 05, 2019 / Guest Experience
AKA Hotels & Hotel Residences
AKA Hotels & Hotel Residences

Hotels are getting more creative with their branded for-purchase products in hopes of drawing you back for another visit and spreading the word about the property.

Whenever you go on vacation, you wish you could take a piece of it home with you, right? That’s why pretty much since the beginning of time hotels have offered little tokens to remind guests of their stay. But monogrammed bathrobes and pens no longer cut it.

Here are some of the unique items hospitality companies are selling.

Technology

Venture funding fuelling travel tech growth

May 05, 2019 / Guest Experience
Shutterstock
Shutterstock

Long sales cycles, difficulty moving to implementation and a patchwork of legacy systems are some of the challenges facing startups in the travel technology space.

Finding the right venture capital partner can help, delegates at The Future of Travel, a travel technology summit organised by Enterprise Ireland, brought global leaders in the travel sector together with Irish travel tech innovators to discuss how they are transforming to meet rapidly evolving customer expectations.

To secure investment from JetBlue Technology Ventures, a start-up must fall under one of five 'themes': customer experience; hospitality and service; operations and maintenance; loyalty and distribution of revenue; and evolving regional travel.

Related: Tech-enabled personalization in hospitality

Reputation Management

New research analyzes impact of review content on booking behavior of digital natives

May 05, 2019 / TrustYou (sponsored)
Shutterstock
Shutterstock

TrustYou released its latest research paper, highlighting the impact of review content on the booking behavior of digital natives.

The free white paper is based on a study which was undertaken in collaboration with the IUBH International University of Applied Sciences and the travel company TUI. The study narrowed down its target group to consumers of the age of 18 to 28, born between the years 1990 and 2000 and unveils their preferences in terms of consuming online review content.

Furthermore, the research reinforced the importance of review scores and widgets on hotel websites, OTAs, and tour operators, along with their role in guiding the purchase decisions of modern travelers.

Digital Marketing

Hotel Retlaw launches new website for its elite property in Fond du Lac

Hotel Retlaw
Hotel Retlaw

Opening this year, Hotel Retlaw transports guests to the Roaring Twenties with its sophisticated and luxurious property.

The company worked with HEBS Digital to redesign its website in order to highlight the brand-new experiences at Hotel Retlaw.

Built on HEBS Digital’s smartCMS platform, the responsive website incorporates four different page layouts to best display the property, amenities, and nearby attractions. Set for a grand opening this spring, the hotel fully revamped its digital presence leading up to the big day.