Market Data

China issues new warnings against U.S. travel

Jun 05, 2019 / China
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Shutterstock

China issued a travel advisory on the U.S. through the end of the year, the latest salvo in an escalating trade battle.

The country’s Ministry of Culture and Tourism cited recent “frequent” shootings, robbery and theft as the reason for its alert, the official Xinhua News Agency said on Tuesday. It didn’t provide any statistics or further details.

Asked if the move was part of the protracted trade dispute, Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang told reporters in Beijing it was a response to “current circumstances.”

Related: Chinese tourism to U.S. drops for 1st time in 15 years

Digital Marketing

Woke-washing: how brands are cashing in on the culture wars

Jun 05, 2019 / Advertising
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Shutterstock

From M&S’s LGBT sandwich to Kendall Jenner stopping a riot with a Pepsi can, corporate business is adept at adopting our concerns. But is it all a cynical marketing ploy?

While advertising campaigns have demonstrably helped rake in billions of pounds for big corporates, there is no evidence any have significantly changed the world for the better.

Whether you think it’s “woke-washing”, or companies raising and mainstreaming important issues, this is a phenomenon that is not only here to stay, but will keep on growing.

Products & Services

OYO talks up hospitality chain growth as it expands distribution strategy

Jun 05, 2019 / OYO
TechCrunch
TechCrunch

OYO Rooms has secured distribution deals in place with every major online travel agency around the world.

The India-based company, with hundreds of million of dollars in funding, is now openly claiming its position as the "sixth largest hotel chain operator in the world," in its bid to sit alongside the mega groups providing so-called traditional hospitality.

Part of the strategy to support its growth has been to sign a string of distribution deals with major online travel agencies. The latest is Ctrip, signed in recent weeks, which will feature OYO's China-based content on the OTA.

Digital Marketing

Advertising fraud case raises questions for hotel industry

Jun 05, 2019 / Advertising
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Shutterstock

Any hotel chain that used an outside agency to buy media on its behalf should investigate whether it is a victim of potentially deceptive activities.

Rumors of undisclosed rebates and overpriced principal transactions have plagued the media-buying industry for years. The Association of National Advertisers released an independent study that concluded that nontransparent purchasing practices are “pervasive” in the media-buying ecosystem.

The hotel industry’s media spend is a substantial portion of that overall number, with advertising spending for 2019 projected at $769 million. Notably, an ever-larger share of this spend is going to digital advertising.

Digital Marketing

Instagram enables marketers to boost influencers’ sponsored content

Jun 05, 2019 / Instagram
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Shutterstock

The social media app’s users will soon see posts in their feeds marketed as ‘paid partnerships’ - even if they don’t follow the content creator.

Instagram users are about to see more sponsored ads from the platform’s influencers - whether they follow them or not.

Instagram introduced “branded content ads.” These enable advertising partners to promote influencer-created posts featuring sponsored products or services. The ads will show up in Instagram users’ feeds in the next few weeks and in Instagram Stories within months.

Instagram: Introducing branded content ads for business

Distribution

Are OTAs losing their influence?

Jun 05, 2019 / Triptease (sponsored)

Hotels and OTAs both need each other. Yet, sweeping industry disruption, the direct booking movement and bold new stances from major brands are beginning to tilt the scales in favor of the hotels.

In the past few weeks alone we’ve seen a landmark new deal between Marriott and Expedia, along with a bold statement of intent from IHG on maintaining their relationship with third-party distributors. With two of the world’s largest hotel chains publicly evaluating the role of an OTA in their business models, what repercussions could this have for the wider industry?

As tempting as it may be to get sucked into these narratives of drama, daring and defiance, it’s worth taking a step back and realising that these aren’t just standalone cases, but indicative of the start of a wider paradigm shift for hotels.

Products & Services

Why empowering guests should be every hoteliers top priority

Jun 05, 2019 / Runtriz (sponsored)
Louis Hansel/Unsplash
Louis Hansel/Unsplash

After using AI to analyze travel reviews, the Beverly Hills Hotel in Los Angeles discovered guests want to customize their breakfast, so they did away with the breakfast menu altogether and, now, allow guests to order precisely what they want every morning.

Giving the customer more input and capabilities like the Beverly Hills Hotel is a top trend in restaurants, right now. Deloitte reports that 40% of customers prefer to order online, 50% who pay by phone would like to pay via app, and, by and large, customers want to be able to customize their orders.

Our industry talks a lot about engaging guests and personalization, but these new levels of flexibility and customization are fundamentally about empowering customers.