Distribution

OTAs busy to adapt to China’s new e-commerce law

Jan 08, 2019 / Ctrip
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Value-added services are no longer automatically selected on China’s online travel platforms

A major consumer complaint against online travel agencies was upselling on their platforms - a practice where OTAs sign up customers for additional services like travel insurance unless they manually uncheck the options before purchasing. Now, it seems that the law is falling on the side of consumers as extra services can no longer be checked as a default on e-commerce sites.

In connection with this change, some platforms have opted to make these extras more visible in an attempt to entice customers to opt for these purchases.

Distribution

Dipping into home design makes sense for Airbnb

Jan 08, 2019 / Airbnb
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Shutterstock

As Airbnb prepares to go public this year, the home-sharing giant has done anything but lay low

The company drew its fair share of buzz in 2018 with actions that ranged from launching its Airbnb Plus program to ramping up focus on its Airbnb for Work business travel offerings and officially opening its platform to hotel distribution.

Few of the company's recent headline-grabbing moves, however, have generated as much curiosity as its December announcement that it was entering the home-design space. Known as the Backyard project, the initiative is billed as an effort to "prototype new ways that homes can be designed, built and shared."

Business Travel

Hotels ride the wave of buoyant business travel

Jan 08, 2019 / Travel Leaders
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Shutterstock

Companies show no indication of cutting back on business trips. And hotels benefited the most

The total hotel cost for a domestic business trip increased 16% year over year and rose 12% from the second quarter. The average daily rate was $164 in the third quarter, up from $158 a year earlier.

"There is strong demand for corporate travel in almost all sectors, but a healthy economy also means that suppliers can and are raising prices," Travel Leaders Corporate senior vice president of corporate sales Mike Boult said in a statement.

Technology

Google Assistant will be on a billion devices by the end of the month

Jan 08, 2019 / Google
Google
Google

Google’s goal with its voice-driven AI helper, Google Assistant, is to get it onto devices. Lots and lots of devices

And they’re making pretty damned good progress there. Ahead of CES this morning, Google dropped a little stat update: Google expects Assistant to be on 1 billion devices total by the end of this month. That’s up from around 400M devices this time a year ago.

It’s hard to know exactly how many actual users this translates to - but it’s definitely not a billion.

Digital Marketing

Trends that will shape mobile marketing in 2019

Jan 08, 2019 / Mobile
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As the impact of innovations and disruptions of years' past come into focus​, leading players will battle for dominance in several key areas

The impact of mobile marketing innovations and disruptions of years' past will continue to come into focus in 2019 as markets mature and leading players battle for dominance. That’s forecast to be particularly prevalent for mobile video and augmented reality (AR), where strong adoption could hatch some winners, some losers and several acquisitions or mergers.

Mobile marketers will also continue to see how social commerce and voice technology can affect the entire customer journey and, when executed well, shorten the sales funnel. Meanwhile, the rollout of 5G will elevate network speed and marketing capabilities across a newly supercharged mobile landscape.

Digital Marketing

6 digital hospitality trends to watch in 2019

Jan 08, 2019 /
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What are the digital trends that 2019 will bring for the hospitality industry?

Data as a commodity has never been more valuable. The introduction of the GDPR has only compounded this and as an industry we are beginning to realise that it’s a privilege, rather than a right, to hold the data of our guests.

Guests have begun to expect that a luxury hotel will have commissioned a video to introduce their property. It’s rapidly become an additional layer of service transparency and they may question the lack of inclusion for those without.

Digital Marketing

Travel Tripper releases the first ADA monitoring platform for hotels

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Shutterstock

The company has released the first Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Monitoring Platform made specifically for hotels

The first of its kind in the hotel industry, Travel Tripper’s ADA Monitoring Platform actively audits hotel websites according to WCAG 2.1 AA-Level standards and automatically alerts property teams if a technical violation is found.

Upon recognizing an ADA violation, the platform sends regular notifications to account users until the issue is fixed. These notifications can be customized, allowing users to alert additional third parties, such as web service providers.