Distribution

Why Europe is a microcosm of wider trends in online travel

May 07, 2019 / OTAs
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Shutterstock

Europe's diversity in terms of nations and market forces has forced travel brands to think differently to their counterparts in, say, the U.S.

Hotel groups in Europe such as Accor have adopted what some might even consider a startup culture to how they think about their digital strategy. The company's widely talked about online marketplace project may have lasted little over two years but the brand gained a lot about the mechanics of distribution and where it sits in the thinking of consumers and alongside its competitors.

Fail fast and fail often - not a slogan usually associated with traditional supplier-type brands, but a refreshing one that is clearly at the center of thinking for those hoping to transform their businesses and sectors.

Distribution

Google is bringing Duplex to the web to help book car rentals

May 07, 2019 / Google
Google
Google

A year after Google launched a human-sounding AI that can book restaurant reservations, the company extends the service to web-based chats such as car rentals and movie bookings.

In an example Google showed onstage, the Assistant can pull in travel information based on your existing reservations under your account. Once you ask the Assistant to help you book a car rental, it will begin to auto-fill the form using information it has, such as your name, address, and arrival and drop-off times.

Google first announced Duplex last year as a voice assistant that can make calls on your behalf to make a restaurant reservation. When you confirm a request, you’ll get an update from Google Assistant telling you whether it was successful at making the reservation.

Related: Google Lens can now highlight top meals at restaurants

Business Travel

Corporate travel: Sabre survey reveals trends shaping booking behaviour in Asia Pacific

May 07, 2019 / Sabre
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Shutterstock

Sabre reveals the results of a survey that compiles insight from over 70 corporate travel management companies (TMCs) from across Asia Pacific, revealing the latest trends in terms of regional bookings.

Sabre's survey discloses that as economic growth continues to sweep across the region, more and more companies are expecting their corporate travel managers to contribute to their business success, asking them to look for door-to-door travel booking solutions, demanding expense integration and most importantly, to identify cost saving opportunities.

Almost 7 in 10 (65%) respondents admit they are asked to identify cost savings, and this cost-conscious approach is encouraging travel managers to find new ways to minimize spending. As travel-related expenses become a central consideration for companies, the survey also reveals that downgrades, shifting reservations from business to economy class, account for close to 40 percent of their bookings.

Distribution

Is it time to include Airbnb in your comp set?

May 07, 2019 / Airbnb
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Shutterstock

Home-rental platforms have become such a part of the travel industry that it might be time to included them in traditional hotel competitive sets.

Historically, hoteliers only had to consider the traditional supply of hotels. However, supply is far different now than it was a decade ago. So for us to make smart pricing decisions, how can we properly assess that specific supply and demand in the market? How do we view the asset in the totality of its competitive set?

While there are trend reports that exists for the home-sharing base, there is certainly an opportunity for one of our lodging data sources to bring that supply space together and present a useful combined report of traditional and non-traditional units.

Digital Marketing

Facebook gives small businesses new advertising and engagement tools

May 07, 2019 / Facebook
Small Business Week
Small Business Week

The newly launched Automated Ads platform will create up to six versions of an ad and offer targeting recommendations based on the company's Page.

Facebook is rolling out a series of new tools aimed at small and mid-sized businesses on Tuesday, three days into Small Business Week: an Automated Ads platform, video editing features and appointment booking capabilities.

Small businesses now have a tool that will automatically create up to six different versions of an ad that can run across Facebook, Instagram, Messenger and Audience Network. The tool will lead advertisers through a series of questions about their business and the goals of the ad, and then suggest call-to-action buttons, text and creative details based on the business’ Facebook Page.

Distribution

How to set up an effective parity action plan: 6 points for success

May 07, 2019 / OTA Insight (sponsored)
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Shutterstock

A series of quarterly parity reports produced by OTA Insight has shown that parity issues are still the root cause of huge potential losses for hoteliers.

OTA Insights survey on the current state of parity, which primarily consisted of hoteliers and hospitality technology suppliers working for either chain or independent properties globally, revealed that 51% of those working for a variety of three- to five-star properties, are uncertain of their rate parity strategy.

So what can be done in light of ongoing disparity and a lack of clarity on how best to fight it? The company offers a simple but effective six-point action plan to help combat parity.

Digital Marketing

What you need to know about changes to Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp

May 07, 2019 / Cendyn (sponsored)
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Shutterstock

The changes announced at this years Facebook F8 Conference will have real implications for how hotels market their properties and communicate with guests.

One of the most visible proposed changes is removing public likes on images. Only the account owner can see how many likes their content earned.

A likes-less Instagram not only changes the psychology of the platform but it also eliminates likes as a measure of engagement. Of course, these numbers would still be available in a user’s analytics; it would just become harder for brands to evaluate public influence.