Distribution

OTAs point their business beyond hotels

Feb 11, 2019 / OTAs
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Shutterstock

OTAs will be around a decade from now, but food, activities, and rides will be a lot more important to them and their customers.

he online travel agency business over the last couple of decades has largely been built around selling hotel stays. But in 2019, there will undoubtedly be an acceleration of the drive to diversify their core businesses not only into apartments and vacation rentals, but also into tours and activities, restaurants, food delivery, and ridesharing.

As the online hotel booking business gets more competitive, with big chains pushing direct bookings, Google getting into the fray, and Airbnb throwing its weight around, you can look for online travel agencies to continue to point their businesses beyond hotels.

Distribution

Major hotel chains seek to dismiss antitrust suit

Feb 11, 2019 / Travelpass
Travelpass Group
Travelpass Group

By agreeing not to bid on each other’s branded keywords, major hotel chains allegedly engaged in a conspiracy to stifle competition, keep prices high and make it harder for consumers to comparison shop.

That’s the primary accusation made in an antitrust lawsuit brought by the TravelPass Group, an online travel agency.

However, there seems to be a flaw in the argument, at least according to a recently filed motion to dismiss, which points out that any lack of competition for branded keywords would, if anything, benefit TravelPass, making it easier and cheaper for the company to win a bidding contest.

According to the hotel chains, TravelPass creatively constructed what they term a ‘secondary’ conspiracy, involving vertical, bilateral restrictions in individual distribution agreements between the hotels and OTAs.

Market Data

China's holiday spending slows

Feb 11, 2019 / China
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Shutterstock

The downward pressure on China’s consumption persisted over the Lunar New Year holiday, the annual festival when people travel, shop, and give gifts or money.

Spending at tourist venues rose 8.2 percent to 513.9 billion yuan, the state broadcaster CCTV reported, citing data from the Ministry of Commerce, slower than the 12.6 percent rise last year.

Weaker growth, the trade war with the U.S., and a crackdown on debt all undercut momentum in 2018, sending auto purchases into contraction for the first time in almost three decades and retail sales growth to the slowest pace since 2002.

Distribution

Report: Shopping cart abandonment high among hotel websites

Feb 11, 2019 / Direct Bookings
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Shutterstock

In Q4 2018, leading hotel brands grossed $1.35B in total revenue and lost $2.4B in revenue due to cart abandonment, according to a new report.

These numbers extrapolate to an estimated $5.4B in total revenue and just under $10B in lost revenue over the course of a full year.

With first-party data gathered from more than 18,000 hotel properties across over 50 hotel brands, the Hospitality Industry Report looks at global trends including site visitation, likelihood to complete a booking, and site activity prior to booking.

The report also analyzes trends in booking details such as lead time, length of stay, and booking values. The data is aggregated to show trends over time as well as by hotel tier.

Digital Marketing

Hotel hashtags: Top 26 hotels dominating Instagram

Feb 11, 2019 / Instagram
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Shutterstock

In a comprehensive study into the world’s most Instagrammable hotels, Destination2 has analysed data to reveal the top 26 hotel-related hashtags across the social sphere.

Coming out on top is the Bellagio Casino hotel in Las Vegas, as the hashtag #bellagio has been used a staggering 2,492,488 times. Next on the list is the Burj Al Arab Jumeirah, with a total of 1,310,010 uses of the #burjalarab hashtag.

Speaking about the project, Will Collins, marketing manager at Destination2, explained: “We know that photogenic locations are on the rise, and as social media gets more prominent so does the desirability to get images that are ‘instagram-perfect’.

Related: How Instagram inspires and changes travel

Digital Marketing

The benefits of having a social media strategy for your hotel

Feb 11, 2019 /
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Shutterstock

Many hotels have a strong presence on social media but are not sure about how to better leverage it’s full potential to meet their business or marketing goals.

We all know by now what Facebook is and how to post on Instagram. But are we fully aware of the benefits of social media channels?

Hotels can now connect with their customers on WhatsApp or that you can add more than 3 call to actions on your Instagram business profile? Or that you can promote your products and gift vouchers on Instagram Stories and Facebook’s Marketplace?

Digital Marketing

12 practical ways to build guest loyalty

Feb 11, 2019 /
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Shutterstock

Whether or not your hotel or brand offers a guest loyalty program, you can implement systems and procedures to recognize frequent guests and encourage their loyalty.

Involve staff: Travelers may love your hotel’s design, amenities or location, but it’s the employees that keep them coming back. Ensure that staff members understand the value of guest loyalty and are trained and empowered to recognize frequent guests, thank them for their loyalty and extend preferential treatment.

Track behavior: Use the PMS, CRM and/or loyalty software to keep track of guest room nights, stays and total spend. Identify your most valuable guests and flag them for special treatment.