Products & Services

Hotel alternatives also face tech, distribution hurdles

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Shutterstock

The line between traditional hotels and alternative accommodations continues to be blurred in the world of hospitality.

The bottom line is that alternative or not, bookings in that sector potentially mean a lost booking at a traditional hotel, and guest demand continues to suggest the relevancy of alternative models.

During an International Hotel Investment Forum session titled “A brave new world: What are the opportunities in alternative models?” panelists said that these alternative models might well be morphing into more traditional structures in terms of brand evolution and capital structures.

Distribution

Accor, Expedia CEOs discuss shared concerns, direction

Mar 12, 2019 / Expedia
Stephanie Ricca
Stephanie Ricca

In a one-on-one conversation, AccorHotels and Expedia Group’s CEOs took the stage at IHIF to talk about transformation, and disruptors.

In a no-topics-off-the-table conversation at the International Hotel Investment Forum, AccorHotel’s Chairman and CEO Sébastien Bazin and Expedia Group President and CEO Mark Okerstrom discussed the similarities and differences of their businesses, how they spend their time, and why innovation is critical at any cost - no matter how they individually define it.

Okerstrom said Expedia is “shifting more to smaller, independent properties” to add to the company’s listings.

Bazin said that group also is increasingly important for Accor. “Half my growth comes from (those small independent operators) because they knock on my door to gain protection,” he said.

Products & Services

Accor CEO shares vision for company’s integral role in travel

Mar 12, 2019 / Accor
Accor
Accor

Accor is embracing the new era of aspirational, experiential and service-centric culture with a new lifestyle loyalty program, partnerships, marketing and experiences.

To realize that new “universe,” Bazin and his team have over the last few years amassed brands - traditional, new and alternative - but also entered into joint ventures, invested in technology platforms and bought startups and concierge, home-sharing and other businesses intended to have the French firm top of mind for consumers, whatever their needs.

During Accor’s recent conference call to share full-year 2018 results, the company announced it dropped the “Hotels” part of its name. This was not because Accor wished to distance itself from its hotel business, which will remain its core endeavor, but to underline an expanded world of services, experiences and partnerships.

Distribution

The quest to ‘end-to-end’ travel booking platform

Mar 12, 2019 / Airbnb
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Shutterstock

There has been a long quest for that one name in travel that caters to the need of a traveller from beginning to end. That is the dream.

With the recent move of Airbnb developing its transportation arm after it appointed Fred Reid as head of global transportation. Since its commercial success for the last decade, the start-up is no longer content with properties and experiences.

Jenny Arden, Airbnb’s director of transportation, plays a galvanising force in shaping Airbnb’s latest ambition: to revolutionise the air travel and transportation aspects of travelling, as was revealed publicly last month. The company aspires to become a one-stop shop for all aspects of the travel experience.

With this recent development, Airbnb will cater to transportation, accommodation, and activities – everything you need for your trip.

Revenue Management

Why it pays to take control of rate parity

Mar 12, 2019 / Rate-parity
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Shutterstock

It’s easy to understand why rate parity is important but it’s one of those aspects of revenue management that are easy to overlook – especially during high season, when resources are scarce and time is precious.

Achieving rate parity – or avoiding disparity – is important because failing to do so will cut into your hotel’s profits, confuse customers, and cause tension between distribution partners.

Because OTAs have low overheads, it’s easy for them to remain profitable while undercutting your hotel’s rates, often in excess of 20%. And there’s a knock-on effect guests will have a negative perception of your brand, wondering why there’s an inconsistency, and questioning whether they’re getting good value for money.

Add wholesalers into the mix, and the landscape is further complicated. Traditionally, they’ve helped hotels out when times are hard. But they can also undercut hotels directly or provide a route for OTAs to do so.

Loyalty Program

The pros and cons of hotel loyalty programs

Mar 12, 2019 /
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Shutterstock

If you’re on the fence about whether to launch a loyalty program for your hotel or brand, consider the following pros and cons.

With hotel loyalty programs, you will have systems and procedures in place for recognizing frequent guests and ensuring that none are overlooked both within your hotel and at participating properties.

The lure of instant perks can be a powerful way to convert travel shoppers into bookers. Moreover, when travelers are familiar with a brand, they are more likely to return. Research from Kalibri Labs found out that 40 to 60 percent of hotel room bookings came from loyalty members.

Digital Marketing

Some expert tips on hotel website design

Mar 12, 2019 / Website Design
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Shutterstock

With a good UX, your guest won’t actually need to think about how to navigate – their moves around your site will be very natural.

Throughout the website design process, don’t lose sight of your property’s identity. Keep in mind its personality, qualities, and strengths – everything that makes it unique and appealing.

The challenge is translating your property’s atmosphere into the digital environment, seamlessly. This makes your potential guest feel like they’re already there.

Take your inspirations and let them influence you, but always stay true to your own property – whether it’s funky, casual and vibrant, or classical, charming and formal – you do you!