Distribution

Enforcement action against OTAs ‘does not go far enough’

Feb 13, 2019 / OTAs
Shutterstock
Shutterstock

Industry figures have welcomed the Competition and Markets Authority enforcement action against major online travel agents on hotel bookings but said it does not go far enough.

Expedia, Booking.com, Agoda, Hotels.com, ebookers and Trivago agreed to changes following a CMA investigation into “pressure selling, misleading discount claims, hidden charges” and distortion of search rankings.

The OTAs have agreed to “make clearer how hotels are ranked, for example when search results [are] affected by the commission a hotel pays”; end the “false impression of availability or popularity” of a hotel; be “clearer about discounts and only promote deals actually available”; and display “all compulsory charges” in headline prices.

Related: Why OTA ‘rate parity’ clauses should be banned

Distribution

Shiji acquires media distribution platform ICE Portal

Feb 13, 2019 / ICE Portal
Shutterstock
Shutterstock


With ICE Portal, Shiji will improve the distribution of visual content, enabling customers to increase their distribution capacity while maintaining control on their brand standards.

ICE Portal has become a leading platform in visual content management where hotels and resorts manage, curate and distribute their photos, videos and 360o tours. Over 50,000 hotels across the globe use this service to deliver their visual content to travelers via thousands of connected distribution channels.

"In our vision to connect the global business of the hospitality industry we see media content distribution as a critical part of the process. Making global distribution of rates and availability, alongside media content a unified process." Said Greg Berman COO Americas of Shiji Group

Business Travel

Travel buyers not convinced by technology

Feb 13, 2019 / GBTA
Shutterstock
Shutterstock

New research from the Business Travel Show has found that travel buyers are yet to be convinced by next-generation technology.

More than half saying they believe bots, blockchain and augmented reality will have minimal to no impact in the next three years.

Only a fifth of the 134 buyers polled said they see technology ‘significantly improving booking, saving time and money’ by 2022.

However, there appears to be more faith in the abilities of artificial intelligence (AI); 18 per cent of respondents believe it has the potential to ‘revolutionise’ the travel industry over the next three years.

Products & Services

Room types, counts fluctuate to meet changing needs

Feb 13, 2019 / Hotel Design
Shutterstock
Shutterstock

The wide-ranging demands of modern travelers is prompting many hoteliers to rethink their room configurations and the mix of room types offered at their hotels.

Both branded and independent hoteliers are increasingly experimenting with a non-standard assortment of room types within their properties, reflecting the more diverse needs and expectations of today's traveling public.

At many hotels, that means the preset blueprint of the past - with a set ratio of twin, queen and king rooms, plus suites - is now open to reinterpretation and reinvention.

Others are taking this notion further, crafting room concepts entirely outside of the standard configuration spectrum. Themed rooms, rooms with bunk beds, rooms designed to accommodate larger groups and entirely separate resort areas are just some of the layouts that are becoming more prevalent.

Revenue Management

Hoteliers adjust pricing strategies to be more dynamic

Feb 13, 2019 / Pricing
Shutterstock
Shutterstock

Hoteliers’ strategic goals must include a more dynamic approach to pricing hotel rooms that can better adapt to shifts in demand.

Dynamic pricing - a strategy in which prices continuously change based on algorithms that take into account demand and other external factors - is not new to the hotel industry, but its use is somewhat fragmented and inconsistent.

Part of the challenge is that technological improvements have added transparency to pricing. Guests believe this gives them more control over the rates they pay, but the complexity of the market actually makes it even more of a quagmire to wade through, sources said.

However hoteliers adjust pricing strategies, online travel agencies will remain part of the mix, and continue to be valued partners with hotels in many instances.

Distribution

How to increase control in a blended hotel distribution world

Feb 13, 2019 / OTA Insight (sponsored)
Shutterstock
Shutterstock

Blended distribution is advantageous because it boosts a hotel’s visibility across multiple channels, increasing the likelihood of a customer finding and booking its rooms.

However, it also pushes far more queries into the ecosystems, muddying the waters as far as where inventory is coming from, who the source of disparity is, and how to price rooms advantageously.

The more blended the distribution, the harder it is to control your inventory and the more opportunity there is for bad intermediaries to play close to the line (or below the line).

Distribution

The mobile-first world creates tremendous revenue potential for hoteliers

Shutterstock
Shutterstock

Hoteliers face a challenge in 2019: Creating and managing a robust digital presence in an increasingly mobile-first environment.

This means investing in mobile technology and marketing that enables the best user experience while achieving maximum engagement, regardless of device. The explosion of mobile customer engagements creates a tremendous upside opportunity for smart hoteliers who invest in and take advantage of this rising tide of mobile-obsessed travel consumers.

In hospitality, up to 30% of hotel bookings are done via mobile devices, a percentage dependent on whether the property is branded or independent, its location (rural or metro area), complexity of hotel product (golf resort vs. major city hotel), availability of a loyalty program, and composition of its customer segments (business vs. leisure, transient vs. group).