Distribution

TripAdvisor appoints new head for its hotel business unit

Mar 13, 2019 / TripAdvisor
TripAdvisor
TripAdvisor

Walt Disney Company’s senior vice president, global e-commerce of consumer products division, Kanika Soni, will join the company as president of the hotels business unit, effective April 15.

In this role, Soni will oversee TripAdvisor's hotels business, representing a substantial part of the company's total revenue. She will be responsible for product, engineering, sales and marketing for hotels.

Soni will report to Stephen Kaufer, TripAdvisor president and CEO, and will focus on building a future-focused strategy to ensure TripAdvisor's continued growth and profitability in a rapidly shifting, increasingly complex and competitive global landscape.

Technology

AI will help Hilton to re-imagine the whole travel experience

Mar 13, 2019 / Hilton
Shutterstock
Shutterstock

The company will use artificial intelligence and machine learning to match guests with specific features of their room they prefer.

“We have taken the decision to invest heavily in data science as part of our business,” Chris Silcock, chief commercial officer of the global hospitality chain, told an ITB session on the future of AI.

Over the last couple of years Hilton has built a team 150-strong of data specialists and developed a cloud-based platform that is collecting around one billion data points a day.

Hilton is looking to enhance its operations through the application of data science by taking friction out of the experience, said Silcock, but he said it was also looking to break down the experience to a much more granular level to “connect those to really specific customer needs”.

Distribution

Hotels benefitting from Hotelbeds scale

Mar 13, 2019 / Hotelbeds
Hotelbeds Group
Hotelbeds Group

The new enlarged B2B accommodation supplier Hotelbeds is providing better value to its hotel and trade partners, according to the firm’s managing director.

Speaking to Travolution last week at the ITB trade show in Berlin, Carlos Muñoz said the integration of GTA and Tourico, which is now almost complete, offers the benefits of scale.

He said hotels can now access though its trade partners – travel agents, tour operators, airlines and loyalty schemes – a market that they find difficult to reach.

And he said this market also tends to be a highly valuable one for hoteliers in that they typically stay longer, are more international and cancel less often.

Related: Hotelbeds Group platform reaches 170,000 unique hotels following integrations

Distribution

Airbnb not committed to going public in 2019

Mar 13, 2019 / Airbnb
Shutterstock
Shutterstock

Airbnb co-founder Nathan Blecharczyk reiterated the company's plans to go public without a specific date.

The New York Times posted a similar statement from the company in early March after it announced its purchase of HotelTonight. Many on Wall Street expect Airbnb to go public "as soon as June 30, 2019, but not later than late 2020," as TechCrunch reported last year.

The San Francisco company, with more than 3,000 employees, is among the most highly valued tech start-ups, often called "unicorns." The market has high hopes to see it and other unicorns go public, such as ride-hailing companies Uber and Lyft.

Digital Marketing

Using search intent to connect with consumers

Mar 13, 2019 / Google
Shutterstock
Shutterstock

Intent is the new demographics. When it comes to searchers, it’s not about who they are, but what they want. And Google gets this.

Through processing trillions of searches each year, Google’s algorithm has evolved to understand the intent behind each query. In fact, the changing face of the SERPs can largely be attributed to search intent - SERP features exist to get a searcher from point A to point B in as few clicks as possible.

So how can SEOs get the inside track on what features are appearing in their search space and why?

The whitepaper, Using search intent to connect with consumers, walks you through the different kinds of search intent, how to set up your own intent funnel, and how you can apply intent-based modifiers to your keywords.

Related: How Google dishes out content by search intent

Personalization

Still selling rooms? Here’s how to start selling an experience

Mar 13, 2019 / Guest Experience
Shutterstock
Shutterstock

One of the most frequently uttered hotel marketing catchphrases of recent years has been “selling experiences,” but while many marketers talk the talk, more than a few are a long way from truly walking the walk.

After decades of touting their vast array of in-room amenities, fitness centers, pools and large-screen TVs, many hotel marketers are still too self-indulgent and product-focused to recognize that it’s what happens outside of the property that really matters these days.

Millennials are leading the way amid a rapidly growing consumer trend among all generations that places emphasis on spending on experiences rather than material goods, and hotels are directly in the crosshairs of this purchasing revolution.

Now more than ever, it’s imperative that hotel marketers dig deep, review all their hotel digital marketing touchpoints and set a course of action for turning their property’s messaging from being product-focused, to experience-focused.

Technology

Shifting away from the PMS as the data warehouse

Mar 13, 2019 / Cendyn (sponsored)
Shutterstock
Shutterstock

As data management becomes more complex, the limitations of the PMS, as this primary hub, are becoming increasingly apparent.

Increasingly, hoteliers are reaching the same conclusion: the CRM represents the ideal solution as the central repository for guest profile data and engagement.

“Hotels need access to rich data - the ability to store it and leverage it,” said Michael Bennett, Cendyn’s SVP of Global Marketing & Business Development. “Now all these systems, not just marketing, sales, and revenue but also the spa system, golf system, food & beverage system, are trying to mine data. But it’s more than just the data. You need to be able to perform data appends, behavioral analysis, and the slicing and dicing of profiles.”