Data Protection

Starwood data breach: Lessons for the hotel industry

Apr 14, 2019 / Data Security

Experts explain the lessons the hotel industry can learn from the details Marriott shared about the Starwood data breach in his testimony before a congressional subcommittee.

Jeff Flaherty, senior director of global communications and public affairs at Marriott, said that as part of the company’s integration efforts, Marriott conducted an assessment of the legacy Starwood information technology systems prior to and after the close of the transaction.

Part of the problem could be that two years after the acquisition, the Starwood and Marriott systems weren’t merged yet, Lyon said. The security team was managing two parallel systems, which expands the target and draws resources thin, he said. Consolidating them makes them easier to protect, he said.

Products & Services

The shifting scene of independent hotels in America

Apr 14, 2019 / Independent Hotels

The total supply of independent hotel rooms in the U.S. has continued to decline, and while the rate at which independent hotels are closing is high, the closure rate continues to slow.

In the United States, the hotel landscape has noticeably changed since 1990. One key trend is that there seems to be fewer and fewer independent hotels.

If you were to look across the American hotel scene in 1990, you would find that nearly two-thirds of hotels were independently owned and operated. Today, independents account for less than 40% of all hotels. So, what is driving this shift?

To answer this question, consider a few interesting trends that help characterize the changing role of the independent hotel in the U.S.


Delta's mobile bookings are thriving

Apr 14, 2019 / Mobile

Delta Air Lines said in a conference call last week to announce its first-quarter earnings that nearly a quarter of its bookings now come from smartphones.

“Mobile is by far the fastest growing, and it's about 20% of our direct bookings, 20% to 25% of our direct bookings,” Delta president Glen Hauenstein told investors on the earnings call. “And it seems like every week and every month that moves on, mobile becomes a bigger and bigger chunk of total booking.

That seemingly flies in the face – pardon the pun – of the J.D. Power findings. The survey company revealed that airline apps ranked below hotel, online travel agency and rental car apps in customer satisfaction.

Related: Travel apps have much room for improvement

Market Data

A full recap of the Millennial Travel Forum Los Angeles

Apr 14, 2019 / Millenials

The Millennial Travel Forum, which took place in L.A. from March 31 - April 4, was first launched last year to showcase millennial travel agents as the industry’s real influencers.

For the Millennial Travel Forum Los Angeles, agents were personally invited by the Los Angeles Tourism & Convention Board through an application process that centered around such criteria as sales volume, familiarity with the destination, and both the number and quality of the advisors’ social media followers.

Agents stayed at the luxurious NoMad Los Angeles for the first two nights. Located on the lively corner of seventh and Olive Street in Downtown L.A., the hotel includes 241 rooms and suites. The highlight of the hotel, however, is the rooftop pool and gathering space overlooking downtown. The agents also go to tour the Sydell Group’s other two Los Angeles hotels, The Freehand and The LINE.

Digital Marketing

Travel marketers embracing visual storytelling

Apr 14, 2019 / Storytelling

Consumers are turning to new forms of media for trip recommendations - creating an increasingly complex digital marketing ecosystem.

While marketers have their work cut out when navigating these complexities, one common thread binds these channels together: They’re all forms of visual storytelling.

For travel marketers, this is an incredible opportunity to connect with consumers in new and exciting ways. A video tour of a destination they’ve always dreamed of visiting spurs them down the path to purchase, bringing potential travelers one step closer to clicking that "book" button.

Visual storytelling is real and it’s compelling - giving marketers the power to use stories to influence purchasing behavior.

Digital Marketing

How hotels can capture more millennial bookings

Apr 14, 2019 / Koddi (sponsored)

More and more, travelers are looking to personalize their holidays and to fully immerse themselves in the fabric of the destination they choose.

The rise of the sharing economy, expanded localization offerings, and the increase of social media marketing have shaped current hotel trends. And perhaps there is no demographic that illustrates the preference for these trends more than millennials.

Millennials are primarily interested in unique experiences that blend business and leisure, and they value technology and convenience in their bookings. These findings are also true for leisure travelers, who are looking for a chance to connect with the local scene in a personalized fashion.

Two hotel brands, in particular, are ahead of the curve when it comes to the personalization concept and are poised to redefine the hotel experience for this burgeoning group of travelers.

Digital Marketing

The latest device trends: here’s where your guests book from

Apr 14, 2019 / Net Affinity (sponsored)

A good marketing strategy has to be informed by many things, one being the latest trends in device usage.

The way people purchase through mobile continues to develop as they feel more secure in doing so and technology becomes more sophisticated – our own clients have seen a 22% growth in mobile transactions in the last year.

That said, data this quarter still shows that, although % of transactions are the same across desktop and mobile (both 45%, with transactions on mobile increasing this quarter), desktop still brings in a higher % of revenue: 49% vs 39% from mobile. People obviously still prefer clicking ‘buy now’ on desktop if it’s a more expensive buy.