Distribution

Airbnb facing consumer protection questions after launching tours

Jun 16, 2019 / Airbnb
Getty Images
Getty Images

Questions have been raised by leading trade figures about the consumer protection offered for those booking Airbnb’s new set of tours.

The accommodation platform has launched Airbnb Adventures – a range of 200 multi-day trips around the world, which are an extension of its existing Airbnb Experiences activities offered by hosts.

Airbnb said that the new trips, which include an Around the World in 80 Days itinerary, feature “for the first time lodging, meals and activities”.

Offering packaged tours in the UK requires some form of financial protection to comply with the Package Travel Regulations.

Related: Airbnb moves into adventure tours market

Branding

Hotels: Too many brands? Too much tech?

Jun 16, 2019 / Accor
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Shutterstock

Hotel brand CEOs and executives at the recent NYU hospitality conference laid out a broad agenda for the future of the industry, on topics from tech integration to brand proliferation.

On the question perhaps most asked at the conference - are there too many brands? - it seemed to depend on who’s asked, and when.

Accor Chairman and CEO Sébastien Bazin, whose company currently has a portfolio of 38 brands, said it’s completely plausible that the industry will see the total number of brands double within a few years.

The important part for a hotel company is to unify those brands on a single platform, he added. “We have 38 brands; we don’t have 38 websites,” he said. “It doesn’t cost one penny more to have 50 brands on one portal.”

Products & Services

How Mandarin Oriental is changing luxury travel

Jun 16, 2019 / Mandarin Oriental
Mandarin Oriental
Mandarin Oriental

The hotel company’s first female board member talks about growth, brand recognition and how to build a better hotel experience for women.

From zipping through Marrakech’s medina on a motorbike to analyzing the best placement for hair dryer plugs, Jill Kluge, Mandarin Oriental’s newly appointed chief marketing officer, is constantly grappling with changes and opportunities in luxury travel.

A Mandarin employee for the past 25 years, Kluge was just tapped to the company’s board and oversees marketing for 32 hotels in 23 countries, as well as six residential properties. The brand plans to open another 15 hotels and 13 residences within the next five years.

Revenue Management

Hotel age-related ADR premiums: Fact or fiction?

Jun 16, 2019 / Pricing
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Shutterstock

STR explores the theory that newer hotels attain higher rates than their older counterparts with an in-depth analysis across time, class and chain scale.

Popular hotel lore holds that new properties command higher average daily rate than their older counterparts. To test this theory, STR analysts looked at the percentage difference in ADR between two- to five-year-old hotels and 15- to 20-year-old hotels over a 12-year span.

Over the 12 years studied, younger hotels consistently commanded higher rates than older properties during expansionary years. Luxury and economy class properties experienced the most ADR volatility in relation to age, with high premiums for younger hotels in good years and negative premiums favoring older hotels in recessionary and recovery years. Independent hotel ADR was more affected by age than chain hotel ADR.

Revenue Management

Facebook gets Booking.com backing for crypto project

Jun 16, 2019 / Cryptocurrency
Cryptocurrency
Cryptocurrency

Booking.com will be part of a consortium backing Libra, Facebook's new cryptocurrency effort.

Booking Holdings wants to be an innovator and supporter of alternative payments systems given its presence in emerging markets, especially in Asia. So it is understandable that Booking would want to be a first mover in Facebook’s digital currency effort, regardless of how it eventually turns out.

OTAs aren’t alone among travel industry, and other, businesses in resenting credit card fees. That may be one motivation, along with respecting the power of Facebook in travel advertising, that Booking Holdings is reportedly getting in on the ground floor of a Facebook effort, slated to be announced next week, to create a cryptocurrency called Libra.

Distribution

Metasearch blues: how meta and wholesale contribute to disparity

Jun 16, 2019 / OTA Insight (sponsored)
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Shutterstock

This is the real rate parity issue: non-contracted inventory ending up for sale online in retail channels, pulling bookings away from direct or contracted OTA channels while also increasing customer acquisition costs.

Other industry leaders understand that metasearch’s core value proposition to consumers is all about price. Steve Hafner, founder of Kayak, says that channel-by-channel price differences are why consumers turn to metasearch, saying:

“The future of metasearch isn’t dictated by advertiser ROI changes up or down. It’s driven by pricing differences among OTAs and suppliers for a ‘like’ travel option (flight, hotel, car etc). As long as savings can be had from shopping around, meta will prosper.”

Digital Marketing

Social photography: What it is and why your hotel needs it

Jun 16, 2019 / Screen Pilot (sponsored)
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Shutterstock

With so many strong brands in the hospitality industry–not to mention the endless travel stories to tell–it’s vital that hotels communicate their story well.

Every communication needs to be both relatable and convincing. Stories that are immersive and authentic become something others want to be a part of. When your audience is clamoring to join up with your brand, you’ll not only stand out from your competitors; you’ll book rooms.

Creating a compelling brand should be your finish line. So what if you’re just passing go, still piecing together a consistent and cohesive digital footprint? Nowadays, most stories take shape through social media, so start there.