Distribution

Airbnb says it made a profit again in 2018

Jan 18, 2019 / Airbnb
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Shutterstock

Airbnb said it made money for a second straight year, based on a common measure that excludes some expenses

Airbnb said in a memo that it generated earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization in 2018. A spokesperson declined to provide an exact figure.

By the end of the first quarter of 2019, the company said there will have been more than 500 million guest arrivals in its listings since it was founded in 2008. Hosts and guests have left more than 250 million reviews.

Business Travel

CWT restructures EMEA

Jan 18, 2019 / CWT
Carlson Wagonlit Travel
Carlson Wagonlit Travel

Carlson Wagonlit Travel has made six senior EMEA appointments while letting five people go as it eliminates the role of country director for eight countries.

The restructuring follows functions across regions and subregions. Previously, the company used country-specific models.

CWT eliminated the country director roles for Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Italy, Benelux, France, Spain and the U.K. and Ireland.

Distribution

Airline distribution in 2030: Gravitating towards airlines, intermediaries or tech giants?

Jan 18, 2019 / Airlines
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Shutterstock

Google and Amazon pose an existential threat for the existing industry players. Will they succeed in gobbling up the entire travel value chain in the next decade?

These virtual assistants, combining chat, voice and gestures in the coming decade on all sorts of connected consumer devices, will revolutionize how we search, communicate, share and buy.

This paradigm shift will impact the travel industry in a profound way. In the current embryonic state, the use cases for the airline industry are mainly focused around post-booking information updates such as flight status, boarding gates, etc.

But experts predict that in the coming years these exchanges will become more action focused, moving from commands such as "what is my departure time?" to "rebook me to the next direct flight in the afternoon."

Distribution

OpenTable encourages diners to travel with its new loyalty play

Jan 18, 2019 / OpenTable
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Shutterstock

U.S.-based members of OpenTable’s loyalty program can redeem their OpenTable Dining Points for discounted hotel stays on Kayak.

Diners must have at least 2,000 points to enjoy discounted savings, and they also have the option to continue to use those points toward a $10 Amazon gift card, or anywhere from $10 to $25 off a restaurant reservation. While Kayak is primarily a metasearch site, the actual hotel bookings are powered by a sister brand, called Rocketmiles.

The idea for this loyalty connection resulted from the fact that OpenTable and Kayak now share the same executive leadership team, following the October departure of former OpenTable CEO Christa Quarles and subsequent appointment of Kayak CEO Steve Hafner as the restaurant reservations platform’s new leader.

Digital Marketing

Transformational travel, and are those real followers, or just bots?

Jan 18, 2019 / Social Media
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Shutterstock

Social media cachet has become such a motivator for travel, it’s the number one trend cited in Virtuoso’s annual Luxe Report.

Tim Morgan, Virtuoso’s Director, Business Strategy, Canada, says social media’s influence is unmistakable, as it drives travellers’ desire to find the most captivating backdrops and the best time of day for snapping images. It’s even impacting booking requests for Virtuoso advisers.

Influencers now command high fees and their travel costs covered to share content with their followers, who may number in the millions. The drawback? There’s little visibility into what and who the influencer brings to the table.

Distribution

Are Airbnb and Google revolutionising hotel distribution? One year on

Jan 18, 2019 / OTA Insight (sponsored)
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As we settle into 2019, it's time for an update to explore how Google's and Airbnb's ambitious initiatives - and those of other large global companies - are affecting hotels.

For years, there’s been a reliable drumbeat of fear around the expansion ambitions of Google and Amazon. Amazon seems to be permanently poised to threaten travel, while Google’s Hotel Finder has evolved into a full-featured and highly competitive product that even Expedia sees as its main competitor.

Last year, the coverage in industry publications expanded to include Airbnb, which laid down the gauntlet by saying it’s now “100%” in competition with online travel agencies.

Many hotels are seeking alternative channels that provide greater value through lower commissions and/or more efficient demand generation.

Technology

The modern guest experience & how hotels can achieve it in 2019

Jan 18, 2019 / Runtriz (sponsored)
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Shutterstock

What hotels need to know in order to appeal to the modern guest is this: the digital experience is the experience.

Ironically, the more it stays in the background, the better the guest experience is. What travelers are looking for is “experiences.”

Every single survey about what guests want will tell you this. They want to dig in, get local, and create singular memories that are hard to replicate. Nothing cookie cutter. When the technology doesn’t deliver at any stage, it interrupts the depth of the guest experience.