Distribution

Trivago reports hotel rate drop

Dec 18, 2018 / Trivago
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Shutterstock

London, Madrid and Rome were the only European capitals that showed an overall drop in hotel prices this year

Rates fell by 7% in the UK capital, while prices were down by 1% year-on-year in Madrid and Rome.

New York City had the most expensive rates listed global matasearch site with an average overall rate of €187, followed by San Francisco where a standard double room cost €174. Amsterdam and Zurich were most expensive for a hotel stay in Europe with average nightly rates of €151.

The cities with the lowest average hotel prices in Europe were Istanbul, with an average rate of €61, and Warsaw at €63.

Business Travel

Corporate market backs away from direct

Dec 18, 2018 / GBTA
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Shutterstock

Business travelers were returning to using corporate booking tools after a move into using suppliers directly

According to a study from SAP Concur and GBTA, the shift was caused in part by more options now being available to the corporate platforms, as platforms such as Airbnb have been integrated.

The report found that booking flights and accommodation direct from suppliers had falling over the past year, from 81% in 2017 to 69%.

The number of European business travelers who booked flights directly with an airline fell from 79% in 2017 to 68% in 2018. During the same period, the number booking hotel accommodation directly dropped from 83% in 2017 to 70%.

Distribution

Sale could be welcome reset for Travelport

Travelport
Travelport

The acquisition could help Travelport overcome operational and financial hurdles and make it a stronger company

Henry Harteveldt, industry analyst and founder of Atmosphere Research Group, said the potential acquisition "is the chance for a reset for Travelport."

"Travelport has not evolved itself to the same extent as Amadeus and Sabre, its two primary competitors, over the past few years," he said. "The challenge that poses to Travelport is that investors want to see not just profits but growth, and while Travelport has some very helpful business units -- like eNett, which does payments -- it shed its IT services for airlines, and that's really where the growth is, or one of the growth areas."

He also said Travelport has been less successful than its peers in creating products, pointing specifically to products for hotels.

Technology

Are Alexa, Siri and Instagram our new personal travel agents?

Dec 18, 2018 / Voice Recognition
Amazon
Amazon

Developments in voice and visual search technologies over the last few years have brought big changes in how we search and book travel

We can now find a flight using an Instagram photo, ask Siri to check our flight updates and speak to Alexa to search for car rentals or hotels.

All of this is making it easier to book and manage trips (maybe even too easy, as one easyJet app reviewer said) and it’s thanks to mobile. Our smartphones have become essential tools for booking travel, with Alexa, Siri and Instagram our own personal travel agents ready to find us our next trip.

Technology

Google Assistant now predicts flight delays

Dec 18, 2018 / AI
Google
Google

The company announced proactive flight notifications from the Google Assistant and in Google Flights

The first of the new features concerns flight delay predictions, which Google rolled out earlier this year. The search giant says that - thanks to a combination of historic flight status and sophisticated machine learning - it is 85 percent confident in predicting flights that will eventually be delayed before the airlines confirm such delays.

Starting this week, the Google Assistant will now show if a flight you’ve booked is expected to be delayed when you ask things like “Hey Google, is my flight on time?” You can check the status of other flights, too, specifying the airline, origin, and destination: “Hey Google, what’s the status of the American Airlines flight from Philadelphia to Denver?”

Additionally, Google says that over the next few weeks the Google Assistant will begin sending proactive notifications if Google Flights predicts a delay, along with an explanation of what caused the delay and when it might be resolved.

Market Data

How hotels can win over older luxury travelers

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Shutterstock

Americans 55 and older account for 41.6% of consumer spending, yet they’re frequently overlooked by advertisers more intent on targeting Millennials

The cliches of what older luxury travelers want from a vacation are changing. Instead of lounging by the pool with a cocktail in hand, older generations increasingly seek out far-flung destinations looking for adventure and one-of-a-kind experiences. When it comes to international trips, a recent AARP Travel survey found that the majority of Boomers travel overseas on a bucket list trip (22%), compared with 13% of Gen Xs, and just 6% of Millennials.

Baby boomers take fewer trips than other demographics, but when they do travel, they spend a lot more. According to research by Phocuswright, travelers aged 55 and above are more likely to spend over $1,000 per trip. And nearly half of Boomer travelers spend approximately $3,000 per year on travel, which makes them the highest spending of all age groups.

Reputation Management

Responding is crucial to online reputation

Dec 18, 2018 /
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Shutterstock

Responses need to show empathy, have a human tone and above all not appear to be ‘canned’

Acknowledge if there has been a problem, offer a solution or show how the problem will be solved, and confirm that it will not happen again.

Responding to reviews shows that your establishment is listening, cares about the issues that have negatively impacted guest experiences and that you are open to suggestions to improve. ReviewPro recommends that hoteliers respond to 100 per cent of negative reviews, and a selection of neutral and positive ones.