Business Travel

Global hotel brands create online marketplace for meetings

Aug 19, 2019 / Meeting Planners

A $50 million investment From Accor, Hilton, IHG, and Marriott will allow Groups360 to expand its platform to create an online sourcing and booking solution for simple meetings.

Leveraging Groups360’s innovative proprietary technology, business intelligence, and industry expertise, the enhanced GroupSync platform will offer transparent rates, fees and relevant meeting content across the meetings landscape. Groups360 expects to deliver access to group rooms and space availability, pricing and an “instant book” capability for less-complex meetings as part of its future product roadmap.

This functionality, along with other unique features, will ensure ease of use and meaningfully reduce friction for meeting and event planners. GroupSync™ will include content from a wide variety of brands and independent properties.

Products & Services

The Standard Hotels to launch app based on personal recommendations

Aug 19, 2019 / The Standard Hotels
The Standard, London
The Standard, London

Group aims to take on OTAs by ‘making everybody a travel agent.’

The company that owns The Standard hotel chain, known for its boutique properties on New York’s High Line and London’s King Cross, is seeking to break the dominance of online booking platforms with the launch of a recommendations-based app that it describes as “the first social travel agency”.

Amar Lalvani, Standard International’s chief executive, said the app - called Benny (from the phrase “friends with benefits”) - would allow people to recommend rooms to friends at the best rate, earning a commission, and wresting bookings away from the internet giants that increasingly dominate the hotels business.

He said that the venture was a reaction to the rise of OTAs, which because of their scale have eroded hoteliers’ profitability and prompted a wave of industry consolidation.

First look: Why The Standard is London’s hottest new hotel to know


Airbnb records 30% growth rate in Q1

Aug 19, 2019 / Airbnb

Airbnb Inc recorded $9.4 billion in total booking value in the first quarter, up 31% from the year-ago quarter.

A key number that could help pull in investors as the home-sharing company plans its foray into the public market.

The San Francisco-based home rentals company booked 91 million nights on its platform in the quarter, leading to the surge in total booking value, which measures the transaction dollars on its platform.

Related: Airbnb reaches seven out of ten properties available for instant booking

Digital Marketing

Report: Half of Google searches don’t get clicked

Aug 19, 2019 / SEO

While users are increasingly getting their answers without clicking through to an actual website, clicks for desktop searches have remained basically consistent for the past few years.

The organic click-through-rates for desktop searches fall from 68% in 2016 to 66% today. By contrast, the same metric in mobile has fallen from 44% to 36% over the same span.

Lastly, while traffic to PPC ads has been fairly steady on desktop searches, it has risen for mobile users, growing from 3.34% in 2016 to 11.38% in 2019.

More alarming, perhaps, than any of this data is another search algorithm tendency summarized in the report. Google Search frequently directs traffic to content held by company subsidiaries. Google Maps, YouTube, and Google Images represent significant traffic pathways.

Digital Marketing

How should my hotel market to “Bleisure” travelers?

Aug 19, 2019 / Screen Pilot (sponsored)

Don’t overthink it. Marketing to bleisure travelers can mimic your normal marketing efforts.

Travelers, on average, are adding on 2-3 days of leisure travel on top of a business trip, resulting in more revenue for a hotel and filled inventory on days where occupancy slows down.

Similar to different marketing strategies for “fly markets” and “drive markets”, bleisure should include the same objectives and tactics. Channels to prioritize include website (content and offers), paid search, organic social media, and paid social media.