Business Travel

A year later, group commission cuts still sting

Jan 23, 2019 / Marriott
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Though roughly a year has passed since Marriott kicked off a wave of group booking commission cuts, travel advisers and meetings planners are still reeling from the blow.

Last January, Marriott became the first major hotel group to announce that it would reduce its commissions on group bookings at North American properties from 10% to 7%, effective March 31, 2018.

Hilton and InterContinental Hotel Group quickly followed suit, bringing their group bookings commission rates in line with Marriott's. Hyatt, meanwhile, hopped on the bandwagon in November, with its 7% group bookings commission rate set to start with business booked in the U.S. on or after Feb. 1.

Bonni Scepkowski, president and chief strategy officer for Stellar Meetings & Events, said, "We're adjusting, but it's been really disappointing. Since Marriott took that first leap, everyone has followed, including companies that said they wouldn't, like Hyatt."

Products & Services

Airbnb-hotel hybrids offer more homey comfort with less risk

Jan 23, 2019 / Hotel Design
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Now a new crop of startups is offering a hybrid alternative: apartment hotels, lodging that promises the comfort and roominess of a homestay (minus the flaky homeowner) with the consistency and in-room amenities of a hotel.

New York–based upstart Domio - which just raised a $12 million series A - snags long-term leases on buildings or units in mixed-use apartment complexes, then converts them into sleekly furnished pads with hotel-esque perks. Last year, competing apartment-hoteliers TurnKey and Sonder raised $31 million and $85 million, respectively.

These companies claim to offer travelers prices up to 25 percent lower than similarly sized hotels by, for instance, sliding into height-restricted, less touristy neighborhoods and swapping staff for smartphone check-ins and chatbot concierges.

Even traditional hoteliers are wooing Airbnbers: Last spring Marriott introduced a pilot program of vetted homestays called Tribute Portfolio Homes.

Products & Services

Hotel brands launched in 2018 target experience-driven guests

Jan 23, 2019 / Hotel Design
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From Aiden to Zip, 2018’s hotel brand launches encompass everything from extended-stay concepts to lifestyle offerings.

Hotel brand launches in 2018 ranged from extended-stay offerings to pod-style products, but all have one element in common: They’re designed to appeal to travelers seeking various authentic experiences.

2018’s launches include urban properties and secondary city offerings across various classes and segments. Here's a snapshot of brands announced in 2018.

Digital Marketing

What's next for intent data in the travel industry?

Jan 23, 2019 / Data
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While the travel industry was at the forefront of e-commerce, it wasn’t nearly as fast to harness technology for people-based marketing.

Today, travel brands face stiff competition from online travel agents and third-party booking websites as they battle for share of travel and wallet.

In response, travel brands are working diligently to determine how to best use data and technology to deliver the type of highly relevant and personalized messages that lead to direct bookings.

The key to the future of travel brands’ digital transformation lies in their ability to move beyond the use of intent data - behavioral signals and specific browsing activities - to inform marketing programs.

Digital Marketing

How Google approaches SEO

Jan 23, 2019 / SEO
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Google’s own Website Optimization Expert shares a rare glimpse into the company’s internal SEO practices.

When it comes to how Google sites appear in Search, they receive the same treatment as any other site on the web, and its teams follow the same external guidelines provided to webmasters.

That’s why the company put in place a cohesive website SEO strategy that it can rely on no matter what fresh changes are introduced - and that anyone else with a website can learn from.

Distribution

Ryanair and SiteMinder partnership takes off for European hotels

Jan 23, 2019 / SiteMinder (sponsored)
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Ryanair and SiteMinder announced a partnership to provide European hotels direct access to sell their properties on Ryanair Rooms.

Ryanair Rooms is the only hotel booking website that gives hotel guests 10% of the hotel booking price back in flight credit, to use against Ryanair flights. The website is now available as a distribution channel to SiteMinder’s 30,000 hotel customers across Europe and around the world, which can now offer their guests a new incentive to ‘Go Direct’.

Ryanair Rooms gives hotels access to 140 million customers on Europe’s No.1 travel platform, Ryanair.com, attracting 1 billion visits per annum and offering over 10 million rooms at more than 400,000 properties, from 2 to 5 stars.

Digital Marketing

Instagram Stories vs. Facebook Stories?

Jan 23, 2019 / Screen Pilot (sponsored)
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Shutterstock

Online marketing for hotels is being made easier and easier by the day thanks to apps and social networks like Facebook and Instagram.

When it comes to posting photos and updates of your property in a matter of minutes or re-sharing user-generated content and experiences, nowadays updates and promotional posts can be made in a matter of seconds with Stories.

If your hotel marketing teams haven’t taken advantage of this feature for both Facebook and Instagram, here’s why they should.