Marriott, Hilton CEOs join group calling for federal action on Brand USA

Sep 22, 2019 / Brand USA
Brand USA
Brand USA

Brand USA, the nation's tourism marketing arm, faces de-funding in 2021 if Congress doesn’t act.

The government's portion is collected from travelers to the U.S. through the $10 Electronic System for Travel Authorization fee. That fee has supported Brand USA since its inception in 2011.

While Congress voted in February 2018 to keep collecting the ESTA fees, it rerouted that money to the general fund, rather than reserving it for Brand USA.

Executives from 15 hospitality and travel companies, who met in D.C. at the U.S. Travel Association's annual CEO Roundtable, asked Congress and the Trump administration to reauthorize that dedicated funding.


Behind Airbnb’s purchase of HotelTonight and push into hotels

Sep 22, 2019 / Airbnb

Sam Shank, co-founder of HotelTonight, now heads up Airbnb’s hotel division and spoke about the push last week at the Skift conference in NY.

Shank noted that his team is building out the hotel category on Airbnb for the San Francisco-based company, which purchased HotelTonight, an app that popularized the last-minute booking trend, in March.

While Airbnb was built for homes, it began venturing further into hotels by adding boutique listings more than two years ago. “We’re very excited about the progress,” Shank said, as he promised, “more to come.” He noted the challenge of being “supplier friendly” and of delivering incremental revenue for the hotels that use the Airbnb platform.

Market Data

Travel bookings plummet to and from the UK

Sep 22, 2019 / UK

New research from predictive traveller intelligence company ADARA has revealed the impact of uncertainty around Brexit on both inbound and outbound travel to and from the UK.

The data compares the level of bookings and searches in late August 2018 for travel into and out of the UK for November-December 2018 with the same dates in 2019. In line with the UK’s continued position as a premier travel destination, inbound travel searches cumulatively increased by 8%, however despite the increase in searches inbound bookings were down by 2% compared to last year.

The report found that the top five origins for inbound travel into the UK all experienced significant declines in bookings with New Zealand travelers showing a 31% decline, followed by Singapore (23%), Australia (16%) and India (13%). The exception was the US which received an increase of 8% more bookings and a 6% increase in searches, perhaps due to favorable exchange rates.


Travel companions

Sep 22, 2019 / Ctrip

As the line between online travel booking and shopping blurs in China, brands are partnering with travel platforms to advertise to users while they plan their trips.

Some brands even encourage shoppers to place orders for items ahead of time. Top Chinese travel booking platform Ctrip has emerged as a travel marketing vehicle for brands.

Brands working with Ctrip include Bulgari, Tom Ford, Shiseido, Estée Lauder, and MAC Cosmetics, which have all promoted international or duty-free shopping in partnership with the platform according to Gartner L2’s report on the topic. Louis Vuitton advertised its VVV exhibition through Ctrip, and the platform organized a special visit to the exhibition for its VIP customers.

Digital Marketing

What not to do with your data and technology in hotels

Sep 22, 2019 / SnapShot (sponsored)

In today’s advancing technological age, finding the right balance between technology and human touch is becoming more and more difficult, but also even more important than ever before.

With the amount of technology available to the industry, it’s tempting to simply find the newest and most innovative tools to streamline your business and cut as many costs as possible.

However, it’s crucial to stop and think about what is really best for your business and which tools are the best fit and will bring the most productivity to your business without sacrificing the guest experience. With enough research and advice from experts, there is a way to find the best solution for your hotel business.