Business Travel

Competition ramps up as firms vie to be the ‘Netflix of business travel’

Apr 23, 2019 / CWT
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Shutterstock

The ‘consumerisation’ of business travel is driving innovation in the sector as travelers demand more from their employers.

When Andrew Jordan, the CTO of Carlson Wagonlit Travel, joined the company, he was no expert in corporate travel. What he quickly recognised, however, was that this corner of the travel industry was ripe for disruption - there was no Netflix for corporate travel and that this was a niche that CWT could pivot its business model to fill.

CWT is certainly not the only company looking to innovate in what GBTA, the business travel association is forecasting to be a $1.7-trillion industry by 2022. Other corporate travel management companies like American Express Global Business Travel has partnered with Lola.com, the ‘agile travel management company’ launched by Paul English, the former founder of Kayak. Lola.com has recently secured $37-million in Series C funding after annual travel bookings rose by 423% and revenue growth was up 786% in 2018.

Products & Services

Oyo CEO shares plan for making the ‘most-loved’ brand

Apr 23, 2019 / OYO
Oyo
Oyo

In merely five years, India’s Oyo Rooms has grown from one property to more than 12,000 rooms in more than 500 cities. Its mission? To become “the most-loved hospitality brand in the world."

Oyo Rooms is one of the most significant hotel industry growth stories of recent years and attracted funding from major players, notably Japanese bank SoftBank Group and Airbnb.

Founded in 2013 by now 25-year-old Ritesh Agarwal, the company is now looking to expand internationally. Agarwal spoke with Hotel News Now about his brand, its expansion and the innovation needed to survive in today’s hospitality world.

Digital Marketing

Hoteliers remain steadfastly on the back foot with data

Apr 23, 2019 / Data
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Shutterstock

Hoteliers will only be able to compete with OTAs and other disruptors if hotel performance data sits squarely in the cloud and is able to be used by all.

Armed with better data, hoteliers then need to talk to one another, according to sources attending the European conference of Hospitality Sales & Marketing Association International.

Moderating the panel titled “Different voices,” Klaus Kohlmayr, chief evangelist of revenue-management consultancy Ideas Revenue Solutions, said this requirement was increasingly present due to the ease in which companies such as Google, Amazon and Apple could move into the hotel booking space.

Related: Highlights From HSMAI Europe’s ROC & DOC 2019

Distribution

Google Maps adds more hotel search filters

Apr 23, 2019 / Google
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Shutterstock

Users can now search properties to find ones with amenities such as free Wi-Fi, a gym, and a pool, and to see if they are pet-friendly or kid-friendly and have services like free breakfast or a gym.

The interface differs between the desktop browser version and the app versions for Apple and Android devices. In the browser-based view, users need to click the phrase “more options” to see the additional filters. Users of iOS devices can type a phrase like “San Francisco kid friendly,” for example, to see filtered results in a particular neighborhood.

The Maps product attracts many eyeballs and generates much user data. In recent months Google has been enabling hotels, restaurants, and other companies to buy ads that spotlight their locations or more prominently display their detailed listings when users run searches.

Skift: Google Maps becoming ready to morph into a superapp

Digital Marketing

Restaurant Local SEO: The Google characteristics of America’s top-ranked eateries

Apr 23, 2019 / SEO
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Shutterstock

Doing Local SEO for restaurants means managing a ton of different ingredients: website SEO, link building, review management, GBP signals, etc.

According to new MOZ research, an average 71 percent of competitors are revealing a glaring weakness by neglecting to respond to reviews.

About three-quarters of your competitors are completely ignoring Google Posts; gain the advantage by getting active.

Potential guests are asking nearly every competitor questions, and so many restaurants are leaving leads on the table by allowing random people to answer.

Digital Marketing

Google updates qualified rates in hotel ads on desktop

Apr 23, 2019 / Koddi (sponsored)
Google
Google

A qualified rate is a type of fenced rate that is shown to the user when a reduced loyalty program price is available through the property’s official site.

Google’s newest desktop user interface features the caption “GET PRICE” in all-caps, a larger font size, and in an eye-catching traffic-light green color.

While a seemingly small adjustment, it will likely have an impact on consumer clicks due to the standout coloring & size.

Digital Marketing

Next-gen hotel websites: The secret to converting digitally savvy travelers

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Shutterstock

The Amazons and Netflixes of the world have spoiled travelers. Unfortunately, most independent hotels still rely on what can best be described as brochureware websites.

E-commerce giants such as Amazon and Netflix have taught consumers that finding and buying their favorite products and services can be effortless and instant. Modern-day travelers expect the same level of convenience and personalization when they browse and book hotels.

While some hoteliers may think that these tactics can only be used by the biggest players with the deepest pockets, this is not true. Hotels can replicate key e-commerce tactics to ensure that their websites cater to digitally savvy travelers and compete with the best of them.