Technology

Expedia on emerging tech

Jun 23, 2019 / AI
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Shutterstock

Speaking with PhocusWire at Expedia Group’s first Research Summit, the company shares its thoughts on new technologies - from the good, to the bad, to the blockchain - and their potential impact on the industry.

It’s easy to get swept up in the promises of emerging technologies: You’ve heard it once, and you’ll hear again how things like blockchain and Amazon’s Alexa are disrupting the travel industry, fundamentally changing how trips will be bought and sold.

But when does the talk turn from promise and buzz to practical application in the travel space? It’s a bit tricky, to say the least, to develop and scale new technologies that truly improve the traveler experience.

Branding

How Bonvoy unites Marriott brand family

Jun 23, 2019 / Marriott
Marriott International
Marriott International

How the company’s loyalty program is positioned to buck the trend toward an overall performance growth slowdown in the hotel industry.

When broader economic issues cause a slowdown, or breakdown, in the industry, the most important tool in the toolbox for Marriott International is brand relevance, according to EVP and CFO Leeny Oberg.

That means “keeping up with the new and latest, greatest trends of what our customers want in the various brands,” as well as “working with our owners to keep those hotels new and fresh with the design and the state of the product that our guests are staying in,” she said. The company’s loyalty program, Marriott Bonvoy, plays a big role in that effort.

Revenue Management

5 obstacles to revenue management’s evolution

Jun 23, 2019 / HSMAI
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The process of evolving the revenue-management discipline to focus more on strategy for hotels is an ongoing effort, but there are a few key areas in need of improvement.

It’s often mentioned at industry events that hotel revenue managers need to evolve their work beyond day-to-day rate management to long-term strategic thinking, but one former revenue manager has five ways hoteliers need to help ease that transition.

Speaking during the keynote address at the 2019 HSMAI Revenue Optimization Conference, Dave Roberts, a professor at Virginia Tech University, said revenue managers need to remember that the future of the discipline is not set in stone, but it’ll likely be some mix of man and machine, hopefully to man’s benefit.

Products & Services

The rise of the vegan hotel

Jun 23, 2019 / F&B
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Shutterstock

Veganism is no longer simply about what you eat. The travel industry is also hopping on board the ethical train, and becoming more plant-based.

Now vegan travellers can do everything from book speciality food tours to kip at vegan-friendly hotels – with not a sausage in sight (well, only veggie ones).

Paul Eyers, co-founder of Vegan Food Quest, has noticed an immense difference in the offerings for vegan travellers in the past five years. He says: “Huge international brands now offer vegan menu options, whereas before you would need to rely on communicating your dietary requirements directly – and keep your fingers crossed that they were understood!”

Reputation Management

TripAdvisor: Does ‘wisdom of crowds’ theory fail when applied to online review sites?

Jun 23, 2019 / TripAdvisor
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When it comes to user-contributed review sites, the time-tested theory of collective intelligence fails the grade.

If the wisdom of crowds is truly operating on TripAdvisor then, while 760 million reviews can’t be wrong on average, most or even all of them individually can be wildly off the mark. And, of course, it’s the number of reviews on a particular topic that counts, not the grand total on millions of topics.

But enthusiasts for such sites seem to feel instinctively that some sort of averaging does need to take place, and that they can do it for themselves to arrive at an accurate result. For many reasons, they are mistaken.

Data Protection

What do hotels need to do to prepare for Strong Customer Authentication?

Jun 23, 2019 / Triptease (sponsored)
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Written across European Union law at the beginning of 2018, the legal obligations for Strong Customer Authentication (SCA) come into effect on September 14th.

This new regulation requires the entirety of the distribution chain, including hotels, booking engines and OTAs, to make drastic changes to the way they collect payments - yet only 5% of merchants aware of SCA, with less than three months until it starts to be enforced.

To get to the bottom of this looming regulatory hurdle, Lily McIlwain, Head of Marketing at Triptease, reached out to a number of parties involved with the implementation of SCA. Here are her findings, including some crucial next steps that needed to be urgently taken to start the process of compliance in time for the impending September deadline.

Distribution

The hoteliers’ essential checklist for ADA compliance

Jun 23, 2019 / Website Design
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To help navigate the tricky world of ADA compliance, this article from Travel Tripper offers an essential hoteliers’ checklist.

Why should your website be ADA compliant? The number of non-compliance lawsuits tripled year-over-year at the end of 2018, reaching over 2,250 cases. In 2019, that number looks set to increase once again. In many cases, these lawsuits are opportunistic in nature and catch hotels off guard.

Aside from the legal and financial ramifications, your hotel website should be ADA compliant for the simple reason that it’s the right thing to do. Anyone with disabilities should be able to enjoy an unhindered experience of your website. Easy navigation, intuitive design, and clear and accessible content are all essential elements that require careful consideration.