Distribution

Interview: Cyril Ranque, President, Expedia Group Lodging Partner Services

Feb 24, 2019 / Expedia
Expedia Group
Expedia Group

Expedia Group Lodging Partner Services (LPS) is responsible for sourcing lodging supply that reaches travellers in more than 70 countries through all of the Expedia Group brands.

Big hotels or big brands tend to have access to a lot of corporate functions, a lot of revenue management tools, marketing savvy and marketing departments. “They have dedicated resources to do everything they have to do. What we're doing is leveling the playing field.”

Therefore, LPS is building tools that are “extremely simple to use for small hotels but which put them in a competitive position versus the big guys. “In revenue management, we have a great tool called Rev+ which essentially provides any hotel, visibility on demand in their market, their competitive pricing versus their ‘compset’ in a real time manner, forecasting compression in the market, recommendations on pricing. These are usually services that only the big hotels have access to,” he said.

Loyalty Program

Marriott tests new pod format around Oscars to drive interest in Bonvoy

Feb 24, 2019 / Marriott
Marriott International
Marriott International

By rolling out a new campaign around the closely-watched Oscars broadcast, Marriott could drive greater awareness and consumer interest in Bonvoy.

Marriott will promote its new Marriott Bonvoy rewards program, which replaces the Marriott Rewards, Ritz-Carlton Rewards and Starwood Preferred Guest programs, through an extensive new campaign that launches around the Oscars this weekend.

The first TV spots will premiere during the awards broadcast on ABC on Feb. 24 in a 60-second commercial pod. The commercials were directed by Oscar-nominated filmmaker Jean-Pierre Jeunet, known for French film "Amelie," and depict different hotel vignettes using the word "Bonvoy."

The campaign, which carries the tagline "Rewards Reimagined," also includes digital video, mobile, print, social media, out-of-home and cinema integrations.

Related: Marriott plugs rebranded 'Bonvoy' rewards program amid some consumer confusion

Loyalty Program

IHG experimenting with dynamic pricing for reward bookings

Feb 24, 2019 / IHG
InterContinental Hotels Group
InterContinental Hotels Group

IHG plans to experiment with moving award pricing in its Rewards Club loyalty program to a dynamic model, which will allow it to price rooms according to demand.

The group plans to have the new model in place by the end of the year.

A spokesperson for IHG confirmed that the group is experimenting with dynamic pricing, saying “as part of a continued effort to enrich the value proposition for our IHG Rewards Club members, we’ll be introducing variable pricing on reward night redemptions."

Dynamic pricing allows for providers to adjust the price of an award booking as a function of current demand, sliding the cost of a room or airplane seat up or down as a function of market demand.

Distribution

Travelport's 2018 revenue up, profit down

Travelport
Travelport

Travelport on Friday reported 2018 revenue of $2.5 billion, a 4% increase from the year prior.

Travelport attributed the increase to growth in Travel Commerce Platform revenue. That was also the reason given for its 3% uptick in revenue in the fourth quarter, to $589 million.

The company's net income fell 46% in 2018, to $75 million. Travelport attributed that drop largely to a $72 million decrease in operating income and a $22 million increase in loss on early extinguishment of debt because of debt refinancing in March.

Travelport did not hold an earnings call Friday in light of its acquisition agreementwith Siris Capital Group and Evergreen Coast Capital Corp.

Digital Marketing

Google updates hotel reviews experience

Feb 24, 2019 / Google
Shutterstock
Shutterstock

Now, Desktop Google Maps displays reviews from both Google users and third-party providers via TrustYou.

Google announced in the Google My Business Help forums that they've updated how reviews work for hotels within the desktop search results.

Google added: With a consolidated list of reviews, users can make more informed decisions on Hotels directly from Maps. All hotels that work with one of the third-party providers are eligible for the unified hotel reviews section.

Distribution

Hotels, OTAs, wholesale and Booking.basic

Feb 24, 2019 / Triptease (sponsored)
Shutterstock
Shutterstock

Triptease's recent report on third-party rates on OTAs sparked a lot of interest and comment from hoteliers, so much so that it hosted a webinar to answer the most pressing questions.

Watch the full recording of Chief Tease Charlie Osmond in conversation with Product Manager Grace Santos-Murphy where they discuss why hotels find it so hard to deal with wholesale rates, explaining the Booking.basic rate, how to identify high-risk moments, and using lead time analysis to spot potential issues.

Why it matters: Booking.com are not doing this because it's going to be fun to have a war with hotels. They're doing this as a last-ditch attempt because they just know that they have to have better parity, and they can't afford to be undercut.

Digital Marketing

Tell your story through Instagram stories

Feb 24, 2019 / Net Affinity (sponsored)
Shutterstock
Shutterstock

As Facebook continues its frightening mission of taking over the world as we know it, we can’t help but notice the continual rise of stories throughout the vast universe of social media.

The nature of Instagram stories is that they’re raw, unpolished. Users play around with text, gifs, stickers, emojis ontop of rough’n’ready visuals that convey something their friends pick up on right away. It’s not real life… but it’s the next best thing.

As a brand, you might think you need to manicure your stories like a well-kept lawn, but you can choose to do quite the opposite.