UK: Competition watchdog outlines changes imposed on OTAs

Feb 27, 2019 / OTAs

The authority has published “principles” to help businesses in the sector comply with consumer law.

The guidance covers search rankings, reference prices, hidden charges and pressure selling and must be implement by September 1st, 2019.

OTAs must now prominently inform customers if the money they earn on bookings or "clicks" affects the order of results the customer sees. Presenting discounts by using “strikethrough” prices or savings claims – must be on a “like for like” basis. And statements about availability must tell the whole story, for example "XX people have viewed this property in the last 30 minutes for different dates."

Related: Booking.com, Expedia & Co were misleading users


Airbnb's fastest growth is in emerging markets

Feb 27, 2019 / Airbnb

Forget SF and New York, the future of Airbnb is in Kathmandu and Lima.

In a new report, the company noted that these so-called “emerging markets” currently make up its 25 fastest-growing countries for guest arrivals.

Currently, more than 30% of listings on the site are in those regions. By 2030, they expect that more than 400 million users will have checked into an Airbnb in an emerging market since 2008.

Airbnb’s success in emerging markets is indicative of another global trend: It’s not just that travelers in Airbnb’s more mature markets are traveling more to countries in Africa or Asia, but that more people are traveling within large countries like India and China too.

Report: Emerging Markets: Powering Airbnb’s Global Growth Report

Business Travel

BCD Meeting & Events reports record growth

Feb 27, 2019 / BCD Travel
BCD Meetings & Events
BCD Meetings & Events

The meetings and events specialist’s footprint grew 218 per cent and it implemented a suite of expanded products and services – now serving clients in more than 50 countries worldwide.

BCD M&E has completed a three-year strategic plan that has resulted in the company experience record growth. Total sales increased 141 per cent, while the company has grown its employee base by 117 per cent.

Over the last three years, BCD M&E has also seen the completion of four dedicated meetings and events acquisitions – Universal Meetings Management and Plan 365 in the US, Zibrant in the UK and Grass Roots Meetings & Events in EMEA and the US. In addition, the company made acquisitions in China, Colombia, Poland, Hong Kong, Germany, Switzerland, Norway and Sweden.

Products & Services

Cornell: Technology shifts dynamics of hotel guest interactions

Feb 27, 2019 / Guest Experience

Two key elements of this shift are that service providers now have fewer opportunities for direct interaction with guests, and interactions may often be the result of service failures.

With automated solutions now able to take care of some of the more “simple” or straight-forward tasks required to deliver a service experience, what remains are the components for which human beings are particularly adept and well suited, including complex interactions or those that involve addressing exceptions or difficulties.

In these face-to-face encounters, employees’ ability to effectively manage the emotional components of the guest interaction can make a major contribution to a guest’s satisfaction with the outcome.

In a preliminary Cornell study, relatively intense training of hotel front-desk employees, using a blend of online and face-to-face training, changed employee behaviors in a way that guests reported an improvement in staff helpfulness.

Digital Marketing

3 ways the digital traveler is changing - and 3 ways marketers can keep up

Feb 27, 2019 / Inbound Marketing

The digital revolution has transformed the travel industry. McKinsey’s Alex Dichter digs into the data to understand what these changes mean for marketers.

While technology has democratized the act of researching and booking a vacation, it’s also created what psychologists call the paradox of choice. The more options we have, the more anxious and undecided we feel. For example, the average accommodation purchase journey lasts an incredible 36 days and involves 45 touchpoints across several devices and types of website.

What it means for travel marketers: Travel shoppers are already facing a lot of noise. Instead of adding to the cacophony, help them make sense of it by being there in their moment of need with a relevant product or service. That’s never been easier than with the technologies at your disposal today.

Google: 5 principles of effective mobile landing pages for travel marketers


The Direct Booking Summit: Asia-Pacific opens its doors

Feb 27, 2019 / Triptease (sponsored)

The inaugural Direct Booking Summit: Asia-Pacific opened its doors yesterday for a record number of attendees. Here's what went down on day one.

Early-rising hoteliers joined an 8am workshop with Erik Tengen, CEO and Co-Founder at Oaky, on creating unique guest experiences with personalised upselling techniques. "Convenience is the new luxury," Erik explained to the audience. "Netflix, Spotify, Dominos - they all offer something that is incredibly relevant to the individual at the touch of a button. This is how upselling should be done."

First up came a panel discussion on optimizing your acquisition channels with speakers from The Fullerton, Dewa Phuket Resort, Swiss-Belhotel International and Stackla. Moderated by Adrian Caruso, Founder and Managing Director at Fastrack Group, the panel revealed their best practices for channel-by-channel analysis.

Revenue Management

How resorts are tapping into personalized pricing without using personal data

Feb 27, 2019 / IDeaS (sponsored)

Cansomeone’s shopping behavior, social media activity and history as a customer be married together to arrive at the optimal room rate for just that consumer?

With rising concerns over personally identifiable information, algorithmic biases and more and more technology entering our industry, is that level of encroachment feasible or even desirable anymore?

Resorts are achieving personalized pricing without the need for such personal data from the consumer, and they are doing this at very granular levels thanks to some revenue science and strategy.