Market Data

Chinese tourism to U.S. drops for 1st time in 15 years

May 28, 2019 / China
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Shutterstock

After more than a decade of rapid growth, Chinese travel to the U.S. is falling. And that has cities, malls and other tourist spots scrambling to reverse the trend.

Travel from China to the U.S. fell 5.7% in 2018 to 2.9 million visitors, according to the National Travel and Tourism Office, which collects data from U.S. Customs forms.

Friction between the U.S. and China is one reason for the slowdown. Another is China's U.S. travel warning last summer, telling its citizens to beware of shootings, robberies and high costs for medical care.

Distribution

Airbnb signs Shiji distribution deal to bolster China hotel strategy

May 28, 2019 / Airbnb
Getty Images
Getty Images

Airbnb has another distribution partner to help boost its hotel inventory. But this time it is aimed squarely at expanding its presence in China.

The agreement is similar to others that have been signed (beginning with SiteMinder) that give hotels the chance to distribute their content on Airbnb since it officially opened up to non-private accommodation in early-2018.

This particular deal, with Shiji Distribution Solutions, is aimed primarily at giving hotels and other accommodation providers in China the opportunity to get content on Airbnb.

Distribution

Thomas Cook to become ‘online holiday marketplace’

May 28, 2019 / Thomas Cook
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Shutterstock

Thomas Cook is reported to be considering a radical overhaul of its business to become an online aggregator.

According to The Telegraph, Thomas Cook held meetings with shareholders last week and is to focus on its website which would allow users to curate their own holiday.

Third-party airlines and hotels as well as excursions would be on offer to create a “pseudo-aggregator” model. The newspaper said the changes were part of a strategy to become an “asset-light” business.

Digital Marketing

Shangri-la Hotels launches WeChat based e-services

May 28, 2019 / Shangri-La
Shangri-La Hotels & Resorts
Shangri-La Hotels & Resorts

Powered by Shangri-La WeChat Mini Program, guests will be brought on a seamless digital journey from the time they search, book, check-in/check-out to deposit payment.

Shangri-La Group will kick off the launch of WeChat Mini Programme and WeChat online pay services on 1 June 2019. This makes Shangri-La the first hotel company to offer a range of e-services under the WeChat eco-system including online pay and offline deposit for guests with WeChat accounts.

By personalising their experience through WeChat functionalities, Shangri-La guests can look forward to enjoying greater convenience and stay experience, as well as enhanced communications via social media engagement on the WeChat platform.

Distribution

Google on leveraging machine learning in travel search

May 28, 2019 / Google
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Shutterstock

Consumers check dozens of websites before making a purchase of a travel product and often spend hours, days and weeks doing so. But some are beginning to change their search and browsing habits.

Other products becoming more prominent earlier in the journey. These include elements such as activities and experiences, which find themselves being considered alongside the more functional parts of a trip (getting to a destination and where to stay).

Google, of course, is at the heart of all this and sits on enormous amounts of data that, it says, helps create a better search experience for travelers. What is new in recent years is the role of machine learning and how it influences that process.

Digital Marketing

Using targeted messages to strengthen your brand online

May 28, 2019 / Triptease (sponsored)
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Shutterstock

So that’s visual brand consistency taken care of - but how can a hotel provide precision messaging that doesn’t feel disruptive for a hotel’s potential customers?

How do you give them an experience on your website that ensures your brand feels personal and helpful, rather than intrusive?

The answer to that circles back around to one of our favorite topics here at Triptease - personalized messaging. Building up a range of Targeted Messages that compliment the booking journey and feel tailored to each customer perpetuates the idea that the hotel provides an equally helpful and tailored service to guests in person.

Digital Marketing

Data snaps: Are tech titans breaking through or steadily moving in?

May 28, 2019 / SnapShot (sponsored)
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Shutterstock

Learn what Amazon and Google are up to, which AI trends to watch out for, and how hospitality technology is changing to keep up with the pace.

Alexa, book me a flight to New Delhi. Okay, maybe we’re not there yet, but Amazon has now added flights to its long list of services. According to Skift’s article, Amazon has partnered with India-based OTA Cleartrip to offer domestic flights within India to its platform.

While it might be seen as a baby step into the industry by some, it’s still a major move by a big technology player.