Market Data

Amsterdam raises tourist tax to the 'highest in Europe'

Sep 29, 2019 / Europe
Shutterstock
Shutterstock

The Dutch capital will be adding a levy of €3 per person per night for travelers staying overnight in hotels. That's in addition to the 7% of the room rate it currently charges.

The move means that a night in a one-star hotel in Amsterdam will almost certainly incur a higher tax levy than the top five-star hotels in other major European capitals.

Amsterdam has been plagued by over-tourism, with 18 million annual visitors descending on its 867,000 residents. Yet, a spokesperson for Amsterdam city council denied that the raised taxes were planned to deter tourists, calling it a point of "principle" to make visitors pay their way in the city.

Distribution

Sonder takes Airbnb-aesthetic to hotels in New York, London

Sep 29, 2019 / Sonder
Sonder
Sonder

Sonder targets the sweet spot between a home and a hotel, merging the vibe of an Airbnb in a hip neighborhood with the convenience of a hotel’s 24/7 concierge and professionally cleaned sheets.

In the past year, hotel chains and home-sharing sites have started encroaching on each other’s turf. Airbnb Inc.advertises hotel rooms on its platform and Marriott International Inc. recently launched a home-stay offering.

The latest player to blur the lines is short-term rental start up Sonder. The San Francisco-based hospitality company is expanding beyond its network of custom-designed vacation apartments, signing leases with 17 off-the-beaten-path, mom-and-pop style hotels in New York, London, Dublin and other cities in recent months – and is negotiating an additional 40 properties.

Market Data

Chinese tourists are embracing ‘themed travel’

Sep 29, 2019 / China
Shutterstock
Shutterstock

Themed travel is a relatively new tourism category identified by markers, including concepts such as health and wellness, wedding photography and self-drive tours.

“Having new experiences is important when it comes to traveling,” explains Saskia Zhao, travel and leisure analyst at Mintel China Reports. “In light of this, companies in China’s travel industry are moving beyond simply offering traditional travel products and are introducing themed travel to the market.

“There are two ways in which themed travel is commonly defined in China: by travel method, for example self-drive tours, or travel itinerary, for example photography or wedding themed. Our research shows that hobbies and in-depth travel experiences are what’s motivating Chinese consumers to try themed travel,” she said.

Market Data

McKinsey: China digital consumer trends in 2019

Sep 29, 2019 / China
Shutterstock
Shutterstock

New research from a survey of 4,300 Chinese consumers suggests a path forward for brands and marketers seeking the next wave of growth.

The country’s 855 million digital consumers - among some of the most avid users of mobile phones and social media in the world - represent one of the biggest prizes for global marketers.

But things are getting a lot tougher: growth of online retail sales is cooling, dipping from the heady 40 and 50 percent annual rates seen in the early part of the decade to 25 percent compound annual growth in the past few years.

These and other challenges - such as the rising sophistication of Chinese consumers - are upping the ante for consumer-facing companies. Brands looking for the next wave of digitally fueled growth in China are grappling with a number of thorny questions.

Digital Marketing

The essential website strategy checklist for hoteliers

Shutterstock
Shutterstock

To build a powerful, conversion-focused website, you need to feature the content guests are really looking for and give them an intuitive browsing experience.

Your website should make it easy for users to choose between room options. One approach is to use bullet points to highlight each room’s main amenities. Splitting room details up across multiple pages also removes information overload, helping guests with their booking decision.

And make sure your offers clearly highlight value, both in terms of the offer name and direct booking benefits. Your customers should know exactly what they stand to benefit.