Weekly Roundup #12: Travel, Tech, and Social Media

Week 12/2019

A new Weekly Roundup marks the end of another productive week in hospitality and travel. Make yourself comfortable and check out the news and stories that were published lately - we summarized them for you so you could quickly recap them before the weekend. Don’t forget to follow us on social media for even more content and updates: we are on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.

Have a lovely weekend and see you next Friday!

 

Industry News

Best Western’s New Corporate Brand BWH Hotel Group Signals Big Changes:

BWH combines the initials of Best Western and WorldHotels, which Best Western acquired fully a month ago. It is significant not only because it will replace the Best Western corporate identity that has been around since 1966 (although the chain was founded in 1946) but because it marks its evolution from a mid-market player to one that offers, for the first time, upper upscale and luxury segments. That’s thanks to the roughly 300 WorldHotels members and Kong is confident this will double to 600 hotels in just a few years. BWH is a private company and does not disclose its financials. Read more insights in the extended Skift article.

Hospitality Rate Growth Remains Steady Despite Booking Declines Across North America: TravelClick released this week new data from the Company’s February 2019 North American Hospitality Review (NAHR). According to this data, average daily rates (ADR) are up 2.7 percent across all travel segments during the first quarter of the year, led by group travel, up 3.8 percent. Similarly, the transient business and transient leisure travel segments are also up 2.1 percent and 2.2 percent, respectively. However, bookings have taken a dip this quarter, down -4.5 percent overall. Revenue per available room (RevPAR) is down, as well, except for group travel, which is slightly up 0.5 percent. Transient reservations are slowing.

OTA Dominance Coming Under Threat:

STR Consumer Travel Insight reports indicate that OTAs are facing rising pressures due to shifting traveler perceptions. The key driver in using OTAs - namely, “to see all accommodation options” - reveals a vulnerability that OTAs have to other services which offer accommodation search features. The most obvious example of this is Google, which has been encroaching on OTAs for some time. The most important reason to use OTAs, cited by more than half of customers, could be the reason why they might lose travelers to new platforms and technology in years to come. As a consequence, there appears to be a serious risk of potential customers being intercepted before reaching OTA services, by Google or perhaps the return of Amazon to the travel space.

 

Trends and Insights

5 Revenue-Generating Technologies – Using Hotel Tech to Drive More Profit:

When we talk about tech innovations, what normally first pops into mind is the investment that these systems require, both from a financial and time perspective. But the reason why we’re slowly but surely putting a stop to tech-related skepticism is what awaits for us after the finish line: a better guest experience, a significant improvement in reputation, and of course, profit. Working in a highly competitive industry and in a world dominated by smart technologies, the question that arises in every hotelier’s mind is “What has the most potential for revenue-generation?” After all, it’s only natural to focus on driving the highest profit after making any type of investment. This is exactly why we focused on answering this pressing question and exploring the 5 best revenue-generating hotel technologies, from live chat to AI and feedback platforms.

VIDEO: TripAdvisor on Connecting Tours and Activities in Many Ways:

The acquisition of Viator by TripAdvisor in 2014 for $200 million was part of a strategic shift at the company to give visitors more than just hotel reviews and product search. That focus on tours and activities increased further in 2018 when Bokun, a reservation system and tech provider for the sector, was bought for an undisclosed fee (coming the same week as Booking Holdings and its deal to buy rival platform FareHarbor). Almost a year on, TripAdvisor's mission to connect as many suppliers as it can to online bookings continues apace. PhocusWire spoke with Ben Drew, vice president of business development and strategy at TripAdvisor, during the recent Arival Europe 2019 event and you can check out the discussion in this video.

Loyalty Programs to Increase Hotel Benefits up to 25%:

In a context in which hoteliers compete with large OTAs to attract the customer, loyalty programs become indispensable for a good direct sales strategy. This is confirmed by the latest figures published by Roiback, a company based in Palma de Mallorca (Spain) and specialist and leader in the management of hotel direct sales. The Mallorcan tech company has stated that loyal customers spend on average 22.4% more than sporadic customers and have longer stays (almost 30%). In addition, the customer's expenditure level grows progressively year after year and their frequency of purchase increases: a loyal customer will buy 10 times more during their life cycle than a new customer. Thus, a repetition rate of 5% can triple the annual growth of a company and its profits up to 25% per year.

 

Technology

Blending Technology and the Customer Experience:

Guest-facing hotel technology can take many forms, and brand executives say it’s important to prioritize spending so it matches what guests want. Seamless functionality and personalization are top on the customer-facing technology priorities list for many hotel companies, though how each interprets those trends depends largely on what their guests want. The top tech demands for millennial travelers, in particular, is still fast and free Wi-Fi, followed by climate control capabilities, USB charging ports and a well-functioning hotel app. Tech is seen as smoothing the hassle of processes, not replacing the human interaction.

7 Latest Technology Trends Used in the Hospitality Industry:

Keeping up with the latest technology trends is essential for those operating in the hospitality industry because the industry itself is extremely competitive. This means that those who fail to adapt can quickly find that they are being left behind by hotel and travel companies that have implemented new approaches and ideas. In this article, you will find seven of the latest technology trends that hospitality companies should be aware of, from recognition technology, robots, virtual reality, and much more.

 

Laura Badiu

Laura is a passionate bookworm and a gifted writer. Since joining TrustYou’s marketing team, she has embraced topics in the travel and hospitality sector with enthusiasm. Using her degree in Journalism, Laura creatively weaves words into insightful stories with a focus on reputation management.

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