Weekly Roundup #13: Travel, Tech, and Social Media
Friday means that it’s time for a new Weekly Roundup on our blog. If you want to end the week with a quick recap, go ahead and check out the headlines below. As always, we’ve summarized the most relevant news and stories that were recently published. Don’t forget to follow us on social media in case you haven’t already - we’re very active on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.
Have a wonderful weekend!
Google is expanding its accommodations search and booking platform by adding vacation rental properties from around the world to its Hotel Search function. Vacation listings worldwide are available beginning today on mobile and will roll out on desktop in the coming months. Google says the platform includes listings from partners including Expedia Group brands: Expedia, HomeAway, Hotels.com, and VRBO as well as RedAwning and TripAdvisor. Notably missing from Google’s announcement: Airbnb and Booking Holdings’ brands.
Hotels in Germany are poised to benefit from tourism numbers that are outpacing the growth of travel within the EU’s most visited country destinations, a new report has found today. “State of the Nation 2019: How Big is the Opportunity for Hotel Bookings in Germany?” by SiteMinder reveals that Germany’s inbound arrivals have almost doubled (96%) in the last 10 years to surpass the growth rates seen across the EU. While France, Spain, and Italy continue to lead the EU in total traveler numbers, they trail Germany’s 96% growth rate with inbound arrivals that have grown 26%, 65%, and 65%, respectively, over the last 10 years. The pace is expected to continue over the next four years with Germany forecast to see a 14% jump in inbound arrivals by 2023 to lead the growth forecast for France (12%), Spain (11%) and Italy (11%), according to data from Euromonitor International.
Smart and deliberate growth has been Rosewood Hotels & Resorts’ prevailing storyline for the last several years—the luxury management company has 26 hotels in its global portfolio and plans to double that over the next five years. But equally as important, according to Rosewood President Radha Arora, is maintaining the company’s “differentiated approach to luxury hospitality—a more modern and progressive hotel experience that reflects the way we travel today,” he said. In a video interview held during the International Hotel Investment Forum, Arora spoke with Hotel News Now about the company’s “thoughtful, very deliberate growth,” as well as his view on what today’s luxury traveler really wants. Check out the video for more insights.
Trends and Insights
Responding to reviews should be a breeze now, after getting through the simple guides on properly replying to positive and negative reviews. If the thought of addressing guest feedback still keeps you up at night, why not get some inspiration from some of the best? In our latest blog post, you can find five examples of hotel managers responding like stars. Make sure to pay extra attention to the tried and true strategies that were used in these cases, since they are known to make a positive impression.
Online travel agencies have been a dominant force in the holiday booking space for years, but this dominance is coming under threat. How hotels view working with OTAs is a subject covered recently by Hotel News Now, but STR’s Consumer Travel Insight reports offer a different angle on the rising pressure that OTAs face due to shifting perceptions among travelers (STR is the parent company of Hotel News Now.) This five-report series was based on the results of a comprehensive survey asking travelers about their behavior and experiences undertaking international leisure trips. The survey was answered by 2,228 respondents of the STR Traveller Panel, a community of nearly 30,000 engaged global travelers.
Ahead of Earth Month in April, Expedia Group has released insights on travel trends in four major national parks (Moab, Yellowstone, Yosemite, and Zion National Park), highlighting the opportunities for hoteliers to capitalize on the interest in these key markets, beyond just the peak summer months. With personal spending consistently growing month by month, consumers, in general, are not only looking to purchase tangible items but also invest in memorable experiences. Furthermore, according to research conducted by Expedia Group Media Solutions, younger travelers prioritize activities and experiences above all, indicating a healthy appetite for adventure.
APAC Mobile Sites Lagging in Speeds, while Consumers Increasingly Depend on Mobile: Consumers of today’s mobile generation are highly dependent on their devices and are an impatient lot. APAC sites have some work to do to keep up with the expectations of these consumers. These are some of the key findings of Think with Google’s “Masters of Mobile APAC” report. Commissioned by Accenture Interactive, the report reviewed 700 of the most-visited sites across 12 APAC countries and three industries. The biggest challenge in APAC appears to be speed. With an average load time of 5.4 seconds, mobile sites in Mainland China are the fastest in the region, followed by mobile sites in Singapore and Thailand. Vietnam and Japan in particular need improvement – sites in both countries take an average of 10 seconds to fully load.
A global study commissioned by InterContinental Hotels Group finds that a lack of sleep is a primary concern for travelers. According to the research, 80 percent of travelers have trouble sleeping when away from home. Among the other key findings: the business traveler loses around 58 minutes of sleep each night when staying away from home, averaging just 5 hours and 17 minutes of sleep. According to the new research, the biggest causes of a restless night’s sleep for those traveling are; the different environment, unfamiliar noises, and working late. In an effort to help travelers combat a restless night away from home, InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) has piloted the use of portable and versatile JOURNI Mobile Task Light. Developed by Healthe by Lighting Science, the light is designed to help regulate sleep when traveling. IHG is the first hotel company to pilot the product.