Weekly Roundup #13: Travel, Tech and Social Media
Welcome to our Weekly Roundup, your dose of hospitality news and stories, that marks the end of another productive week! We gathered some more interesting content for you, so make sure to take a look before heading off into the weekend! Also, don’t forget to follow us on our social media: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram!
Until next week, we wish you a lovely weekend and a happy Easter!
Hotelbeds offloads destinations services to TUI for US$135.5 million:
Hotelbeds has ended its interest in providing incoming services to travel agencies by selling its Destination Management division to TUI, for €110 million (US$135.5 million). The wing of the company forming the deal includes three main brands: Destinations Services, Intercruises and Pacific World. Alongside tours, Destination Services includes customer transfers and other in-destination products for tour operators. The move is being touted as a strategic decision to give Hotelbeds the opportunity to focus on its core B2B bedbank service, although it will still act as a distributor of activities through the platform (around 16,000). We can only say that we’re excited for this new collaboration between both our our partners.
Expedia, INC. announces name change to Expedia Group, INC.:
Expedia announced this week that it changed its corporate name from "Expedia, Inc." to "Expedia Group, Inc." The stock will continue to trade on Nasdaq under the EXPE ticker symbol. Expedia Group updated its corporate name and branding to better reflect its identity as a leading global technology company, at the center of one of the most socially and economically important industries in the world - travel. At the same time, the changes acknowledge the unique contribution of each individual Expedia Group brand and business to the success of the overall organization.
How are hotels performing across the globe? STR has all the answers:
If you’ve ever wondered how many hotels and hotel rooms there are across the globe, hotel performance analysts STR has the answers:184,299 hotels and 16,966,280 million rooms. That number of rooms represents a 17.7% increase over the last 10 years. STR, which this week chalks up 10 years in the international marketplace, defines a hotel on three exclusionary criteria: 1) generates revenue on a nightly per-room basis, 2) has 10 or more rooms and 3) is open to the public (excludes those properties requiring membership, affiliation or club status). The global hotel industry recorded an average occupancy level of 67.5% for the 12 months ending with February 2018, which was a 1.6% increase from the previous 12 months. Average daily rate (ADR) grew 2.6% during that 12-month time period to US$122.96.
Trends and Insights
The Guest Feedback A-Z Guide For Hotels:
This week, we published a brand new best practice guide that (as always), you can download for free. The Guest Feedback A-Z Guide for Hotels is meant to break down all of the most relevant notions that are of interest to hoteliers and other members of the industry. We included short definitions and external references to helpful resources, so you would have all the necessary knowledge to succeed in your hotel business! Make sure to download the guide, to always have at hand a short summary of the concepts that you probably deal with on a daily basis.
Hospitality Marketing in 2018: 5 Digital Trends to Watch [Infographic]:
Hospitality marketing is in a state of flux in 2018. The continued growth of online platforms, increasing ubiquity of mobile devices, and shifts in U.S. demographics are fundamentally changing how accommodations are found, researched, and booked. What does this mean for brands? How should you be reshaping your marketing strategy? Which digital tactics and channels are worth watching closely this year? To find out, at MDG’s new infographic, Hospitality Marketing in 2018: 5 Digital Trends to Watch. You’ll see why digital channels are now primary, what the most used online sources are, how the smartphone use is rigins and much more!
Ancillary revenue and technology driving optimism across the travel industry:
Travel sector giants are largely confident about the future of the industry thanks to ancillary revenue streams increasing in number and the evolution of digital platforms, according to new insight from Rentalcars Connect. The B2B ground transportation strand of Booking.com canvassed the views of industry leaders as part of its Q1 Travel Pulse, and found that 88% felt optimistic about the year ahead in travel. 70% of the respondents, including airlines, travel agents, hotels and other travel companies, expected the number of ancillary revenue streams that they offer to increase over the coming year. The results also suggested that advances in technology are, at least in part, a driver for this optimism. 58% of respondents stated that they expect driverless vehicles to bring opportunities to their business, while the majority also said that personalisation and mobile optimisation would be one of the most important contributing factors to the success of their digital platforms.
Rev Up Productivity: The Rise of IoT & Voice:
A study conducted by Statista estimates over the last four years, IoT-connected devices will have grown by over 33 percent by the end of 2018 for a total of 23.1 billion devices connected worldwide. And over the next four years that number is forecasted to nearly double and total over 42.6 billion by 2022. That would mean there will be over five connected devices for every human, and that average number gets much higher considering only half of the world's population has readily available internet access. Take a look at the extended article, to see how IoT and voice-assistance boost productivity and what a big impact they have on the overall hotel experience, including the revenue.
How AI Is Already Changing Every Step of the Traveler’s Experience:
AI is already transforming industries, including travel and tourism. Thanks to rapid technology advancements, AI’s role in shaping how travelers find, choose and book travel will not only become more embedded into the customer experience journey, it will play a bigger role as time goes on. AI will continue to make a massive impact on the travel and tourism market, and this article from Qubit takes a look at how AI is influencing the travel journey in particular. This post goes in depth about how AI influences the browsing and the booking process, plus the post-stay feedback.