Weekly Roundup #14: Travel, Tech and Social Media
Hello, everyone and happy Friday to all of you!
Welcome back to the latest Weekly Roundup! You know the drill by now: every week, we come to you with a fresh dose of news, stories and everything interesting going on in the travel industry. So let’s go ahead and dive into what went on this week and what caught our attention.
Make sure to pay us another visit next Friday, for another Weekly Roundup and enjoy your weekend!
AccorHotels expands even further with new investments and acquisitions:
It’s pretty safe to say that this has been a huge week for our client AccorHotels, with new investments and acquisitions surfacing almost every day. So here are Accor’s newest additions: Availpro, a channel management company that claims more than 6,500 clients and VeryChic, a digital travel deals platform selling hotel rooms and apartments, cruises, breaks and packages. Also, the group will be adding to their portfolio 11 hotels in the Northern Territory and they are launching an “inspirational search engine” based on user’s mood. Talk about a busy week!
Best Western’s soft brand, BW Premier Collection, has eclipsed 75 properties worldwide. Best Western Hotels & Resorts opened the first BW Premier Collection properties in Oregon and Puerto Rico in October 2015. In just over a year, the brand has expanded to 53 upscale, high-quality independent hotels spanning across the United Kingdom, mainland Europe and North America. President and CEO David Kong mentioned the growth opportunities that are rising for the brand at IHIF, in Berlin.
This Tuesday it was announced that Google is currently focusing on an early experiment. Since package travel is huge in Europe, Google wants to test how to sell bundled flights and hotels via its travel search results. The first experimental sales of flights and hotel packages will be launched in Germany and the UK. It seems that consumers will not only be shown bundled options, but they will have the opportunity of buying the individual components separately or together. Excited to see these latest announcement from our Meta-Review partner!
Reports about the last few months’ performance are still coming in and it seems that international travelers in January spent nearly $20.8 billion, an increase of 0.9 percent from January 2016, according to monthly statistics released this week by the U.S. National Travel and Tourism Office. The average foreign visitor spent about $672 per day in January on transportation, souvenirs, and other tourist related expenses.
Trends and Insights
A recent poll by Cheapflights revealed that a huge percentage of Brits, almost 80% are are expressing concerns about several factors when it comes to traveling after Brexit: “rocketing prices”, “increased bureaucracy” and “a less than friendly reception”. Also, nearly half (49%) of the poll’s 2,000 respondents said the value of the Pound was their main concern, making it the biggest European travelling worry.The survey also revealed that 32 per cent of the survey participants, who are likely to holiday less in Europe following Brexit, will opt for a ‘staycation’ instead.
HotelsCombined conducted a survey recently, to find out what hotel amenities are of interest to American corporate travel representatives and which ones aren’t. Business travelers contribute an estimated 111.7 billion dollars to the US tourism industry each year. So their business is extremely important to the hotel industry. Among the findings, it appears that complimentary breakfast is an important amenity when traveling for business, with 60% of respondents voting for it.
We published a new blog post this week, about loyalty programs and how exactly can they be used in regards of boosting a hotel’s reputation. We live in a very competitive era, especially when it comes to hospitality. Therefore, hoteliers need to go the extra mile and engage with the customer on a deeper level than ever before. You can find out in this post how to adjust a loyalty program in order to get the most benefits possible, including customer satisfaction and positive reputation.
Online hotel group bookings specialist HotelPlanner.com has formed a new partnership with GDS and technology provider Travelport to open up custom group rates to its customers. The exclusive tie-up will also allow Travelport agents to access instant booking capabilities for all rooms types through a new ‘Book-in-Block’ tool. Once a group negotiates a contract through HotelPlanner Book-in-Block loads rates and creates a consumer facing booking page and customised travel coordinator interface. Consumers will be able to book group rates instantly for any event.
Hospitality companies conducting business in Europe prepare to make operational changes to conform with the EU General Data Protection Regulation. So Hospitality Financial and Technology Professional (HFTP®) has put together a team of experts to prepare supporting resources for the industry. Specifically, the association has recruited an advisory council to develop Hospitality Data Protection Officer (DPO) Guidelines along with a Hospitality Data Protection Officer certification program. The release date is Summer 2017.
HeBS Digital, the firm that helps hoteliers boost direct bookings, lower distribution costs, and increase the lifetime value of guests, is offering hoteliers five complimentary revenue-driving modules with the purchase of a new responsive website backed by the firm's award-winning smartCMS®.