Weekly Roundup #15: Travel, Tech, and Social Media

Week 15/2019

Our Weekly Roundup is up and ready to mark the end of another week. It’s been busy in hospitality and travel, resulting in quite a few news and stories that we summarized for you. Feel free to take a look and, for even more updates, don’t forget to follow our social media accounts: we are on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram!

Until the next Friday, have a lovely weekend!

Industry News

Guest Ratings Outshine Brand in Hotel Selection, According to New Study:

Price and guest ratings carry more weight than brand value as key attributes to hotel property selection, according to a new study of more than 900 general population consumers by Expedia Group, the world’s travel platform, and Unabashed Research – showing that independent hotels can more effectively compete today with their branded counterparts. Guest ratings have a strong influence on consumer selection, with a 72 percent chance that any consumer will value guest ratings higher than hotel brand. In fact, consumers are willing to pay more for higher guest reviews, and considerably more so than for more premium brands. Participants overall were willing to pay more for a hotel with higher guest ratings: 24 percent more for a 3.9 rated hotel versus a 3.4 rated hotel, and 35 percent more for a 4.4 rated hotel versus a 3.9 rated hotel.

Google Launches Hotel Search Site: “This Could Undermine OTAs”:

Google has launched a full destination search site for hotel listings in a move that could seriously shake up online travel. So, what has actually changed? Well, Google has consolidated various elements of its hotel search experience in one platform. There are several new ways to filter results, including ‘deals’ determined by Google based on current and historic pricing data. While the hotel search experience in itself isn’t vastly different to what Google has been experimenting with in recent months in both their organic and Maps search, these new features and the simple fact that Google now has a dedicated site for hotel bookings could signal a watershed moment for online travel.

Accor Brings Raffles Brand to India with Two New Hotels:

Accor announces two majestic hotels in India – Raffles Jaipur and Raffles Udaipur – in the presence of Accor Chairman & CEO Sébastien Bazin and owner, Ratankant Sharma. The iconic Raffles brand is synonymous with luxury and adventure and this announcement signals a new direction for Accor in India, with a stronger focus on luxury and premium brands. Both hotels will deliver a palatial experience in an extraordinary setting along with the famously discreet and personalized Raffles service.

Trends and Insights

Understanding the Power of Feedback - How to Manage Online Reviews:

For any hotelier, feedback brings a multitude of possibilities, from using it to improve operations and guest satisfaction, to marketing an excellent reputation. In order to get the most benefit out of feedback, you first need to own the concept and learn how to properly manage guest reviews. In this best practice, we’ll walk you through the best strategies of leveraging feedback, from understanding its impact to motivating guests to write reviews, preventing negative ones and analyzing the outcome. Make sure to access our free comprehensive guide to learn all the insights into the true power of feedback.

Booking.com Speaks out on its Private Accommodation Ambitions:

Anyone following the private accommodations space will have noticed a ramp-up in activity recently from Booking.com and Airbnb. The two rivals, as they’re increasingly positioned, both released numbers asserting their (perceived) dominance in the sector, with Booking.com reporting 5.7 million alternative accommodations listings. Booking.com’s decision to publicly break down its private accommodation revenue, as well as to tout its listings and arrivals numbers, has been a strategic move to clear up confusion around its business and to defend its position as a top player in the space, says Leslie Cafferty, Booking.com senior vice president and head of global communications. “We’ve been quite aggressive in the [private accommodation] space for quite a long time, but we weren’t that vocal about it,” she says.

How Google Reviews Is Crushing TripAdvisor:

Quietly but surely, Google Reviews has been expanding its online review market share for brick and mortar businesses. Since hotels, inns, and B&Bs are a 100% location-driven business, this change directly impacts both their revenue and branding. Online reviews left by strangers have become almost as trusted as personal recommendations. However, placing this much trust in reviews requires the user to be able to filter real reviews from fake ones. This sorting process can be extremely frustrating, especially on websites like TripAdvisor where everything is controlled by an almighty “secret algorithm.” Still, hotels and inns have been under the TripAdvisor spell for a while now. Read the extended article to understand the impact of the new and improved Google Reviews on TripAdvisor.


80% of Restaurants to Invest in Tech This Year - Study:

More than eight in 10 restaurant operators agree that use of technology provides a competitive advantage and plan to make investments this year, according to the National Restaurant Association’s 2019 State of the Restaurant Industry Report. The annual report examines forces impacting and shaping the restaurant industry including the economy, workforce, technology, food and menu trends, as well as developments pertaining to table service and limited-service restaurants. The report analyzes data from a variety of nationwide surveys among restaurant owners, operators, chefs, and consumers. Check out the full article to see what the must-have tech investments are for the food and beverage industry.

Hotel Profits from AI to Z: How Artificial Intelligence Will Improve Your Ratios:

Is AI an opportunity for hotels? This is the question discussed in this article. AI will indeed impact revenue managing and hotel pricing. Moreover, AI will reduce costs and improve hotel guests booking experience. The topic of direct messaging is the main focus since technology is more efficient than employees for direct messaging and for responding to frequently asked simple questions. You can read through the entire article to find out more about leveraging hotel technology, by making use of messaging, chatbots, artificial intelligence, and 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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