Weekly Roundup #19: Travel, Tech, and Social Media

Week 19/2019

The TrustYou Weekly Roundup marks the end of yet another productive week in hospitality and travel. As always, we have summarized the most important news and stories for you, so make sure to check them out: we covered everything from hard news to trends and technology. Also, don’t forget to follow our company’s social media accounts, to keep up with updates, resources, and team events: we are on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.

Until next Friday, have a wonderful weekend!

Industry News

Accor Launches Plan with WOJO to Become Largest Coworking Brand in Europe by 2022:

Accor announced this week a plan to implement 1200 coworking spaces in under 3 years, for WOJO to become the leading coworking brand in Europe by 2022. The WOJO coworking spaces will be launched within Accor hotels worldwide with different offerings, across all segments (economy, mid-scale, and luxury segments). Nextdoor (renamed Wojo in March 2019) is a joint venture between Accor & Bouygues Immobilier created in July 2017. Stephane Bensimon, CEO WOJO: “As we are directly in touch with companies and workers on a daily basis we have a thorough understanding of their needs and expectations in the workspace. A personalized welcome, premium services, a friendly atmosphere and designer spaces are all essential features covered by our expertise. Through our new range of spaces, we are now able to meet a key customer need: combining the quality of work life with mobility.

TripAdvisor Sees Experiences and Restaurant Revenue Up as Investment Continues in New Areas:

TripAdvisor has reported a slight decrease in revenue for the first quarter of 2019, which was 1% down year-on-year at $376 million. The company says that excluding currency fluctuations, revenue grew by about 2%, with its core non-hotel divisions contributing to the growth. Net income increased 420% to $26 million for the quarter while adjusted EBITDA was up 11% to $89 million. Revenue for the Hotels, Media & Platform segment was flat at $254 million, with EBITDA up 36% to $105 million. Experiences & Dining segment revenue was up 29% to $80 million and the company says that EBITDA for the segment at a $24 million loss reflects its investments for long-term growth.  TripAdvisor is investing in product development around experiences and dining as well as “sales talent” in the U.S., Europe, and Asia Pacific.

Booking.com Opts for Partner Route to Expand Tours and Activities:

A year after buying FareHarbor to spearhead its move into tours and activities, Booking.com is adopting an additional approach and working directly with rival software vendors. First to be confirmed is Rezdy, the Australia-based distribution platform, which has integrated with the Booking Holdings-owned online travel agency. Customers on the Rezdy network of suppliers will have distribution on Booking.com Experiences, as well as the ability to manage their inventory, pricing, availability, and bookings within the existing Rezdy interface. Connecting suppliers to an OTA via a distribution switch is not a remarkable development in the growing sector of tours and activities. But Booking.com's strategy to open up the platform to other channel managers does follow its earlier acquisition of FareHarbor - a deal that was in part aimed at providing the inventory for Booking.com Experiences.

Trends and Insights

Sabre Corporate Travel Survey Reveals Trends Shaping Booking Behavior in Asia Pacific:

Sabre Corporation (NASDAQ: SABR), the leading technology provider to the global travel industry, today reveals the results of a survey that compiles insight from over 70 corporate travel management companies (TMCs) from across Asia Pacific, revealing the latest trends in terms of regional bookings. Almost seven in 10 (65%) respondents admit they are asked to identify cost savings, and this cost-conscious approach is encouraging travel managers to find new ways to minimize spending. The survey also reveals that 32% of respondents expect solutions that enable mobile booking capacities will become mainstream within the next two years, but only 10% believe that virtual payment solutions will gain widespread acceptance. Find out more in the extended article/study.

Why Europe Is a Microcosm of Wider Trends in Online Travel:

The development of online travel over the last 25 years is often seen through the prism of the brands that have emerged from the United States, with Expedia Group, TripAdvisor, and Booking Holdings in particular seen as pioneers in the sector. But their dominance does a disservice to the way that digitalization of the industry has often been born through the innovation and guts of companies that have their roots and focus in Europe. Booking.com is perhaps the most obvious contender in this analysis, having found itself thrust into the limelight from its headquarters in Holland in the mid-2000s and eventually being snapped up by the Priceline Group, the former name of the giant that is now Booking Holdings. There are three broad trends that illustrate the prowess of the region in the current online travel scene - but, equally, demonstrate how fragile the growth of the sector can be when one particular brand or market holds the reins of power. Read more in this Phocuswire article.

Record 85% of Travelers Opt for Personalization at Overseas Adventure Travel:

Baby boomers are personalizing their travel plans more than ever before, according to Overseas Adventure Travel (O.A.T.), a leader in small group travel on the road less traveled for travelers 55+. In 2019, 85% of O.A.T. travelers are personalizing their experiences in more than 90 countries, the highest percentage in the company’s history. By comparison, 75% requested personalization in 2018 and 65% in 2017. Boomers are known to be avid travelers. AARP recently released a report on 2019 Boomer travel trends. Seniors are expected to take 4-5 leisure trips in 2019, spending over $6,600. According to the World Travel & Tourism Council and Bloomberg – Megatrends Report 2019, more customized, personalized experiences are no longer reserved for the high-end luxury market. More travelers are increasingly seeking better curation and design when making their travel decisions.

Technology

How Will the Hospitality Industry Benefit From the IoT:

The Internet of Things (IoT) has the potential to be a gamechanger for those in the hospitality industry. Therefore, it is essential for managers, hotel owners, and other business leaders to try to make the most of it. However, according to research, 87% of people are not familiar with the concept of the Internet of Things let alone what this technology means for the hospitality industry. In this article, we have discussed this matter, and hopefully, you will learn more about the latest tech buzzword and how does it cater to client needs. This article includes an insightful infographic that answers to multiple pressing questions regarding the meaning of the internet of things and the ways in which it can impact the future of the hospitality industry.

Infographic: Artificial Intelligence and the Hotel Guest Experience:

Smart devices in our pockets and our homes can book appointments for us, monitor our home security, play our favorite music, create our shopping lists and remind us that a cake is ready to come out of the oven. These personal assistants are rapidly evolving, to the point that they can learn about people’s individual preferences, engage in meaningful conversation, and interact on a level that blurs the line between human and computer. Now, these devices are becoming ubiquitous in hotels, revolutionizing guest services and other functions that enhance the guest experience. The new infographic, created by mycloud hospitality, is based on the reporting of the preliminary results of a study conducted last year by Starfleet Research. The final research report is available here.

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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