Weekly Roundup #19: Travel, Tech and Social Media
Greetings, once again and welcome to another Weekly Roundup! We hope you had a great, productive week, as we did. As always, to make sure that we head off into the weekend with our minds at ease, let’s go through a quick recap and see what happened recently in hospitality and travel. Also, we encourage you to follow our social media accounts, since we constantly post relevant posts and updates: we are on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram!
Have a lovely weekend, everyone!
TUI Group Nears Online Tipping Point, Updates on Tours and Activities:
Our partner, TUI Group is integrating its “destination experiences” business into its global CRM platform, giving it the ability to cross-sell the inventory to customers during the post-booking pre-trip phase. The update came in its H1s released this week. TUI’s financial year runs from the start of October to the end of September, with the October-to-March period usually loss-making. In the first half of the current year it has managed to reduce these losses, reporting an underlying EBITA loss of €158.6 million, which is a 26% improvement on last year. Turnover was up 7.2% to 6.81 billion euros.
Booking.com Research Exposes Surprising Gap Between Travel Ambitions and Reality:
Booking.com, the global leader in connecting travelers with the widest choice of incredible places to stay, has conducted research across 20,500 global travelers to uncover the barriers and anxieties which prevent people from making the most of every trip and reveal how they can move to a state of truly limitless travel. The research shows that despite a world of opportunities one in five people (20%) have never felt limitless on vacation and one in 10 (10%) have only ever felt limitless once. Nevertheless there is a strong desire to be a limitless traveler[i], with almost half (44%) of people worldwide expressing that aspiration and over three quarters (78%) wanting to make the most of every travel experience and travel with no regrets.
American Vacation Usage at Highest Point in Seven Years:
American workers took an average of 17.2 days of vacation in 2017, according to new research from Project: Time Off, jumping up nearly a half-day (.4 days) from 2016. This marks the highest level for American vacation usage since 2010 (17.5 days) and a more than full-day increase since bottoming out at 16.0 days in 2014. While this progress may signal the beginning of a cultural shift, there is still more room for improvement as a majority of Americans (52%) left vacation time unused in 2017 (down from 54% in 2016). Further, nearly a quarter (24%) of Americans have not taken a vacation in more than a year. The findings, from State of American Vacation 2018, also show Americans are not fulfilling their wanderlust. The majority (84%) of Americans say it is important to them to use their time off to travel. Yet workers use less than half of the vacation time they take -just eight days- to travel. It follows that a staggering nine-in-ten (86%) Americans say they have not seen enough of their own country.
Trends and Insights
Encouraging Guests To Leave Feedback – Are You Doing It Right?
For hotels, guest feedback brings a world of possibilities, including the chance of using one’s reputation for marketing. What can be easier and more effective than attracting new guest through the positive experience of past ones? But impressions and opinions, no matter how great, don’t help much if they stay inside a guest’s mind or close circle - they need to be properly distributed and that is something that hoteliers can still work on. So what exactly should you know and do in order to encourage guests to leave feedback? Our latest white paper revealed that the most effective way of getting positive feedback from your guests is also the easiest one: just ask! Read this blog post to find out more about how to properly encourage your guest to leave feedback.
The 2018 LIIC Top Ten: The Annual Survey of Lodging Investments Trends and Challenges:
For well over a decade, the members of the hotel industry’s preeminent think tank, “LIIC – The Lodging Industry Investment Council,” are annually surveyed to develop a list of the major hotel investment opportunities and challenges for the coming year. Members are highly active and have the pulse of the market, with 53% of LIIC hotel investors having successfully purchased a hotel in the last 12 months and 40% currently having a hotel acquisition candidate under a purchase and sale contract. Moreover, 93% hope to buy lodging assets over the next year; 75% plan to sell a hotel over the next 24 months. Check out the extended article to see the 2018 LIIC Top Ten Survey Results.
Luxury Hotel Market Size Worth $115.80 Billion by 2025:
The global luxury hotel market size is expected to reach USD 115.80 billion by 2025, according to a new report by Grand View Research, Inc., registering a 4.3% CAGR during the forecast period. The market is expected to grow significantly over the forecast period owing to increasing purchasing power of consumers and rising number of international as well as domestic tourists on business or leisure trips. Travelers opting for lavish vacations look chiefly for comfort and quality of service, while hotel tariffs may make for a secondary consideration. To compete in the luxury hotel market, companies are focused on providing unique customer experiences by investing in infrastructure and technologically advanced appliances. Building customer relations by extending the highest degree of hospitality is also a key area of focus. More findings from the report can be found in the article.
The Google Assistant Will Soon Be Able to Call Restaurants and Make a Reservation for You:
Google just showed the new feature for the Google Assistant at its I/O developer conference. The Assistant will soon be able make calls for you to make a reservation — maybe for a salon appointment or to reserve a table at a restaurant that doesn’t take online bookings. For now, this was only a demo, but the company plans to start testing this feature with the Assistant in the summer. In the demo, Google showed how you can tell the Assistant that you want to make a haircut appointment. The Assistant can then make that call, talk to whoever answers and make the request. In the demo, the Assistant even handled complicated conversations, adding small little hints (“ummm”) that make it sound natural. Google calls this feature “Duplex” and it’ll roll out at some point in the future.
ComScore Releases 2018 Snapshot of Online Behaviour Impacting the Travel Sector in Europe:
comScore announced it has published its 2018 "EU Travel Report," which uses multi-platform data from five European countries (France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the UK) to highlight online trends impacting the travel sector, outlining key differences in consumers' behavioural patterns. The UK leads the pack with 94 percent of its digital population visiting travel sites – the highest proportion in Europe. In contrast, that figure is 65 percent in Germany. The numbers are 67 percent, 69 percent and 86 percent for France, Italy and Spain, respectively. Compared with desktop, fewer mobile apps have reached mass-market appeal, as defined by audiences with more than one million unique visitors: 12 mobile apps reached that threshold, while 51 desktop sites did so.