Weekly Roundup #2: Travel, Tech and Social Media
Welcome back to our Weekly Roundup, the very first one of 2018! It has been a few weeks since we delivered the news, but we are back in business now and excited about the new year ahead of us. Many things will surely change in hospitality, but one thing will remain the same: every Friday, we’ll continue to make it our mission to present to you the latest and most important hospitality news and stories from the media. So go ahead and take a look at this week’s overview and we’ll talk to you next Friday!
Have a great weekend and an amazing 2018!
Chinese Changing Tourism, Ctrip and Other Players' Moves Before 2018:
A Lodging Econometrics report shows that 20% of the hotels in the global pipeline are in China, and 2,435 hotels and 538,836 rooms were in the works in 2017, representing an increase of 5% year-on-year. In 2017, domestic and inbound tourism in China was projected to generate traffic exceeding 5.1 billion and total revenue of over USD 795 billion, contributing more than 10% to GDP and employment. FIT travelers, expected to account for more than 50% of the total outbound traffic, are becoming the game-changer and they are spending more on experience than shopping. “China will be, or maybe it is already, the largest market in the world, surpassing the US. With every year passing, Chinese travelers will get more and more comfortable moving away from Asia Pacific, and that has a huge impact on the hospitality industry,” said Sebastien Bazin, Chairman and CEO of AccorHotels, at a tourism development forum in Suzhou, China.
U.S. Tourism Confronting Its Worst Year Since the Financial Crisis:
Fewer international travelers visited the United States during the first seven months of 2017 and with that decline, foreign visitors also spent less across the country, according to U.S. Department of Commerce data released this week. The commerce department data also show that for January through November, international travelers spent $187.6 billion, 3.3 percent less at U.S. destinations than the same period in 2016. The decrease has amounted to a $4.6 billion loss in spending for U.S. businesses last year. All of the data isn’t in yet but 2017 is shaping up to be the second year in a row that international visitor spending declined. The U.S. Travel Association, in a statement, said that international travel spending had been growing each year since the global financial crisis in 2009, but that a slowdown in spending started in 2015.
Booking.com Likely to Resume Operations in Turkey:
The activities of the Netherlands-based online reservation portal Booking.com in Turkey were suspended after the Turkish Travel Agencies Association (TÜRSAB) filed a lawsuit against the leading online travel agency. Ministry of Culture and Tourism's Assistant General Manager of Promotions, Ahmet Temurci, recently announced the start of negotiations with Booking.com. Temurci stated that Booking.com, which has agreed to pay the necessary fines, can soon resume its operation in the Turkish market. Temurci said the company will resume its operations in Turkey after renewing the website. "This is not a problem that Booking.com has faced in Turkey alone. Similar lawsuits are ongoing in France and Germany, as well," Temurci said.
Trends and Insights:
The beginning of a new year is always the perfect time to recap the last 12 months and break down the most important moments. We are proud to say that 2017 was an amazing year for our company and we achieved so much, both as a business and as a team. We gathered millions of reviews for hotels from all over the globe, we were amazed by how our clients achieved outstanding results through our platform and engaged with their guests more than ever before; we were acquired by Recruit and started a new adventure together; we made new partners and released 95 new features for our guest feedback platform! We reached a 97% satisfaction score, of which we are extremely proud; we delivered success stories from our clients and created tons of new content, from case studies and best practices to white papers, eBooks and blog posts. We worked hard and played hard. And now we invite you to recap our journey with us and embark on a new adventure together! Here’s to an equally amazing 2018!
5 Ways Voice Assistance is Shaping Consumer Behavior:
This is an interesting piece of content delivered by Think with Google, about the way in which voice assistance is beginning to have a deep impact on the consumer behavior. According to Think with Google’s studies, people are starting to incorporate voice-operated devices into their daily routines and that’s something that will have implication in hospitality as well. With this in mind, we developed our TrustYou Messaging feature even further, to incorporate Amazon Echo’s “Alexa”, in order to meet the modern traveler’s needs and expectations and make communications between hotels and guests easier and more effective than ever before.
The Ultimate Travel Bucket List 2018: 50 Must-See Destinations:
PlacePass, the world's leading collection of amazing tours and activities, made it its mission to start the year by being a step ahead and providing the ultimate bucket list for the 2018 traveler. You can find in this post the most up-to-date collection of places you definitely shouldn’t miss this year. PlacePass scoured tips from a variety of noted travel publications and expert travel editors, such as Travel + Leisure, The Travel Channel and Condé Nast Traveller and compiled a list of all the destinations and attractions they mentioned. The data was analyzed, in order to determine which places are the most popular, the trendiest, and the most overrated. Sneak peak? The most frequently mentioned destination when talking about travel bucket lists is somewhere in beautiful South America.
Voice Messaging through AI – The Future Of Communication In Hospitality:
Newer, easier, and more exciting ways of communicating are being developed every day, and we have now reached a point when we can carry a message to any distance, and through a multitude of channels, with nothing more than our own voices. With this in mind, TrustYou developed an effective, yet easy to use, direct messaging feature, which also pairs with Amazon Alexa through Volara - the voice hub for the hospitality industry - providing hotel guests with a voice-operated virtual assistant. In this blog post, you can find the best tips & tricks on how to properly make use of voice messaging, in order to ease communications, improve operations and effectiveness and boost the guest satisfaction.
Corporate Travel Can’t Afford to Miss the Next Wave of Consumer Technology:
Consumer technology is undergoing a transformation, powered by artificial intelligence and voice commands. Corporations should pay attention to how their travelers’ behavior shifts in order to stay in front of upcoming trends. It is predicted that in the nearby future, nearly every device in the home will be equipped with artificial intelligence-powered voice control, a sign that consumers are increasingly using voice search. Also, safety and security have taken on a newfound importance for travel management companies as the world has become more dangerous and chaotic. Although a double-edged sword, location tracking via smartphones is common now, which is a needed and powerful advance. Augmented reality is also set to be a killer app since Google and Apple have both released powerful new tools for developers that will allow them to use a smartphones cameras and sensors to overlay images on the world around you.