Weekly Roundup #24: Travel, Tech and Social Media

Week 24
Hello once again, it’s great to have you back for our Weekly Roundup! It’s been another busy week in travel and hospitality and we carefully gathered the most important news that was recently published. Make sure to take a look at the headlines below, to catch up with everything that’s been going on and don’t forget to follow our social media accounts, for even more updates: we are on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram!
Until the next Friday, we wish you a wonderful weekend!

Industry News
TrustYou and Volara Partnership Supports Positive Guest Experiences with Guest-Hotel Communication through Voice Activated Devices:
We’re extremely proud of our collaboration with Volara, the provider of custom voice-based solutions for the hospitality industry, with whom we developed a joint solution to focus on a highly popular communication trend: voice messaging. The outcome combines our own guest messaging feature with Volara’s voice-based guest engagement software, through Amazon’s “Alexa” and results in an innovative and hassle-free way of communicating on the spot, during a guest’s on-site experience. Our company released the Guest Messaging feature in 2016 and we’ve been constantly improving ever since. In our most recent eBook, The Hotelier’s Tech Stack Guide: Must-Have Technologies That Impact The Guest Journey, we recommend Volara’s solutions, emphasizing on our fruitful partnership.
AccorHotels acquires Mantra Group:
This week, our client AccorHotels announced their most recent acquisition, of Mantra, Peppers, BreakFree and Art Series brands, representing 138 hotels in Australia, New Zealand, Hawaii, and Bali. At the close of the deal, AccorHotels will operate over 330 hotels and resorts across Australia and over 900 throughout Asia Pacific. AccorHotels will also be the largest employer on the Gold Coast, outside of government. Michael Issenberg, Chairman and CEO of AccorHotels Asia Pacific said, “The Mantra Group is the latest chapter in the strong growth story of AccorHotels in the region. Since our launch with the Novotel Sydney on Darling Harbour in 1991, AccorHotels has become the largest hotel group in the Pacific, and Australia has always played a key role in that story.
The UK hospitality industry could face significant staff shortages due to Brexit:
The UK hospitality industry could face significant staff shortages if results from a new survey launched by workforce collaboration software company Planday come to pass. The survey, conducted by YouGov, reveals that just over one in ten workers (11%, which is equivalent to around 330,000 staff nationally) working in UK restaurants, catering, bars and hotels are thinking about leaving the UK as a result of Brexit. This is in stark contrast to hospitality managers' expectations that only around 4% of their workers are considering leaving the UK due to Brexit.

Trends and Insights
OTAs dominate paid search on Google in the first quarter, Kantar Media study finds:
A study into paid search by travel firms on Google has found OTAs Booking.com, On the Beach and Trivago were dominant in the first quarter of 2018. The research, by Kantar Media, found each spent over £7 million on search with the dominant global search engine on the keywords that were monitored. Unsurprisingly, global OTA Booking.com was found to have splashed out the most – almost £20 million. The study used data from Kantar Media’s Digital Advertising Intelligence Solution, combining insights into both pay-per-click and organic search/display ad spend. The study identified TripAdvisor as the clear leader when it came to organic search in the first three months of the year.
New data from OAG explores the future of travel booking platforms, technologies, and payments:
With the online travel market expected to drive upwards of $693 billion in 2018, according to Statista, new entrants and competitive disruptions are a formality. But who will emerge as the next key player – and how will they connect with consumers? To find out, OAG, the global leader in flight information, surveyed 2,164 U.S. travelers to explore the future of travel booking, technology and payments.  While most travel-related purchases today are made directly with hotels, airlines and online travel agents (OTAs), new, non-traditional options are coming to the industry’s forefront. OAG asked travelers which non-traditional technologies and methods they would be comfortable booking through. Check out the extended article for the overall results.
SnapShot launches the first independent hospitality data platform: SnapShot launched its third and most significant phase as a company, deploying the first hospitality data platform independent of brand or software providers. "We've been working on this launch since 2012 when the company was founded. Creating the architecture and building a platform that is already scaling globally to enterprise clients have taken a lot of work," said co-founder David Turnbull. "We are really proud of what we've built, and now, as one of the largest hospitality data processors in the world, we're ready to enter a whole new phase as a company in the industry." SnapShot's Hospitality Data Platform is unique in that it isn't tied to a specific brand or software provider. This means that every hospitality company, hotel, or hotel chain can adopt it as a solution that will collect and harmonize their data independently and securely.

Technology
Is virtual reality still in search of its real purpose in travel?
“This is the year Virtual Reality goes mainstream” has been the mantra for several years now, probably starting as far back as 2014 when Facebook bought Oculus Rift. Since Apple announced ARKit, and Google announced ARCore, you can swap Augmented Reality in for Virtual Reality (and don’t forget Mixed Reality HoloLens experience from Microsoft!). In truth, they are intriguing technologies with some high profile uses, but still largely in search of their real purpose. In an effort to move the dial from ‘curiosity’ to ‘useful’, IATA hosted the Aviation Virtual and Augmented Reality Summit (AVARS) in its Geneva headquarters. For two days around 20 companies, mainly AR/VR manufacturers and developers, shared their best practices, use case studies, and presented their products to the audience. You can get more interesting insights in the extended post.
Towards a data-driven seamless journey – the vision for corporate travel by 2030:
SAP Concur has put together an in-depth report on the factors that will drive corporate travel between today and 2030, including an analysis of the technology advances required to progress towards a genuinely seamless journey. The report looks at how predictive technology will help anticipate and better manage travel disruptions, how artificial intelligence will help automate processes, and how the global payments landscape will evolve to address security concerns. This Tnooz article also includes a Q&A session with Emma Maslen, senior regional director, Enterprise UK&I, SAP Concur, about the travel industry’s preparedness to deliver on this 2030 vision.

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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