Weekly Roundup #25: Travel, Tech and Social Media

Week 25/2018
Another week has quickly gone by, so it’s time for the Weekly Roundup on our blog! As usual, we paid close attention to the news and stories that surfaced this week in the media and we summarized them for you, for an easy and quick recap. To get even more updates, feel free to follow our social media accounts: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram!
Have a wonderful weekend, everyone and don’t forget to swing by next Friday, for another roundup!

Industry News
AccorHotels shines a light on its revenue management approach to luxury:
The stated aim of AccorHotels’ CEO Sébastien Bazin is to become the number one player in luxury globally, and it is not difficult see why. According to a global luxury hotel report from Dublin-based Research and Markets, the luxury market was valued at $15.5 billion in 2015 and is projected to reach $20.4 billion by 2022. “We’re in an upward cycle and luxury is doing very well,” says Adam Hayashi, VP of Revenue Management & Analytics at AccorHotels, who will share more luxury insights in Las Vegas. North Americans today have greater spending power, airfares are cheaper than ever before and there are numerous distribution channels offering a wide range of luxury products – all helping to make this segment more affordable to a wider audience. The result is that AccorHotels has witnessed record growth for the past seven years, occupancy levels are rising, and so is its market share. While Hayashi acknowledges that a correction is always a possibility, luxury remains a crucial part of its growth strategy.
Amazon wades into travel as hotels turn to Alexa in rooms:
It was only in November that technology giant Amazon announced the launch of its Alexa for Business division and just eight months later, Amazon’s plans for getting deeper into the travel space are becoming much clearer. With the help of Marriott International and a number of other partners, including both hotel brands and technology systems, Amazon is announcing the debut of Alexa for Hospitality, a division of the company committed to placing Amazon’s smart home devices into hotel rooms, vacation rentals, and other hospitality settings. By harnessing the Internet of Things (IoT), voice assistants like the Amazon Echo are able to help guests control the lighting and temperature in their rooms, make calls and requests to the front desk, play music, check the weather, or play entertainment on the in-room television, for example.
The 2018 EU-China tourism year makes a strong start:
In 2017, project-based business travel spending reached $45.4 billion USD, comprising 15 percent of all U.S. business travel spending, according to a first-of-its-kind study from the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA), in partnership with InterContinental Hotels Group. In total, 66 million trips were taken last year for project-based purposes, representing 12 percent of all U.S. business trips and 19 percent of all U.S. business trips taken for transient purposes. To be considered project-based travel, the travel must revolve around a project, have both a start and end date, and have a duration of at least four nights or have some recurring component. It does not include group travel, relocation or travel for training.

Trends and Insights
GDPR – 5 last minute things that you need to do:
You probably know by now that the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is a new implementation, meant to reinforce the protection of customer data and online safety, as well as increasing the transparency of data exchange between customers and businesses. Having our headquarter in Munich, we’re proud to say that TrustYou is GDPR compliant and we have thoroughly researched the topic and adopted the new regulations. That being said, the GDPR deadline went by and hoteliers might now feel like the challenge has been completed. However, we’d like to emphasize on some last minute strategies that can still be checked and implemented, in order to make sure that hotels from all over the globe properly collect, store and manage personal customer data, as well as provide all of the necessary information, in the easiest and most transparent way.
Hoteliers: How to define your target audiences:
Although most hotels aim to appeal to guests of all ages, segmentation is essential because Millennials may not enjoy things favored by Generation X, which is more conservative, while Generation Z is hip and trendy. In the following, I will not dive into traditional persona-based marketing strategies. Instead, let’s see who the most important four age-based target groups are, and what are their characteristics. This very insightful article breaks down the four generations that hoteliers should focus on: baby boomers, generation X, millennials and generation Z.
RewardExpert ranks the world’s grumpiest and happiest travelers:
It’s human nature to rely on personal experience to develop - correctly or not -- a sense of which countries are home to foul or fair tempered folks. RewardExpert - a free service that helps users take full advantage of credit card and travel rewards - released its ranking of The World’s Grumpiest and Happiest Travelers. Earlier in this year, RewardExpert conducted a data-based analysis to determine which U.S. states were home to the grumpiest travelers, and in this report RewardExpert widened the lens to examine the dispositions of travelers from across the globe. To determine the relative “grumpiness” or “happiness” of a country’s residents, the report used a dataset of nearly 3.5 million reviews for over 13,000 hotels spanning 70 countries made by reviewers hailing from 83 different nations.

Booking.com driving self-service – chatbot answers almost half of post booking queries:
The majority of consumers prefer to use self-service tools when researching travel options, according to a study by online accommodation giant Booking.com. The survey of 18,500 people from more than 25 countries revealed that 80% of holidaymakers prefer to self-serve to get the information they need. While 50% of consumers do not mind whether they deal with a real person or an automated system as long as their questions are answered. Booking.com has introduced an AI-enabled booking assistant, which can answer questions from customers after they have booked their accommodation. The chatbot is available across different devices and platforms. Booking.com says the assistant can now deal with nearly 50% of customers’ post-booking accommodation enquiries. If the chatbot cannot answer a question, it will contact either the OTA’s customer service team or the property involved.
How Artificial Intelligence enhances the guest experience: Key research findings:
Voice-activated and text-based personal assistants have became part and parcel of our lives. 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, or chatbots 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. Check out the extended article for visual previous of the research study, conducted by Starfleet Research and underwritten by Oracle Hospitality.

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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