Weekly Roundup #25: Travel, Tech, and Social Media

Week 25/2019

The TrustYou Weekly Roundup is all you need to wrap up another productive week in travel and hospitality. We have gathered and summarized the latest news and stories and have brand new insightful resources. Make sure not to miss out on the headlines below 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 roundup, have a wonderful weekend!

Industry News

AccorBot Rolls out Across the Entire Pacific:

Following the successful launch of “AccorBot”, Accor Australia’s integrated Facebook Chatbot, the group are delighted to roll out the virtual assistant across the entire Pacific. AccorBot will join Accor’s New Zealand Facebook page, to assist the group’s 1.8 million Facebook fans across four different countries (Australia, New Zealand, Fiji & French Polynesia), with everything from hotel reservations, customer service queries, city guide information, and more. AccorBot also streamlines customer service inquiries, guiding guests with simple prompts to gather all information and increase the response time to guest feedback.

Hopper Ramps up Hotel Booking with Global Private Rates and Price Tracking:

Eighteen months on from its initial launch, Hopper is applying some of the secrets learned from flights to its hotel search and booking service. The U.S.-based company says it has over 270,000 hotels worldwide now available to users of its mobile app. The inventory comes from a number of different suppliers and also via direct relationships with properties in 1,600 cities globally. Hopper has tracked historic rates and combined them with real-time pricing to "accurately forecast prices" for its inventory. It claims users will be able to also secure private rates for properties that are not ordinarily available online. Other cheaper prices from package products, member-only, geo-fenced, closed user, and pre-purchased block rates are also secured via the app, the company says.

Baidu Introduces Aladdin as its First Hotel Ads Product:

Baidu, one of the biggest internet giants in the world and China’s top search engine, recently released its hotel ads product across multiple platforms. This new product, called “Aladdin,” bears a lot of resemblance to Google Ad’s Hotel campaigns. Will Aladdin bring a whole new world to the APAC travel industry? Check out this article to find out what makes this product unique and compelling. Similar to Google, Baidu has its own ecosystem to operate on multiple touchpoints. The channel options range from search, to map, to a one-stop lifestyle app, where millions of active users browse for information tailored to their needs.

Trends and Insights

[New eBook] Become a Top-Rated Restaurant - The Value of a Good Restaurant Reputation:

It’s been an exciting week for us since we have officially released our restaurant-focused guide! This comprehensive eBook was created with the end goal of helping restaurant businesses get a better understanding of the importance of feedback, of how to become a top-rated restaurant, and how to succeed based on an excellent reputation. In the complete eBook you’ll find the answers to the following questions:

• What is the actual value and impact of restaurant reviews?

• How can technology help the proper management of a restaurant business and its online reputation?

• Which three amazing results can you achieve by properly leveraging online reviews?

Download the free guide to learn how to become a top-rated restaurant, based on your excellent reputation!

The A-to-Gen Z of Travel Loyalty:

The next generation of consumers – young Millennials and Generation Z – don’t want one-size-fits-all rewards. They want to be recognized as individuals and they want rewards that are relevant to their needs and to their travel journey. They want experiences, not just platinum status. And if they’re committed enough to be loyal to a travel brand, they also want that brand to be equally committed to understanding their preferences and desires. Plenty of research has been conducted into what motivates Millennials and Gen Z consumers, from what they like to eat to when and how they’ll buy a house. When it comes to travel, Gen Z’ers and Millennials will take about three leisure trips a year, and when they do, they prioritize experiences. Gen Z travelers are more likely to leverage their estimated $143 billion spending power on experiences - and this is a continued growth trend.  An Eventbrite study backs this up, finding that 78% of millennials choosing experiences over “stuff.”

Hotels Need to Embark on a New Chapter - the Digital One Already Written by Amazon:

The hotel industry has already given away large segments of its customers to online travel agencies like Booking.com and Expedia, and sharing economy brands such as Airbnb. And now it is at risk of losing even more market share to technology giants with massive budgets and a deep understanding of e-commerce strategy such as Amazon and Alibaba. That was the premise of “The Next Big Industry Threat,” a session Monday morning at HITEC, the Hospitality Industry Technology Exposition and Conference taking place in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Presenters contend the hotel industry can fend off these threats by adopting a retailing mindset and using technology that supports that model, rather than relying on outdated property management systems.


Tech Expands Hotel Guest Engagement Beyond Loyalty Programs - New Skift Research:

Skift’s latest research report explores the concept of hotel loyalty and highlights opportunities to engage with guests through loyalty programs as well as beyond. This report proposes a more customer-centric approach to loyalty, using the concept of the flywheel, where each stage of the customer journey should be used to collect further data on the customer, which can then be used in subsequent stages. Then Skift analyzed the expansive landscape of tech vendors that are formed around the flywheel and break them into different categories: reservation and booking tools, guest management and marketing tools, guest-facing tech, and back-end tools. The full report explores the following: how loyalty can be defined and achieved; how loyalty programs are changing; how technology is used to improve guest engagement, personalization, and ultimately loyalty; and much more.

Westin Buffalo Becomes First Hotel to Allow Guests to Connect Personal Accounts to Echo Devices:

The Westin Buffalo has become the first hotel in New York State to deploy guest-servicing Echo devices in each of its 115 guest rooms, where guests can now connect their own Amazon accounts with their personal music playlists. This new technology is managed by software developed by Volara, our trusted partner and a provider of custom voice-based solutions to the hospitality industry. It enables guests to have the option to temporarily and securely connect their Amazon account to the Alexa device in their room so they can listen to their personal music from services such as Amazon Music, Spotify, and Pandora. When a guest checks out of the hotel, the devices are automatically cleared of all personal accounts. No personal data is saved or stored.

Catalina Brinza

Catalina is a social media and data enthusiast. At TrustYou, she's on a mission to bring the most out of travel and hospitality data. One day, she hopes to experience Japan's culture to its fullest.

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