Weekly Roundup #27: Travel, Tech and Social Media
It’s Friday once again, so our Weekly Roundup is up and ready! Another busy week in hospitality and travel results in quite a few news and stories, that we summarized for you. So feel free to take a look and, for even more updates, don’t forget to follow our social media accounts: we are on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram!
Until the next Friday, have a lovely weekend!
AccorHotels ties new €1.2bn revolving credit facility to environmental performance:
AccorHotels has signed an agreement with a consortium of 15 banks for a new €1.2 billion revolving credit facility, with a margin that will be notably dependent on the group’s performance in terms of environment, social and governance. The new facility has a five-year tenor with two one-year extension options to be exercised in 2019 and 2020. It replaces the undrawn €1.8 billion facility signed in June 2014, that had been reduced to €1.2 billion following the completion of the AccorInvest disposal. This facility will reinforce AccorHotels liquidity and increase the average maturity of its financial resources.
TripAdvisor launches new performance analytics for hotels:
The new analytics come on the heels of a series of enhancements to TripAdvisor’s advertising solutions for accommodation providers, developed based on feedback from businesses. Sponsored Placements, the recently launched advertising solution, is building in popularity as it enables accommodation businesses to capture traveler interest and drive targeted traffic to their property through high visibility ad placements on TripAdvisor. With this latest enhancement, advertisers will be able to measure the impact of their campaigns at a glance from within their Management Centre, with valuable performance analytics and insights into competitive intelligence metrics such as market share. The new performance reporting shows that, on average, Sponsored Placements customers are seeing an uplift of 17 percent in unique visits to their TripAdvisor listing.
Pressure selling and other unfair activities of online booking platforms in the focus of UK authorities:
The UK Competition and Market Authority identified several widespread cases of hotel booking platforms’ misleading practices. One of the elements of the investigation relates to pressure selling, persuading consumers to make blindfold purchase decisions. This is one of the practices HOTREC has raised continuously attention to in the past, which misleads consumers and also increases false bookings to hotels and thus cancellations. Claims on intermediated hotel booking websites saying ‘Booked 15 times in the past 24 hours’ or ’only 2 rooms left’ and other similar mentions have been widespread on online marketplaces in the past years. Besides pressure selling, the CMA also has investigated into discount claims and display of search results.
Trends and Insights
How technology impacts the entire guest journey – Part II: The on-site phase:
Our most recent eBook, The Hotelier's Tech Stack Guide: Must-Have Technologies That Impact The Guest Journey, serves as an inspiration for our blog series, thoroughly discussing the importance and impact that technology has over every stage of the guest experience. The first part of the blog series is all about the software and systems that hoteliers should rely on during the pre-stay phase - and it can be found here. We are now continuing our journey and breaking down the order, importance, and outcome of the necessary technologies that are used while the hotel guest is on site. This particular phase is considered to be the most important one in the guest journey since this is when the guest gets to experience the hotel and its services and forms an opinion, which is later on turned into feedback.
72 stats to understand SEO in 2018 (Infographic):
Any online business knows by now the basics of SEO, since a big part of the business’ success and popularity relies on this concept. However, the rules of SEO are constantly changing so it might be somehow difficult to keep up. This extended post, by SEO Tribunal, provides an insightful view of the history of SEO and its evolution, up until the 2018 trends. Take a look at the infographic to learn 72 interesting and highly useful stats meant to help online businesses understand SEO in this modern era. Regardless if you’re a business owner looking to raise brand awareness or an aspiring digital marketer looking to learn the basics of SEO, this article will certainly help you set the right track towards web success.
UNiDAYS and Ad Age Studio 30 unveil Gen Z travel behaviors:
Gen Z might be the youngest consumer generation, but they have the interest, independence and means to travel, which will have a major impact on the travel industry. A new study from Ad Age Studio 30, and UNiDAYS, the world's leading Student Affinity Network, sets out to quantify Gen Z's preferences for travel, dispel myths, and outline what marketers can do to attract this always-on-the-go, digital-native generation. Gen Z commands up to $143 billion in spending power in the U.S. alone. The survey identified how the young adults spend discretionary funds on travel including: how often and how far they travel, how much they spend, where they go, where they stay, what they do, and what incentives attract them to a destination. Take a look at the post for some interesting key findings.
China’s travel tech companies make steady progress with AI:
Use cases of artificial intelligence are being refined as Chinese technology companies become sophisticated with the handling of massive data volumes, crafting advanced algorithms and embrace improvements in computing power and storage. Some of the areas where the application of AI is coming to the fore in the travel sector include: improving the efficiency of traditional travel agents by working out a customized trip itinerary in a matter of seconds, recommending add-ons based on the traveler’s previous bookings or recent trip planning behaviors and curbing payment-related fraud.
Technologies every hotelier needs to understand: Latest from Skift research:
When it comes to technology, a lack of integration and the resulting data fragmentation remains the biggest challenge for hoteliers. For its latest research report, The State of the Hotel Tech Stack 2018, Skift interviewed 23 industry stakeholders — from tech vendors and online travel agencies to hotel brands, independent hoteliers, and hotel management companies — to understand the constraints of existing hotel tech and the possibilities when hoteliers make the right tech investments. Skift bucketed these interviews into two focus groups — our “Tech Vendor Focus Group,” which includes 18 tech vendors and one online travel agency (OTA), and our “Hotel Company Focus Group,” which includes two major hotel brands, one independent hotelier, and one hotel management company. Throughout the report, they provide answers to key questions with regard to hotel technology.