Weekly Roundup #27: Travel, Tech, and Social Media
We have a brand new Weekly Roundup on our blog, so you know it’s Friday. If you want to catch up with the most important hospitality news of the week, but don't have much time on your hands, you’ve come to the right place. Make sure to follow our social media accounts, for even more updates: we have Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram!
Enjoy your weekend!
Google And Amazons Disruption Of The Online Travel Industry Is Looking Inevitable:
Google is already making an impact with its soup-to-nuts suite of planning and booking tools. Last year, Google came in second to Expedia for one-stop shops travelers consider, according to the Portrait of American Travelers study by travel and hospitality marketing firm MMGY Global. The same study showed a preference for Expedia had dipped to 64% in 2018 from 67% in 2017. So far, Amazon has only dipped its pinky toe into the travel waters but there’s some evidence – and intense speculation – that something bigger is coming. Both internet giants bring the kind of vast resources and big-data reservoirs that allow them to dramatically change how we book trips. Read more in this Forbes article.
Expedia to Connect Travelers With Hotels When Their Flights Are Delayed:
Expedia Group is taking steps to connect the flight and hotel experience for its customers in the event of flight delays or cancellations. Expedia Group is actively working on repurposing its Expedia Partner Central Conversations tools to enable Expedia and guests, with permission, to communicate directly with hotels if flights are delayed or plans otherwise change. So said Arthur Chapin, Expedia Group’s senior vice president, product and technology, who was interviewed at Skift Tech Forum in San Francisco Thursday on the topic, “How a Product Mindset Changes everything.” Expedia rolled out the chat tool in 2016 to facilitate communications, including when the guest is at the property, between Expedia and the hotel.
Ascott, Ascendas Forms APAC’s Largest Hospitality Trust:
Ascott Residence Trust (Ascott Reit) and Ascendas Hospitality Trust (A-HTRUST) have announced a proposed combination that will see them become the largest hospitality trust in Asia Pacific, and eighth largest globally, with an asset value of S$7.6 billion (US$5.6 billion). The total consideration for the combination is S$1,235.4 million, comprising S$61.8 million in cash and 902.8 million new Ascott Reit-BT Stapled Units. This will take effect in the form of a trust scheme of arrangement, with Ascott Reit acquiring all the A-HTRUST Stapled Units at a unit cost of $1.0868, comprising S$0.0543 in cash and 0.7942 Ascott Reit-BT Stapled Units issued at a price of S$1.30.
Trends and Insights
And the Winner Is… TrustYou Reveals Top Performing Review Sources:
Guest feedback, online reputation management, and hotel ratings mean nothing without reviews. Did you know that TrustYou collects and analyzes reviews from the most sources on a global scale? This enables us to showcase the true performance level of your hotel. We took a closer look at the feedback housed in our database from 2018 to unveil which are the top performing review sources that play important roles on a global level but also from a regional perspective. Make sure to check out the extended infographic and see which hotel review sources are top-performers in your particular region.
UK: How People-Powered Reviews are Driving UK Travelers Booking Habits:
New research from Booking.com reveals a more discerning consumer, who is turning to ‘people-powered’ guest reviews when parting with his/her money. 42% of UK travelers admit they have chosen not to book accommodation because of negative reviews about the host, despite the price, location, and quality of the accommodation being exactly what they were looking for. Globally this figure increases; more than half (53%) of global travelers admit to not booking an accommodation because of negative reviews about the host. Additionally, nearly three quarters (70%) of UK travelers rate other traveler’s reviews as an important factor in helping identify friendly and welcoming hosts ahead of booking. When compared with insights obtained from 21,500 travelers across 29 markets, the figure increased to 75% of global travelers.
Global Tourism Hits Record Highs - But Who Goes Where on Holiday?
In 2018 there were a record 1.4bn international tourist arrivals, according to the World Tourism Organization (UNTWO), a rise of 6% over 2017. That doesn’t mean 1.4 billion people travel abroad for their holidays, as many people will clock up more than one trip. But it does mean tourism is playing an increasingly important role in the global economy. In 2018, it was worth about $1.7tn (£1.3tn), or about 2% of total global GDP. Even the UNWTO is struggling to keep up, with current figures vastly exceeding expectations. According to the UNWTO, four-fifths of tourists travel within their own region. Continuing a long term trend, Europe leads the way in overseas visits, receiving 713 million visitors last year alone. Globally, France leads the way, followed by Spain, the US, China, and Italy. The UK is the seventh most visited country in the world.
Sabre Broadens Hospitality Offerings with Retail Push, New Lodging APIs:
Hoteliers looking to increase direct bookings may get a leg up over online travel agencies through Sabre Hospitality’s Intelligent Retailing platform. The platform, which the company outlined earlier this year, allows hotels to sell rooms and packages through an attribute-based model, effectively eliminating the need to sell by traditional room types. Travelers can, for example, build a package that has a room with a pool view on a top floor, combined with a spa deal. But for hotels that also sell inventory via OTAs, they still need to provide a basic room rate to the intermediaries and abide by rate parity clauses.
Nor1 eBook Examines the Impact of Machine Learning on the Hospitality Industry:
In a newly released eBook titled, The Hospitality Executive’s Guide to Machine Learning: Will You Be a Leader, Follower, or Dinosaur?, Jason Bryant, Nor1’s Founder, CEO & Chairman of the Board, breaks down the complexities of artificial intelligence, machine learning (ML), and deep learning. The 49-page guide provides a deeper understanding of machine learning’s game-changing impact on the industry. With over two decades of success as a hotel technology visionary and entrepreneur, Bryant brings a uniquely broad perspective on the topic, breaking down the reality of what ML does and doesn’t do, and illuminating the ways in which it can be used responsibly to elevate guest service, create efficiencies, and generate revenue.