Weekly Roundup #3: Travel, Tech and Social Media
Hi, everyone! Another week means another weekly roundup, so we gathered and summarized the most important hospitality news and stories that were published this week in the media. You can take a look at your dose of information and also, don’t forget to follow our social media accounts: we are on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+ and Instagram!
Until next Friday, have a wonderful weekend!
We are happy to announce that we’re starting the year with a significant upgrade, releasing an integrated guest feedback platform and exciting review marketing features to help hotels achieve ROI. Hotels can now access the all-in-one guest feedback platform through one convenient login to easily influence every stage of the guest journey, from search and booking with its Review Marketing module, to on-site and real-time communication with Messaging, to post-stay reviews with Surveys and Analytics. To learn more about our new and improved all-in-one solution, please visit our website and feel free to contact us.
Based on data reported by destinations around the world, it is estimated that international tourist arrivals (overnight visitors) worldwide increased 7% in 2017. This is well above the sustained and consistent trend of 4% or higher growth since 2010 and represents the strongest results in seven years. Led by Mediterranean destinations, Europe recorded extraordinary results for such a large and rather mature region, with 8% more international arrivals than in 2016. Africa consolidated its 2016 rebound with an 8% increase. Asia and the Pacific recorded 6% growth, the Middle East 5% and the Americas 3%. 2017 was characterized by sustained growth in many destinations and a firm recovery in those that suffered decreases in previous years.
Ctrip and its hotel information subsidiary Joint Wisdom have jointly released the 2017 Ctrip Hotel White Paper on January 9 to provide the latest trends and consumer data insights for the hospitality industry in China. From July 2016 to June 2017, the country’s online demand for hotel accommodation grew 28.8%, according to the white paper. Average online room rates during the time stayed flat. The Chinese consumers showed growing demand for higher-rated hotels (four- or five-star) when they were filtering Ctrip’s listed hotels by star rating. Domestic hotel room nights rose 28.8% in the 12 months. Ctrip’s data also show that consumer booking behavior has changed radically in recent years with shorter advance reservation time and fragmented booking processes, and more last-minute bookings. More than half of the company’s users opted for same-day reservation and check-in, some 26% of the users booked 1-3 days in advance, and just 13% of them made reservations a week or longer in advance.
Trends and Insights
At TrustYou, we know one thing for certain: guest feedback impacts bookings. From the initial booking, all the way until the guest checks out, guest feedback impacts a guest’s decisions and experiences from start to finish. That’s why a single, online reputation solution isn’t enough to strategically take advantage of everything guest feedback has to offer. Today, hotels need a solution to not only analyze, but also collect, manage, and market their online reviews. In our latest blog post, we explore the 3 most important features that hotels can leverage in a guest feedback platform: actively promote your hotel with review marketing solutions; engage with guests in real-time with multi-channel communication; easily collect guest surveys to boost review content and gain guest insights.
Skift has recently released its Annual Megatrends Report. The 2018 version that Skift is watching in the coming year will be about travel’s continued rise and evolution despite extreme manmade and natural events. Across new frontiers in technology, brands are focusing on strategic expansion beyond traditional boundaries; travel’s purpose is growing with an emphasis on diversity and inclusion; improvements in back-end tech are driving the business of travel; operators are finding new ways of bundling in travel while new unbundling continues to change how travel gets sold; and innovators are taking new approaches to creating immersive experiences in hospitality in the face of increased digitization, among others.
KAYAK recently launched its 2018 Travel Hacker Guide, unveiling the top destinations and travel hacks for this year. Full of data-driven insights, this year's guide features the hottest destinations of 2018, the cheapest cities to travel to and new to the guide this year - a "When to Fly" section detailing the most and least expensive days of each month to hop on a flight. Two new additions to this year's guide include the KAYAK Picks list, which features travel hacks to the most anticipated and newsworthy destinations of 2018, and the When to Fly section, which helps travelers plan their next trip with confidence by displaying the most and least expensive days of each month to fly.
Travelers booking their holidays online today expect a simple, fast and user-friendly experience that covers all the available options whenever and wherever they search, book and pay for a hotel or an activity. But if there is one thing that develops quicker than technology, it is the expectations that we have of what technology should be able to do. It seems that in 2018 we´ll be expecting a more personalized and predictive service. You can find in this post a list of the five key technologies to keep an eye on this year to understand how the industry is going to meet that challenge: artificial intelligence, voice search, machine learning, cloud computing and robotics process automation.
From Google Maps and voice assistants to the scores of travel apps that make online booking easy and instant, AI is grabbing hold of the travel industry – and it's not letting go. There is a simple reason for this; the internet has made booking flights, hotels and rental cars a wholly online experience. So there's now big data on all of our travel habits, and it’s allowing AI algorithms, customization and chatbots to spread. However, the travel industry does need to be careful not to go overboard with AI and chatbots. “As we operate in an industry that is incredibly personal, emotional and complex, maintaining the right balance between genuine human interaction and efficient automation is something we're always trying to fine-tune and optimize throughout every stage of the consumer journey, " says James Waters, Global Director of Customer Service at Booking.com.