Weekly Roundup Weekly Roundup #30: Travel, Tech and Social Media Laura Badiu // July 27, 2018 // 6 minute readWeek 30/2018 Greetings, fellow readers and welcome to our latest Weekly Roundup! Here you can end your week with a few of the most interesting news and stories from the hospitality industry, that we carefully gathered and summarized for you. Don’t forget to follow our social media accounts, for more insights and updates: we are on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram! Until next time, we wish you a lovely weekend!Industry News AccorHotels Sets Up $1 Billion Fund With Qatar Partner to Focus on Africa: Our client AccorHotels announced Monday that it is setting up a $1 billion hospitality investment fund with Qatar-based, government-owned Katara Hospitality, focused on growing the hospitality markets in various sub-Saharan African countries. The investment will focus on new projects and on hotel conversions, with the expectation of ultimately investing in 40 hotels, or 9,000 rooms, throughout the region, ranging from economy to luxury hotels. The fund amounts to $500 million in equity initially. Over the next five to seven years, Katara is expected to contribute $350 million and AccorHotels will contribute $150 million. The additional $500 million is expected to be financed with debt and co-investments. Exhibition Industry Reports Synchronised Growth Globally: UFI, the Global Association for the Exhibition Industry, has released the latest edition of its flagship Global Barometer research, taking the pulse of the industry. One of the key findings: for the first time in the past ten years, all four global regions have reported a positive turnover development simultaneously. In terms of operating profit, most companies maintained a good level of performance in 2017, and more than 40% of companies from all regions declared an increase of more than 10% compared to 2016. However, the prospects for 2018 are currently lower globally. Buoyant Global Economy Means Higher Hotel and Air Prices in 2019: Travel prices are expected to rise sharply in 2019, with hotels going up 3.7%, and flights 2.6%, driven by a growing global economy and rising oil prices, according to the fifth annual Global Travel Forecast, published today by GBTA and CWT with the support of the Carlson Family Foundation. “Prices are expected to spike in many global markets even as inflation remains subdued,” said Kurt Ekert, President and CEO, Carlson Wagonlit Travel. “The report explores the causes and includes an overview of what we expect to see in key markets worldwide. It also gives specific recommendations, giving travel managers ammunition for their upcoming negotiations.”Trends and Insights The 2018 Hospitality Technology Study: Hoteliers & Technology Vendors Must Work Together for the Greater Good: As technology leaders in the hospitality industry, Fuel Travel, Flip.to and StayNTouch joined forces to conduct an extensive study of hundreds of hoteliers and suppliers with a goal to learn where the industry can improve from a technology perspective. The results are compiled from 358 respondents, all of whom are involved in the process of purchasing or selling technology within the hospitality industry. The results of the study will be compared to future years’ responses in an effort to identify shifts and trends in purchase behavior. Our VP of Marketing, Valerie, provided insights as a response to the study, so make sure to check it out. 5 Reasons Why Hotels Should Message Their Guests: Technology is constantly developing and impacting the hospitality industry. As we are talking about a people-centric industry, hotels have to adapt quickly to the technologies that are benefiting their guests in order to remain competitive. The trend that can no longer be neglected is guest messaging. Download our latest best practice guide to read about the 5 reasons why hotels should message their guests and should think about implementing this technology sooner rather than later. Sojern Data Shows Desktop Travel Search Remains Dominant: Sojern published this week its third Global Travel Insights report of 2018. The new report offers a quarterly look at travel trends from around the world. Sojern's data science team analyzes billions of travel intent signals annually to help 93 percent of the Fortune 500 travel brands better understand the booking behavior of travelers and how to reach them with marketing messages. Sojern data shows that only 28 percent of travel searches in the US came from mobile last quarter. Lamping explained, "Many consumers still feel that the price comparison shopping experience is better on desktop—whether that's due to faster wifi or website load times, access to more content, or the ability to open multiple browsing windows simultaneously."Technology World Tourism Day Places Focus on Innovation and Digital Transformation: World Tourism Day, celebrated every 27 September around the world, is a unique opportunity to raise awareness on tourism’s actual and potential contribution to sustainable development. This year’s World Tourism Day (WTD) will help to put the opportunities provided to tourism, by technological advances including big data, artificial intelligence, and digital platforms, on the map of sustainable development. The World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) sees digital advances and innovation as part of the solution to the challenge of marrying continued growth with a more sustainable and responsible tourism sector. During a Crisis, Hotel Security Tech Can Save Lives: For more than 70 years, Best Western Hotels & Resorts has been a mainstay in the travel landscape. In recent years, the company has received industry praise for its transformative brand refresh, which included expanding from one brand to eleven, introducing new logos, investing over $2 billion in property improvements, and offering one of the richest hotel rewards programs to today’s travelers– Best Western Rewards® (BWR®). At the core of the brand’s efforts, however, has been its commitment to providing superior customer care, and it’s clear the company is doing just that. In fact, Best Western announced its Net Promoter Score (NPS), measuring both guest satisfaction and loyalty, reached a record high of 61.7, an increase of more than 100 percent since 2007. This is a testament to the company’s guest satisfaction efforts as well as its award winning loyalty program, BWR.