Weekly Roundup #31: Travel, Tech and Social Media
Greetings, everyone and welcome to our Weekly Roundup! As usual, during this week, we gathered every single piece of information that sparked our interest and we guarantee that you’ll find them interesting as well. So take a look at the headlines and, for more daily news and stories, make sure to follow our social media accounts: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+ and Instagram!
Until next Friday, have a lovely weekend!
Our client Kayak has recently launched a new Trends Tool which will allow customers and travel agents to shop around for the best times to fly to destinations worldwide. Users can choose their origin and destination airports and see how the average prices have changed and demand has differed to hundreds of destinations. The data, gleaned from Kayak’s 1.5 billion search results each year, goes as far back as January 2014 and also predicts prices in the future – as far in advance as December 2018. Also, it was announced yesterday that Kayak acquired Brazilian travel metasearch site Mundi.
Recent reports showed that Spain continues to break tourism records, with the number of visitors up 12% in the first six months of the year. Spain has broken its own tourist number records each year for the past four years as economic and security concerns elsewhere lure visitors away from rival Mediterranean destinations. The National Statistics Institute said Monday that 36.3 million tourists arrived January through June. Most -- 8.6 million -- came from Britain, an increase of 9.1% over the same period last year. German visitors were in second place, up 10% at 5.5 million. The government said a total of 75.3 million tourists arrived in Spain in 2016.
Our partner, online travel agent Wego - founded in Singapore and now dual-headquartered in Dubai and Singapore - has formed a strategic partnership with MBC GROUP (Middle East Broadcasting Centre), the largest and leading multimedia company in the Middle East/North Africa (MENA) region. MBC has invested a significant amount to accelerate Wego’s growth across the region. As part of this partnership, Wego’s mobile apps and website will be heavily promoted across MBC GROUP’s various platforms throughout the year.
Trends and Insights
This week we released a new best practice guide, from which hoteliers can benefit from. Since there are so many metrics that a hotel can use to make a business decision - REVPAR, ADR, Occupancy Rates - we have ranked some of the top undervalued key performance indicators (KPIs) that are based on guest perceptions of your hotel. With this in mind, we encourage hotels to add the following 5 guest review KPIs to their list of analyzed metrics. You can download the free best practice from our website and see exactly how those KPIs can help improve your operations.
To help Aussies look at the overall cost of a trip, our client Skyscanner has compared prices for flights as well as the average daily costs one might occur while on holiday to find the ultimate value destination to travel to and Upsize their Dollar in 2017. Kuala Lumpur has been revealed as the most budget-friendly hotspot for Aussie travellers this year, with a five-day trip, including flights and common amenities (food, accommodation and travel) amounting to $867. Phuket and Bangkok are also amongst the top dollar-saving destinations this year, with estimated costs totaling $880 and copy,060 respectively. In comparison, Singapore was found to be the most expensive destination at $2,209 – almost three times the cost of a holiday to Kuala Lumpur.
Asia Pacific (APAC) is expected to be one of the fastest growth markets for online travel this year, with China a significant growth contributor particularly on mobile, according to Expedia Affiliate Network (EAN) and Phocuswright’s ‘2017 Phocus Forward: The Year Ahead in Digital Travel’, a key insights travel report. Based on report findings, global online travel bookings this year (2017) should reach USD$567B (versus USD$513bn in 2016). By 2020 APAC is likely to be the largest travel – and online travel – market globally, predicted to represent: 42% of total travel demand (vs 34% in the US and 24% in Europe) by 2020; and 37% of online travel demand by 2020.
What once began as a “minor ranking factor” is today being given an increasing amount of weight. Hotels with websites that work perfectly across devices are ranking higher in Google than ever. During 2016, half of online travel bookings were made on mobile devices, expected to increase to 70% by 2019. Put these two facts together and you have a competitive edge. While hotel websites not optimised for mobile devices are pushing prospective guests away, your mobile-friendly website works harder and Google will give you a larger piece of the pie.
Sabre Corporation, the leading technology provider to the global travel industry, has released its latest technology forecast, Sabre Labs’ 2017 Radar Report. The report evaluates nine key technologies with an outsized impact on the travel landscape, looking at what’s happening today and what to expect for tomorrow. Some of the topics covered and analysed in the report are: blockchain, neural interfaces and space tourism.