Weekly Roundup #32: Travel, Tech and Social Media
Hello again, dear readers! Welcome to our Weekly Roundup! Every end of the week, we make it our mission to deliver to you a summary of the most interesting and relevant recent news. So here is what we found this week, we hope you enjoy the read and come back next Friday, for another Roundup!
Until then, have an amazing weekend!
This week, the Priceline Group Inc. reported its second-quarter net income of $720.2 million, up from $580.6 million year over year. Gross travel bookings were $20.8 billion, an increase of 16% over a year ago. Gross profit increased 21%, to $3 billion. Priceline beat both its expected earnings per share and revenue, but after-hours traders punished the group due to its lower guidance on room nights booked and gross travel bookings; the stock price was down 6.5%. Booking.com, the group’s Amsterdam-based accommodations powerhouse, now has more than 1.3 million hotels in 220 countries and territories in its inventory.
Our client Tui reported “a strong performance” in third-quarter results with group turnover for the three months to June up 16% to €4.94 billion and underlying operating profit up almost 19% to €191 million year on year. The group recorded the first profit for the first nine months of the year in its history. Chief executive Fritz Joussen forecast “another good year for Tui Group”, saying: “We are delivering growth and reiterating our guidance. “We expect turnover growth of more than 3% [and] our underlying operating result is expected to grow by at least 10% in the full year.”
Korea’s first ‘lifestyle hotel-plex’ Seoul Dragon City will open on 1 October, featuring four AccorHotels brands, 1,700 rooms, 11 restaurants and bars, 17 meeting rooms, two multi-function grand ballrooms, and a world first: four full floors of entertainment in a Sky Bridge suspended between two of the towers. “2017 has been a record-breaking year for AccorHotels in South Korea, highlighted by this launch of the largest project we have signed in the country featuring four hotel brands in the same complex, including the introduction of Grand Mercure and Novotel Suites in this market,” says Patrick Basset, Chief Operating Officer of AccorHotels, Upper Southeast and Northeast Asia.
Trends and Insights
Since our company is focused around feedback and reputation management, we honestly think that the best possible type of advertisement is a satisfied customer. Therefore, we are proud to say that this week, we released a brand new case study, available for free download, about our client Destination Zermatt-Matterhorn. You can see exactly how, by using the Meta-Review integrated in our guest feedback platform, Destination Zermatt-Matterhorn managed to increase its conversion rate by 7% and register other improvements, in order to offer the best possible user experience.
A newly-released report, The Future of Luxury Travel, by Sabre Hospitality Solutions in collaboration with TrendWatching reveals five key areas impacting how customers will choose luxury accommodations and experiences in the years ahead. “The evolution of high-end travel is creating a marketplace where ‘luxury’ is defined by the most exclusive, unique experiences that reside at the intersection of affluence and access,” said Sarah Kennedy Ellis, vice president of global marketing and digital experience at Sabre Hospitality Solutions. Each of the five trends have immediate implications for the hospitality industry, showing how luxury brands and innovative startups can attract high-end travelers by providing fresh, unique opportunities and experiences.
This week, Skift did a data dive into the habits of U.S. high-income travelers. What do they value and what expectations do they have from their travels, those were the questions that Skift’s “2017 U.S high income traveler”’ survey answered. Skift Research designed and fielded a comprehensive 50-question survey aimed at the top 20% of income earners in the United States. With more than 1,300 responses, Skift segment and cross-tabulate results to identify travel trends based on income, education, accommodations preferences. Plenty of interesting and useful results can be found in the extended research.
Customers who book travel online hanker after the human touch when things go wrong, according to new research by a customer experience firm. Responding to Webhelp’s UK survey, 81% of people said they tend to book travel online or via a mobile app and 77% book their main holiday of the year using an electronic device. Among 18 to 24-year-olds, that figure rises to 93% while 90% of 35 to 44s do the same. But when things go wrong with our travel plans we turn our backs on technology, according to data from the survey of 500 consumers. Overall, 67% of people surveyed said they would prefer to resolve a travel issue that occurred before their journey by telephone or face-to-face.
Nowadays, hoteliers are so inundated with technology that the tasks of prioritization and selection have become far more than just daunting; research and procurement are practically a job title unto themselves! Unless you have specific objectives with a firm plan and budget in mind, you'll easily be intimidated by the sheer myriad of options for consideration. This article is defining hospitality technology according to four distinct pillars. While each pillar interconnects with the others in various forms – notably, guest service delivery as well as the nightly rates that you can get away with charging – breaking them down into these silos will help you weigh the matters financials as well as ensure that no single area goes overlooked for too long a stretch of time.