Weekly Roundup Weekly Roundup #34: Travel, Tech and Social Media Laura Badiu // August 24, 2018 // 7 minute read Hello everyone and welcome back to our Weekly Roundup! You know why you’re here - it’s time for your weekly dose of fresh hospitality news and stories, so take a look at the top headlines below. Don’t forget to check out our social media accounts for even more updates on what we’re doing, where we’re traveling and all that jazz. We are on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram. Until the next week, have a fun weekend! Industry News Mövenpick Hotels & Resorts strengthens its Thailand portfolio: Our client Mövenpick Hotels & Resorts has expanded its Thai portfolio to nine properties Kingdom-wide, after signing an agreement to rebrand and manage the renowned Nai Lert Park Hotel in Downtown Bangkok. The iconic upscale urban resort - strategically located on Wireless Road in the Central Business District, yet nestled in an oasis of lush landscaped gardens set back from Bangkok’s bustling streets - will re-open under Mövenpick’s management in early 2019 after a comprehensive refurbishment program. Offering 294 stylish guest rooms and a wide range of business and leisure facilities, it will be the hospitality firm’s third property in the Thai capital, joining Mövenpick Hotel Sukhumvit 15 Bangkok and Mövenpick Residences Ekkamai Bangkok. Travel Agents Get a Dose of the Sharing Economy Through Sabre Deal with Booking: Travel agents won’t have as much credibility as they want with their customers unless they have a complete view of lodging markets in terms of rates and accommodation types. That’s one of the reasons that Sabre, a global distribution system provider, is testing with 10 to 20 travel agencies implementation of its recent agreement with Booking.com to bring millions of hotel and apartment listings onto its distribution platform. A global rollout would likely come during the first quarter of 2019. Sabre rival Travelport has offered Booking.com listings to travel agencies since at least 2012, said Bill Florence, a company spokesman. Sabre doubled down this summer in announcing an agreement with Booking.com to add more than 28 million listings of its hotels, homes and apartments to the Sabre platform. Gen Z Travelers Will Overtake Millennials by 2019: Gen Z will comprise 32 percent of the global population of 7.7 billion in 2019, nudging ahead of millennials, who will account for a 31.5 percent share, based on Bloomberg analysis of United Nations data, and using 2000/2001 as the generational split. People born in 2001 will turn 18 next year, meaning many will enter university, be eligible to vote and, depending on their citizenship, smoke or drink alcohol without breaking the law. Gen Zers have never known a non-digital world and have grown up amid events such as the “war on terror” and Global Recession. We have previously discussed about how hoteliers can prepare for Gen Z and you can get more insights here. Trends and Insights Know Your Business – How Reputation Management Can Help Increase a Hotel’s Revenue: You know that saying that goes something like “Keep your friends close and your guests even closer”? Probably not, but when it comes to hospitality, it would sure make sense. The first rule of any successful business is “know your client!”. Especially in the hotel industry, since we are talking about a people-centric business, with such a personal touch to it, focusing on the guests and their needs is an absolute must and a great advantage, if leveraged right. Before adopting any kind of marketing strategy, it’s important for hoteliers to thoroughly analyze past performance and experiences, especially from a guest’s point of view. After all, any change that is made in terms of hotel amenities, presentation or service, is done with the guests’ needs and expectations in mind. And there’s no better way to anticipate what the next guest will react positively (or negatively) to than to analyze the opinions of past ones. TrustYou Adventurers in Cluj-Napoca: What Makes the European Youth Capital of 2015 so Special to Us: While being a truly global company with offices across 3 continents, TrustYou sites are shaped by local cultures, making every work environment particularly unique to our Adventurers. A couple of weeks ago we published a blog post on what our Munich Office Team loves especially about their city. This month, it’s our TrustYou Adventurers in Cluj-Napoca who give insights into what they enjoy most about living in Romania’s largest student city. From a vibrant economic and cultural life, to a combination of old and new, countless business and entertainment options and fun people, here’s what our Romanian adventurers love most about their beautiful city. Latest BDRC Hotel Guest Survey Reveals Surprising Trends on OTAs and Direct Booking: BDRC's 2017 Hotel Guest Survey (HGS) results show the impact of hotels brands' "Guest Loyalty" rates on booking platform trends. The data demonstrates that OTAs continue to sustain their share levels while direct booking has recovered somewhat, mostly at the expense of review sites and other channels. The degradation of the hotel review site platform share (i.e. TripAdvisor) towards the end of 2017 appears to have been shared by OTAs and brands. Comparing booking platform data trends from Q3 of 2015 through Q3 of 2017 suggests that there's been no material shift in direct bookings: both brands and OTAs are seeing roughly the same booking share percentages that they were in Q3 2015. Technology HTNG Publishes Framework and Guidance for Voice Technologies: HTNG’s Voice Interaction Framework Workgroup has published a white paper that offers guidance and best practices for the implementation of voice technologies in hotels. The rapid growth of interest in voice-based hotel guest engagement makes this release particularly timely and valuable to HTNG members and the broader community of hoteliers. Key industry players from hotelier and technology vendor communities met bi-weekly over the course of 12 months to identify and vet suggested guidelines for the implementation and operations of voice-based technologies, along with use cases and management features to be employed by hoteliers. The workgroup aims to give hoteliers a jumpstart in how they are thinking about the implications of voice technologies on their properties, saving them the time and effort associated with developing a unique voice interaction framework for their portfolio. In China, Millennials Are Driving Digital Travel Sales: Maturing online travel agencies and mobile payment apps around the world are changing the travel industry. Consumers are increasingly booking online thanks to improved mobile app experiences and low prices. This year digital travel sales worldwide will increase 10.4% to $694.41 billion. Nowhere is the shift from offline to online booking more pronounced than in China. Digital travel sales in China will total $133.90 billion in 2018, a 20.5% increase over 2017. "Growth in China is expected to be so rapid that the country will nearly catch up to the US in sales by the end of the forecast period," said Corey McNair, author of eMarketer's latest report "Global Digital Travel Sales 2018: Ease of Mobile Payment Options Boost Online Bookings."