Weekly Roundup Weekly Roundup #35: Travel, Tech and Social Media Laura Badiu // August 31, 2018 // 7 minute read Week 35/2018 It’s the end of another busy week, so we welcome you once more to our Weekly Roundup! As usual, we kept a close eye on the news and stories that have been recently published and we’ve summarized them for you. So go ahead, take a quick look and get your weekly dose of hospitality info! Don’t forget about social media, we’d love for you to check out our pages: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram! Have a wonderful weekend, everyone! Industry News UNWTO Confirms Another Record Year for Tourism in 2017: International tourist arrivals grew 7% in 2017, the highest increase since 2010, according to the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO)’s latest collection of Tourism Highlights. Growth in arrivals was echoed by a strong increase in exports generated by tourism, which reached US$ 1.6 trillion in 2017, making tourism the world’s third-largest export sector. ‘UNWTO Tourism Highlights 2018 Edition’ shows that international tourist arrivals reached a total of 1,323 million in 2017, some 84 million more than the previous year and a new record. The sector has now seen uninterrupted growth in arrivals for eight straight years. 2017’s growth was the highest since 2010, led by the regions of Europe and Africa, which received increases in arrivals of 8% and 9%, respectively.. Traveler Sentiment and Intentions Are Down but Spend per Trip Is up From 2017: Following two record years for the travel industry, traveler sentiment and intentions are beginning to taper off. Traveler sentiment displayed a 6 point decrease from this time last year while travel intentions also displayed a 6 point decrease, according to the latest travelhorizons™ survey of 2,303 U.S. adults conducted by marketing services firm MMGY Global. The overall Traveler Sentiment Index (TSI), which measures U.S. adults’ interest in travel, time available for travel, personal finances available for travel, perceived affordability of travel, quality of service, and perceived safety of travel, currently stands at 110, down six points from this time last year (116). This decrease can be attributed to a fourteen point decrease in perceived affordability of travel (160), an eight point decrease in time available to travel (105), and six point decreases in interest in travel (97), personal finances available for travel (118), and quality of service received while traveling (113). Google Upgrades Holiday Travel Search, Offers Hotel Discounts: Google has enhanced its flight and hotel search capabilities ahead of the U.S. holiday travel season, while concurrently announcing that it has started offering exclusive hotel discounts to paying users of Google One cloud storage. Among Google's flight search upgrades is a new holiday-centric infographic tool, which uses a statistical analysis of historical flight prices across 25 popular U.S. routes to indicate whether fares are higher or lower than usual during the Thanksgiving, December and New Year's travel periods. The infographic tool is also available for hotel searches, showcasing destinations that have unusually low hotel prices during those holidays. Trends and Insights Everything Hotels Should Know About Messaging through WhatsApp: It’s been almost 10 years since WhatsApp hit the market for individual users and people all around the world just can’t seem to get enough of it. Why would they, really? This particular app has become incredibly popular and its applicability now goes beyond the entertainment function. Until now, many mid- and large- sized companies have been strategizing and planning how to add WhatsApp to their communication mix. Anticipating all of the issues that hotels will face, TrustYou is gearing up to add WhatsApp to our Guest Messaging tool, joining FB Messenger, Google Messaging, SMS, Webchat, and Email solutions. Make sure to sign up for our newsletter to be among the first ones to know our official launch date, plus more insights into how WhatsApp is going to be part of our Guest Messaging solution! Trip Inspiration for U.S. Travelers - Phocuswright Study: While more Americans traveled for leisure in 2017 compared to the previous year, understanding what motivated these trips and how they took shape can be tricky. In addition to deciding where to go, travelers are faced with figuring out how much to spend, whom to travel with and how to get there. Phocuswright fielded a consumer survey earlier this year targeting U.S. adults who took at least one leisure trip at least 75 miles from home in the past 12 months that included paid lodging and/or air travel. Check the extended article to learn the highlights from the research and the importance of factors when selecting a leisure destination. Millennials Are Combining Business Travel with Fun Getaways: "Bleisure Travel": "Traveling for business or pleasure?" That question is increasingly something from the past. At least that's the case with the millennial travel demographic, which is driving the trend of mixing the two and giving rise to the inevitable term "bleisure travel." Bleisure travel is a buzzword for travelers and particularly millennials, keen on achieving a work/life balance. Recent surveys suggest there has been an upsurge of interest in taking hybrid business-leisure trips that help achieve the traveler's professional goals alongside relaxation and fun. The advent of modern connectivity has allowed the concept of working while on vacation to seep into popular culture. Today, it's easy to connect to the office while the traveler is on vacation. Equally, he or she can add leisure time to that next business trip. Technology A Comprehensive Hotel Mobile Marketing Guide: Smartphones have radically changed our day-to-day lives, including how we travel and book hotel rooms. Of all hospitality advertisement dollars, 63% are spent on mobile marketing, and this number increases yearly. Some hotels haven’t adapted to this new reality yet, while others know they need to but aren’t sure how. But when you look at what’s working across the industry, it’s clear that it’s time to learn how to adopt a mobile approach. Just look at Hilton. The hotel giant says its mobile app is responsible for 20% of its bookings. Across the hotel industry, the number of bookings done through mobile apps is a little over 33%. This means that as someone in the hospitality industry, you need to have a mobile marketing plan. Tech Revolution Targets Tours and Activities: Most tours, activities and attractions are still sold the old-fashioned way through traditional travel agents using phone and emails - however the balance is set to dramatically tip over the next few years as the fast-growing sector becomes increasingly automated, according to a new Phocuswright report – Escaping the Sidelines, Tours & Activities Get Going. The report says the Tours and Activities (T&A) sector is growing faster than the overall travel industry and will be worth US$183 billion by 2020. It estimates the sector has a 10% share of the global travel market, ahead of rail, car rental and cruise.