Weekly Roundup #41: Travel, Tech and Social Media
Happy Friday, everyone! You know what’s next: our Weekly Roundup marks the perfect and most productive end of each the week - here you can get your fresh dose of news and stories from the hospitality industry. As usual, we have selected the best and most interesting ones, so make sure to take a look and enjoy the read!
Until next time, we wish you a lovely weekend!
It has been a productive week for our client AccorHotels, as many other ones in the last year. The Group offered to buy Australia’s Mantra Group Ltd. in a deal valuing the hotel and resort company at A$1.2 billion ($930 million). The French company offered A$3.96 per share in cash for Mantra and was given access to its books, the target said in a statement Monday. The indicative offer was 23 percent more than Friday’s closing price. Mantra shares jumped by a record 18 percent to A$3.81 in Sydney. The deal would be Accor’s biggest acquisition in the Asia-Pacific region, giving it more than 20,000 rooms across Australia, New Zealand and Indonesia and access to a growing tourism market.
Euromonitor International is excited to share new insights about the travel industry. Travel and tourism continues to remain on track, outperforming the global economy, with arrivals set to grow by 3.7% and inbound receipts at a stronger rate of 4.1% over 2017, compared to world GDP at 3.5%. Pricing pressure will remain in the near term as there are major uncertainties buffeting the world economy, namely the rocky Trump administration, Brexit, as well as the flaring up of regional tensions across the world with a stand-off looming with North Korea and Japan, and the United States.
In 2016, while international travel grew by about four per cent, China registered a growth rate of 13 per cent, further consolidating its position as one of the world’s most important source markets for international travel. Thus, China exceeded the Asia-Pacific average outbound growth rate, which was at nearly nine per cent in 2016. These are the results of a special analysis by the World Travel Monitor, conducted by IPK International and commissioned by ITB Berlin.China also strengthened its position as the world’s fourth-largest source market behind Germany, the USA, and the UK, while further distancing fifth-placed France.
Trends and Insights
Last week we started our Independent Hotel Series, as an extension of our latest eBook: Branding Without The Brand Name - An independent Hoteliers Guide To Building Brand Value. Now it’s time to talk about your hotel’s virtual business card: the website. It’s no secret anymore that we live in the era of technology, online world and social media and that’s not at all a bad thing. We all embrace the changes and the evolution of things and ever since its debut, the world wide web has been making our lives easier. For businesses, having a strong internet presence is a must and it’s the only way of getting a great level of visibility, that you would not get otherwise. In this blog post we dive into topics such as SEO, rich snippets, meta-review and mobile optimization, so make sure to take a look!
The Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) surveyed business travelers in North America, Europe, Asia, and Latin America to find how how priorities differ among travelers from various regions. GBTA, in conjunction with Sabre, polled hundreds of business travelers around the world while conducting interviews with travel managers and human resources personnel. The top pain points for all business travelers are time spent in transit, layovers, changing a flight or train reservation during a trip, and the work environment when traveling. More insights can be found in the extended post.
Our partner Skyscanner released a new whitepaper on the travel sector charts, why the sector is increasingly looking east for inspiration. The paper details consumer technology preferences and travel habits of the most populous country on earth. It highlights how mobile search and payments solutions and branded store-front style shopping are the norm in the region. Steven Pang, Skyscanner’s General Manager China, said: “China is an authentically mobile society, and in the travel context, companies there have successfully used technology to automate payments and customer service within native mobile applications.”
Our partner Kayak has quickly expanded its use of the technology in the past two years. Among its latest innovations, it has launched hotel booking with Amazon devices featuring the voice-activated Alexa assistant. “This work is based on the explosion of everyone having one of these devices in the house, starting around the end of 2015,” said Kayak Chief Scientist Matthias Keller. “And, in the past, we’ve had great success with being early on new technologies. Our people were really excited about this, and it was a great match to develop with Alexa.” The Kayak service on Alexa — known as a “skill” — launched in May 2016. In its first iteration, it allowed users to search hotels, flights and rental cars; provided updates on flight arrivals and departures; and gave travel recommendations for given budgets.
Amadeus has published ‘Voyage of Discovery,’ an in-depth report on accessibility in travel with insights on areas for improvement along the journey, including in the technology, which helps those with disabilities and seniors plan and navigate travel. Tomás López Fernebrand, Senior Vice President Amadeus IT Group explains the need for the travel industry to develop greater understanding of the challenges of the journey for the disabled and persons with reduced mobility in the introduction.” Amadeus identifies four key elements of the ideal accessible trip: effective communication, responsive service, along with standardized content and serves, as well as a personalized offer.