Weekly Roundup Weekly Roundup #42: Travel, Tech and Social Media Laura Badiu // October 20, 2017 // 6 minute read Week 42/2017 Hello, everyone and happy Friday! As usual, our Weekly Roundup gathered the most interesting news and stories of the week, so go ahead and take a look before you head off into the weekend. Also, don’t forget to follow our social media accounts, for daily updates: we are on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+ and Instagram! Until next week, have an amazing weekend! Industry News China is the most important outbound market globally, says AccorHotels: Our client AccorHotels will be rolling out 350 hotels over the next five years in China. Michael Issenberg, chairman and CEO of AccorHotels Asia Pacific, highlights that within Asia Pacific, China is not only the most important market but its outbound travelers are a major source of the fuel for this momentum.“Outbound travel by Asians grew 11% in 2016 and China is a key driving force behind this, with 50 million Chinese traveling within Asia Pacific last year,” he said. “China is now the most important outbound market in the world.” Priceline invests $450 million in Chinese e-commerce giant Meituan-Dianping: Meituan-Dianping, a Chinese e-commerce platform, aims to expand its other fast-growing lines of business in hotel reservations, ride-hailing, and restaurant bookings thanks to a fresh round of investment. The Beijing-based company has raised $4 billion in investment. Past investor Tencent, the messaging-and-games giant, led the round. Priceline Group participated in the round with a $450 million investment. Todd Henrich, global Head of Corporate Development at Priceline, said in a statement, “We are excited to support Meituan-Dianping, the well-recognized leader in China’s local services industry. Our commercial relationship between Agoda.com and Meituan-Dianping will help each company benefit from the other’s expertise and capitalize on the opportunities presented by China’s exceptionally large travel market.” Trivago creates sales subsidiary, looks to closer ties with independent hotels: Trivago has unveiled this week a subsidiary which it says is aimed at helping hoteliers with online direct sales. The subsidiary, called trivago Hotel Relations, will look to build up its salesforce in a bid to strengthen relationships with independent hotels. A statement says the company has seen “significant success in its hotel direct business over the past two years.” The company hopes the Hotel Relations entity will help more independent hotels embrace digital and the growth in online booking. Trends and Insights The Independent Hotel Series – Part III: Focusing On Online Reputation Management: This week, we are continuing our Independent Hotel Series with part III - it is now all about our favorite subject, reputation management. When it comes to an independent hotel, you might not be able to rely on a prestigious name or a complex structure, to boost your popularity, but this doesn’t mean that you can’t have a spotless reputation. We all know by now that reputation is something that can make or break a business and entrepreneurs, businessmen and hoteliers who ignore the audience’s feedback and impressions don’t get too far. Make sure to read part III of the blog series and learn how to properly manage your independent hotel’s reputation, to gain more popularity and revenue. What’s worrying the business traveler: Business travelers go where they’re told, regardless of the state of the world and with limited say in where they stay, how they get there, or what they do with their time. Regardless of who you are, travel for work is often stressful. In addition to dealing with the annoyances and discomfort that come with travel, you also have to do your job, often working longer hours than you normally would at the office. Not everyone is well-equipped to deal with these challenges, and there is often enormous pressure to perform. All in all, businesses are concerned with the safety of their workers on the road. Technology can help ease business traveler anxiety, but there is no flawless solution when something goes wrong. More insights in Skift’s extended article. Halal tourism has become increasingly important: Halal travel is a market that offers huge prospects for the global tourism industry. Only recently ITB Berlin announced its partnership with International Travel Week (ITW) in Abu Dhabi, the world’s leading trade show with a focus on Muslim majority tourism. ITW Abu Dhabi takes place from November 25 to 26, 2017, at Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre. It offers insight and solutions and brings together tourism leaders, innovators, investors and stakeholders who all share one common aim of understanding and driving Muslim majority tourism through targeted sectors; Halal, medical, shopping, and family-friendly travel. Muslim majority tourism is one of the fastest growing areas of global tourism and excluding Hajj and Umrah, is set to surpass +$238 billion by 2019. Technology Tui unveils facial recognition technology that predicts customers’ ideal holiday: Our client Tui unveiled a facial recognition machine that reads customers’ subconscious and suggests to them their ideal holiday. The Destination U chair, shaped like the Tui logo, was revealed to the travel industry at Tui’s official re-brand in London – ahead of today’s official change of name from Thomson. Billed as the ‘future of travel’, customers look at the screen while cameras read their facial expressions and measure their emotions, including happiness, anger,and surprise. An algorithm computes every facial response to a rapid series of “evocative” moving images of destinations and experiences, and uses that data to calculate a ‘perfect holiday’ prescription. It varies the images customers see based on their reactions. Skyscanner boss talks Asia as tech trendsetter, mobile-first, and branded storefronts: The travel industry should look to Asia, or more specifically China, to determine where commerce technology is headed. This was the view of our partner Skyscanner’s chief Gareth Williams, as he presented his keynote session at ACTE-CAPA in London last week. Williams says there are already advancements in Asia today, which make purchases simple and secure, that have enjoyed broad adoption. Williams sat down with tnooz to discuss the company’s latest paper on technology trends in the travel space, and how addressing the needs of Asian consumers is key to the future of commerce around the globe. The key driver is mobile, moving the consumer away from search as the point of origin.