Weekly Roundup #43: Travel, Tech and Social Media
Hi, everyone! Another week means another weekly roundup, so we gathered and summarized the most important hospitality news and stories that were published this week in the media. You can take a look at your dose of information. Also, don’t forget to follow our social media accounts: we are on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram!
Until next Friday, have a wonderful weekend!
Northstar Travel Group has acquired tnooz and its related assets as part of a plan to further accelerate development of Phocuswright’s fast-growing PhocusWire media property. Tnooz will be merged with PhocusWire over the course of the remaining months of 2018, with its content archive, many of its signature products and long-standing editorial focus on online travel and travel technology being retained by the PhocusWire team. The acquisition is another signal of the rapid impact on the travel, tourism and hospitality sector that PhocusWire has achieved in the twelve months since its launch at The Phocuswright Conference 2017, the premier conference for senior executives across the travel technology industry.
The World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), in partnership with the Global Tourism Economy Research Centre (GTERC), presented its Asia Tourism Trends Report at the Global Tourism Economy Forum in Macao (China). The report shows Asia and the Pacific outperforming all world regions in growth in international arrivals since 2005. ‘UNWTO/GTERC Asia Tourism Trends – 2018’ shows that international tourist arrivals in Asia and the Pacific grew 6% in 2017 to reach 323 million, around a quarter of the world’s total. Of all world regions, Asia and the Pacific (the second-most visited after Europe) has grown the fastest in international tourist arrivals since 2005. Arrivals increased an average of 6% per year, above the world average of 4%.
Travel commerce platform Travelport has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with China National Tourist Office New York (CNTO New York) on October 19 to establish a strategic agreement to market China as a tourist destination for North American travelers. The collaboration aims to help CNTO expand its footprint through Travelport’s travel commerce platform and Travelport Digital Media products. Both Travelport and CNTO New York will also work to promote China through trade engagement and drive affluent travelers and MICE travelers to China.
Trends and Insights
Customer-centric business strategies rule in today’s online economy. The underlying reason for this is because companies rely on a customer’s electronic word-of-mouth. Establishing a “relationship” means interacting with your end consumer, even if that conversation is through invisible, digital means. Whether question, comment, concern, or complaint, feedback paves the way to success. The term Feedback appears a bit vague at first glance. What is it? What does it mean? What does it encompass? Knowing that feedback is actually an umbrella term, we explored the answers to all of the above questions in our latest blog article, so make sure to take a look and get more insights into the true meaning of feedback and how it impacts a hotel business.
A gap in the user experience between consumer and corporate travel platforms leaves many business travelers frustrated – and booking outside of approved tools. Nevertheless, a majority (90%) of business travelers believe travel is essential to driving growth for their companies, and 91% prefer to close a deal in person, even if it requires air travel. Those are some of the results of a survey of 2,900 business travelers in the United States conducted by TripActions in June 2018 and detailed in its 2018 State of Business Travel Report. Respondents said they were frustrated by the limited inventory options in corporate travel management solutions, which causes them to spend too much time in the booking process. Eighty-three percent of those surveyed said it takes them more than an hour to book a trip.
Online booking giant Ctrip has finally made the move into hotel management with the launch of hotel management brand Rezen Hotels Group. The aim of the launch announced at the World Cultural and Tourism Forum in China, is to bring together high-end Chinese hotels under one banner and improve their performance with 'big data analysis' backed by Ctrip. In some ways, hotel management is a natural progression from the marketing and distribution already undertaken by Ctrip and other OTAs on behalf of the hotels they work with. Indeed, Peter O'Connor of ESSEC Business School suggested last year that rapidly rising franchise fees could lead hotels to abandon their chain affiliation in favor of simply handing the reins to their OTA partners. Read more in this extended post.
Facebook may be for social connections between families and friends, but its Messenger platform is home to over 300,000 customer service, marketing, and sales chatbots – and this number isn’t slowing down anytime soon. This insightful article from G2 Crowd explores the ins and outs of the chatbots, what they are, how they work and also, it explores the anatomy of a Facebook chatbot and its features. Not only that, but the article provides in-depth examples of companies that are currently using Facebook chatbots to their advantage and how they manage to do so. Make sure to check out this extended post for more interesting information and data about chatbots and specifically, Facebook ones.
Hotels and hospitality businesses count among the first with a need to adopt and adapt to new technologies, but also historically speaking, they count among the last. AR – as in augmented reality – is already here, and its impact could be significant in beefing up ROI for many hotels, yet a substantial number of them stays oblivious to the trend. AI drives most of social media networks, updates, apps, and searches online, but somehow hoteliers still ponder whether there is a need to adopt such tools to serve their businesses. Despite visionaries who develop smart hotel tech, daring early adopters, forward-thinkers who are happy to volunteer to beta test and who trust something innovative, against all skeptics, many hoteliers are resistant to change. This article takes an in-depth look at the tech innovations that impact travel and the hotel experience, like mobile tech and virtual reality.