Weekly Roundup #46: Travel, Tech and Social Media
Hello and welcome to this Weekly Roundup! Here you can end your week with a few of the most interesting news and stories from the hospitality industry, that we carefully gathered and summarized for you. Make sure to take a look and enjoy the read and don’t forget to follow our social media accounts, for more insights and updates: we are on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+ and Instagram!
Until next time, we wish you a lovely weekend!
Business activity for US hoteliers held steady at previous month reading of 118.8 in September, according to this week’s release of the Hotel Industry's Pulse (HIP) indicator. e−forecasting.com's HIP - a predictive analytic which gauges monthly overall business conditions for hotels earlier than any industry indicator - stalled, posting a nil growth rate in September after a flat performance at a rate of 0% in August. The index is set to equal 100 in 2010. HIP's six-month growth rate, which has historically confirmed the turning points in US hotel business activity, posted a positive rate of 0.9% in September, following a positive rate of 1.2% in August. This compares to a long-term annual growth rate of 2%, the same as the 40-year average annual growth rate of the industry's gross domestic product.
Between January and August 2017, destinations worldwide welcomed 901 million international tourist arrivals (overnight visitors), 56 million more than in the same period of 2016. This corresponds to a robust 7% increase, well above the growth of previous years. By UNWTO regions, growth was strongest in Africa (+9%) and Europe (+8%), followed by Asia and the Pacific (+6%), the Middle East (+5%) and the Americas (+3%). Among the top 10 markets, international tourism expenditure grew fastest in China (+19%), the Republic of Korea (+12%), the United States (+8%) and Canada (+7%). Expenditure from Germany, the United Kingdom, Australia, Italy and Hong Kong (China) grew between 3% and 5%, while France reported a modest 1% increase.
Numerous elements impact personal safety, and yet many rankings rely predominantly on crime statistics to evaluate a city’s level of safety. RewardExpert – a free service that helps users take full advantage of credit card and travel rewards – released a ranking of 2017’s Most and Least Safe Cities which takes a more comprehensive look at what it means to be safe. The report analyzes U.S. cities and towns with populations greater than 3,000 people based on 32 safety indicators divided into eight major categories: crime, mortality rates, firearms, motor vehicle crash risks, health risks and health care, economic and financial risks, man-made environmental hazards, and natural disasters. Check out the report to see which U.S cities are the safest and the least safe ones.
Trends and Insights
We are quickly approaching 2018 and it has already been a while since the conventional advertising strategies have become almost obsolete. A thing of the past. A simple banner or a TV commercial is no longer enough to attract and retain customers and most brands are aware of this. With the rise of social media and channels such as Youtube, publicity and advertising reached new heights and they have often been given actual faces: the ones of influencers. There’s no good reason why the hospitality industry could not profit out of this new marketing strategy. Putting a well-known face to your brand or commercial or one-time offer is something that can boost your popularity and increase the level of visibility in the online world. We discussed the “why’s” and “how’s” in our latest blog post.
In 2016, a TripBarometer study, by TripAdvisor revealed that online reputation management was the biggest area of investment for accommodation owners, with 59% investing more in this field than they did in 2015. The same study also stated that “93% of hoteliers said that online traveler reviews are important for the future of their business.” Indeed, reviews can make or break your hotel business. it is easy to predict that online reputation management will remain the main concern for hoteliers in 2018. You can expect travelers to keep on reading reviews in the years to come, although TripAdvisor is no longer the only player of concern. Read the extended post to see why our guest feedback platform is considered a “mega-influencer” in the field of reviews and how it can help your business and its reputation.
This is a topic that our friends from Fuel Travel discussed in our webinar this week - if you couldn’t join, worry not! You can listen to the recording here. It is important for marketers in any industry to have a solid understanding of how our customers think, feel, and act. For hoteliers and hotel marketers, having a clear understanding of the travel shopping journey and what motivates our potential guests is priceless. Not only does it help us sympathize and address pain points during the travel shopping process, but also learn how to better communicate with shoppers during their evaluation and decision-making processes. Though this complex, and rather fascinating, discipline can get rather granular when studying consumer behavior, there are several simple concepts that savvy marketers can easily master and implement into campaigns.
A hotel isn’t just a hotel anymore. It’s no longer just a place for travelers to lay their heads at night. At least, that’s how our client AccorHotels is thinking about its hotels. The Paris-based company ended its AccorLocal pilot and officially launched a mobile app — something it hopes anyone can use in their daily lives. That pilot, which CEO Sebastien Bazin publicized in February, has evolved into a mobile app that allows users to access services both from local merchants and AccorHotels properties. To date, the AccorLocal app has more than 3,000 active users and features 250 participating hotels in 42 cities throughout France. AccorHotels plans to take it to the rest of Europe and eventually, the rest of the world, in 2018 and 2019, respectively.
There’s always so much discussion around what’s next in hotel service and technology. The focus on guest experience has intensified in reaction to the rising expectations of global travelers, with new technology and strategies being developed to meet this challenge. However, the future has quickly become the present. Industry-changing innovation is now upon us and the time has come for hotels to stop planning for them and start implementing them. In this post, you can check out the key guest-facing technology features your hotel should be taking advantage of to optimise guest satisfaction.