Weekly Roundup #47: Travel, Tech and Social Media
The Weekly Roundup is back and that means it’s time for you dose of fresh hospitality news and stories! We have it all, from trends to technology, so make sure to take a look before heading off into the weekend!
Have an amazing weekend, everyone!
Brazil Hospitality Group (BHG) announces this week the beginning of its partnership with our client AccorHotels, which will manage 17 of BHG’s owned hotels. AccorHotels also acquired LEBSPE Ltda from BHG, a company that manages The Capital São Paulo Itaim and Grand Plaza São Paulo Jardins hotels, in São Paulo; Soft Inn São Luis, in Maranhão; and Presidente Uberlândia Hotel, in Minas Gerais. BHG, the largest owner of hotel assets in Brazil, with more than R$ 1.2 billion in properties, will invest approximately R$ 300 million, in the next four years, in the renovation and repositioning of the 17 hotels that will progressively receive the flags of AccorHotels. BHG has also started a total renovation and repositioning of Marina Palace Leblon, in Rio de Janeiro which is not part of the Accor transaction.
At the start of this month, China’s largest online travel agency announced it acquired Trip.com domain as part of its acquisition of a San Francisco startup of the same name for an undisclosed amount. In the last few days, Ctrip ported the travel recommendation service it acquired to a new domain, www.trip.skyscanner.com, and on Sunday it turned Trip.com into an English-language version of Ctrip’s online travel agency content. The homepage format is different in some ways from the English-language version of its long-standing Ctrip.com website. A spokesperson said, “We’re currently testing various models to roll out enhanced travel services for the Asia Pacific users under our new global domain name Trip.com.”
Tourism has become a strategic pillar industry for China’s national economy, contributing RMB 8.19 trillion (11.01%) to China’s GDP in 2016. Some 79.62 million people were directly or indirectly employed in the tourism sector during the year, accounting for 10.26% of the total employed population in China. Tourism revenues in 2016 totaled RMB 4.69 trillion, an increase of 13.6% over the year before, according to the China Tourism Statistics Bulletin 2016 released by China National Tourism Administration (CNTA) on November 8. Tourism in China has been booming in recent years, with marked growth in domestic tourism, inbound tourism and outbound tourism every year.
Trends and Insights
This is a complex and very insightful post by our own Co-Founder and CEO, Ben Jost, regarding technology, guest feedback and the overall success of a hotel. Hotel operations and guest satisfaction are often talked about as two separate entities, but when looking at the bigger picture, we notice that feedback is the one thing that creates the much-needed connections. With this in mind, we can talk about a new formula for hotel success: Review marketing + operational excellence, organized in your tech stack = hotel success. Hoteliers need to mind the importance of everyday operations, technology, and guest feedback, in order to achieve their goals and have a successful business and an excellent reputation.
Research by the University of the West of England (UWE) identifies potential boost for domestic tourism. There is a huge opportunity for UK activities companies to expand product ranges to meet demand for personalized experiences, according to a new report commissioned by membership organization Boundless and conducted by the University of the West of England (UWE). Demand for personalized leisure experiences is far more developed than supply, according to the report, which used an analysis of people’s prior experiences of activities, as well as their emotional response towards them, to predict future trends. The study also suggested travelers are placing greater significance on experiences rather than on destinations.
Hospitality is highly competitive and especially when it comes to B&Bs, attracting guests with an excellent reputation can sometimes be challenging. Online reputation though, plays a major role in this business and smaller establishments need to keep up with the travelers’ expectations, in order to boost their ratings. In this post, you can find 5 very useful tips on how hoteliers and owners can manage a B&Bs online reputation, for more bookings, higher revenue and overall a better name among travelers.
If it seems as if nearly every major hotel company is working on a “smart” or “connected” hotel room powered by the Internet of Things, then it’s because they are. The latest hotel company to be testing this smart hotel room concept is Paris-based AccorHotels. Damien Perrot, senior vice president of design solutions for AccorHotels, told Skift that the company is testing technology that uses voice activation and the Internet of Things to make the hotel room experience more accessible and personalized. Among the incorporated technologies there are: Google Home voice assistant; A special LED lighting system; Sleep aids, like Dodow; Aromatherapy aids like Sensorwake.
Ebookers.com has begun using facial recognition in a tool to help its customers plan their holidays. Its multi-sensory SenseSational tool is designed to work out which destinations and experiences excite the holidaymaker so they can book the right trip. Online travel agent ebookers.com says SenseSational takes the user through various stages of the travel journey, tracking the face and gaze in real-time and allowing the user to make selections without physical interaction. It then records these selections and an algorithm calculates the findings to present the user with a “travel persona” and suggests destinations.