Weekly Roundup #49: Travel, Tech and Social Media
It’s the end of another great week in hospitality and our Weekly Roundup is here to summarize what went on, what’s news, and what’s interesting. As always, you can find here news, stories, technology, and trend pieces, so go ahead and read away! Also, don’t forget to follow us on social media, for even more updates; you can find us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram!
Until the next Friday, enjoy your weekend!
2018 has been a strong year for the tourism industry, which has registered uninterrupted growth in international trips around the world. In the first eight months of 2018 international outbound trips grew by six per cent worldwide, with Asia and South America recording the highest increases. According to the findings of the first trend analysis of the World Travel Monitor by IPK International, the outlook for 2019 also remains positive. Read the extended article for all the insightful details about how Asia and South America report highest outbound growth, tour holidays are making a comeback, and more interesting findings.
Europe’s visa regimes are among the most restrictive in the world, according to the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO), which estimated that 74% of the global population would have required a visa to travel to Europe in 2015. This number largely accounts for visitors from long-haul source markets which are amongst the most valuable as they tend to stay longer and spend more per day than the average visitor. The European Travel Commission (ETC) has published a report quantifying the potential impacts of visa facilitation for Chinese travelers on European tourism. Presently China is one of the long-haul source markets for which visa-free access to the EU, including the Schengen area, is not available despite the incremental rise in Chinese travel demand to Europe over the last ten years.
Expedia.com® analyzed thousands of data points this year to identify the top trends in travel for 2018 and the results show that American travelers are increasingly interested in unique and novel experiences. Highlights from the report include the rise of secondary destinations like Chiang Mai, the Azores, and Cartagena, and non-traditional lodging options such as tentalows and houseboats. In the activities and attractions space, observation decks, and architectural landmarks saw the biggest growth, with cooking classes and other culinary experiences close behind. Read on for more highlights from Expedia's 2018 Year in Review, including trends across destinations, air travel, lodging, and activities.
Trends and Insights
Your hotel’s reputation is based on a number of different features that travelers notice, experience, and then rate. As we continue to emphasize the importance and value of guest feedback, it’s essential to take a moment and focus on Impact Scores, which direct the attention to the categories that are most relevant when improving your reputation. As their name implies, impact scores describe how much impact each category has on a hotel’s online reputation. Make sure to read our latest blog post, to learn everything there is to know about what impact scores are, what benefits do they bring to a hotel business, how our guest feedback platform calculates them, and which are the most important ones, according to region.
The need for diversity in terms of communication methods is becoming more potent among modern travelers and hotels all around the globe are shifting their hotel-guest communication strategies towards direct messaging. For this reason, Doma Hotels chose TrustYou’s Messaging solution and are now benefiting from an increase in positive guest reviews, improved scores across their departments, and operational excellence. The group has directed its focus towards engaging with guests throughout the entire guest journey and Doma Hotels reached the positive performances mentioned above by setting up three different outreach messages for their guests. See for yourself how Doma Hotels used our guest messaging solution to get better results and improve their scores.
Mobile first indexing is very much in focus today. This is one of those hot topics that you keep hearing about, but never actually get the time to look into. Nevertheless, your digital future will be immensely influenced by this major shift in Google’s ranking. This article provides a complete overview of what mobile indexing really is about, why it’s such a big deal, when the update will happen, and what the benefits of it are for hotels. Make sure to take a look and learn all there is to know about this upcoming strategy of providing better mobile experiences.
The ability to organize and book both business or leisure trips online is now far more convenient than it used to be. Regardless, arranging trips online can still be an exhausting and cumbersome experience. Whether it's trying to find the best flight, the most affordable option, or just knowing where to go within a new city - there are many obstacles facing consumers today. To examine this area in depth, Humley, the creator of artificial intelligence (AI) chatbots for the enterprise, recently surveyed 1,000 Americans. Humley gauged consumer frustrations and preferences regarding online experiences within the travel and hospitality industries. Among other findings, the results demonstrated that over three-quarters of Americans would lean heavily on chatbots to improve the online travel experience.
Our friends from Hotelchamp introduced ‘Autopilot’ – new technology set to revolutionise how hotels think about their online guest experience. “Today’s hotel websites provide the same static experience for every visitor, which is bizarre given how different guests and their preferences are,” says Kristian Valk, CEO of Hotelchamp. Hotelchamp is set to change that with the introduction of Autopilot, an artificial intelligence engine trained to recognise and personalise the experience of every visitor to a hotel’s website. Hotelchamp’s Autopilot is not a chatbot or ‘digital concierge’ – it customises static hotel websites using a range of marketing techniques and tools. With a seamless integration, the result is a living, responsive and personalised experience, guiding guests through the entire direct booking process depending on their characteristics and needs.