Weekly Roundup Weekly Roundup #5: Travel, Tech and Social Media Laura Badiu // February 2, 2018 // 6 minute read Week 5/2018 The Weekly Roundup is here and you know what that means: it’s the end of another great, productive week and we have the news to prove it. As usual, you can find here a selection of hospitality news and stories, ranging from trends to technology and everything in between. So make yourself comfortable and enjoy the read. Until next Friday, don’t forget to follow our social media accounts (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+ and Instagram!) and have an amazing weekend! Industry News Upcoming Webinar - The Value of Cross-Channel Communication Between Hotel Staff and Guests: We’re more than excited to announce that, together with our friends from Volara, we are hosting a new webinar on the 7th of February. This time, we are focusing on helping hoteliers better understand and market the value of cross-channel communication between their staff and their guests. Also, we’ll be debating several ways in which hotels can use text and voice messaging in order to increase the overall guest satisfaction and improve the ROI. We’ll share insights from our activity, since our direct messaging feature pairs with Volara and enables voice messaging, through Amazon Echo’s “Alexa”. You can read more about how this works and how voice messaging helps your hotel business in this post. Also, don’t forget to register for our webinar, it’s free! Sabre Corp. to integrate multisource hotel content into GDS: Sabre Corp. is taking a new approach to how it deals with hotel inventory. Traci Mercer, senior vice president of lodging, ground, and sea, said that for the first time it will integrate multi-representational hotel content with traditional GDS content. Home to this union will be the new Sabre Content Services for Lodging, a solution designed to accommodate multiple sources of content. The result is that the user can see side-by-side comparisons of what exactly is on offer for any given price point. Sabre Content Services for Lodging, which will launch later this year, has initial agreements with Bedsonline, TravelBound and the Expedia Affiliate Network (EAN) to create critical mass at the outset. European hotel demand at its highest level since 2000: According to MKG Consulting, after the year 2016 marked by a steady occupancy on the European territory, the year 2017 shows results significantly improved with an occupancy rate increased by more than 2 points. This increase in occupancy together with – slightly - higher prices (+2.5%), enable RevPAR (revenue per available room) to grow by 5.7%. European hoteliers had not recorded such a performance since 2011. All major markets recorded strong returns. The countries bordering the Mediterranean Sea (Portugal, Spain, Italy and Greece) continue to benefit from their leisure tourism dynamism allowing them to attract clientele coming from all over Europe. The winner is the Portuguese hoteliers who show a RevPAR increase of 18.8%, mainly due to average prices growth (+ 14.5%). Trends and Insights Why Listening To Your Guests Is The Key To Improved Operations Management: Swinging back and forth between departments and representatives is usually a pretty frustrating experience, especially when you’re on vacation. No one wants to waste time on complications or misunderstanding, no matter how unintentional they are. Due to tech developments however, operations management can be significantly improved and using an all-in-one guest feedback platform can positively impact the overall internal processes and operations. In this blog post, we talk about how being able to manage multiple actions from one single platform and constantly communicate with guests eases and improves operations, which leads to a better reputation and more future bookings. How to boost direct bookings in APAC, according to Triptease: The report, Spotlight on… Direct Bookings: Asia-Pacific, explains how the dominance of OTAs, which accounts for roughly 70% of the APAC online hotel market (according to Phocuswright), is affecting hotels in the region. The report states that on average, OTAs undercut rates on hotel websites by an average of 11.4%. A country-by-country breakdown reveals an even more dramatic problem in countries like Thailand, Vietnam, and Malaysia. So, driving direct bookings continues to be a pressing concern for most hoteliers. The report provides insights and advice by industry experts, including WIT founder Yeoh Siew Hoon and Triptease’s own data, on how hotels can grow significant revenue through direct bookings. Innovative companies and good corporate citizens attract Millennials to travel: World Tourism Forum Lucerne, executive search firm Korn Ferry and IATA have published a new Action Plan to attract more Millennials to the travel sector. This Action Plan follows an in-depth study conducted last year which consists of a series of interviews with 50 CEOs and influential aviation industry leaders, as well as an online study of Millennial talents which Korn Ferry conducted last year. The results were published at World Tourism Lucerne. Findings show that Millennials prefer to be associated with companies which empower them, foster creativity and are good corporate citizens. They are looking for flexibility and customization both as consumers and in their careers. The growing influence of digital technology in our daily lives, and the new business models arising from digitalization also influence their decisions. The most popular travel and tourism-related companies among those surveyed were Airbnb, Uber and Google. Technology Hotel Technology Trends for 2018 and why your hotel should consider some of these: The hotel industry trends 2018 (for technology) are not just about losing the human touch with robots taking over every task. Quite contrary to popular belief, the latest trend in the hospitality industry is about embracing technology while retaining the one-on-one interactions. Hoteliers must know how to incorporate technology effectively and bring about a massive change to the way they work and also discover new ways to increase hotel revenue. In this post, Hotelogix provides insights into different tech concepts, such as: smart rooms and smart controls, adopting technology for energy conservation, using mobiles for keyless entry and automation with cloud services. Guest impatience is setting the pace for hotel tech implementation in 2018: Simply keeping up with the digital expectations of today’s tech-savvy consumer is no longer an option. Exceeding those expectations is a travel industry imperative and an opportunity for hotels to focus on the only thing that truly matters to consumers: the end-to-end guest experience. One reason for the growing consumer adoption of new technologies is their growing digital impatience and expectation for instant responses, answers and solutions to their queries and purchasing requests. Underscoring this is the growing adoption of digital assistants. Today, 62 percent of consumers are comfortable with an AI application responding to their query, which provides fast and efficient results. This article discusses which technologies seem to become ubiquitous within the hospitality industry in 2018 and beyond.