Weekly Roundup #51: Travel, Tech and Social Media
Greetings everyone and welcome to our very last Weekly Roundup of 2018! We’re getting ready for the holidays and a well-deserved vacation, so this is your chance to catch up with everything that went on in our industry in the last few days.
That being said, we want to wish you happy holidays, a wonderful end of the year, and an even better 2019!
When Booking.com tries to make up ground against Expedia, the leading online travel agency in the U.S. in terms of market share, the Europe-based booking site faces several challenges, including the composition of the U.S. hotel market. Booking Holdings CEO Glenn Fogel addressed some of these challenges about facing off against Expedia and making gains in the United States earlier this month. Fogel mentioned that the United States probably has the largest percentage of chain hotels, making the market dynamic different for Booking.com than what it confronts elsewhere. Both Booking.com and Expedia offer a variety of marketing and analytics services to hotels, but when it comes to trying to make up ground against Expedia in the U.S., where Booking.com trails by a wide margin, it realizes that making inroads with the big chains can be a hard sell.
OTAs are more likely to be in parity with major chains than independents and local chains, according to a recently released report from OTA Insight. "The North American Hotel Parity Report" examines rate-parity trends for second-quarter 2018 and shows there are significant parity-loss issues marketwide, with independents and local chains facing losses: 46 percent of tracked shops in comparison to 33 percent for major chains. A significant majority of parity loss from OTAs was from rates displayed 0 percent to 15 percent lower than brand.com rates. Issues coming primarily from non-contracted OTAs being out of parity - 24 percent in the case of major chains and 41 percent of independents and local chains - suggest non-contracted OTAs are the biggest contributors to parity loss.
Disruptive technologies and advanced analytics are a huge influence when it comes to bottom lines, customer loyalty, and market share for 2019. The travel industry is reaching a sink or swim point with the acceleration of predictive analytics and the nascent levels of machine learning now available. With these market forces at work, EyeforTravel has been busy developing a State of the Market package. This has been based on weeks of research with over 800 C-level travel executives from Emirates, TripAdvisor, KLM, Accor, Expedia, IcelandAir, and more. The pack includes a detailed infographic as well as a webinar with in-depth insight from Wyndham and TUI on how to conquer hyper-personalization and turn untapped profits.
Trends and Insights
It is officially - the most wonderful time of the year - and hotels all around the globe are filled with the holiday spirit… along with guests, lots and lots of guests. The winter season can be especially stressful for hoteliers, who need to plan a solid strategy in advance, as well as make the extra effort to please already stressed travelers. You wouldn’t want to be thought of as the Grinch, or even a cotton-headed-ninny-muggins, do you? So this year, we want to help you, busy hoteliers, to get into the holiday spirit while on the job, by teaching a few lessons that can be applied in terms of our favorite Christmas movies. Here’s how the movies, that we all know and love, gift us with a few valuable lessons, wrapped up carefully between laughs and Holiday cheer.
While previous generations may have selected a hotel based off of brand loyalty or the cost of the room, Millennials are not following in suit. Their sophisticated hotel selection process focuses on the attributes and the culture a hotel provides rather than a price point or a specific brand. Millennials are driving a cultural behavioral shift which places an emphasis on experience above all else. This shift has resulted in two distinct personalities in hotel trends. The first personality views the hotel as an ambassador of the city and a link to the surrounding community and culture. This view positions the hotel as the destination, not just a place to spend the night. The second personality views the hotel as a place to reside or as a collection of “pods.” With the mentality of the hotel as a “home base,” the guest is able to explore it on an individual basis. The property, in this case, is more viewed as a landing place for the traveler, not a destination.
Looking ahead, the pace of innovation will only continue to accelerate, fueled by smarter technology, evolving employee expectations, and an increasingly global economy. As 2018 draws to a close, here’s what you can expect in the coming year, and beyond: The risks female travelers face will rise to the top of the corporate agenda; Data privacy will fundamentally change product engineering; Shifting immigration and tax policies create new pressures on multi-national companies; SMBs will gain a competitive advantage by crowdsourcing data insights, thought leadership; Business travel booking is still a time-consuming process. Take a look at the extended article for all the analyzed trends.
LeisureJobs has recently released this interactive infographic that tackles the rise of robots and artificial intelligence, which is already known to affect a large number of jobs, including ones in the hospitality industry, They estimate that 47% of the human workforce will be replaced by 2035. It’s interesting to see how, being part of such a personal industry like hospitality, travelers will still need human touch and interactions in the future. By using this infographic, you can search for your exact job title and see what are the chances of it being handed over to robots and AI in the near future. However, keep in mind that adapting to new tech innovations and integrating them into your daily job can help you move forward with the aid of technology, instead of against it.
Traditional cultural values and government policy influence how Chinese backpackers use technology while traveling, according to new research by the University of East Anglia (UEA). The study looked at how independent Chinese tourists use the internet during their trips abroad and found strong social influences on their digital behavior. These result from their embedded culture, social circles, and the trust placed in word-of-mouth review platforms. Researchers found that backpackers enjoy receiving comments and compliments on their social media posts, and the process of editing and posting photos. Interacting with comments is an essential element of their trip. They also highly value digital word-of-mouth recommendations when traveling abroad, making good use of their familiar review platforms, as well as popular ones banned in China. This requires them to learn to use new technologies more commonly used outside their home country.