Weekly Roundup #51: Travel, Tech and Social Media
Welcome to another Weekly Roundup, dear readers! It’s been another busy week in hospitality and we made sure to sum it all up for you, so here are a few interesting news and stories. We hope that you enjoy the read, don’t forget to follow our social media accounts (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+ and Instagram!) and we’ll talk to you in 2018!
Happy holidays and an amazing New Year from all of us here, at TrustYou!
Google Listings Now Feature Messaging:
Did you hear? Travelers can send text messages to hotels directly from their search results. Sending a “Message” is the newest call-to-action in Google’s My Business listing on mobile. Not only is this a free opportunity for you to connect with potential guests, but it is a more important new and direct channel for conversion from Google. Logically, when someone searches for a hotel, they are looking for more information of some sort. In a traveler’s search and evaluation stage, easily answering that vital question “Is breakfast included?” could be the difference between getting a direct booking and losing out: especially in today’s mobile-first world.
TripAdvisor to roll out Sponsored Positions for hotels:
TripAdvisor is making waves in the hotel marketing world at the end of 2017 with the roll-out of their Sponsored Placements program. Now, and for the first time, any hotel can bid to be at the top of the listings for any given destination. Just like a search engine PPC campaign, hotels can now bid to be at the top of the listings. The actual click cost depends on the individual destination and competition. In our examples below, we have found the average cost per click for Myrtle Beach, SC. is $1.96. Hotels are not able to set bids, unlike a traditional PPC campaign. Rather, they are only able to choose between three budget levels per day.
Record-breaking 107 million Americans to celebrate holidays away from home:
'Tis the season to traditionally spend with family and friends and this year Americans are traveling in record numbers. AAA forecasts 107.3 million Americans will take to planes, trains, automobiles and other modes of transportation during the year-end holiday period from Saturday, Dec. 23 through Monday, Jan. 1. This will be the highest year-end travel volume on record and a 3.1 percent increase in travel volume compared with last year. 2017 marks the ninth consecutive year of rising year-end holiday travel. Since 2005, total year-end holiday travel volume has grown by 21.6 million, an increase of more than 25 percent.
Trends and Insights
4 Easy Ways to Cater to International Hotel Guests:
International hotel guests require a different approach and, when a hotel greets them on a daily basis, it’s imperative to adjust the marketing strategy and the staff capabilities, so they would fit the exact needs and expectations of travelers. In this best practice guide, you will find 4 easy - yet highly effective - ways of catering to international guests, in order to make sure your hotel has a top-preferred position, through great service and excellent reputation.
2018 Luxury Trends: Intuitive dining, curated sleep and more:
Small Luxury Hotels of the World (SLH), in partnership with global trends analysts Trendwatching, has launched this week a luxury trends report that looks ahead at what will be shaping the luxury boutique hotel experience in 2018. According to their findings, in 2018 travelers will be looking for: Hands-on Luxe, including highly customizable features and services; Spiritual stories and one-of-a-kind moments; Novel gazing, which means libraries, reading rooms and library butlers; Night nurses and Intuitive dining.
Booking.com Reveals Ten Up and Coming Destinations for 2018
Booking.com announced this week 10 of the top emerging destinations for 2018. Research reveals that nearly half of global travelers (47%) want to take more trips in 2018, including city getaways full of history and culture (41%) to foodie havens (41%) and beach breaks (50%). Nearly half of those (45%) want to be more adventurous in their choice of destination and 60% want to do as many activities as possible, so whether a night owl, sun worshipper, foodie or culture vulture there's something for everyone to enjoy for next year's getaway. For U.S. travelers the following stand out as emerging destinations for 2018: Sapporo, Nashville, Bucharest, Zakopane, Taitung City, Brisbane, Bogota, Portland, Lima, Hannover.
How technology can increase revenue and guest satisfaction at limited service hotels:
Limited service hotels are often challenged to deliver a superior guest experience amidst a revenue-constrained environment. The brand promise is that of affordable rates and straightforward service. Yet traveler expectations are higher than ever, meaning that even limited service hotels must compete on guest experience. Thankfully, the promise of technology is that it can enhance the experience while also delivering a more personalized experience that increases both revenue and guest satisfaction. In the latest tnooz report, the vision of a thriving limited service hotel is clear: smart integration of technologies that help hoteliers identify the most lucrative opportunities, improve staff training, and optimize service delivery.
Ctrip unveils "robot hotel receptionist" to go beyond booking and marketing:
Ctrip has displayed its "robot hotel receptionist" that is able to complete check-in through facial recognition within 30 seconds. The technology was demonstrated at the recent Shanghai Creativity and Industry Exhibition (SCIE). The robot receptionist is part of its "EASY Stay" program. The comprehensive independent smart hotel solution program was initiated by Ctrip to serve OTAs and large online price-comparison platforms. The program offers seven features –robot receptionist, VR panorama display, online room selection, smart guest control and luggage delivery service. It is able to improve the efficiency of check-in/check-out by 30%.