Weekly Roundup #8: Travel, Tech and Social Media
Hello, everyone and welcome to our Weekly Roundup! You know the drill by now: every Friday, we make it our mission to break down the most important and relevant news and stories that were recently published in the media. From trends to technology, we have it all. So read along and get your dose of information before heading into the weekend. Also, don’t forget to follow our social media accounts, for even more hospitality insights: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram!
Have a wonderful weekend!
We are extremely proud to announce that our guest feedback platform has been officially named the top rated one in the industry, by Hotel Tech Report! The ranking is based on data from thousands of hoteliers in over 40 countries around the world. More than 100 of the world’s elite hotel technology products competed for a chance to win this prestigious title. The HotelTechAwards platform (by HotelTechReport.com) leverages real customer data to determine best of breed products that help hoteliers grow their bottom lines. Hoteliers recognized TrustYou's truly world-class onboarding process on hoteltechreport.com where the guest feedback platform exceeded the category average by 7%.
Our client AccorHotels isn’t planning on slowing down its acquisition strategy anytime soon. The hotel company, which has broadened out into other areas within travel over the last couple of years, expects to continue its seemingly relentless dealmaking in 2018. Since the start of 2016, Accor has bought or invested in more than 12 companies across a range of sectors, adding the likes of Fairmont Raffles Hotels International and Onefinestay to its portfolio. Buying hotel brands is a logical move for any hotel company but it is the acquisitions outside Accor’s comfort zone that have attracted most of the attention. Those include flash deals specialist VeryChic, concierge service John Paul, and events business Potel & Chabot.
Priceline Group has announced it is changing its name to Booking Holdings, effective immediately.Booking Holdings stock will begin trading under the new ticker symbol, BKNG, on February 27th. Glenn Fogel, chief executive of Booking Holdings, said: “Over the last two decades, our business has expanded from just priceline.com, operating solely in the United States, into six primary brands with headquarters around the globe, operating in more than 220 countries and territories in over 40 languages, fulfilling one unified mission of helping people experience the world. Booking Holdings consists of six primary brands: Booking.com, priceline.com, KAYAK, agoda.com, Rentalcars.com and OpenTable.
Trends and Insights
We have quickly made our way to the third installment of our Guest Feedback A-Z Guide! This week we are focusing on everything from marketing to surveys. You probably know the drill by now: we are breaking down the most relevant concepts of guest feedback and the hospitality industry in summarized definitions and referrals to extra pieces of information. Also, in case you missed the first two parts of the A-Z Guide, take a look here and here.
There are only a few months to go until the May 25, 2018 compliance deadline for GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation)—the EU’s comprehensive data protection measure.
By this date, all organization will be required to demonstrate a “reasonable level” of personal data protection. When it comes to data security, there are few sectors as vulnerable to threats as the hotel industry so as hoteliers face a need for new systems, processes and technology, many are in need of some support. We have collaborated with StayNTouch to create this checklist for hoteliers, as a guide for: Awareness and Planning; Processes and Systems; Data Privacy and Consent; Technology; Policies and Procedures.
The hospitality industry is beginning to understand the need to make life easier for their customers. One of the easiest ways in which hotels can transform guest experience is by realizing the importance of direct guest messaging. It doesn’t matter if you are a brand that has its own in-house messaging app or an independent hotel using WhatsApp or Facebook messenger. What matters is throwing open a line of communication with guests that is direct. A study previously conducted by us showed that direct guest messaging allows hotels to go one step further in building a relationship with guests. In fact, guests expect hotels to be more proactive when it comes to booking confirmation correspondence.
A white paper by SiteMinder and IDeaS Revenue Solutions has found that while hoteliers fear a future where their properties are run by robots, they believe artificial intelligence (AI) may be the key to delivering a highly-personalized guest experience. The finding was made at a thought leader breakfast held during World Travel Market London in November and during a December webinar, where leading hoteliers conceded that although robots could never replace genuine hospitality, they can decipher big data to learn about guests faster than humans. Monica Or, Consultant at Star Quality Hospitality Consultancy and the facilitator of both events, says one reason for the sentiment is the recognition that hotel guest preferences have become more sophisticated over the last 25 years with the growing accessibility of digital technology.
As technology evolves, hoteliers are continuing to invest in cloud-based solutions, platforms and apps, and increasingly utilizing ways to streamline their working processes. Andrew Metcalfe, chief technology officer at Guestline, considers the biggest tech trends that could shape the way hotels do business in the coming year. Check out the extended article for insights into: how cloud-based technology is set to be the new normal; why open APIs and integrations are THE way forward and how increased adoption of direct marketing technology will help hotels implement direct booking strategies.