Weekly Roundup: Travel, Tech and Social Media
Happy Friday once again and a happy new year! The holiday break has flown by; did you all have a good time off?
We are excited to be back with our usual weekly roundup, bringing you the latest in the industry. From mobile marketing trends to hotel loyalty programs and smart travel predictions, here are the headlines worth skimming. Happy reading and don't forget to check back next week for more!
“We believe that the 80/20 rule applies in the hotel world and whether a hotel on page 5 of TripAdvisor’s search results is enabled with Instant Book is much less important than the first five hotels on the page 1 of TripAdvisor search results,” PiperJaffray analyst Michael Olson says.
Booking.com has set out to match customers’ New Year resolutions with the perfect place to get away so they can keep them. The ‘Resolution Translator’ has been devised with advertising agency, Weiden+Kennedy Amsterdam and is part of Booking.com’s ‘Best 2016 Ever’ campaign.
The Starwood sales process, which kicked off April 29 at the urging of some of the hotel chain’s shareholders, involved 30 U.S. or foreign hotels or investment groups that reached out or were contacted, while Marriott International ultimately took home the grand prize in November for $12.2 billion.
In spite of November's blockbuster merger announcement, 2015 was a banner year for Starwood Hotels & Resorts, with the Stamford, Connecticut-based company reporting record growth. On Wednesday, Starwood revealed that it closed the year with 220 new signed hotel management and franchise agreements, signalling a 26 percent increase over 2014.
Ctrip announced that it will invest US$180 million in MakeMyTrip Limited, India's largest online travel company, via convertible bonds.
Dubai-based luxury hotel company Jumeirah Group has launched a new version of its mobile platform. Around half of all visitors to Jumeirah Group’s websites now use a mobile or tablet device. Jumeirah claims that since the launch of its mobile website the bounce rate has reduced from 75% to 37%, while booking performance has “surpassed expectation”.
Trends and Insights
Hotels will continue in a techie vein this year, focusing on a smoother experience for guests. From concept hotels to flexible check-outs, UK's Telegraph considers the new innovations to expect this year.
Loyalty to a chain used to mean everything. But frequent travelers are realizing that loyalty to one property or small group of properties has its benefits as well.
Hoteliers can expect more profits from F&B as they turn more toward operating restaurants separately from their rooms division, according to a group of global consultants.
Hotel restaurants are notorious for being overpriced and underwhelming, often disappointing travelers looking for either a social atmosphere or touch of comfort while on the road. To better appeal to the needs of today’s travelers and diners, some upscale hotel brands have changed their approach when planning the dining component of their properties.
More than 50 percent of Google search queries worldwide were done using mobile phones. In the United States, consumers spent more time interacting with their applications than they did watching television. And this year is expected to be equally epic for mobile.
Fueled by heavy activity within China, Asia-Pacific will surpass Western Europe next year and North America in 2018, when it will become the largest digital travel sales market in the world.
How do you create a long term relationship with someone who is brand agnostic? That is exactly what hospitality and travel companies across the industry are asking themselves as guest loyalty is historically low.