Weekly Roundup #9: Travel, Tech and Social Media
Welcome back to our Weekly Roundup! Once again, we gathered some more interesting content for you. So make sure to take a look before heading into the weekend, we have fresh news and stories from the travel and hospitality industry! Also, don’t forget to follow us on social media for even more updates: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram!
Until the next time, enjoy your weekend!
*Don’t forget that next week we’ll be at ITB Berlin and there are lots of exciting things happening there, so we hope you’ll join us!
You can schedule a meeting with our experts, to review your hotel’s performance and learn more about using guest feedback to drive better business decisions.
Our team members and our CEO will also speak at three different panels, so you can join the discussions:
- ITB Tech Talks, hosted by Travel Tripper and OTA Insight - meet our Marketing Director, Katharina Heitmann and learn from her how to use guest data to improve satisfaction rates
- The Best Cases & Panel “Guest Communication”, where our CEO Benjamin Jost will discuss communication technologies in hospitality
- Panel discussion “From Hotel Brand to Personal Brand”, where Michael Menzel, TrustYou’s CRO will talk about the rise of experience economy in hospitality
Still unsure? Well, here are just a few of the reasons why you should definitely meet with us at ITB Berlin 2019! Looking forward to having a super productive week, while helping you achieve your goals!
This week, we are extremely excited and honored to announce a significant addition to our global portfolio of clients, through our new partnership with Louvre Hotels Group. The French hotel group offers a full range of hotels, spanning from 1 star to 5 stars, with powerful brands such as Golden Tulip, Campanile, Kyriad, and Première Classe, but also recently Metropolo, Kyriad Direct, Sarovar, Jin Jiang Inn, and Hôtels & Préférence. Our feedback management solution will support the plan of Louvre Hotels Group to answer the guest's needs and expectations while ensuring the highest quality. Louvre Hotels Group will leverage the incoming guest feedback for all of its operating hotels through the TrustYou platform, which allows users to oversee, manage, analyze, and market guest reviews.
The global Travel & Tourism sector grew at 3.9% to contribute a record $8.8 trillion and 319 million jobs to the world economy in 2018. For the eighth consecutive year, this was above the growth rate of world GDP. This is according to the World Travel & Tourism Council’s (WTTC) annual research into the economic impact and social importance of the sector. The research conducted over the last 25 years by WTTC, which represents the global private sector of Travel & Tourism, shows that Travel & Tourism in 2018: contributed $8.8 trillion to the global economy; grew faster than the global economy for the eighth successive year (3.9% for Travel & Tourism versus 3.2% for global GDP); generated 10.4% of all global economic activity. Read more findings in the article.
Our client Taj Hotels continues to implement a strategy of diversifying away from luxury hotels. The latest move is to enter alternative accommodations with an experiential flavor. On March 1st, Taj Hotels will begin taking bookings for its official foray into home sharing with its new brand, Amã Trails & Stays. (Amã means “home” in Sanskrit). To start, it will offer nine heritage bungalows that have been managed for years by Tata Coffee, a sister brand of the Tata Group conglomerate that owns Taj parent Indian Hotels Company Limited. For example, guests can stay at a bungalow on a coffee plantation atop the Western Ghats in Coorg, India. The rental has a mix of Victorian furniture and modern amenities like wireless internet.
Trends and Insights
After years of ceding ground to the online giants, hospitality's online supplier-direct channel is now slightly outpacing OTA bookings, according to Phocuswright data. Last year, direct bookings accounted for around 49% of U.S. hotel and lodging online gross bookings, versus OTAs at 51%. By 2022, Phocuswright predicts, direct bookings are on track to grow to a 50% share. The turnaround follows a period of intense investment for many major hotel companies that have encouraged customers to book direct by beefing up loyalty programs, launching marketing campaigns and offering exclusive discounts or "best price" guarantees.
After a decade of astronomical growth in Chinese visitors to the U.S., the trend ground to a halt in 2018. Chinese travel to the U.S. was flat after registering average annual growth of 23% over the last 10 years, partly due to trade tensions between the two countries, said the World Travel & Tourism Council. China accounts for 4% of total U.S. visitors but 11% of all spending. "Given the economic importance of Chinese visitors, any thawing in the trade relations between the two countries would have a positive effect for the wider U.S. economy," said WTTC CEO Gloria Guevara. Despite no increase in international visitors from China, the United States in 2018 continued to be the world's largest travel and tourism economy in terms of contribution to GDP.
The golden age of major online travel agency marketing spend through TripAdvisor and other metasearch engines has lost some of its shine as they increasingly divert more of their resources elsewhere, particularly toward brand advertising. For example, the collective marketing spending of Booking Holdings and Expedia Group through TripAdvisor reached a four-year low in 2018, and their contribution to TripAdvisor as a percentage of its total revenue hit rock bottom since it became a public company in late 2011. In fact, in 2018, as reported in TripAdvisor’s year-end financial filing, Booking Holdings and Expedia Group’s contribution to TripAdvisor’s total revenue fell to 37 percent, or $597.5 million, compared with 43 percent, or $669.1 million, in 2017.
Uberall, Inc. released new data on how customers feel about interactions with chatbots. Chatbots are typically used to encourage engagement, answer questions, or stimulate sales on B2B and B2C brand websites. For the study, Uberall commissioned a survey of more than 1,000 adults throughout the U.S. Check out the extended post to have a closer look at what they found. Respondents were asked about their level of interest in chatbot experiences from major brands. Forty percent said they were interested with 20% of those saying they were very interested in interacting with the AI. However, 30% of consumers had a tepid response to chatbots, saying they were somewhat uninterested, and 29% indicated no interest at all.
Fuel Travel upgrades its white-label app for independent and boutique hotels by integrating its Fuel mobile app with Assa Abloy Hospitality. The integration of Assa Abloy’s mobile access solution into Fuel’s mobile app allows for safe, secure mobile key access for guests. The keyless entry functionality adds to Fuel mobile app's rapidly expanding features set that already includes the capability to check-in or -out without visiting the front desk, the ability to book a future stay, the option to order room service from your mobile phone and the flexibility to communicate with the property in real-time.