Weekly Roundup #14: Travel, Tech, and Social Media
The Weekly Roundup is back and we’ve had another busy week in hospitality. As usual, we kept a close eye on the recent news and summarized them for you, just so you could quickly recap them before the weekend. So make sure to check out these headlines and follow us on social media for even more updates: we are on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram!
Until the next roundup, have a wonderful end of the week!
Accor Boosts Middle East Distribution with Al Tayyar Partnership:
Our trusted client Accor has entered a partnership with Al Tayyar Travel Group, one of the largest and oldest travel and tourism companies in the Middle East. Through this agreement, Accor will provide Al Tayyar Travel Group’s online and retail channels with direct access to real-time rates and availability for its portfolio of 4,800 hotels and resorts in 100 countries worldwide. “Our partnership with Al Tayyar Travel Group accelerates our growth strategy by cementing our presence as a world-leading travel and lifestyle brand in the Middle East, which is an increasingly important source of core business for Accor,” says Markus Keller, senior vice president of global sales for Accor.
Google Introduces Brand Filter for Hotel Search on Mobile:
This new feature follows closely at the heels of Google’s expanded insight tools for Google Flights and Google Hotels, a new landing page for Hotel Search, and a vacation rentals filter. This change could stimulate interesting shifts within metasearch, especially when we consider consumers with high brand loyalty. Users who tend to specify their desired brand choice within their initial search query will now be met with a smoother experience. This same group may also no longer see enticing deals offered by competing properties.
Airbnb Confirms Investment in Indian Hospitality Brand OYO:
Airbnb has confirmed investment in India-based hospitality company OYO Hotels & Homes. Terms of the deal, which had been rumored for the past couple of months, were not disclosed, though a source told Reuters it’s estimated between $100 million and $200 million. The investment was part of OYO’s $1 billion Series E round initially reported in September. SoftBank Vision Fund led that round, with participation from Lightspeed Venture Partners, Sequoia and Greenoaks Capital. No official announcement has been made regarding how the two brands will work together, but the companies are exploring options to bring OYO’s inventory to the Airbnb platform.
Trends and Insights
Tech Consolidation Best Practice - Go-To Guide for Enterprise Level Implementation:
The implementation of a new software is a process in itself, especially when referring to hotel chains, where every single change is reported on a large and complex scale. Due to our 10 year expertise in the hospitality technology sector, we have learned the proper ways of supporting the implementation of our feedback platform, in the most efficient way. Make sure to access this free guide that explores all the ins and implementing a new technology on an enterprise level.
Restaurants Reviews – How Much Does a Restaurant’s Reputation Actually Matter?
If Maslow taught us anything is that food is one of the primary human needs, that stands at the very bottom of the pyramid. The food business has come a long way from hunting to stay alive, to building a multi-billion dollar industry that can even turn food into a form of art. Restaurants are highly competitive nowadays because let’s be honest: there are so many options out there. So many different types of food, so much diversity, so many experiences. So besides the food that restaurants specialize on and the service that they offer, how much does their reputation truly weight in the eyes of the consumers and does it really impact the decision of going or not going to a restaurant? Find out in our latest blog article.
Hotels.com Hotel Price Index Finds Passion for Travel is Still on the Rise:
There’s no sign of a slowdown for the global travel industry, according to the latest Hotel Price Index (HPI) from Hotels.com. The prices travelers paid for overnight accommodation rose 3 percent globally in 2018, with every regional index, except the Pacific, receiving a boost. The growth in travel comes despite uncertainty such as Brexit, the wildfires in California, drought in South Africa and earthquakes in Japan. Travelers also showed resilience and renewed confidence in destinations touched by unrest like Paris, Egypt and Turkey, as well as regions experiencing currency fluctuations like South America, and areas in North America affected by natural disaster. Check out the full article for key findings of the research.
Hotel Internet Services Survey Reveals Latest Hospitality Wi-Fi Trends and Expectations:
Hotel Internet Services (HIS) has published a survey conducted on more than 670 guests and 200 hoteliers in order to demonstrate how advances in technology and increasing guest expectations have placed a higher strain on hotel Wi-Fi networks than ever before. Following a similar study published in 2015, the full report provides a detailed analysis of how the presence of high-powered smart devices has skyrocketed in the last four years, with guest online activity keeping pace to become ever more diverse and in need of additional network resources. Significant findings from the survey include the fact that more than 90 percent of hoteliers frequently encounter guests seeking to connect more than one device, demonstrating an impressive 30 percent increase since 2015's survey results.
China’s Alibaba Is Shaping the Future of the Machine-Driven Hotel:
FlyZoo, a 290-room hotel located close to Alibaba Group’s headquarters in Hangzhou is powered by Fliggy, Alibaba’s online travel platform. The experience begins with the FlyZoo mobile app. Users can select the floor and the room view and book. Local Chinese guests can check in via the app, which will also scan faces. Foreigners can check in upon arrival at one of several kiosks in the lobby. Rather than keys and cards, FlyZoo uses facial recognition in the elevator and at the room to open doors. Inside, command Tmall Genie, Alibaba’s voice technology, to adjust the temperature, lights, and curtains. Talk about smart technology.