Weekly Roundup: Travel, Tech and Social Media
Happy Friday once again and welcome back to our weekly roundup! Scroll down for a quick peak into some of our favorite headlines from the past week!
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AccorHotels has bought upmarket home rentals business onefinestay for Euro 148 million (£117 million) and has earmarked a further Euro 64 million (£50 million) to expand the business internationally.
Although his company has made it a mission to tell customers to book direct, Hilton CEO Christopher Nassetta knows he can’t afford to overlook other distribution channels, including online travel agencies and travel agents.
A study from Google India shows that branded budget accommodation will have a bumper summer season, if search volumes are reflected in actual bookings.
With its multi-million-dollar investments in Onefinestay, Oasis Collections, and Squarebreak, AccorHotels is taking a smart, strategic approach to battling the encroachment of home-sharing platforms like Airbnb and HomeAway by embracing their direct competitors.
Trends and Insights
OTA’s significantly changed the travel industry with pricing transparency and a large selection of accommodations. Yet they pose a huge challenge to individual hotels offering online bookings due to price comparisons and competition.
As companies worldwide grapple with the rise of direct booking, suppliers are accelerating this industry shift by bringing strong incentives to business travelers. In fact, to build customer loyalty and business, hotels are making big investments to lure travelers to book directly on their sites.
Loyalty programs had been a somewhat neglected weapon in the marketing arsenals of both hotels and online travel agencies until recent months. Major hotel chains have been adjusting their loyalty strategies to support the campaigns. Last Friday CNBC interviewed Marriott CEO Arne Sorenson, and he said, “I think the most important thing for us to succeed at is the loyalty program.”
The Battle for Direct Bookings has exploded this year. Online travel agencies are developing loyalty programs in an attempt to “own the customer” even more concretely, and, in turn, hotels are starting to invest in improvements to their hotels’ branded websites to improve their direct relationship in the digital format.