Seven trending news items that will impact your hotel Revenue Strategy.
1. Google Pushing To Become One-Stop Travel Shop
In the world of travel, two superpowers currently prevail above all: personalization and intuition. The better a hotel, app, or travel company can respond to users’ needs and desires — and ideally, predict them before they bubble up to the surface — the more likely they are to gain a loyal following, according to this Jakarta Post report.
The report says it’s not a hotel or travel agency that’s cracking the golden acorn … it’s Google. The tech titan is leveraging its immense artificial intelligence and machine-learning capabilities to boost its travel offerings, which currently cover everything from flight and hotel search to activity recommendations, destination guides, and mapping services.
Skift’s travel guru Dennis Schaal tends to agree. Why ever stop searching for travel on Google and turn to a hotel or online travel agency site when you can book your hotel right there without leaving Google, he asks.
In a redesign of the entire Google hotel search — and booking — experience there are multiple displays in the course of browsing for hotels where you can find the Google booking feature.
In fact, if you book a hotel on Google, you can now even contact Google via an online form if you have a problem. In this piece, Skift outlines how booking hotels on Google sites works.
2. Six Website Personalization Principles
Hotels must start proactively integrating Artificial Intelligence elements into their websites in order to take back market shares from OTAs, according to this report.
The report from Avvio, which has been researching and developing personalization within hotel websites since 2009, says there are six principles to implementing a successful website personalization strategy.
The six principals:
- You cannot force conversion
- What users do is more important than what users like
- Too many options is like no options
- Everything you know today about personalization is likely not true
- Average is always wrong
- If results are inconclusive, increase sample size
3. Phocuswire Debates the Future of Metasearch
There’s an interesting debate over at Phocuswire lingering from last week over how long the concept of metasearch will continue in its current form.
On one hand, Phocuswire editors suggest the metasearch model is, like many other sectors in the industry, at a fascinating point in its evolution. Google is hell bent on continuing its strategy, for example, yet the concept of meta-book is where many believe the market is heading next.
Another viewpoint, however, suggests that price shopping, including flight and hotel metasearch, is needed by consumers only when there are hundreds of price choices, but becomes completely irrelevant when there are only a handful of choices left.
The very promise to compare rates on hundreds of sites for the same hotel is what makes hotel metasearch inherently flawed, writes Max Starkov.
4. Two New Low-Cost Hotel Brands Pop Onto Scene
Minor Hotels has taken a stake in the Global Hotel Alliance, investing a total of $3.2 million, representing a 10% share of the GHA.
As GHA enters its 15th year, the world’s largest alliance of independent hotel brand continues to innovate its approach to using a shared technology platform to drive incremental revenues and create cost savings for its member brands. The alliance is currently investing in new CRM and shared technology to build on the success of the Discovery loyalty programme.
Bangkok-based Minor last month announced it had completed its acquisition of Madrid-based NH Hotel Group. The deal gives Minor a 94.1% stake in the Spanish company, while building its portfolio to 549 hotels around the world.
5. Report: Engaged Guests Spend More
While technology can aid personalization and provide the tools for an innovative experience, hospitality is truly based on people and their efforts, as evidenced in this Skift report.
The report highlights Hector Ruiz, who serves as hotel ambassador for The Carlyle Hotel in New York and is recognized as the go-to contact for the hotel’s most loyal guests.
Ruiz is constantly assessing every space with a detailed eye, attuned to the rhythms and movements the hotel with muscle memory.
6. Hyatt Outlines Plan for Folding in Two Roads
On a conference call to discuss third quarter earnings, Hyatt CEO Mark Hoplamazian and outgoing chief financial officer Patrick Grismer offered more details and insights into Hyatt’s reasoning for buying Two Roads, and what it intends to do with its brands.
Two Roads will eventually add nearly 14,000 hotel rooms, and a total of five new luxury and lifestyle brands to Hyatt, giving Hyatt an eventual portfolio of 19 brands and more than 800 properties. It will also add 20 new markets for Hyatt, and CEO Hoplamazian reiterated that Hyatt has no plans to remove or consolidate any of Two Roads’ brands.
7. Hotel Email Marketing Trends that Boost ROI
Managers of large convention hotels are upping the stakes in the group meetings game, accommodating a range of custom and personalized requests for sizeable clients, according to this HNN report. In many cases, hotel management and staff are willing to do whatever it takes to make lucrative convention groups happy, even if it means breaking from brand-mandated procedure, sources said.
Convention attendees commonly return to their guestrooms after a long day of meetings to find personalized touches like swag bags, local souvenirs and specialized gourmet treats awaiting them. But many meeting planners—and the hotels they partner with—are pushing for more.
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