Seven trending hotel news stories that will impact your hotel Revenue Strategy.
1. Hilton’s Silcock on the Future of Personalized Travel
As chief commercial officer, Chris Silcock oversees Hilton’s entire commercial team, including e-commerce, regional marketing and customer care. In a Skift Q&A, Silcock discusses Hilton’s current stance on personalization and what future efforts might entail.
“We are at the start of that journey of being able to use the data assets we have access to in a meaningful way to really differentiate the experience for our customer. We sit on a huge amount of data and it’s growing more rapidly and we’re collecting more of it at different points of interaction,” Silcock told Skift. “We can use that data to make the shopping experience more effective, buy putting the right product in front of the right customer at the right time. We can use it to personalize their physical experience.”
2. Social Media Could Help Hotels Circumvent OTAs
Social media might just be the next place travelers go to book their hotel room.
Last week, Instagram unveiled a new action button, making it easier for its 800 million users to book tickets and holidays through the app. This move is set to close the gap between simply ‘liking’ a photo and actually transporting the user to the destination.
Business accounts will be able to add an action button (either Reserve, Get Tickets, Start Order, or Book) to their profile page, taking users one tap away from a booking page without leaving the platform.
Duetto has not been shy about the potential of social media to drive direct bookings and unseat the OTAs, evidenced by our recent partnership with Facebook.How @HiltonHotels will use data to put the right product in front of the right customer at the right time #revenuestrategy Click To Tweet
3. Marriott Moves Past OTAs, Focuses on Fight with Airbnb
Though Marriott International is only a couple weeks into its pilot of home rentals in London, CEO Arne Sorenson said during the company’s first-quarter earnings call last week that it’s “off to a great start.”
Sorenson said the plan for Marriott’s home rentals business is to learn as it goes. Along with the rest of the hotel industry, Marriott has been keeping a close eye on the home rental market. Sorenson said players who entered the market early, i.e., Airbnb, did so illegally in some countries and cities. “It’s one thing for a startup to engage in a business that really does not comply with law,” he said. “It’d be another thing altogether for a 90-year-old company like Marriott to step into a business which is fundamentally illegal.”
4. Starting Point for Hotel Search is Changing
When searching for a hotel or destination, web users are no longer using search engines with terms like “hotel in Paris” but instead starting their searches at an OTA or hotel brand specifically, according to this new report.
“The starting point for online bookings is no longer, as it used to be, the classic search engine, but what is technically called a vertical search engine or, more specifically, a metasearch engine,” the author writes.
5. IHG Also Reducing Group, Meeting Planner Commissions
Intercontinental Hotels Group has joined Marriott and Hilton in reducing commissions tied to groups and meetings bookings. IHG’s company-managed properties in the U.S. and Canada will slice the commission model from 10% to 7%, effective Jan. 1, 2019. Business contracted before that date will retain 10% commissions, and properties outside the U.S. and Canada are not affected.
6. Should Hotels Participate in TripAdvisor’s Newest Offering?
TripAdvisor recently launched a new ad format called Sponsored Placements, giving hotel advertisers first position in listing results. With an ad budget as low as $6 a day, any hotelier advertiser can take advantage of Sponsored Placements and appear at the top of the results.
Sponsored Placements appears to pile on more of the same in driving traffic to its live rates, TripAdvisor’s metasearch program, according to HeBS’ look at the product. Any hotelier with an ad placement budget, a business advantage listing, and a live rates budget can participate.
But these costs add up and when the hotel continues to advertise in the Sponsored Placements after exhausting its live rates budget, the hotel is in effect, actively and purposely driving direct customers to the OTAs, the author says.
7. AH&LA Sheds Light on Fraudulent Hotel Bookings
The American Hotel & Lodging Association says consumers paid $5.2 billion in fraudulent and misleading hotel booking transactions with third-party travel companies in 2017.
In a survey, nearly one-quarter (23%) of consumers report being misled by travel resellers on the phone or online. Of those who report being misled, 46% say they were charged extra fees on their credit card, 34% had to pay for a second room because their original, paid reservation was lost, and 44% made a room request that was not relayed to the hotel.
“It’s easy and convenient to make travel arrangements online. Unfortunately, as online bookings have surged, so too have scams and deceptive behaviors,” says Katherine Lugar, president and CEO of AHLA.
Stay up on hotel Revenue Strategy news and discuss industry tech trends in the Hotel Revenue Strategy Leaders Group on LinkedIn.
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