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Would You Book a Trip With Amazon Alexa?

by Ed Watkins, Contributing Editor |

Seven trending hotel news stories that will impact your hotel Revenue Strategy.

1. Voice search might be the future of travel distribution

Everyone has a longing to find the next big thing. In hotel and travel distribution, the author believes it is voice search with Amazon’s Echo product leading the way. He quotes online travel agency pioneer Simon Breakwell as a believer in Amazon’s potential dominance of the space.

Breakwell sees an environment in which travelers will eventually ask Alexa for travel details and the technology will organize it based on the commands of the user. One other benefit of an emergence of Amazon: It lessens the almighty power Google has in the travel search space.

Full story at Tnooz.

2. Google is testing hotel listings with no rates

Google is testing hotel listings that don’t include the price of the hotels. The revelation was anecdotal and didn’t come with confirmation from Google.

One theory on why Google would do this is it “puts more emphasis on the value-side of the equation, which may result in users spending more money as they will only further research (look at prices for) the hotels that satisfy their needs on the value-side.”

Full story at Search Engine Roundtable.

Hotel news roundup: Would You Book a Trip With Amazon Alexa? Click To Tweet

3. Work with OTA partners, not against them

Revenue managers, especially those at independent properties, face a conundrum in convincing online travel agencies their hotel will generate above-average revenue. The author provides nine strategies hoteliers can use to optimize their properties’ profiles on OTAs. Here are a few:

  • Build relationships with OTA market managers.
  • Offer OTAs the same availability as you would your hotel website or any other channel.
  • Strategically manage your OTA rates and promotions.
  • Consider pay-per-click marketing.
  • Consider preferred partner agreements in which you pay higher OTA commissions in return for higher rankings.

Full story at Hospitality Net.

4. Be careful as you digitize your group booking capabilities

As many hotels move to digital platforms to book meeting business, they need to be aware of falling into bad habits—especially the most dangerous habit of all: dependence on a single channel for digital bookings, says the author.

He says the emerging booking economy in the hotel meeting business needs to be a healthy one in which an ecosystem evolves where customers can book through a variety of channels. To make that happen, hotels need to launch their own direct booking platforms first, and then list their facilities—whether that’s bedrooms, meeting rooms, spas, or anything else—on a variety of online travel agency sites at a later date. 

Full story at Hospitality Net.

5. Surprise! Millennials like the sharing economy

This comes as no surprise to anyone, but new research shows millennials are much more likely to use sharing economy services such as Airbnb than consumers in other age groups. In general, millennials are three times more likely to use any sharing economy services than people aged 35 or older.

In the places to stay category, including services like Airbnb, 30% of millennials say they’ve used these services, compared to 11% of consumers older than 35. Leading the list are so-called pre-owned goods services such as eBay, which has been used by 50% of millennials.

Full story at eMarketer.

6. How to market to Chinese luxury tourists

Reaching luxury outbound Chinese tourists requires a multi-pronged approach, says the owner of an agency specializing in the market. His agency employs a variety of content platforms—print, video, WeChat and more—to influence potential travelers on their paths to purchase.

The focus on print is especially interesting. Here’s his viewpoint on the value of print marketing: “For us, it works a bit like a catalog. It’s a fairly new thing to have a high-end premium magazine that also works as a travel catalogue, and you can reach more people.”

Full story at eMarketer.

7. Americans work too hard, vacation too little

Hotel marketers probably spend too much time trying to capture their share or more of the travel pie. Instead, the industry needs to focus on increasing the size of the pie by getting consumers to vacation more. I’m not sure how that can be done, but it remains a huge problem.

New data reinforces what we all know: The average U.S. worker has only taken about half (54%) of his or her eligible vacation time/paid time off in the past 12 months. Worse yet, when Americans do vacation they hardly relax, as 66% of them say they do some work while on vacation.

Full story at Glassdoor.

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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Ed Watkins, Contributing Editor

Ed Watkins, Contributing Editor

Contributing editor at Duetto
Ed has been covering the hotel industry for more than 40 years. He was editor-in-chief of Lodging Hospitality from 1980 to 2012. He then joined Hotel News Now as an Editor at Large, until his retirement at the end of 2014. Ed still contributes to several publications and is a member of the advisory boards for the hotels schools at Michigan State and Penn State.
Ed Watkins, Contributing Editor
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Ed Watkins, Contributing Editor

Ed has been covering the hotel industry for more than 40 years. He was editor-in-chief of Lodging Hospitality from 1980 to 2012. He then joined Hotel News Now as an Editor at Large, until his retirement at the end of 2014. Ed still contributes to several publications and is a member of the advisory boards for the hotels schools at Michigan State and Penn State.