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Mobile Distribution Strategies Are More Critical Than Ever

by Ed Watkins, Contributing Editor |

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

1. Unraveling complications in mobile-booking strategies

Clearly, we all know mobile booking is the way of the future in hotel distribution. But lacking a single clear “killer app” in the space, it’s incumbent for revenue managers to devise strategies that mixes the right set of tools that minimize acquisition costs and maximize profitability.

While some mobile platforms could eventually be become effective and encompassing booking tools, for now it’s best “to use these platforms to get in front of new guests. If commissions are favorable, drive reservations via that outside platform — or, even better, get referral traffic to your hotel’s own channels for direct bookings.”

Big brand companies will be able to build and deploy effective mobile apps, but smaller chains and independent hotels will need to build websites that are responsive to mobile browsers and includes content that works well on their partners’ mobile platforms.

Full story at Lodging Magazine.

2. Hotels get one chance to not disappoint a guest

Everyone in the hotel business knows guest expectations are high — especially in high-end properties. A new survey suggests guests are mostly only willing to give hotels and sharing economy sites one chance to not disappoint them. That’s a lot of pressure.

According to the data, about 50% of respondents said it would take just one bad experience with companies in the travel sector before they switched to another provider. As the story says, that’s particularly alarming for services like Airbnb, a service for which many consumers are initially wary.

Full story at eMarketer. 

Unraveling complications in mobile booking strategies, plus 7 trending #revenuestrategy stories Click To Tweet

3. Striking a balance between points, personalization

The hotel industry is at a tipping point in the way it pursues loyalty. While the days of some guests chasing points for free rooms isn’t completely over, many hotel companies (and guests) are moving toward loyalty schemes that emphasize personalization of the guest experience and, often, personalized pricing. The author believes the two concepts can work together, as there is not a one-size-fits-all answer.

And rather than asking loyal guests to choose between points and personalization, he says a balance can be achieved that helps build loyalty for a brand by pleasing the largest amount of guests — whether they’re high-volume road warriors or occasional leisure guests.

Full story at Duetto Research.

4. Advance booking pace shows warning signs

March hasn’t been a good month for advanced hotel bookings, according to TravelClick. Its monthly North American Hospitality Review shows new bookings added over the last month are down 1.6%, while committed occupancy for the first quarter of 2017 through the fourth quarter is down 1.2% compared to a year earlier. However, average daily rate is up 2% based on reservations currently on the books for March 2017 through February 2018.

Another bright spot is first-quarter growth in group business, with ADRs up 3.5% and occupancy up 1.5%. For the next 12 months, transient bookings are down 4.2% year-over-year, while ADR for the segment is up 2.0%.

Full story at TravelClick.

5. AccorHotels continues travel company buying streak

As the author says, AccorHotels seems to be in a race to become the world’s one-stop super travel brand. Last week, the French-based company purchased Availpro, enabling AccorHotels to further strengthen its business working with independent hotels.

Founded in 2001, Paris-based Availpro had raised some $3.6 million in funding, according to Crunchbase. The terms of the deal with Accorhotels were not disclosed.

Accor also purchased VeryChic, a European, member-based “flash seller” of discounted luxury and upscale hotel rooms, apartments, cruises, and vacation packages.

Finally, it also announced a partnership with Travelsify, which markets itself as the “world’s first hotel DNA content platform,” to personalize the hotel booking process for travelers online. The uniqueness of the site is its ability for consumers to search for hotels based entirely on the type of mood or experience they want to have.

Full story at Skift.

6. U.S. domestic business travel slows down

If you’re looking for clarity on where the travel industry is headed, don’t ask the U.S. Travel Association. The group’s most recent monthly Travel Trends Index shows how confusing the picture is. According to the index, while overall travel demand increased in February, the growth is slowing, and most disturbing to hoteliers, domestic business travel slowed during the month. Leisure travel is also slowing.

A potential bright spot during the month—strong international travel to the U.S.—perhaps reflects trips planned months ago and doesn’t give a true indication of where this segment is heading.

Full story at Skift.

7. Themed hotel floors could pose issues for RMs

The recently renovated Ellis Hotel in Atlanta has a PR hook: It offers themed floors catering to women, lovers of fresh air and pet owners. The woman’s floor, for example, is accessible only by a room key, and each room provides a luxury goodie bag of cosmetics.

The rooms of these floors, while probably appealing to a narrow band of guests, presents a potential issue for revenue managers by adding a wealth of additional room types and rates to the hotel’s roster. Rooms on the women’s and fresh air floors are $20 or $40 extra; and $80 extra on the pet floor.

Full story at Green Lodging News. 

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.