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Personalization is key to business travel marketing

by Jason Q. Freed, Managing Editor |

A new study from Carlson Wagonlit Travel dives into the decision-making psyche of business travelers. While one conclusion—business travelers are highly dependent on mobile devices—is not a revelation, other findings should be more helpful to hotel marketers and revenue strategists:

• Business travelers want tailored one-to-one offerings delivered through mobile platforms.

• Sharing economies, like Uber, are gaining ground with business travelers, though some still have concerns over safety, data security and other issues connected with housing sites like Airbnb.

• Virtual payment options and online expense reporting are increasingly in demand by business travelers.

Catch these articles and more updated daily on the Hotel Revenue Strategy Leaders LinkedIn group:

1. TripAdvisor enhancement accommodates private guest surveys
TripAdvisor added an option to its Review Express service that allows hotel owners to ask recent guests to complete a private survey along with providing a TripAdvisor review. The new service is aimed primarily at small independent hotels and B&Bs, TripAdvisor said in a statement. Businesses working with one of TripAdvisor’s technology partners have the added option of setting up an automatically generated request two days after check out. “Full story at HotelMarketing.com

2. Hyatt dives into sharing economy
OneFineStay, an accommodations sharing economy site with a focus on luxury and boutique properties, recently raised $40 million from a group of investors that included an affiliate of Hyatt Hotels. The site says it separates itself from Airbnb and other sharing sites by offering hotel-type services as part of the rental package, such as 24/7 guest services, a personal welcome and an iPhone for use throughout the stay. “Full story at Tnooz

3. Baby boomers favor road trip vacations
Not a big surprise, but an AARP Travel survey puts Baby Boomer travel into another perspective. According to the study, 87% of Americans over age 45 have taken an automobile road trip in the past year. Boomers like to have their car with them when they reach their destinations, and they like the flexibility in case they decide to veer off their initial itineraries. “Full story at multivu.com

4. San Francisco enjoys highest hotel rates in the world
Driven by a booming technology sector, rising employment and dearth of new hotel rooms, San Francisco jumped over Geneva, Switzerland, as the city with the highest hotel rates, according to Expedia. San Francisco rates jumped 88% in the past year to an average of $397 per night. Geneva is in the number-two spot with a $292 average rate, which is down 5% from the previous year. “Full story at Bloomberg

5. Google claims innocence in search manipulation scheme
It’s easy to pick on Google, and that’s what a new Yelp-sponsored academic study does. The study claims the search giant deliberately manipulates results to favor its own content over its rivals (such as Yelp). Google issued a statement refuting the claims, saying the study focused on “just a handful of cherry-picked queries.” “Full story at eweek.com

6. Study says Airbnb-like sites aren’t hurting OTAs … yet
A new equity analyst report says Airbnb and other sharing economy accommodations sites have so far had little negative effect on business for online travel agency giants Priceline and Expedia. According to the Morningstar report, Airbnb currently adversely impacts Priceline’s and Expedia’s booking growth by about one-third of a percentage point and that could reach a little more than one percentage point by 2019. “Full story at Skift

7. New president named for Expedia brand
Expedia, Inc. CEO Dara Khosrowshahi gets a little pressure relief with the promotion of company veteran Aman Bhutani to president of the Expedia brand and related businesses. Khosrowshahi has had the dual role for the past three years. “Full story at Geekwire

8. Expedia nixes rate parity clauses in Europe
Expedia has succumbed to the regulatory climate in Europe with the announcement that beginning next month it will eliminate hotel rate parity clauses in its European agreements. The announcement follows the lead of competitor Booking.com, which earlier in the year rescinded rate parity clauses in Europe. “Full story at Tnooz

9. Airbnb looks to travel agents for distribution
Slowly but surely, Airbnb moves closer to the turf of traditional hotels. At a recent conference in the U.K., an Airbnb executive said the sharing economy site is open to working with travel agents as a distribution channel for its product. While at this point there is no infrastructure within Airbnb to work with agents, U.K. and Ireland GM James McClure said, “The company is evolving and is very open to ideas.” “Full story at Travolution

10. Priceline signs OnStar deal for last-minute hotel bookings
Drivers of General Motors autos in the U.S. and Canada equipped with OnStar can now book hotel rooms using the service. Customers push the OnStar button and an advisor will verbally provide information on hotel availability, cost, amenities and ratings. The advisor can then make a reservation through Priceline.com and download directions to the hotel to the vehicle’s navigation system. “Full story at PRNewswire

Jason Q. Freed, Managing Editor

Jason Q. Freed, Managing Editor

Managing Editor at Duetto
Jason joined Duetto as Managing Editor in June 2015 after reporting, writing and editing hotel industry news for a decade at both print and online publications. He’s passionate about content marketing and hotel technology, which leads to unique perspectives on hotel distribution and revenue management best practices.
Jason Q. Freed, Managing Editor

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Jason Q. Freed, Managing Editor

Jason joined Duetto as Managing Editor in June 2015 after reporting, writing and editing hotel industry news for a decade at both print and online publications. He’s passionate about content marketing and hotel technology, which leads to unique perspectives on hotel distribution and revenue management best practices.