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  • Meet Minneapolis: Travel to the Twin Cities this Summer for HITEC 2019

    We all know that travel can be a real hassle. So, what about a trip makes it worth packing up your suitcase, saying goodbye to your family for the next few days, fighting the airport and staying in a.

  • New Global Directors Join the 2018-2019 HFTP Board

    The HFTP 2018-2019 Global Board of Directors was installed during the association's 2018 Annual Convention and introduces new directors Toni Bau, Carson Booth, CHTP and Mark Fancourt. These extensive director profiles give insight into the distinguished professions and personal goals of HFTP's newest association leaders.

  • A Series of Must-Read Articles on Cybersecurity Produced by the HFTP Research Centers

    Data security remains a pressing concern and top priority for the hospitality industry. The HFTP Research Centers are dedicated to producing findings that can significantly aid hospitality businesses in their efforts to protect their guests’ privacy and personal information against potential cyber threats and attacks.

  • HITEC Special: Does EU GDPR Affect U.S. Hospitality Companies?

    By Alvaro Hidalgo. The EU General Data Protection Regulation has set a path towards protecting personal data which many other countries will follow. In a global industry such as hospitality, it should be a primary objective to take the steps towards compliance.

Branded airline fares and the trouble with OTAs

eyefortravel.com·Requires Registration ·21 March 2019
Delta Airlines recently flagged up the challenge of selling branded fares through non-direct channels, and this is a wake-up call for all. Tom Bacon reports.

Amazon: threat or 'prime' opportunity for hotels?

EyeforTravel ·12 March 2019
Amazon has not forayed into the travel industry, yet, but if it does it will be a "monster with a lot of data", says Maite Aguilar NH Hotels VP of Distribution, NH Hotels, who was interviewed for EyeforTravel's latest white paper - Dirty Distribution Tactics and how Hotels are Fighting Back. Amazon last made an attempt to offer hotel booking and discounted hotel deals back in 2015, but withdrew without too much fuss. Clearly, selling travel is not quite the same as retail. But that is not to say it won't be forever. In 2018 the online retail company had 100 million subscription-based prime customers. So, by all accounts, it has captive audience for travel products and services, a fact that has not been missed by the investment community or for that matter, the travel industry.Nor the hotel industry. Inderpreet Banga, Senior Director, eDistribution and Wholesale, Wyndham Hotels & Resorts, who was interviewed for the white paper, says: "Considering that Amazon's search traffic and market share continues to rise, it could acquire inventory from all travel providers and create its own marketplace/metasearch type platform." Already hotels are struggling to cope with the growing number of distribution channels that are not always playing responsibly. Among the challenges, addressed in the white paper, are the practice of onward distribution, the blurring of OTA and wholesale channels and defensive pricing tactics. So what would it mean if Amazon entered the fray? Hoteliers argue that it could expose issues in the market place, especially for those companies that do not have hand on pricing and inventory. According to Banga, "Amazon could go the direction of exclusive rates such as Google has done with their Google One programme. They source discounted inventory from various distributors that undercut the market using the Google 'closed user group'. I think this is why inventory control is so important and those distributors that do not abide by the terms of the agreements will be turned off or penalised."Speaking of technology giants the white paper also explores where hotels are redirecting their marketing budgets. Highgate Hotels, for example, has scaled back PPC spend by a third over the past two years. "We can't compete with the OTAs, and it simply doesn't work," says Gopakumar Menon, VP - Distribution & Revenue Management, Highgate Hotels.In Highgate's case spend is being redirected into Google, and also Facebook and Instagram, which from an advertising perspective, according to Menon, are more effective channels. Google's Hotel Paid Ads, he says, is proving to be a particular effective channel.Ana Salom, EyeforTravel Head of Innovation, says: "Our white paper shows that even if hotels don't have their direct distribution strategy in order, they will be found in Google, not via their own website but on an OTA website."The full white paper is packed with insight and tips from leading brands including Rough Guides, Highgate Hotels, NH Hotels, Wyndham Hotels & Resorts, Civitatis and CarTrawler and is available to download here: http://bit.ly/HsynPRA .

Is Google the only one opening doors to the independent hotel room?

EyeforTravel · 8 March 2019
Hotels are rethinking their relationships with online travel agents and wholesalers, and putting Google at the centre of their distribution strategy, according to EyeforTravel's latest free whitepaper - 'Dirty Distribution Tactics and how Hotels are Fighting Back'. "Google is probably by far the only making one strides to make the independent hotel bedroom relevant," says Gopakumar Menon, VP - Distribution & Revenue Management, Highgate Hotels.Highgate, which has a portfolio of 100 hotels and 30,000 across the world, says the Google's Hotel Paid Ads product has entirely changed the hotel distribution landscape. "This is huge because Google is even going a step further by making hotels visible and bookable based on the number of transactions they secure," he says.There are many reasons, outlined in the whitepaper, that hotels are radically rethinking their distribution strategy. Maite Aguilar NH Hotels VP of Distribution, NH Hotels, says: 'What we have seen in the last year is that there are more and more distribution channels popping up."On the hand that can give hotels more visibility, but it also makes it difficult to control how rates are being distributed, and in the past year, NH has seen competitive scores falling.The whitepaper reveals seven ways that hotels can and are fighting back including revising all contracts, pricing and terms and conditions, notifying partners when they are breaching agreements and rethinking wholesaler relationships.Says Menon: "We are making them [partners] aware that just as they are watching us, we are also watching them. We are letting the OTAs know that we are as serious as they are and our direct business is very important."NH Hotels also means business. "Getting our distribution strategy under control is a major priority for our business right now, and we are experimenting and testing various techniques to see what works," Aguilar says.While Google, as Rough Guides' CEO Rene Frey, puts it "is a different beast" and "sits all along the user journey with incredible power" not everybody is comfortable with that.Senior leadership at Expedia, for one, has been vocal about acknowledging the threat. Expedia Chairman Barry Diller has called for greater regulation of Google, while Group CEO Mark Okerstrom recently admitted that the search giant is now their biggest competitor.Bobby Healy, CTO of CarTrawler, a firm that works with over 100 airlines, and was also interviewed in the white paper, believes that Google has "erected the largest toll booth on distribution that the travel industry will ever see".While Google might be delivering value to hotels today, there are drawbacks. Menon says: "We are forced to work with intermediaries approved by Google and they are in a very nascent stage of tech development".Ana Salom, Head of Innovation, EyeforTravel, says: "As we all know, the travel industry moves like a glacier but new technologies are helping hotels get their house in order, and those that don't will be left behind."The full whitepaper is packed with insight and tips from leading brands including Rough Guides, Highgate Hotels, NH Hotels Wyndham Hotels & Resorts, Civitatis and CarTrawler - download your copy for free here: https://bit.ly/2NQKXanFor more information go to https://bit.ly/2HkZx94 or contact ana@eyefortravel.com

Revealed: Agenda & Speakers for EyeforTravel's Digital Strategy Summit

EyeforTravel · 5 March 2019
EyeforTravel has officially launched the 22nd edition of its European flagship, the Digital Strategy Summit - Europe's largest forum for management, marketing, ecommerce, operations and innovation teams from across hotels, airlines and OTAs.The 2019 event will take place over 2 days (21 and 22 May) at the Hilton Tower Bridge hotel in London and will bring together senior travel professionals and business leaders to discuss the business-critical challenges and opportunities facing travel brands today.Over 50 speakers have already been confirmed to speak, here's a sample: Tim Atkinson, Business Development - Communications Products and Services, EMEA, GoogleFernando Vives, CCO, NH Hotel GroupRobert Paterson, CEO, Best Western HotelsSteven Taylor, CBO, Accor HotelsRene Frey, CEO, Rough GuidesBas Lemmens, CEO, Meetings.comTomas Garcia Hertz, CEO, Boomerang Reisen GmbH Simon Powell, CEO, TransferTravelHans Meyer, CEO, ZokuJoss Croft, CEO, UKInboundMatthijs Keis, CEO, WithLocalsMichael Ros, CEO, BidroomMarc Hofmann, CEO, CheckmyBusDavid Ferreira, CEO, Nightly.travelDave Ashton, COO, Loco2Georgina Richardson, COO, TrustedHousesittersFranck Kermarrec, CMO, Millenium Hotels and ResortsEnrique Espinel, COO, CivitatisLuis Monteiro, Executive Board Member - Digital, Product, Marketing and CRM, Pestana Hotel GroupAlex Tourski , Founder, izi.TRAVELDejan Romih, Founder & CEO, MountVacationJoseph Duignan, Head of Inflight Sales and Customer Experience, RyanairAmy Wei, Group GM of International Train Tickets, CtripMatthew Garidiner, London Director, Travel Massive, IAG CargoSusan Hooper, Non-Executive Director, UberAriane Gorin, President, Expedia Partner SolutionsEsamatti Vuolle, Product Owner, FinnairCassian Sillins, Senior Director - EMEA Accommodations, KAYAKGregory Sion, SVP - Sales & eCommerce, Pierre & Vacances Centre ParksIan Di Tullio, SVP - Guest, IbisDaniel Kerzner, VP - Customer Experience, Virgin AtlanticFrippe Stenberg, VP - Brands, Customer Journey, Digital Development and Innovation, Scandic HotelsRiko van Santen, VP - Digital Strategy & Distribution, Kempinski HotelsGopakumar Menon, VP - Distribution & Revenue Management, Highgate HotelsShailesh Pallipuram, VP Channels, Europe, Middle East, Asia and Africa, IHGDara Brady, Digital Director, RyanairDaniel Wishnia, Digital Marketing consultant, GCH Hotel GroupBeckhy Power, Director of Travel, GooglePamela Whitby, Editor, EyeforTravel The 2019 agenda will cover the latest trends disrupting the industry landscape, best practices and case studies from the industry's leaders in marketing, distribution, partnerships, technology and much more.A snapshot of the topics that will be discussed in 2019 include: Enhance your offering by enabling company-wide digital reform: Leverage the digital eco-system and embrace company-wide reform to drive innovation and remain relevant in the face of shifting consumer trendsStrengthen your partnership strategy to maximise profits: Watch sales soar by using metrics and data to calculate the ROI of your distribution partnerships, developing a more pragmatic partnership strategy and making ancillary products available on the company websiteBudget for innovation, boost bookings and cut acquisition costs: Gone are the days of burdensome acquisition costs: assume a holistic approach to your web presence, developing sound marketing, social media and dynamic packaging solutions that drive people to your site and inspire sales.Revitalise your CX with technology Discover the power of Artificial Intelligence, Virtual Reality and all the latest technologies designed for you to provide a seamless, hyper-personalised customer experience that delivers value and cultivates loyalty.Strategies for continued growth Access untapped markets and cultivate new revenue streams; carve out a niche, use data to understand your target market better and mould your product around their expectations, making each experience unforgettableFor more information about the conference, please visit the official website: https://events.eyefortravel.com/travel-distribution-summit-europe/To download the official conference brochure, click here

Ryanair, Accor Hotels, Uber, Virgin Atlantic, Google...Travel's most powerful stakeholders prepare to present a comprehensive roadmap for digital transformation at EyeforTravel's Digital Strategy Summit

EyeforTravel ·28 February 2019
With digitalisation of the travel industry expected to raise profitability by $300 billion (World Economic Forum, 2017), the Digital Strategy Summit invites attendees to implement lasting changes that will help them get a slice of that pie.New technologies present innumerable challenges for travel brands. From reworking your distribution strategy and reducing acquisition costs to budget for innovation, constructing a customer-centric business structure that facilitates data optimisation, to using Virtual Reality and voice technology to increase customer engagement - the Digital Strategy Summit confronts all of your technology-related challenges head on.With 90% of speakers being VP-level and above, this truly is the most senior event on the market to approach the challenge of digital transformation from such a holistic and comprehensive standpoint.Just some of the fifty industry heavyweights already confirmed to speak at the event include:Steven Taylor, Chief Brand Officer, Accor HotelsSusan Hooper, Non-Executive Director, UberJoss Croft, Chief Executive Officer, UKinboundDave Ashton, Chief Operating Officer, Loco2Fernando Vives, Chief Commercial Officer, NH Hotel GroupLuis Monteiro, Executive Board Member - Digital, Product, Marketing & CRM, Pestana Hotel GroupBecky Power, Sr Director of Travel, GoogleEyeforTravel's Head of Innovation, who is also directing this ground-breaking event, says, "Response to this event has been incredible. With so much enthusiasm from attendees and loads of industry leaders agreeing to take part, I'm sure the event will host some revolutionary discussions and trigger significant progress for the European travel industry."The agenda revolves around five key themes:Budget for innovation, boost bookings and cut acquisition costs: Gone are the days of burdensome acquisition costs: assume a holistic approach to your web presence, developing sound marketing, social media and dynamic packaging solutions that drive people to your site and inspire sales.Enhance your offering by enabling company-wide digital reform: Leverage the digital eco-system and embrace company-wide reform to drive innovation and remain relevant in the face of shifting consumer trends
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Why Demand-Based Data Matters

EyeforTravel ·27 February 2019
Demand-based data is increasingly important and can allow travel brands to become both more agile in the short-term and better prepared for long-term trends according to the new Understanding Customer Behaviour Through Demand-Based Analytics white paper from EyeforTravel and Datumize, which is free to download now. Looking at ongoing demand patterns will arm travel brands with a wide-range of capabilities, such as more responsive marketing, better-adjusted pricing, more personalised products, superior forecasting capabilities and increased planning capabilities.This kind of data is of utmost importance to a youth brand like Contiki, part of The Travel Corporation's agglomeration of 30 international brands. Raj Dhawan, senior executive, technology at The Travel Corporation, explains that understanding and forecasting demand is critical to keeping Contiki's catalogue of offerings appealing and up-to-date."The one area that we look at regularly is search terms on our website - the cities and countries where people are searching," he explains. "That may result in us culling some trips and destinations or increasing our inventory on those destinations."There are areas and destinations that are hot in the market versus those that are not, and every year that changes a bit. Based on that, our product changes to some extent, with variations that could appeal to the audience that we have."Building on this monitoring, the business is experimenting with a machine learning pilot to give these learnings a concrete and immediate use: Depending on patterns of searches, for example for a particular area or cost bracket, Contiki customers will see a website personalized for their type of customer."When people search for certain terms, the website is curated based on this," says Dhawan. "That's something we are piloting, and that uses machine learning and the search product on the website."This is just one example of the insights from brands featured in the white paper. Download the full research now to get more from industry leaders, including Europcar, IHG, Thomas Cook Hotels & Resorts, Vueling and W2M.Demand-based analytics promise a step-change in travel brands' capabilities, unlocking huge insights that will allow brands to better target consumers, build superior products and adjust faster to changing patterns. To understand how to unlock the value contained in demand-based data, download the Understanding Customer Behavior Through Demand-Based Analytics white paper now! It includes:Real-world examples and case studiesIndustry survey dataData-based techniques and areas of focus that can improve business performance immediatelyExpert insight.Click here to download your copy of the white paper for free!
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How simple measurements can make a big difference to travel brands' performance

EyeforTravel ·25 February 2019
Rigorously monitoring even the most basic of demand-based data can make a critical difference to overall performance says EyeforTravel and Datumize's new Understanding Customer Behaviour Through Demand-Based Analytics white paper, which is available to download now. The paper finds tracking own-site searches, business-to-business requests, drop-outs across the funnel and service availability can result in major uplifts to bookings."All companies know what they sell - but they don't know what they don't sell," says Josep Maria Gomis, Travel Solutions Architect, at Datumize. He suggests that travel brands can grab uplifts in conversions quickly by monitoring simple elements such as geographies for where requests are received. "When we deployed our solution with one of our clients five years ago, for example, we found that the first region they received requests for was Spain." The sales director knew this already, and he was also blase about the discovery that the second most common type of request was for inventory in France. But the fourth region - to his astonishment - was China. "He said - 'you are wrong - we are not selling in China!'" says Gomis. "And we said, 'you are not selling because you don't have a product, but this is the fourth most popular market for which you receive requests. You should have a product for them! We consider this a lost sale.' And after a month they started offering products for China. Profits went up."Another way of finding these lost sales and improving business performance quickly through monitoring requests is looking at the languages used: "One of our customers discovered that people were looking for products on its Polish webpage but typing in queries in the German language," says Datumize founder Nacho Lafuente. "This might seem like a stupid case but it's tens of thousands of euros that you are not converting. If you are looking for 'Crete', a Greek island, on a Polish page, then the result is not found." Analysing requests can find that some customers are not finding products that you have available because of a language gap. Not every destination is the same in every language, which leaves an obvious measurement metric to judge whether the offering matches what your clients are searching for.Demand-based analytics create opportunities to match a brand's product with the true picture of what customers want and are looking for.Measuring relatively simple metrics, such as those above, also gives brands an opportunity to search for patterns and critically when anomalies occur in those patterns. For Spanish tour operator W2M, which receives 250 million availability requests per day, finding the mismatches has been a key driver of business performance. W2M has set up some automatic alarms to flag up higher-than-expected error ratios, so the IT team can respond immediately. "We went from a 10% level of error to under 5%," says Ernesto Sigg Rodriguez, head of clients and supplier performance. "I would say that represents between 5% and 10% growth in terms of sales," which has made major difference to his business where margins are very slim.Making dynamic changes and working across a business to implement them requires constant inputs, says Lafuente. "When you are dealing with a highly competitive business such as travel, margins are so low that they need to squeeze [every] euro," he says. "It's not only about having a general understanding or perception of how things are going. You need to photograph every single minute and have alarms for things if they break certain thresholds."Demand-based analytics promise a step-change in travel brands' capabilities, unlocking huge insights that will allow brands to better target consumers, build superior products and adjust faster to changing patterns. To understand how to unlock the value contained in demand-based data, download the Understanding Customer Behavior Through Demand-Based Analytics white paper now! It includes:Real-world examples and case studiesIndustry survey dataData-based techniques and areas of focus that can improve business performance immediatelyExpert insight.This white paper features insights from:EuropcarIHGThe Travel CorporationThomas Cook Hotels & ResortsVuelingClick here to download your copy of the white paper for free!
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Measuring And Making The Most Of Consumer Data

EyeforTravel ·20 February 2019
Virtually every consumer-facing travel brand is capturing critical data constantly from their site visitors but many are struggling to maximise its value says EyeforTravel and Datumize's new Understanding Customer Behaviour Through Demand-Based Analytics white paper. This is because of the reams of information that are being constantly created across multiple channels and the need to be always on and live. These factors often prevent travel companies from getting down to the key metrics that matter and being able to fully extract and study them."Travel companies normally only have access to converted sales and aren't able to track all the requests that customers are making though channels," explains Datumize's head of marketing Carlota Feliu."Some of them they can do tracking , for example, through their own website. But the vast majority they are not capable of tracking this data with the technologies they are using. Everything that you want to do in demand forecasting starts with good data and good knowledge of your customers - without this, you won't be able to understand demand, predict it, or increase it," says Feliu.She points to several key areas where brands can start to interrogate their data:Inventory: Do you have the right offer at the right price in each area?Availability: Do you have the stock available to action all requests, and in the right price range?Experience: Are all software links in the chain performing as they should for a quick, smooth booking?Vueling Airlines, a Spanish, low-cost provider, has around five million search queries a day, 50% of which come directly from customers and 50% from online travel agencies and other tour operators. But since its business goal is to answer all enquiries for a flight in a second or less, it was struggling to store and make use of all this demand data.Jonathan Guerrero Corcho, innovation manager, explains that a Datumize solution - which monitors everything without adding any code to the main process or slowing anything down - means that the business can now understand more which kinds of routes and dates are most in-demand, with negligible noticeable effects to end users."We can see if a route is being asked for more times than we are operating on for those days and we can not only adjust the current schedule but we can adjust the next schedule," he says. "We can say 'this route is better to operate on Tuesday than Monday, as the numbers are saying that this route is more requested on Tuesday.'"This kind of learning is particularly important for a business that does not operate the same flights each day, but a limited number of times a week.For more case studies of brands that have driven performance gains from better utilisation of data, download the free white paper now.Demand-based analytics promise a step-change in travel brands' capabilities, unlocking huge insights that will allow brands to better target consumers, build superior products and adjust faster to changing patterns. To understand how to unlock the value contained in demand-based data, download the Understanding Customer Behavior Through Demand-Based Analytics white paper now! It includes:Real-world examples and case studiesIndustry survey dataData-based techniques and areas of focus that can improve business performance immediatelyExpert insight.This white paper features insights from:EuropcarIHGThe Travel CorporationThomas Cook Hotels & ResortsVuelingClick here to download your copy of the white paper for free!

Expedia - there is 'room for all who play responsibly

eyefortravel.com·Requires Registration ·19 February 2019
In a bid to stay relevant to customers, Expedia is investing in emerging technologies like cloud and voice Never shy about saying that with Google as its greatest competitor it needs to stay vigilant, Expedia is also on the ball about achieving optimum efficiency in technology. What other way to stay ahead? As its latest announcement shows in its figures for 2018, the solution is to throw money! In 2019, Expedia says it expects to up its spend on cloud alone to $250 million!

Savvy customer acquisition needs a cost effective approach and great partners

eyefortravel.com·Requires Registration ·18 February 2019
Ahead of this week’s webinar, we hear from Civitatis which has found a niche delivering tours and activities to the Spanish speaking market EyeforTravel’s State of the Industry Survey, which attracted over 1,600 responses from across our community, finds that the biggest challenge and priority for industry executives today is customer acquisition.
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Are travel companies ready for the digital revolution?

EyeforTravel ·18 February 2019
According to the World Economic Forum, digitisation in the aviation, travel and tourism industries is expected to create up to USD305 billion in value through increased profitability up to 2025. This should make digitisation a key priority for the travel industry, however, achieving a strong platform to do so is proving difficult for travel brands. This is one of the findings from the new Understanding Customer Behaviour Through Demand-Based Analytics white paper from EyeforTravel and Datumize, which is free to download now.In a major survey of the industry featured in the white paper, travel suppliers (accommodation, car hire, cruise, ground transport, airlines & tour operators) said that their greatest internal issue is digital transformation (34.4% of respondents). This is followed by technological alignment (30.5%) and the perennial concern of data siloes and internal data quality (29%), both of which are critical to achieving a digital brand fit for the 21st Century."Our data and the industry interviews conducted for this white paper suggests that a significant proportion of the travel industry is struggling to construct the necessary infrastructure to create strong digital brands," said Alex Hadwick, Head of Research for EyeforTravel. "Stringent data practices increasingly underpin the modern travel sector, which is emphasised by our finding that the most important trend for travel suppliers right now is GDPR and cyber security, followed by big data and analytics. There is huge value to be unlocked but brands need to get the basics right first by complying with regulations, creating secure, structured and accessible databases and measuring the right metrics."The research recommends that brands move data into the cloud and focus on getting a picture of total demand. This is the approach of hotel giant IHG: "Before we had a big data platform, we weren't able to store and analyze our availability requests," said Jeff Garber, vice president of revenue management systems at IHG during the EyeforTravel 2018 Digital Data Europe conference. "We had a lot of information about reservations, and customers that had made reservations. As we bring more data into that big data platform, we can really understand the choice model. Our next step is merchandising and being smarter about what people aren't buying so that we can reduce the clutter we are showing to them."Demand-based analytics promise a step-change in travel brands' capabilities, unlocking huge insights that will allow brands to better target consumers, build superior products and adjust faster to changing patterns. To understand how to unlock the value contained in demand-based data, download the Understanding Customer Behavior Through Demand-Based Analytics white paper now! It includes:Real-world examples and case studiesIndustry survey dataData-based techniques and areas of focus that can improve business performance immediatelyExpert insight.This white paper features insights from:EuropcarIHGThe Travel CorporationThomas Cook Hotels & ResortsVuelingClick here to download your copy of the white paper for free!
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Hotels are losing out on metasearch

EyeforTravel ·13 February 2019
Hotels aren't bidding enough on metasearch sites or monitoring the space effectively, affecting their bottom lines and brand loyalty, says EyeforTravel and Fornova's new The State of Hospitality Distribution: Metasearch white paper, which is free to download now.Data from the white paper drawn from nearly 10 million searches on meta engines in 2018 reveals that just 34% of bids monitored featured a direct link posted by a hotel.Across March, April, and May 2018, less than a third of the shops made by data partner Fornova on meta sites had a direct hotel option being displayed. This rate reached a low of 18% in March 2018 and rose to a high of 28% of shops made in May. Ranking for hotels was also low on the sites monitored, with hotels' bids coming in at the sixth-ranked option on average in May 2018.This is allowing OTAs to dominate the space, one which is increasingly crucial for attracting consumers. More than 90% of consumers report using meta sites for price comparison when booking accommodation but the vast majority of bids and outbound traffic from these hugely popular sites, including Google, TripAdvisor, and trivago are benefitting Online Travel Agencies (OTAs) finds the white paper.Furthermore, hotels are being undercut by both their contracted OTA partners and by third parties working without agreements. The research finds that contracted OTAs are undercutting by an average of 5-6% on meta sites and by an even higher 10-11% by non-contracted OTAs. This means the consumer, who is largely driven by value, is frequently seeing better rates than hotels direct bids, meaning wasted spend and lost data and brand loyalty. When the consumer is searching 14 days or less out from their stay, the research found that they would see a lower bid the majority of the time from multiple actors.This is a battle for hotels as the average hotel usually falls short of the labour and technological resources to do so. Furthermore, as Fornova CEO Dori Stein points out, there's no way for a hotel's revenue or e-commerce manager to know what meta engines are showing their guests in different countries because of the varying IP addresses. "Unless the hotel has a way to monitor its top inbound source markets, it's a losing battle," he added.Chatchai Pongprapat, assistant vice president, revenue management at Dusit International appreciates the issue, "There is crossover between all of the different players on various channels and that makes it very hard to maintain rate integrity," he said. The company's solution has been to partner with Fornova, which polices the rates and helps Pongprapat to maintain rate integrity and partner behaviour.More effective monitoring and activity on metasearch sites can have a very real effect on the bottom line: "We felt we weren't featured very visibly as their models evolved and so we hired a third party that could constantly monitor our meta campaigns and make them effective programs," said Preferred Hotels & Resorts, Global Vice President, Revenue Optimization, Rhett Hirko. Meta-driven bookings jumped 30% after Preferred began working with a third-party partner to manage meta campaigns. They determine the best ROI from each individual meta site based on the budget Preferred dedicates to the channel, as well as meta sites' performance for Preferred based on click-through volumes. Hirko noted that in terms of how cost effective the move was, "it took a while to tweak the program, but we're definitely getting good returns for our investment."For more on how metasearch is shaping the digital accommodation market, download the free white paper now.This white paper, made in conjunction with Fornova, gives real-world data on hotel, wholesaler and OTA bidding strategies, alongside consumer behaviours, and meta success metrics. Use these to understand the channel, the competitive landscape and build a winning strategy!Learn the following from this white paper:The state of the metasearch market.Market penetration rates among consumers and hotels.Consumer behaviours on metasearch.OTA bidding strategies.Techniques to succeed on metasearch.The outlook for meta.Click here to download the white paper for free now.
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Wholesalers are the biggest issue in hotel distribution

EyeforTravel ·11 February 2019
Fornova and EyeforTravel's white paper has uncovered that the greatest factor impacting rate integrity is contracted wholesalers, which are selling inventory to Online Travel Agencies (OTAs) that do not have direct agreements with hotels. This is resulting in lost market share and revenues for both hotels and partner OTAs. The depth of this is revealed by Fornova monitoring of nearly 10 million shops made through metasearch engines in 2018.Contracted OTAs on average undercut hotels in 14% of the shops with leads times less than 14 days and in 26% of shops with leads times above 14 days. However, when it comes to non-contracted sellers, the share of shops that were undercut doubled or trebled, depending on the time frame. 39% of hotels' direct rates advertised on meta were undercut by these actors for stays less than 14 days rising to 74% for those with lead times above 14 daysFurthermore, non-contracted OTAs are undercutting more aggressively than contracted counterparts. On average, OTAs working under agreements with the hotel posted rates that were 5% to 6% lower than the direct rate. This jumps up to 10% for non-contracted sellers advertising for lead times under 14 days and 11% for lead times above 14 daysThe majority of this is coming from wholesalers moving on inventory, which is then posted by other sellers. Fornova CEO Dori Stein estimates that 40% to 50% of hotel inventory contracted to wholesalers is leaked online, despite the fact that they negotiate for static rates, based on the fact that those rates will be opaque to consumers who are purchasing the room as part of a package with other services included.The growth of APIs has allowed more players to access and market inventory to more partners but this is not necessarily in the hotel's best interest. Hotels need to have a view on who is selling their inventory and at what price to protect their brand's integrity and also to prevent their prices being consistently undercut by wholesalers who should not be placing inventory in this manner. Failing to do so means hotels cannot understand the true effectiveness or cost of their marketing and sales efforts and for consumers to shift away from seeing value in making a direct booking.The issue is ongoing for Thailand-based Dusit International, which operates primarily in Southeast Asia and which maintains static contracts with a multitude of traditional wholesalers. "There is crossover between all of the different players on various channels and that makes it very hard to maintain rate integrity," said Chatchai Pongprapat, assistant vice president, revenue management. The company's solution has been to partner with Fornova, which polices the rates and in turn, Dusit tackles rate disparities one-by-one as they arise, while also reconsidering the terms and conditions of individual static contracts in order to keep the hotels from being undercut.However, resolving each rate discrepancy doesn't necessarily remedy the issue in the long-term. The third-party vendor will rectify the issue at the time it occurs says Stein, but without contractual obligations, the partner isn't necessarily obligated to maintain parity in the long-term. Plus, they will often change the rate in the local market where the hotel's revenue or distribution team is located, while leaving incongruent rates in international markets as it's more difficult for the hotel to verify that the changes have been made. According to Fornova CEO Dori Stein, "when hotels have a bad parity situation and they're on meta, they're effectively paying to tell the world that their brand.com rates aren't the cheapest."For more on how metasearch is shaping the digital accommodation market, download the free white paper now.This white paper, made in conjunction with Fornova, gives real-world data on hotel, wholesaler and OTA bidding strategies, alongside consumer behaviours, and meta success metrics. Use these to understand the channel, the competitive landscape and build a winning strategy!Learn the following from this white paper:The state of the metasearch market.Market penetration rates among consumers and hotels.Consumer behaviours on metasearch.OTA bidding strategies.Techniques to succeed on metasearch.The outlook for meta.Click here to download the white paper for free now.

How machine learning could give KPIs new meaning

eyefortravel.com·Requires Registration · 5 February 2019
It is widely acknowledged today that machine learning is already helping companies achieve their performance objectives by optimising existing performance metrics. By exploiting the growing volumes of data on customer behaviour, pricing, competitive actions and operational statistics, it can help travel companies in a number of ways.

Understanding Customer Behavior Through Demand-Based Analytics

eyefortravel.com·Requires Registration · 4 February 2019
Demand-based analytics promise a step-change in travel brands’ capabilities, unlocking huge insights that will allow brands to better target consumers, build superior products and adjust faster to changing patterns.

Data science & psychiatry: essential skills to make travel 'less annoying

eyefortravel.com·Requires Registration ·31 January 2019
Travel is a complex, high-anxiety purchase, say international consultants McKinsey. To prove it their report on How to Service Today’s Digital Traveller contains the staggering numbers that the average purchase journey for a single hotel room lasts 36 days and hits 45 touch points! What’s more the journey is distributed among search engines, the sites of intermediaries and suppliers and involves multiple devices.

3 ways to edge closer to destination personalisation

eyefortravel.com·Requires Registration ·29 January 2019
When the daylight hours are short, and temperatures plummet, very often people keep going by imagining their next trip, maybe even planning a short-break to weather the winter. You only have to look at the January travel promotions to see that this is one way for brands to personalise. ‘Personalisation’, and even ‘hyper-personalisation’, seems to be a strategic imperative for many travel brands in driving profits.

The antidote to overtourism is far from the madding crowd

eyefortravel.com·Requires Registration ·21 January 2019
'Overtourism' is certainly a catchphrase that grabbed headlines in 2018 but Bart van Poll, co-founder of Spotted by Locals, believes something can and should be done about it.

EyeforTravel's Analytics & AI in Travel Survey 2019

eyefortravel.com·Requires Registration ·18 January 2019
No summary

Part I: AI, facial recognition and hotel robots march into 2019

eyefortravel.com·Requires Registration ·15 January 2019
Please smile at the screen - your face print is being scanned to pay your bill!' - yet another example of the way robots can service hotels, although not yet at international groups. Instead of whipping out your wallet, identification is processed online in a Chinese pilot programme launched by Alibaba's Ant Financial to replace payment with cash or credit card.

4 ways that NDC is reshaping how airlines sell

eyefortravel.com·Requires Registration ·14 January 2019
New Distribution Capability, or NDC, is promoted as an exciting revenue strategy for airlines. The initiative, launched by IATA, a global airline association, specifies a standard protocol for ancillary services and facilitates expanded content on third-party industry distribution sites like Expedia, Skyscanner or eBookers. IATA speaks of the four ways in which NDC can drive more revenue for airlines.

Zoku: new cool kid on the extended stay block

eyefortravel.com·Requires Registration ·10 January 2019
Business travel that drags on isn't so much fun, but Dutch brand Zoku is looking to change that. Pamela Whitby interviewed co-founder Hans Meyer for a recent white paper. Hans Meyer, the co-founder of Zoku, which means family, tribe or clan in Japanese, is pretty cool. It seems he doesn’t have to say his company is the ‘Airbnb of the extended stay business travel segment’. He doesn’t bother too much with CVs when looking for prospective employees. For Meyer, hiring somebody comes down to whether he would want to introduce them to his best mates and his family. In the early 2000s, he was involved in developing the CitizenM concept, the Dutch ‘lifestyle’ brand that continues to innovate in the affordable luxury hotel space. And now he is heading up Zoku, which launched in 2016 and looks set to shake up the segment for extended stays.

7 intelligent, relevant and human ways to hyper-personalise

eyefortravel.com·Requires Registration · 9 January 2019
If the challenge to 'personalise' for every customer wasn't enough of a challenge, now now travel companies are looking to go a step further with what is being coined hyper-personalisation. Like many of these terms, definitions vary but a recent free white paper from EyeforTravel puts it like this: "Hyper-personalisation is the ability to not simply target customers in a superficially relevant way but with intelligent, highly tailored real-time offers".Related Content: Hyper-personalisation: all talk but little airline action, says McKinseyI

Japan Airlines, RCI and Allegiant: The Journey to Hyper-personalization with a Human Touch

eyefortravel.com·Requires Registration ·11 December 2018
EyeforTravel have brought together the best in class from commercial aviation and hospitality to disclose how they’re using hyper-personalization and how it creates loyalty.

Airports 2019: ready for take off

eyefortravel.com·Requires Registration ·10 December 2018
Investments in technology are accelerating as airports around the world attempt to address what IATA is calling a capacity crisis.

Mission automation: AI can boost sales and forecast better

eyefortravel.com·Requires Registration ·30 November 2018
The TUI group is on a mission to automate in order to reduce margins for error, according to Aaron Sugarman, the company’s chief commercial architect. Sugarman, the opening keynoter on Day 2 of EyeforTravel Amsterdam, said that this was proving useful in forecasting demand and predicting cancellations. Another insight was that TUI aims for small data science teams of no more than ten people, because they are able to “get on with things and deliver”.

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