• Compensation and Benefits... An Important Combination When Attracting and Retaining Talented Staff

    Figuring out the right combination of compensation and benefits is the key to attracting and retaining top talent within your organization. Since 2002, the HFTP Americas Research Center has been tracking trends and publishing the HFTP Compensation and Benefits Survey.

  • GDPR in Hospitality: Vendor Compliance Query Template Available to Industry

    As a professional association, Hospitality Financial and Technology Professionals (HFTP®) created a group of hospitality industry experts to develop hospitality-specific guidelines to assist with preparation for General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) compliance.

  • HFTP Hospitality DPO Task Force Outlines Objectives as Industry Prepares for GDPR May 2018 Deadline

    The European Union (EU) General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) that was announced in April 2016 put in place a substantial mandate on EU-based organizations, as well as any organization doing business with EU citizens.

Revisiting chat apps: What messaging platforms are best for your hotel?

Travel Tripper Blog·20 February 2018
Messaging platforms are fast becoming the new way for businesses to interact with customers. When communicating with brands, 54% of US social media users say they prefer messaging platforms to email, phone, and online chat. Much of this comes down to ubiquity. Millions of people use chat apps on a daily basis to talk with friends and family. By extension, this familiarity makes them a preferred way to communicate with their favorite brands and businesses. Including hotels.
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[INFOGRAPHIC] How to choose photos for your hotel website

Travel Tripper Blog·15 February 2018
The post [INFOGRAPHIC] How to choose photos for your hotel website appeared first on Travel Tripper at Travel Tripper. Hotels can dramatically improve guest engagement levels by using the right types of photos and visuals on their websites. Choices in style, composition, quality and perspective have the power to alter the way guests respond to brands. Our infographic below offers several tips for selecting photos that can help convert lookers into bookers on your site. Click to download a PDF or read our original article on 5 photo selection... The post [INFOGRAPHIC] How to choose photos for your hotel website appeared first on Travel Tripper at Travel Tripper.
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Using public relations to benefit your hotel website SEO

Travel Tripper Blog·13 February 2018
The post Using public relations to benefit your hotel website SEO appeared first on Travel Tripper at Travel Tripper. The old SEO mantra 'Content is King' still rings true. But it's not enough to publish a great piece of content for your website without creating a strategic plan to share it with your audience. Whether you're announcing your latest blog post, or promoting your plush new room upgrades, promoting your message with a tailored PR strategy can increase the attention Google pays to your website, driving extra traffic to... The post Using public relations to benefit your hotel website SEO appeared first on Travel Tripper at Travel Tripper.
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Travel Tripper honored as one of the 10 Best Places to Work in Hotel Tech

Travel Tripper · 7 February 2018
NEW YORK -- Hotel Tech Report, the #1 source for online ratings and reviews on hotel technology, has named Travel Tripper as one of the 10 Best Places to Work in Hotel Tech 2018 for fostering a sense of empowerment for its employees and offering great growth opportunities for their careers.The top 10 companies were selected based on a survey sent to thousands of hotel technology employees worldwide that evaluated company culture on various factors including satisfaction with management, work-life balance, career growth opportunities, and gender equality.Hotel Tech Report also praised Travel Tripper for its team collaboration across marketing, sales, tech, and product in putting out "killer content and thought leadership" that showcases the breadth and depth of employee expertise, a huge benefit and key selling point for Travel Tripper's global clientele."We are honored to be recognized in the first-ever survey of this kind for hotel technology companies," said Gautam Lulla, President of Travel Tripper. "That the honors were based solely on the feedback of actual employees is a testament to the strength of our team culture."Travel Tripper is a fast-growing hotel technology provider with 150+ employees across offices in New York, London, and Hyderabad, India. Working at Travel Tripper is an opportunity to join an exciting team of highly skilled and ambitious individuals who are passionate about developing innovative products and delivering excellent service to our hotel clients. The company offers competitive pay, flexible working hours, generous vacation days, and full benefits and is currently recruiting for positions in engineering, digital marketing, sales, and more. To see current open positions, visit Travel Tripper on LinkedIn.About Travel Tripper Travel Tripper is a full-service hospitality technology provider and strategic partner in helping hotels worldwide to generate demand, optimize conversions, and maximize revenue. Known in the industry for its constant innovation and exceptional expertise, Travel Tripper provides a comprehensive suite of solutions that empowers hotels from search to stay, including central reservation systems, hotel distribution, website and booking, and digital marketing. Learn more at www.traveltripper.com.About Hotel Tech Report HotelTechReport (www.hoteltechreport.com) is the premiere research platform for hotel technology globally. We help buyers save time identifying the best technology products to run their hotel properties by easily comparing vendors based on unbiased reviews from verified users. HotelTechReport's global community consists of hoteliers spanning 40+ countries with representation from every major hotel brand and thousands of independent hotels. The platform connects these hoteliers with hundreds of the world's top hotel technology suppliers with billions of dollars in market capitalization.

Important mobile booking stats for hotels in 2018

Travel Tripper Blog· 6 February 2018
Over one third of people now use a mobile device to book a hotel room. That’s according to the latest Travel Flash Report by Criteo. The shift to mobile continues to rise, and in 2018, hotels have an opportunity to capitalize on changing consumer habits. As it turns out, the mobile booking landscape varies considerably between regional preferences, booking platforms, and demographics. However, there are clear patterns among the stats that hotels can exploit. Here are some of the big booking stats to be aware of right now, followed by our own tips to boost your mobile conversion rates in the year ahead.

6 hotel booking trends we're watching in 2018

Travel Tripper · 6 February 2018
1. Review platforms attempting to dethrone TripAdvisorThe dominance of the world's biggest travel review site will be heavily challenged in 2018. Along with the less-than-stellar performance of its hotel booking product, TripAdvisor's reputation suffered following revelations that it censored reviews concerning rape allegations at specific hotels.Both Google and Facebook are coming up on the rails following their recent moves into the reviews game. Yelp is also making a play for the huge hotel advertising market by expanding ad offerings to hotels. And there are rumors Yelp also wants to add booking capabilities to their site.All summed up, the environment looks ripe for some seriously competitive moves next year.2. Airbnb to lead an end-to-end travel booking movementAirbnb's ambitions show no sign of abating. Along with busily expanding Experiences (part of its Trips tool), the company has made a huge investment in restaurant reservations app Resy. It's pretty clear that Airbnb intends to be a one-stop shop for booking your entire travel experience. The only thing it doesn't seem to be focusing on is transportation.The company also seems keen to redefine travel for locals, too. Regarding Airbnb Trips, CEO Brian Chesky recently said he wants to make "outsiders feel like insiders," in part by helping local people better connect to their own city. It's a smart move that could help Airbnb build up a base of regular local users. Add in talk of introducing a loyalty program, and 2018 looks set to be a big year for Airbnb.But Airbnb is far from the only platform that sees the potential in tours and experiences, something that Skift classed as a "megatrend" in 2017.TripAdvisor is betting on growth from its "non-hotel" business with the strengthening of its tours and activities segment. Expedia and Booking.com are also investing heavily in tours and excursions as well.The big question for next year will be whether the OTAs also attempt to integrate end-to-end bookings (accommodation + activities + food/restaurants) into their own platforms. This would effectively make them a one-stop shop, rather than acting as multiple sites operating under the same umbrella. Given Airbnb's ambitions, this move may come sooner rather than later.Against this changing booking landscape, hotels will also need to adapt. This could involve integrating tours and experiences within their own offerings, either publishing tours on their own website or integrating links to make booking easy.3. The great race to capture user loyaltyThere's been a lot of developments this year in the loyalty game. Biggest of all was the announcement from the world's major hotel brands that their direct booking pushes and loyalty rates have worked.OTAs, which have ordinarily played the marketing game through aggressive search marketing and competition on price, are now changing their tune. For instance, Booking.com recently announced they would invest more in TV commercials, a move intended to drive direct traffic and encourage repeat bookings. Expedia also revealed they would be getting rid of their price matching guarantee.Adding to this, there are suspicions that Booking.com is taking advantage of Google's audience targeting function to advertise Genius rates to Genius users that search for hotels on Google.All of these efforts have had some positive effects. But the loyalty environment is still ripe for innovation. As such, we may see a major shift in 2018 across the industry. For example, many independent hotels are now working on ways to develop their own loyalty programs and better integrate them into the booking experience.Once again, keeping up with Airbnb will prove the main challenge. According to a study reported by Phocuswright, of all the major accommodation booking sites (including hotel brand sites and OTAs), Airbnb is by and large the site with the most loyal--read: actual repeat--customers. Just imagine what may happen if they do end up launching a loyalty program!4. This blockchain thing everyone keeps talking aboutAside from Bitcoin, few people truly understand blockchain technology. Yet while many grapple to figure out what it's all about, excitement is growing surrounding industry startups such as Winding Tree. Using blockchain, this travel distribution platform promises to help suppliers regain control over their inventory and reduce costs to middlemen, in turn driving down costs to the consumer.There's also talk of how Bitcoin can integrate within airlines, how it can improve security, and even how it could be a boon for independent hotels. Is it the panacea for all travel industry ills? Phocuswright described it as somewhere between "revolutionary and hyped." Like most new technologies, we likely won't know blockchain's true usefulness until we see it in action more commonly--something we're expecting next year.Broadly, the whole issue of data security has been pushed to the forefront in 2017. High-profile incidents included the data breach at Sabre and hacks such as the Equifax breach. All have stoked the fires surrounding the need for better security.Add in the fact that the EU's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) comes into effect next May, and you can bet this topic will remain firmly top of mind in 2018.5. The AI race to better dynamic and personalized pricingArtificial intelligence certainly has plenty of flashy applications in travel. In recent times, chatbots, travel apps and personal assistants have all captured the imagination. But moving forward, hotels will find the real advantage of AI lies in pricing applications.Apps such as Google Flights already offer "predictive pricing," which provides consumers with suggestions on when they might find the lowest price. However, businesses can also benefit from the same technology. For instance, Starwood has spent the year testing its own AI-powered revenue strategy optimization tool, enabling better power dynamic pricing and improved demand forecasting of 20%.The introduction of more loyalty programs and "closed group" booking tools will also mean that personalized recommendations and marketing (if not pricing) will become easier to implement as well.The integration of AI tech, which may be used to help track and identify user preferences and past habits, may help to further this along.6. China is the one to watch in digital travelChina is one of the world's largest and fastest growing tourism markets, and it's poised to be the biggest by 2022. But even more amazing, China's rate of digital adoption in travel far surpasses anyone else in the region.According to Phocuswright, if you took just Chinese mobile bookings, it would be the third highest source of bookings in all of Asia (after Chinese total and Japan). You can hear more about this discussion in The State of Digital Travel video starting at 4:57.In the Washington Post, Douglas Quinby, senior vice president of research at Phocuswright, was quoted as saying, "China is far ahead of the rest of the world in mobile travel trends," further adding that their "apps, payment services and other features are more advanced and widely accepted."It's also worth mentioning that China runs on its own digital ecosystem: all of the OTAs, social media, review sites and chat apps are specifically Chinese and aren't widely used outside the country. Likewise, many well-known apps in the West aren't used in China. So while there's a lot to learn from Chinese technology in 2018, the lack of shared platforms makes this especially hard.Looking ahead to 2018The travel industry looks set to see significant change this year. The rise of blockchain will be one to watch for sure, as will the impact on TripAdvisor from emerging review sites. And the ever-expanding plans of Airbnb will continue to grab attention. For hotels, the fight for guest loyalty and the adaption of AI for pricing personalization will be key themes as technological innovation delivers new possibilities.

How can we get Millennials to book direct?

Travel Tripper Blog·30 January 2018
Millennials travel more than any other demographic. On average, they take 35 days of vacation each year, and they’re also bucking the trend by increasing their annual travel spend as other generations intend to be more conservative with their cash. As it turns out, OTAs are the ones benefiting the most from this lucrative market segment: studies show that over half of Millennials book through OTAs. That means hotels are losing out on a big chunk of potential direct booking revenue.
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What is social proof, and how can you use it on your hotel website?

Travel Tripper Blog·25 January 2018
Shop on the web for a short time and you’ll quickly realize how integral social proof is to the online shopping experience. This social proof comes in numerous forms, from customer reviews and testimonials to star ratings and Facebook Likes. All of which let shoppers know that the service or product they’re interested in comes recommended by others.
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What Google's mobile-first indexing plan for 2018 means for hotel websites

Travel Tripper Blog·23 January 2018
At the end of 2016, Google announced it would be experimenting with a mobile-first indexing plan. While there isn’t a fixed release date, Google webmaster trends analyst Gary Illyes expects the rollout will happen at a time later this year. So how are things going to change? Well currently, Google’s ranking system focuses primarily on the desktop version of a website. But these days, most people use Google on a mobile device. According to the latest figures, mobile accounts for 52.21 percent of all internet traffic.
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Common UX mistakes you might be making on your hotel website

Travel Tripper Blog·18 January 2018
The post Common UX mistakes you might be making on your hotel website appeared first on Travel Tripper at Travel Tripper. Is your website losing bookings by making some common user experience mistakes? Plenty of seemingly modern hotel websites have subtle flaws that might not be obvious at first glance, but consistently end up hurting conversion rates. Clunky navigation, a poorly optimized call-to-action button, and slow loading times can all have a negative impact on booking revenue. In the following post, we'll point out 7 common UX mistakes that your hotel... The post Common UX mistakes you might be making on your hotel website appeared first on Travel Tripper at Travel Tripper.

SEO trends that hotels should watch in 2018

Travel Tripper Blog·16 January 2018
A new year always brings new changes in the world of digital marketing, particularly for the always evolving world of search engine optimization. This year we can expect some important new SEO trends that will influence our hotel marketing initiatives, perhaps the biggest of which will be the rollout of Google's mobile-first index, which they have already begun to test for some sites. Security, voice search, video, and search listings...
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[INFOGRAPHIC] 5 blogging tips to improve SEO on your hotel website

Travel Tripper Blog·12 January 2018
5 blogging tips to improve SEO on your hotel website

6 hotel booking trends we're watching in 2018

Travel Tripper Blog· 9 January 2018
Significant changes look set to transform the travel industry in 2018. Blockchain technology, China’s booming tourist sector, and the continuing travel ambitions of Airbnb, Facebook and Google all look set to define the coming 12 months. Here are six major trends we will be keeping an eye on in 2018.
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5 ways hotels can use behavioral economics to improve conversion rates

Travel Tripper Blog·12 December 2017
Understanding the rationale behind consumer decision-making has long been an obsession for marketers. Popularized today as behavioral economics, brands such as Amazon and Netflix invest millions into understanding the psychology of their consumers shopping habits in order to drive purchases. In the travel industry, OTAs also build their platforms around principles of buying psychology to boost conversion rates. Yet far from being a secret or expensive investment, many of these same principles can be applied by hotels. In the following post, we’ll look at 5 ways hotels can use behavioral economics with actionable examples on how to use them to increase bookings.
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The importance of data transparency in hotel marketing

Travel Tripper Blog· 7 December 2017
  Data has been a boon to marketers, but the recent rise of big data and analytics has also led to a lack of data transparency. This has now become a big problem in the marketing sector. In fact, 64% of marketers say they're not clear about the origins of their data. Close to 25% of brand managers and agency buyers also admit they're unsure how frequently their data sources... The post The importance of data transparency in hotel marketing appeared first on Travel Tripper.

New hotel booking sites taking advantage of industry loopholes

Travel Tripper Blog· 5 December 2017
Almost seven years since HotelTonight launched its tonight-only hotel booking app, the industry has been flooded with a host of ambitious startups looking to find similar success. At the recent PhocusWright Summit, almost half of the 24 startups presenting their ideas were related to hotel booking apps.
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SEO checks to perform when switching to SSL on your hotel website

Travel Tripper Blog· 1 December 2017
Google’s been pushing for some time that all websites use SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) to ensure higher levels of security across the web. More than half of the websites on the web have already done so, with the most visible result being that the site URL now reads https:// instead of the usual http://.
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Key North American and European Hospitality Conferences for 2018

Travel Tripper Blog·28 November 2017
From analyzing the latest industry trends and technological innovations to assessing financial forecasts and shifting customer needs, the key hospitality conferences of 2018 will cover a diversity of wide-ranging issues. Here are 20 major upcoming events to look out for in North America and Europe. The Americas HEDNA Where: The Fairmont Austin Hotel, Austin, Texas When: Jan 29-31 At its annual Global Distribution Conference, HEDNA (the Hotel Electronic Distribution Network... The post Key North American and European Hospitality Conferences for 2018 appeared first on Travel Tripper.
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What Booking.com's marketing budget shift means for hotels and the digital advertising landscape

Travel Tripper Blog·21 November 2017
The Priceline Group recently announced that they intend to shift marketing strategy away from performance-based advertising for one of their key brands, Booking.com, with an intended 55% increase in TV advertising spend. One official reason? According to Skift, Priceline Group is evaluating whether their significant investment in performance-based efforts, like Google AdWords (they spent $3.5 billion in that arena in 2016) and hotel listings on TripAdvisor and Trivago, really help... The post What Booking.com's marketing budget shift means for hotels and the digital advertising landscape appeared first on Travel Tripper.
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Takeaways from our webinar, 'Optimizing Distribution Channels for Independent Hotels'

Travel Tripper Blog·16 November 2017
During a recent webinar, we discussed how to navigate the changing online distribution landscape with three industry experts from OTA Insight and Travel Tripper. Topics included how to harness the power of metasearch, optimizing your website for conversions, and planning your distribution strategy around both current and predicted future booking trends.
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GDPR Countdown: How will the new EU data protection laws affect hotel marketing?

Travel Tripper Blog·14 November 2017
Proposed new restrictions to EU data protection laws will soon limit how tech companies such as Facebook and Google collect customer data. As a result, hotels with EU customers could see their own marketing efforts stifled. Set to take place in May 2018, the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is designed to provide EU citizens with greater online privacy by limiting how their personal data is collected and used. Under new laws, companies will still be able to collect data in order to offer services that consumers ask for. But using personal data for other purposes won’t be permitted unless consumers give their explicit consent.
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Google doubles daily budget for AdWords: What are the implications for hotel marketers?

Travel Tripper Blog· 8 November 2017
Google released an update that allows AdWords campaigns to spend up to twice their average daily budget. Previously, campaigns would only serve up to 20% over the daily budget. Google describes the update as being designed “to help you hit your advertising goals,” and there’s a clear logic to the thinking.
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Travel Tripper wins Silver W3 Award for Digital Marketing

Travel Tripper · 7 November 2017
New York -- The Academy of Interactive and Visual Arts recently named Travel Tripper a W3 Award silver winner as part of its annual competition that honors outstanding websites, web marketing, web video, mobile sites/apps and social content created by the best marketing agencies worldwide.Selected from more than 5,000 entries, Travel Tripper won a silver award in the category of Innovative & Experimental Marketing for their search advertising campaigns for Row NYC, a 28-story independent hotel located in the heart of Times Square. Integral to the success of the campaign was the innovative integration of booking engine data into the ad campaign itself, ultimately resulting in a 200% increase in ROI and a lowering of acquisition costs by 41%."We're extremely proud of the results we've seen with Travel Tripper," said Kunal Patel, Director of Revenue Management at Highgate Hotels. "They've consistently met the marketing challenges faced by hotels today with innovative ideas and solutions unlike any other agency we've worked with before.""The creativity and quality of this season's entries raised the bar once again. As our connected world continues to expand in new and exciting ways, our winners are a true testament to the power of Web creativity across the world." said Derek Howard, the director of the AIVA. "On behalf of the over 750 members of The Academy of Interactive and Visual Arts, we applaud the talents and dedication our winners showcased and commend all of this year's entrants for their commitment to furthering the quality of the content we view online."###About Travel Tripper Travel Tripper is a hospitality tech provider and strategic digital partner helping hotels worldwide to increase direct bookings and maximize revenue. Known in the industry for its constant innovation and exceptional expertise, Travel Tripper provides a comprehensive suite of solutions that empowers hotels from search to stay, including central reservation systems and multi-channel distribution, booking engine, website development, and digital marketing management. For more information, visit www.traveltripper.com.About W3 AwardsThe W3 Awards honors creative excellence on the Web, and recognizes the creative and marketing professionals behind award-winning websites, web video and online marketing programs. Simply put, the W3 is the first major Web competition to be accessible to the biggest agencies, the smallest firms, and everyone in between. Small firms are as likely to win as Fortune 500 companies and international agencies. The W3 Awards is sanctioned and judged by the Academy of Interactive and Visual Arts, an invitation-only body consisting of top-tier professionals from a "Who's Who" of acclaimed media, advertising, and marketing firms. Please visit www.aiva.org for a full member list and additional information. For more information about the W3 Awards, please visit www.w3award.com.
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6 creative multimedia marketing campaigns to inspire your hotel

Travel Tripper Blog· 1 November 2017
A great multimedia marketing campaign has the power to build brand awareness, drive traffic, and ultimately lead to more direct bookings. But throwing a glitzy affair and producing creative and inspiring content alone isn’t enough. True multimedia success involves reaching target audiences on the various digital platforms they use most, as well as getting them to engage and interact with the campaign itself.
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[INFOGRAPHIC] Upselling and Cross-selling in the Hotel Business

Travel Tripper Blog·26 October 2017
Do you know the difference between upselling and cross-selling when it comes to hotel bookings? Our latest infographic explains the key difference and how that should influence your hotel marketing strategy to maximize revenue.

What is Google Q&A and how can hotels use it?

Travel Tripper Blog·23 October 2017
A few weeks ago Google started rolling a new feature within Google Maps that allows users to ask questions to a business directly from the search results page. The feature, labelled as Google Q&A, looks to have big impacts for local businesses, including hotels. The following article will examine how hotels can use this new feature for promotions, including how to enable it, how to manage it, issues surrounding it, and how to use it to its full potential to optimize your hotel listing in Google’s search products.

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