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The antidote to overtourism is far from the madding crowd·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·Requires Registration ·18 January 2019
No summary

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

Air Canada: not alone in the dark with blockchain·Requires Registration ·20 November 2018
In October, Air Canada joined the growing gang of airlines that are working with Winding Tree on building a blockchain-powered decentralised infrastructure for travel. Pamela Whitby caught up with the two companies.

How scientific evolution is changing the way we travel·Requires Registration ·19 November 2018
Carlson Wagonlit’s Utpal Kaul drills down into what and what not AI is doing for travel and says empathy is where humans still have an edge – well, for the moment at least!

Hyper-personalisation: all talk but little airline action, says McKinsey·Requires Registration ·15 November 2018
A stream of wake-up calls in McKinsey’s Travel & Logistics: Data Drives the Race for Customers report includes the dire fact that most major airlines struggle to provide customers with complete, easy to use digital services. Among the 25 major airlines it assessed, ‘none excelled’.

Hotel metasearch platforms have everything to play for, says a new report·Requires Registration ·14 November 2018
A new white paper from EyeforTravel finds that 73% of travellers regularly compare hotels, which are increasingly turning to the search giant for their marketing needs.

Press Releases - The State of Hospitality Distribution Report Series: Metasearch·Requires Registration ·14 November 2018
Metasearch Is critical to the travel research process now finds new report, with 94% of travelers reporting that they use metasearch when booking hotels and 73% doing so regularly.

Lost in machine translation? Call on Jeenie·Requires Registration ·13 November 2018
Travel can be stressful. From long-haul flights and lack of sleep to explaining your dietary requirements and negotiating ground transportation, the last thing you need is to get lost. Lost on the way to the hotel or, for that matter, lost in translation.

Thanks SAS, but not only travellers deserve simplicity!·Requires Registration ·12 November 2018
Business deserves simplicity too. In Stockholm airport Joerg Esser, who is no ‘extravagant freak’, was delivered a marketing message by Scandinavian Airlines that inspired him to expand on why.

How happy customers are revving the Busabout engine·Requires Registration · 1 November 2018
A hop-on-hop-off bus company is effectively using AI to aggregate and curate user-generated content to drive cost efficiencies and brand engagement.

3 tips for managing travel data breaches·Requires Registration ·30 October 2018
Since GDPR and the UK Data Protection Act 2018 came into effect in May there have been some high-profile airline data breaches. Data and cyber-security expert Keith Dewey shares some recent lessons.

'Weird, dynamic, unpredictable': into the future with online travel

EyeforTravel ·24 October 2018
From 'dated' industry comeback kids to the Google factor, and doing things differently with loyalty and personalisation, it is all happening in Las Vegas where EyeforTravel North America kicked of yesterday'Dynamic and unpredictable,' was how Del Ross, the chairperson of this week's EyeforTravel North America, and a senior advisor to McKinsey, described the travel industry in the 'weird year' just gone. Ross, who yesterday opened the Las Vegas conference, which is now into its 20th year, said there had been some unexpected developments since last year's event.Two sectors in travel - the car rental firms and traditional travel agencies - that had been labelled 'outdated' seemed to be making a comeback, he said. And in another ironic twist, the dominance of Google's increasingly monopolistic meta-model, was leading travel suppliers to cheer on a crowd that weren't all that long ago labeled the 'big bad OTAs'! (Watch out for an upcoming Google analysis on next week).It was fitting then that the opening address was from a major travel supplier - Wyndham Hotels & Resorts. Barry Goldstein, the company's executive vice president and chief marketing officer, called for continued disruption in the sector. In the opening keynote delegates heard that Wyndham's eye is on the 'travelling class', the so-called millennial generation, which would help the middle class to double in the next five years.Goldstein also argued that many travel suppliers still lagged behind with a mobile first strategy, and were losing out on engagement with this increasingly important segment. Mobile presented a huge opportunity, he said, as does 'personalisation' which is a justified buzzword!Loyalty: missing a trick?Loyalty was a hot topic and a number of speakers agreed that most firms in the travel sector are implementing it too narrowly. Emre Mangir, the chief commercial officer of ground transportation firm Mozio, said companies were missing a trick by not addressing what Google doesn't knowabout your customer and only focusing on a small part of the experience. When people travel, they are looking forward to the experience in-destination and by better understanding how the flight or hotel fits into the broader trip would garner more loyalty. McKinsey's Ross summed this point up nicely by saying: "People are our customers, even when they're not travelling."People are our customers, even when they're not travellingMorana Bakula, VP customer experience at marketing firm Bond Brand Loyalty, talked about a new kind of 'currency' in loyalty. As an example, she said business travellers taking a taxi at the end of a long day could be offered 'silence'!Apple's long-running, aspirational and iconic 'Get a Mac' campaign, which once posed the question 'Are you an Apple or a PC?', nicely sums up a point made on loyalty by Jordan Elkind, head of product management at EyeforTravel platinum sponsor Custora. He argued that people are loyal to brands 'like them'. [In the Apple campaign case, the 'cool' guy was the 'apple', and the aim was also to acquire new aspirational customers].Pointed personalisation The morning also saw Josh Margolis, VP, Customer Journey & Digital Products, Caesars Corporation, highlight the importance of engagement in effective personalisation, and why brands should be thinking about 'immersive experiences'.Margolis cited an example of how Caesar's engaged digitally with a customer who paid a $39 initial hotel rate, which arguably slotted the customer into a "price and service insensitive segment". However, by getting to know the customer's interests through virtual listening, Caesars was able to upsell unique restaurant offerings, and the customer even splashed out on expensive champagne. [Maybe, spending what he'd saved on the room night!]Right time can vary by customer segmentIn a later session on personalisation, Eliot Hamlisch, VP of Worldwide Loyalty & Partnerships, Wyndham Hotels & Resorts, continued the personalisation theme, also with an example of La Quinta Inns & Suites, going the extra mile. La Quinta, a chain of limited service hotels in the US, Canada, Mexico, and Honduras embarked on a thoughtful personalisation campaign that sees check-in agents thank military veterans, for their 'service'. And, after all, being service-led is what all hotels should be about!Travel companies are often advised to 'get the right product, to the right customer at the right time'. But Abhishek Mago, VP, Product & SEM, MyFlightSearch, pointed out that the "right time can vary by customer segment". Its solution has been to micro-segment customers and make individual time-based offers, which resulted in a 30% uptick in spend.Getting it right Cosmopolitan Las Vegas developed Rose, an AI-driven chatbot with a unique and sassy personality that reflects the hotel's overall brand. According to Mamie Peers, who was until recently VP - Digital Marketing Cosmopolitan Las Vegas, Rose, the queen of the double entrendre, only offers guests the "the right amount of wrong". In doing so the brand has had the following promising results.* 8% of all check-ins use Rose, and 69% are highly engaged* Guests who text Rose, spend as much as 30% more* 11% of users return, and 43% through a direct channelClearly a technology investment on the right side of right!Other themes to emerge on day 1 included the growing opportunity in the tours and activities sector, that is predicted to be worth +$180 billion by 2020. Christina Heggie, Principal, JetBlue Technology Ventures, explained that while previously, tours and activities were mostly booked in destination, JetBlue is increasingly seeing people book experiences, even before their flight or hotel.Insights were also heard on how blockchain for the travel industry is evolving rapidly. Winding Tree has recently made several announcements, most recently its relationship with Air-France KLM on the travel supply side, but also in a technology partnership with Sciant to make the HTNG hotel distribution standards compatible with their blockchain-based distribution platform.Day 2 will begin with a keynote address from Esteban Velez, VP Information Technology & Cyber Security, at Classic Hotels & Resorts, and is followed by presentations from brands that include Amazon, Twitter, American Airlines and more

APIs, AI, getting hyper-personal and the human touch·Requires Registration ·22 October 2018
Whether you are focused on data, technology, marketing or RM the message from Day 2 of EyeforTravel North America was that you need to understand the ‘why’.

How EasyHotels is making a neat bed in budget

EyeforTravel ·19 October 2018
As prices continue to rise in travel, the future looks bright for budget, and the future looks orange. Sally White reports. Cynics may be sceptical, but there is really no arguing against the fact that travel and its prices continue to boom! There are just too many figures around to comfort the naysayers - air traveller numbers and room rates increases, to name just two - despite all the gloom. According to latest The Global Travel Forecast 2019 from the Global Business Travel Association and Carlson Wagonlit, price rises will be 3.4% for hotels and 1.7% for flights! Not surprising, as prices rise, is the growth in budget hotels and the hostels. Both look robust, despite incursions into their customer base by accommodation disruptors Airbnb et al.London is an excellent illustration of the strength of the budget sector. Fuelling the city's dramatic 70% rise in new build hotel openings has been the strong rise of budget hotel rooms, according to estate agents Knight Frank. The budget segment accounts for 67% of the 4,100 new build bedrooms, it says.

Weird, dynamic, unpredictable': into the future with online travel·Requires Registration ·19 October 2018
From ‘dated’ industry comeback kids to the Google factor, and doing things differently with loyalty and personalisation, it is all happening in Las Vegas where EyeforTravel North America kicked of yesterday.

How EasyHotels is making a neat bed in budget·Requires Registration ·17 October 2018
As prices continue to rise in travel, the future looks bright for budget, and the future looks orange.

AI and why the lucky ones get to play musical chairs·Requires Registration ·16 October 2018
The artificial intelligence genie is out the bottle but it needs to learn kindness and sensitivity, but travel reps may not be the best people to learn from!

Deutsche Bahn builds start-up culture into its digital DNA·Requires Registration ·15 October 2018
How does an established megacorp like Deutsche Bahn (German Railways, DB) develop the toolkit needed to drive its next phase of growth in the rapidly digitalising travel market? For a start, its strategy includes teaming up with digital start-ups.

A free Friday video for the last mile to Las Vegas·Requires Registration ·12 October 2018
What are the most pressing issues facing travel marketers in a mobile and digital age? How to deliver a superior customer experience and delight your customers at every turn is the challenge facing marketers everywhere. But how do you achieve this in a mobile and digital age?


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