Designed to help customers of Accor Hotels to discover their next destinations, “Inspiration” presents online visitors to Accorhotels.com with unique destinations via internal hotel search. Guests into culture, wellness, exploration, a range of intentions, can get some relevance and quickness out of Inspiration, let’s take a quick look.
Besides acting as a sort of look and book Internet booking platform, the new service also mimics many of the online travel guide sites by showing users e. boutiques, restaurants, tours, and other touristic offerings. Accor says the listings will be ranked and updated continually so that Accor Hotels guests get the latest information about the places and things to do at destinations where Accor has hotels. It’s interesting to note that one section of the news release at Accor is titled “The direct booking battle”. Is this either a Freudian slip or a poke at OTAs directly?
A visit to the website reveals a nice initiative by Accor, if a simple one. Calling a directory search function an “Inspiration” or an “innovative search engine” however, this is pure PR fluff. Our tech department working out the Argo Travel App created a visual searchable matrix like the one Accor shows in 6 hours, content and all. So, what may look like an innovative search engine, is really a simple website function. But stop right there.
What Accor has managed to do is create one of the nicest travel discovery tools for a brand we’ve seen too. Not as pretty or simple as Room Key, for instance, Inspiration is very, very deep with information about the places and things to do travelers will want to know about. I am actually surprised Accor did not do a bigger PR push on this full featured travel guide and booking launch?
Innovative? Nope. Complex and encompassing? Yes, Inspiration is more in depth than it is awe inspiring. What is “inspiring” about this new guest tool is this. Drilling down in into a week in Budapest say, the Accor guest can find local events and other near real time things to be interested in. And this without using the browser tabs and Google search. As an OTA commission buster of sorts, this sort of utility (if publicized correctly) can generate a lot of community and conversions. More on that when we get to the full test.
For now, this understated news from Accor shows what hotel websites will probably morph into in the near future. With mobile coming on strong to replace desktop use, complete eCommerce tools such as this will be seen more and more. We’ll contact Accor for more on this move.