There are a lot of hotels engaged in social media, and presenting their wares online. Hilton to the smallest Mom & Pop cabins on the remotest river, everyone wants in on the digital superhighway. Today, a lone tweet sent me reeling back toward an old friend from childhood, Sheraton and Starwood Hotel’s fine Kightsbridge luxury hotel, the Sheraton Park Towers.
The financials are in from Expedia. According to the reports, wile quarter 4 revenue was up by 6.7% at $787.1 million compared with the previous year, expenses took their toll virtually eliminating and growth for 2011.
Just out, the Distribution Channel Analysis study via the American Hotel Lodging Association (AH&LA) and STR, has been released. The detailed study, supposedly aimed at helping “all” hoteliers better understand hotel room distribution, discusses distribution channel mix, among other salient hotel profitability instances. But, is the study really meant for all hoteliers, or just the fat cats?
Rolling into town in the dead of night, the last thing that weary travelers need is to waste time running around trying to find a place to get their heads down. Yet most of us have found ourselves in this situation one time or another. So what happens? More often than not we get taken for a ride by some dodgy cab driver, dumped in the middle of nowhere with only one grotty, grubby excuse for hotel in sight, with little choice but to bed down at less than satisfying accommodations. Hipmonk, maker of the ultra cool fight search tool, has set site on hotel finding on mobile now.
Last week, Danny King over at Travel Weekly hit the nail on the head with his assessment of Expedia’s so called “verified” review system. Expedia Verified Reviews attempts to qualify hotel reviews using “use” of Expedia as a criteria. Having pushed TripAdvisor from the OTA nest on its own, Expedia seems intent on milking the last drop from the user review teat.
In online travel news, Travel Republic has been bought by a subsidiary of Emirates Airlines. The deal finalized December 29 was first reported on Reuters telling of Dnata World Travel’s acquisition for an undisclosed sum.
Continuing our series on decision makers in the online travel world, Argo jumps back in to an interesting Q & A session between reporters from USA Today and leading CEOs. Veronica Gould Stoddart and Roger Yu caught up with 6 top bosses at the recent PhoCusWright conference in Hollywood, Fla. We take up where we left off, analyzing answers to some key tech trend questions.
Yesterday we began a series on online travel agency CEOs, and a recent interview conducted by USA TODAY’s Veronica Gould Stoddart and Roger Yu. We analyzed a bit, some key decision makers’ mindset on the question of whether consumers want (will get) richer content from these industry giants during their travel searches. Expedia, Orbitz, TripAdvisor, parent Expedia, Travelocity, and Priceline bosses all had their views there.
What do you want from information providers? How about service providers that offer information you need to know to make decisions? Where online travel is concerned, there has been a lot of shakeup of late over these questions. Can you trust reviews? Which OTAs can you trust? We decided to micro-analyze some questions and answers already provided by none other than USA Today, and the leading bosses of your online travel agencies.
A new product called Eva (Expert Virtual Agent) aims to become your virtual travel assistant. Unveiled at the recent PhoCusWright Travel Innovation Summit, Evature is an Israeli company marketing the Eva online travel search assistant. Winner of the DEMO Award for Most Game-Changing Travel Innovation, Eva aims to please a billion travelers soon.
For businesses busying themselves trying to catch the social wave, to engage customers via digital channels, the learning curve can be steep. All along the path to competitive edge in online marketing, the pitfalls of “not knowing” end up costing companies before the online lesson is learned. Nowhere is this more evident than in the hotel industry. Using the wrong communicative channels, or using them in the wrong way, can determine who does and does not survive.
The highly anticipated New York City restaurant guides are out now. A story about his by Garth Johnston of the gothamist not only drew my attention, but made me put on my thinking cap too. Google’s movements into travel, the changing framework of online travel, and the real value of credability seem to be boiling to the surface of the online business soup. Zagat, the online restaurant guides slash data company, offers interesting value.
Everyone associated with Travelport has to have breathed a sigh of relief on the news that Travelport Holdings successfully revamped their debt, extending their PIK until December of 2016. Unanimous support from their lenders now ensures the travel giants ongoing operations.
TripAdvisor, currently the largest travel portal in the world, yesterday announced via a press release that it had reached a milestone of 50 million unique visitors each month, becoming the first stand-alone travel site to do so, according to statistics provided by comScore.
TripAdvisor, the leading online travel reviews site in the world, is now under investigation by the UK’s Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) over concerns reviews from travelers may be illegitimate. A formal investigation has reportedly been launched on the heels of complaints TripAdvisor’s reviews problems have reached monumental levels.