This week in hospitality news, Tnooz reports on TripAdvisor’s new bookings feature, Wired published an article on what hotel brands should do about the sharing economy, and Hotelmarketing’com reported on an Expedia research article.
Sean O’Neill of Tnooz reported this week on TripAdvisor’s new instant bookings platform, now available in beta in the US. O’Neill spends a significant amount of time demystifying the inner workings of the new feature, which now hotel chains, independents, B&Bs, and online travel agencies (OTAs) use an auction bidding tool to fight over the coveted top spots in its metasearch results.
CLICK HERE to read the article on Tnooz.
Wired published an article this week on the sharing economy, and how hotels and Airbnb can coexist. Wired writer Colin Strong summarizes the dilemma hotels are facing:
“The sharing economy has cleverly made established brands left dangerously out of touch. If they do attempt to criticise the business model then they can appear like dinosaurs out of step with the hip new economy. And if they start tinkering with the proposition, such as Marriott offering a sharing economy style workspace on demand, then it can appear dangerously close to trying to get down with the kids.”
So what should hotels do? Strong has some interesting ideas, drawn from the psychology and therapeutic literature of cult survivors. “I believe that this forms the basis for brands to start thinking about an appropriate response to the threat of the sharing economy,” he writes. Whether or not it’s the right path for your hotel, it’s an interesting approach to study.
Research: The Impact of Multiscreens on the Travel Purchase Path
Expedia Media Solutions and comScore put out a research report this week on multiscreening activity and its affect on travel purchase. Here are some of the highlights:
U.S. mobile device ownership continues to rise, and with more travelers consuming content on mobile than PC, there are more opportunities for marketers to reach visitors across platforms and devices.
- Year-over-year tablet and smartphone ownership increased 36 and 22 percent, respectively; 33 percent of U.S. households have five or more devices in the home
- Of the 156 million people engaging with online travel content, 104 million access travel content via mobile device, while 52 million access travel content exclusively on PC
- Mobile bookings span all lines of travel; air and hotel bookings combined account for nearly 70 percent
- Of those who booked travel on a mobile device in 2014, eight out of 10 smartphone and nine out of 10 of tablet bookers would do so again in the future
Year-over-year audience growth across travel categories surged on smartphone and tablets, and while mobile usage during travel planning stages increased, it has yet to overtake PC usage.
- The smartphone audience grew 39 percent, leading to a 60 percent increase in visits to travel information sites, and a 43 percent increase in site visits for both Online Travel Agents (OTAs) and hotels/resorts
- Tablets experienced 30 percent audience growth, driving up visits to airline and hotel/resort sites by 72 percent and 50 percent, respectively
- PC still dominates the travel planning process, with more than 80 percent of travelers using it to research, shop or plan for travel, but use drops to just 40 percent during the trip
- Tablets are used consistently across travel stages; 28 percent used a tablet to research destinations, up 10 percent year-over-year, and 24 percent to plan trip activities, whereas at 37 percent, smartphones are most likely to be used during the trip for travel related info than in other stages
- Family, Budget, Luxury and Business travelers exhibit unique usage and booking habits across devices, however, PC usage remains high for all groups during the planning stages.
Across all groups, at least 82 percent used a PC to research destinations; outside of the planning stages, 52 percent of Business travelers and 40 percent of Budget travelers used a PC during their trip for travel related info
- Luxury and Business travelers use their smartphones to engage with travel content pre-trip more than other groups; 40 percent of Luxury travelers shopped for air/hotel and planned trip activities, while 43 percent of Business travelers researched destinations
- Luxury travelers are more likely to book travel on a mobile device within the next year – 77 percent on tablet, 52 percent on smartphone – while 57 percent of Business travelers and 56 percent of Family travelers are likely to book travel on a tablet
- During the trip, 45 percent of Family travelers use their smartphone for travel related info, second only to Business travelers at 47 percent
Content consumption and engagement varies by platform, but travelers expect a seamless and relevant experience regardless of the device. Optimizations such as leveraging visual-rich content, responsive design and targeted ads can help drive mobile ad clicking.
- When using a mobile device to research destinations, shop for air/hotel or plan trip activities, at least 37 percent of tablet users and 34 percent of smartphone users said they used the device because mobile sites are easy to navigate
- Of the 104 million people engaging with travel content on a mobile device, 92 percent are using a mobile browser to do so
- Twenty-two percent of travelers intentionally engage with ads on mobile; 45 percent of Luxury travelers intentionally clicked on a smartphone ad and 43 percent of Business travelers intentionally clicked on a tablet ad
- Across both tablet and smartphone, the top reason for clicking on a mobile ad was because it caught the user’s attention; 47 percent on tablet and 44 percent on smartphone. Additional reasons for clicking included exposure to an offer, product or service the user was interested in.