The rush of big data into the travel world has made another major trend possible: Personalisation. Personalised experiences are one strong way to connect to the modern traveler, who is looking for points of differentiation – something that makes you different from all the other hotels. Fortunately, data gives hotels the ability to meet that need.

This week, we explored articles on data, personalisation, the two together, and other tips for dealing with the shifting travel landscape.

Let’s dive in.

How Big Data can Yield Personalised Experiences for Hotel Guests

We have now entered the age of hyper-personalisation. Customers expect companies to do more than just cater to their needs; they expect their needs to be anticipated. To meet this challenge — and to optimally price and manage their hotels — many lodging chains have turned (or are in the process of turning) to data analytics.

Big Data analytics and the travel industry are natural partners. Travelers generate enormous amounts of data during their stays and at other times (booking, researching, social media, etc.). Hotel companies can use this data to personalise every experience they offer their guests.

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4 Common Misconceptions About Digital Travel Companies

How can your hotel transform its relationship with the digital world? Digital transformation has become vital for businesses aiming to expand but also survive.

The travel sector in particular needs to have digital transformation at the heart of its strategy – with companies such as Airbnb, Uber and Google leveraging data to disrupt this industry, the traditionally established hotels, airlines and travel agents can only thrive if they catch up – and fast.

Here’s a primer on what digital transformation isn’t – and what it is.

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How Personalisation is Affecting Business Travel

Is personalisation a threat to managed travel, or a benefit that’s being delivered too slowly? Both, it seems…Rob Gill reports

The potential impact of personalisation and the use of data on the managed business travel industry has been much debated in recent years, but when will it really start to bear fruit? And will it mark the start of a bright new dawn in the way companies operate their travel policies and programmes?

While personalisation is permeating into our everyday lives, there are only a few signs of it taking root within corporate travel.

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Hotel Website Referral Traffic Down Significantly

A new study by digital market intelligence firm SimilarWeb analyzes the shifting sources of traffic, for thousands of sites in Accommodation and Hotels, Airlines and Airports, Online Travel agencies, Cruises and Travel Review categories.

The top 25 Hotel and Accommodations sites account for over 54% of all traffic. The leading site, AirBNB, is not a traditional hotel site, a sign of the changing face of the industry. Overall traffic to these 25 sites in the US decreased 17.54% between March 2015 and 2016.

Referral traffic went down significantly, presumably because more OTAs push for onsite bookings, and are referring less traffic out including to Hotel sites. Additionally, the growth of the sharing economy models of AirBNB, VRBO, and their likes increased direct and search traffic.

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Training Your Team for Upselling by Room Type and Rate Option 

In an effort to compete with OTA’s, many hotel brands have been moving towards offering advance purchase, non-refundable rate options. However, reservations agents have not been trained to first qualify the caller to determine if they are interested in this option.

After several years of solid RevPAR growth, most hotels are now seeing the increases slow. Of course each market is different, but this leveling off seems to mostly be due to an inability to push rate due to a flood of new hotel inventory as well as alternative lodging such as private rentals like HomeAway and AirBnB. Therefore, it is a wonderful time to revisit the topic of upselling with your front desk and reservations colleagues.

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