Looking Into the Future of Travel: Mobile and Booking.com
This week we’ve been looking at the state of travel right now, and what that says for the state of the travel industry in the future.
More specifically, we’re looking at Booking.com’s reaction to the new series of book direct campaigns being launched (spoilers: they’re not happy). We also found articles we love on mobile technology, and the fact that OTAs are outstripping hotels when it comes to utilizing it.
Lastly, we’re looking at what these changes in the landscape mean for the future: how European hotels will perform in 2016, and the Hotel Yearbook – 2036 edition.
Sound pretty exciting? Check out the articles below.
Marketing initiatives by hotels chains such as Marriott and Hilton which talk up the benefit of booking direct, have not escaped the notice of Darren Huston, chief executive of Booking.com.
“It’s annoying,” he told an audience at ITB Berlin this week. “We see them as business partners, and we’ve brought them lots of business they wouldn’t have had.”
New research from digital hotel marketing firm Fuel reveals consumer’s trust with Online Travel Agents is waning, leading to more people booking direct and increasing the benefits to hoteliers of a mobile app.
“With more than 85% of travelers owning and using a smartphone, hoteliers need to focus on the benefits of this direct access to customers,” Butler said. “The results overwhelmingly suggest that, not only is it time to invest in a mobile app, but it’s also time to use your hotel-branded mobile app to generate new revenue streams and increase RevPAR.”
The article above provides some hope for hotels with strong mobile apps – but hoteliers need to step up their game to take advantage. If customers are becoming more willing to and enthusiastic about booking direct, but they also want to book on mobile, what does your hotel need? A brilliant mobile site.
While OTAs have created mobile apps that better enable customers to shop for and purchase hotel rooms, hotel companies have grappled with producing user-friendly booking apps, according to Phocuswright. As a result, “many chains cite insignificant transactions coming from smartphones and tablets,” Phocuswright said.
A “robust” forecast for European travel is expected to drive hotel trading but revenue growth will remain weaker after an exceptional 2015, according to PwC’s latest European hotels forecast.
City trips remain a top travel growth segment and strong demand and weak supply growth meant many hoteliers enjoyed a remarkable year in 2015 and will continue to do so in 2016.
The majority of cities included in the forecast, except Brussels and Milan, are expected to achieve revenue growth in 2016 and almost all cities should see additional growth in 2017 – with the exception of Geneva and Rome.
Instead of focusing on the near-term developments expected to have an impact on the hotel industry, The Hotel Yearbook 2036 is breaking new ground, taking us a giant leap 20 years into the future.
“The Hotel Yearbook 2036 gives us a peek forward at what’s to come,” said Michael Levie, COO of citizenM Hotels. “Twenty years ago, the dictionary didn’t include ‘OTA’; WiFi connectivity was just a discussion; phones were merely for talking… Much can change in two decades, and this book highlights some fascinating possibilities.”