This week, Donald Trump’s travel ban has caused a bit of a stir in the industry. As the ban is debated in courts, the confusion surrounding it is impacting travel to and from the United States for countries beyond the 7 named in the executive order. In Europe, nearly half of travel professionals reported expectations for their company to reduce business travel over the next three months and 31 percent of U.S. respondents agreed.
Meanwhile, Expedia had a year of growth last year, although slightly less than the stock markets had expected. Expedia’s CEO, who has publicly taken a pro-immigration stance, has said that Trump’s ban “jeopardizes its corporate mission and could have a detrimental impact on its business and employees, as well as the broader U.S. and global travel and tourism industry.”
In non-news related items, we found a great guide with some excellent practical approaches to building a loyalty program from Hetras. We also included a guide on what the ‘right’ tests for your hotel website are, and 11 questions to ask yourself before you select a booking engine provider.
Expedia reported a better-than-expected increase in fourth-quarter revenue, helped by higher gross bookings. However, the company’s adjusted profit fell short of Wall Street estimates, due to higher expenses in the quarter. In a twist, when asked about expectations for the coming year, Expedia’s CEO replied, ‘Hopefully we will all be alive to see the end of next year.’
On Tuesday, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco heard arguments from the Department of Justice and opposing attorneys from the states of Washington and Minnesota before they decide the fate of President Trump’s executive order banning travel to the United States from seven Muslim-majority countries.
They can ultimately choose to reinstate the travel ban or uphold the lower court’s ruling on the temporary stay, which would likely result in an appeal to the Supreme Court. However, both scenarios result in a loss for the travel industry and the economy.
We ask our panel of experts to discuss their approach to loyalty in practical terms. How do they handle loyalty at their hotels? Do they have a loyalty program and, if so, what does it look like? What is the key to driving loyalty and direct sales in the future?
The travelers of today are different from those of yesteryear and different still from those of tomorrow. People are moving away from linear thinking; today’s travellers are savvy, energetic researchers who look for the best deal in the best place at the best time. Aside from that, they’re also motivated by trends and experiences.
In essence this means that there are two potential ins: you can compete on price or experience.
“Test! Test! Test!” We’ve all heard this advice for building a better website. Testing is the heart of creating a culture of growth ― a culture where everyone on your team is ready to gather and act on data to make the customer experience better day by day.
But how do you run a good test? Is it just a matter of finding something you’re not sure about and switching it around, like changing a blue “Buy now” button for a red one? It depends: Did you decide to test that button based on analytics, or was it a wild guess?
The key to running good tests is to establish a testing framework that fits your company.
What should you be getting from your hotel booking engine provider? Which features are most important to your hotel, and which can you live without?
From our perspective, your hotel booking engine provider should be giving you a highly flexible, fully controllable, feature-rich solution, along with in-depth reporting and a team to support you.