Friday Fuel: Hotels Marketing 50 Shades of Awesome

Our Friday Fuel roundup is 50 Shades of Awesome this week – check it out:

50 Shades of Marketing Opportunities

Females around the globe are chomping at the bit to see what is being (arguably) considered one of the most highly anticipated films of the year.

As disappointing as the movie will probably be, some boyfriends and husbands might be in for the long haul as some hotels are offering scandalous “50 Shades of Grey” themed weekend packages.

The movie release conveniently coincides with Valentine’s Day (oh, I see what you did there… clever) so creating a package deal seemed natural to some properties; whether or not this bandwagon approach will be successful remains to be seen.

Is your hotel doing anything to take advantage of the “50 Shades” hype?

Travel Trends for 2015

What are some of the Top Travel Trends for 2015 – you ask? Well, we found the answer.

  • The drive market is expected to grow ~25% this year, thanks mostly to the lowest gas prices that the US has seen in years
  • Millennial travel spending is up and this particular travel segment is expected to continue to grow. In general, millennials have been known for traveling together in small groups, looking for more unique travel experiences, and booking via direct hotel alternatives like AirBnB.
  • Length of stay is on the upswing as more hotels are capturing buyers with “extra night” deals and incentives for longer stays.

Read the full Hotel Trends report for more details.

C’mon TripAdvisor, Why You Gotta Be Like That?

TripAdvisor, a major game player in the hotel bookings game, is shocking many hotels and advertisers with a recent price increase for TripAdvisor business listings.

Many hoteliers are seeing 2015 rates that are double or, in some cases, even triple what was paid in 2014. Why the dramatic price hike? Well, because they can.

TripAdvisor boasts a 5:1 ROI (according to “conversion calculations based on industry norms”) and can therefore charge whatever they want. What happens if you decide not to renew?

Well, while this might be the right decision for some hotels, it will dramatically increase the cost in the future if your property ever wanted to re-list. How much? Try $50,000. Yea.

Will the price increases have an effect on your TripAdvisor marketing campaigns?

Imagine the Hotel of the Future 

Can you imagine the “hotel of the future”? Best Western can. The popular hotel chain presented four unique hotel visions and several creative in-room ideas at their annual conference, many of which might not be too farfetched. Ideas presented included: 

  • On-site 3D printers to help guests who forget personal items
  • Language translator watches for reception desk staff
  • Smart coffee machines that remember guest preferences
  • Oculus rift headsets in each room as part of a property entertainment experience
  • Keyless room entry via mobile device

Can you think of any creative hotel ideas that you’d like to see?

He Sees You When You’re Tweeting

Those 140-character quips from Twitter will soon start appearing in Google search results. The popular social media network struck a deal with Google to make the online updates more searchable.

The deal will allow Google to access Twitter’s firehouse, the data stream generated by the service’s over 275 million active users, which is an improvement of the detailed website crawls that Google currently performs.

The deal is mutually beneficial as Google will have more relevant and up to date search results and Twitter will have a larger audience to engage with and convert which will grow ad revenue.

Quit Ignoring Your Online Reviews, People

Accommodation review are a hot topic in current times, as they should be, and if you still convinced that online reviews don’t matter, it’s really time to get out from under that lovely rock you’ve been living under. Ignorance might be bliss, but it isn’t going to help you make your hotel better or drive revenue.

Fast Facts:

  • 95% of guests read reviews before booking a hotel
  • Leisure travelers read ~6.5 reviews before booking while business travelers read ~5
  • 80% of guests felt that summarized reviews were both trustworthy and time efficient

Read the full report on hotel reviews and device preference and take action to start monitoring and managing your online reviews NOW.

How Strong is Your Reception Team? 

Your hotel front guest team is the face of your brand and can make or break a hotel experience from the guest perspective.

Ensuring that your staff is well versed on the ins and outs of both customer service and sales will assist in both customer satisfaction and revenue generation.

Doug Kennedy of Kennedy Training has a few simple tips to help you train a kickass reception desk team: Hotel Meme

  • Train front desk to identify guests who book through an OTA and provide those guests with a “repeat guest discount code” on a card that directs guests to the hotel website or with a direct property phone number to start training guests to book direct
  • Use check-in as an opportunity to up-sell additional services
  • Use check-out as an opportunity to solicit future bookings

Cameras in Hotels? Not Sketchy – We Promise

Marriot International has been participating in several “outside of the box” marketing campaigns and the new partnership with GoPro is no exception.

Guests staying at one of the 17 participation hotel locations, all located in the Caribbean and Central America, can ask for a complimentary GoPro to test drive during their stay.

Guests are then encouraged to share their experience via social media and use designated hashtags to spread the message.

This user-generated content approach is all part of the new “Travel Brilliantly” campaign that Marriott rolled out last summer that cost more than $60 million and targets young professionals.

Vegas Quiz

What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas… And apparently that’s pretty appealing. Can you guess how many guests visited Las Vegas last year? Check this quick travel report for the answer.

#TBT Website Edition

Have you wondered what some of the internet head-honchos looked like when they first launched? Wonder no more- just check out this Mashable website roundup and enjoy.

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Meisha BochicchioFriday Fuel: Hotels Marketing 50 Shades of Awesome
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