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Friday Fuel: Mobile, Millennials, and other “M” Things.

It’s finally Friday! Before you head off to happy hour, check out this week’s top travel and tech stories:

 

Facebook Messenger For Business Potential Game Changer?

How to implement and manage and effective customer service department has been a daunting challenge for many hotels, and many properties suffer because of this. Complications during the booking process, cancellations or reservation changes, and reservation add-ons can all cause issues for customers and managers alike. Facebook is hoping to change this with the rollout of their new “Facebook Messenger for Business” feature that is currently in beta with several large brands. Users can choose to get relevant updates via the Facebook Messenger platform and can respond to a message for a direct connection with customer service. This program will also allow for additional sales or upgrades directly through messenger. Convenience is a huge differentiator here, potentially alleviating the stress of phone-centric issue resolution. Will your hotel try out this new platform when it rolls out across the board?

Related: Facebook leads the way for Social Media ecommerce.

 

Layover Palm Beach? Let’s Hit The Putting Green!

The term “layover” might not have a negative connotation for much longer; many putting greenhotels are going above and beyond to provide alternative entertainment options for travelers stuck with an inconvenient wait time between flights. San Francisco now offers an Aviation Museum and Library, Baltimore offers a bike share program and Las Vegas offers – you guessed it – slot machines. What can hotels learn from the airlines movement towards increasing guest satisfaction? Perhaps we can learn something here.

 

Reputation Management is All The Rage

While price is still the most important decision making factor (cited by 96% of travelers in a recent survey by YouGov), accommodation ratings on review websites and online reviews themselves came in a close second and third with 88% and 86% respectively naming them important decision making factors. Hotels are noticing the trend across the board and are beginning to step up their game when it comes to monitoring and managing their online reputation. In fact, 60% of hotel owners worldwide cited that they are going to invest more in online reputation management, more than any other category named. Will your property spend more on reputation management moving forward?

 

Millennials – Know Them, Love Them, Market To Them

Wondering how to achieve this? Well, Hipmunk’s Annual Millennial Travel Habits Survey is a good place to start. A few fast facts about this coveted travel millennialsdemographic include: 62.7% of millennials indicated that they plan to take more leisure trips this year compared to last year (compared to 56% of non-millennials) and 73.7% of millennials said that they plan to check something off of their “travel bucket list” this year (compared to 60.1% of non-millennials). How can your property better cater to this unique and growing group of travelers? Does it make sense for your hotel? These are all things to consider as demographic
s begin to shift.

 

Mobile Mindset Continues

Well, it’s finally happened; mobile device transactions have finally crossed the 25% mark when it comes to digital travel transactions in the United States and that trend is only looking up. Criteo’s latest “State of Mobile Commerce” report announced the crossover earlier this week. The travel industry online ecommerce trend is only overshadowed by mass merchants and fashion and luxury and is closely followed by sporting goods and health and beauty. Having a seamless cross-device website experience will only continue to be more and more important as guests continue to become more comfortable with making purchases via mobile devices. How does your property’s mobile commerce compare?

Related: 40% of Email Clicks Are On A Mobile Device

 

Bonus Round:

How Do We Fix Travel? – You didn’t even know it was broken, did you? Check out this “food for thought” TED Talk video and let us know what you think!

Avoid Making These Mistakes When Responding to Online Reviews – Pretty straightforward, but it’s always good to have a refresher.

5 Trends in the Boutique Hotel Business – “Location, Location, Location” is not as important anymore.

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Meisha BochicchioFriday Fuel: Mobile, Millennials, and other “M” Things.
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