It’s been a busy week for the travel & tourism industry and this week’s Friday Fuel has lots of exciting news.
This week, we talk the death of Amazon Travel, news on a new TripAdvisor analytics dashboard, a new way of ordering hotel room service via emojis, and much more.
Mo’ Data Mo’ Problems
TripAdvisor, hotels’ favorite frienemy, just rolled out a new analytics dashboard for hoteliers called the “Review Performance Report”. This new feature, provided free of charge, will provide detailed insights to registered users on reviews, rankings, and competitors. Additionally, the data available will be highly interactive and visual, making it easy to absorb for savvy hotel marketers and hotel newbies alike. Additional features include weekly, monthly, or quarterly displays, the ability to compare up to ten competitor sets, consolidated performance information, and more. Will your hotel use this new TripAdvisor feature?
RIP Amazon Travel
Remember this time last year when everyone was freaking out over Amazon Travel, the new “disruptor”? Well, that phase was short lived. Amazon abruptly shut down all hotel and accommodation operations under their Amazon Destination Service this week. A notice on the site states, “Effective October 13, Amazon Destinations stopped selling reservations on travel.amazon.com and the Amazon Local app. If you have a reservation, your reservation is valid and will be honored by the hotel. No action is required on your part.” The company has given no explanation other than they have decided to discontinue the service. Bye Felicia!
Up and coming travel company Airbnb released an apology this week for outdoor ads that have appeared in San Francisco over the past few days. The billboards, which were written in letter format and signed “Love, Airbnb”, were directed at the government and blatantly suggested what the city should do with the millions of tax dollars that the company pays each year. Suggestions included supporting arts in schools, building more bike lanes, and funding the public library system. Though intentions might have been in the right place, the ads were generally not well received and read a snide comments rather than helpful dialogue-generating suggestions. Whoops. What do you think of the Airbnb ads?
TripAdvisor + Mickey Mouse = New BFFs
Travel giant TripAdvisor is hoping to make Disney Trip planning easier by rolling out dedicated website sections specifically for this popular family destination. These goal of the new website pages is to cover any and all information that one might seek when planning a trip to either of the US based Disney Parks. According to TripAdvisor, Disney is the first brand included in a more broad initiative to offer dedicated pages for other popular travel destinations, though no other locations were noted specifically. Planned content will include park maps, reviews, costs commonly associated with travel, and unique traveler insights. Would you go to TripAdvisor for info if you were planning a Disney trip?
E is For Emoji & It’s Good Enough For Me
Aloft Hotels, a modern Starwood Hotels brand, is upping the customer service game with a new room service texting feature. Apparently picking up the phone and calling customer service is just too cumbersome so the brand has taken the direct communication aspect out of the picture. Now, hotels guests can send one of several emoji combinations to order specific services. Options include “The Hangover” package that includes 2 bottles of Vitaminwater, Advil, and 2 bananas for $10 and “The Munches” that includes a coke, bag of Doritos, a Snickers, and a chocolate brownie for $10. One can also order a “surprise me box “ for $25 that includes “fun swag & cool stuff”. Is this move the future of customer service?
Multi-Generational Is The New Millennial
2015 was an interesting year for travel as several new niches emerged, including the multi-generational group. More and more families are seeing the benefit of traveling together and are seeking hotels and attractions that can meet the unique needs of a multi-generational family. From a lodging perspective, having large rooms and a pool is not longer going to cut it. If this segment is important for your property, look to provide features that will speak to this specific group like multi-room condos that offer space and privacy as well as amenity options that can appease everyone traveling, like diverse dining options, on-site entertainment, and readily available information on area attractions and excursions.
TL;DR – What Do Families REALLY Want
It goes without saying that families come in many shapes and sizes and no hotel can truly offer a “one size fits all” approach. Every family has unique needs and challenges that different hotels can meet so casting a wide net can be difficult. However, a recent survey revealed the top five hotel attributes that are important to families across the board. If family travel is important to your hotel, do they offer these five things?
- Extra Space
- Free Breakfast
- Microwaves & Mini-Fridges
- Activities For Kids
These features can make or break a family’s decision so be sure you can check these off your family hotel check list.