Michael Levie says "no more old stuff" and 4 more stories
BOOKING'S FORAY INTO AI IS GOOD, REAL GOOD
Two comments reveal how serious Booking is in AI. The first a series of predictions by their CMO* about the need for better experiences in hotels, the second a comment by the CEO* on how they are testing with AI. But what is really interesting is the result. The Travel Assistant that Conde Nast tried is really good. And the fact that they are building in the transactions makes this even better. The uncanny similarities in strategy between Booking and Airbnb does leave lots to think about...
WHY TRAVEL MATTERS
Pia Vennelund, the Managing Director of Momondo spoke at a TEDx conference about the importance of Travel and how it affects tolerance. The numbers are interesting and data is cool. But what is much more powerful is the video within the talk on the DNA Journey. As Travel Professionals we should never forget the impact we can have on the world. It goes beyond ROI and bottom-line.
MICHAEL LEVIE SAYS, STOP DOING OLD STUFF
When we build a hotel we try to cover all bases; let's have some meeting rooms, some suites, a few F&B outlets, some single rooms, let's bring in business travelers, families, tourists busses etc. From a design viewpoint that's not a great plan. What if that is exactly what's wrong with hotels. What if that's exactly what Airbnb fixed? I can't say I know it is, but I can say that any designer who designs a product with so little focus will have a hard time succeeding. Here's an old article with a refreshing viewpoint.
They are ready, 2017 Travel Megatrends by Skift. A long but interesting read (it is a PDF, yes I know) but beautifully laid out and illustrated. My favorites: Bringing Humanity back to hotels and travel, Corporate Travel Tech, Tours and Activities (some insights on what the tech companies are eyeing), the new luxury and more.
UPDATING YOUR HOTEL WEBSITE, 2017 STYLE GUIDE
I asked a few hotels how often they renew they websites, the answers weren't all that impressive. I remember when Flash was originally being depreciated around 2010, the time it took for hotels to phase out of Flash based websites was really long. Today I tell 99% of hotels I meet that their website is not good for one reason, their booking engine is a separate entity to their website. We're still in the "brochure + payment" paradigm of the 1990s. For an industry that relies so much on direct revenue this is awkward. But on a more aesthetic side, here are some beautiful design trends your should look at if you're up for redoing your website.