Is Airbnb just bad? and 5 more stories
IS AIRBNB FORCING HOTELS TO INNOVATE?
A lot has been said about Airbnb and hotels over the last few years. We can argue that it is fair or unfair competition, but we can't argue that we as hotel, hotel marketers and hotel tech companies need to innovate our way to the future. Improving experiences, creating new ideas and as AccorHotels is trying growing out of the mere, beds and restaurants into neighborhood services. Whatever happens, we should use the increased competition to innovate.
WHAT'S WRONG WITH HOTELS, A RANT
This article by Dirk Delichau recently showed up on my LinkedIn feed, it's not a new article but I had never seen it before (it happened outside my bubble I guess). The rant is a little unjust most hotels aren't as ego-driven as the author claims - but there's enough truth in it for it to be worth a read. All established industries fight competition too hard, I recall the comments about TripAdvisor a few years ago, how it was the reincarnation of evil. But let's take an introspective look for a second and see what we can improve.
WHERE DO CANCELLATIONS COME FROM?
Cancellations are a pain, we learn to live with them but life would be so much easier without them. I've heard that some OTAs have almost 50% cancellation rates on the bookings made. There are some tricks to reducing cancellation rates and understanding where they come from can help control it. This analysis is definitely worth a read if you're trying to fix the problem.
A GUIDE TO EMAIL MARKETING FOR HOTELS
In the e-commerce world emails are the single most efficient way to sell goods online. The ROI on emails is ridiculously high and that's probably because the cost to send out emails is so low (but that also means lots of low quality crap). But how hotels should use emails isn't abundantly clear. It can so easily become a boring mess of "special" offers and repetitive messages that leisure guests really don't care about. This guide by Vikram Singh is brilliant piece and should be bookmarked by hotel marketers.
A TRAVEL TECH STACK
Shiji has been working on building a travel technology stack for some time now, popping into the news with acquisitions and funding to create a large set of tools for travel. This interview with Kevin King the COO of Shiji gives a pretty good overview of where they are going. Building and acquiring the tools for a large data driven economy is looking interesting.
INNOVATING OUT OF HOTELS
AccorHotels' CEO Sebastien Bazin, has been pretty open about how the big hotel companies have missed several boats in the last few decades. Online booking, Metaseach and more recently short term rentals. And he's on a mission to change that. The recent move is turning hotels into community hospitality centers that cater for locals as much as visitors. Expanding out of rooms into everything that locals could need, even package delivery. Is that the right way to go time will tell, but here's someone who may not be the number one hotel company in the world, but is definitely trying harder.