Amazon Local makes more moves into the hotel booking space
Key points: The ecommerce behemoth has started listing non-discounted rooms from a few independent hotels. Amazon is charging a “15 percent or so” commission for this service, “and compensating the properties in two payments for the prepaid rooms.
Takeaway: Amazon continues to creep towards OTA-land, despite its claims otherwise.
Social media activity relates to hotel occupancy
Key points: A survey of more than 4,000 hotels revealed that hotels that actively use social media, particularly review sites, have higher occupancy rates than those that don’t. According to the article, “Properties that responded to more than 50 percent of social reviews grew occupancy rates by 6.4 percentage points, more than twice the rate of properties that largely ignored social media reviews.”
Takeaway: Cultivate your social media presence, and respond to reviews!
Responsive design is edging out adaptive
Key points: Mobile-friendly is a must, but the scales are tipping towards responsive as the preferred design architecture for hotels.
Takeaway: Should you pick responsive design for your website? Signs point to “yes.” Learn more in our adaptive vs. responsive post.
Marriott launches its own online travel publication
Key points: “Marriott Traveler” features original written, visual, and video content. According to Marriott content marketing VP: “We want to connect with people before they go on a trip, or even before they’re thinking about going on a trip to inspire them to travel. That’s really our goal, and ultimately to get them to book at one of our hotels.”
Takeaway: Travelers crave original, location-specific content. Independent hotels are well-positioned to create such content, if not at the same scale as Marriott.
Millennials aren’t obsessed with AirBnB
Key points: Filed under “actually surprising survey results”: Millennials use AirBnb, but they also say they’d rather stay at hotels, with friends or family, or camp. While Millennials certainly don’t make up all of AirBnb’s customer base, this survey had a respectable number of respondents (nearly 1,200).
Takeaway: Some have predicted the demise of hotels due to the sharing economy, but perhaps an equilibrium is in sight.