Expedia makes a big splash this week with two major tools that will help the hotel industry. Travel advertisers are relying more on Facebook to reach the masses, and 2015 of to a booming start.
Expedia Media Solutions/Phocuswright conducted a research on the top trends in travel advertising. Many interesting insights was brought to life by the study. The study shows that social and video commercials will account for the most advertising money spend. Social and video ad budgets have tripled in the years between 2011 and 2014. The growth is on par with with gross bookings too. As bookings continue to rise the trend of spending on advertising will continue to rise as well. Of the different avenues travel advertisers have used to display ads, Facebook appears to be effective for 68% of travel advertisers. Foursquare was the least effective for the travel advertisers. Travel advertisers are not using Pinterest as much as people would expect. With Pinterest’s photo hosting platform, it would appeal to travelers and be effective for travel advertisers. Only time will tell where advertisers will choose to go.
Expedia is collaborating with hotels to combat negative reviews. After listening to feedback provided by their hotel partners in regards to negative feedback, Expedia has developed a real time feedback tool. Immediately after guests arrive at the hotel they receive an email asking them three questions: “How was your check in?;” “How is your room?” and “Are you happy with the location?” This allows the hoteliers to get real time feedback so they can act on it while the guest is at the hotel. It is a powerful feature that will prevent negative feedback once the guest leaves. This is a unique feature because it is a real time feedback, and Expedia will be sharing reviews customers have provided them with a third party, which is not the norm.
Expedia makes the news again this week with another tool. Expedia is adding a “Sell Tonight” function to Expedia PartnerCentral. The Expedia PartnerCentral is the extranet that hotel managers use to upload room and rates inventory on to Expedia. The “Sell Tonight” function allows hotel managers to change same-day room rates. Immediately after changing the price will be updated across all the of the Expedia’s platforms. “It required a transformational change in how Expedia’s technology works to enable a one-click push of a new price that is followed by promotional merchandising messaging, like ‘Tonight only deal!’, to be pushed systemwide.” said Benoit Jolin head of global supplier experience at Expedia. This is designed for hotels to fill every room before the night is over.
Tourism has a great start to begin 2015. Locations all over the world saw tremendous visitors over the New Year holidays. Many travel companies are reporting historic numbers, that they didn't see this time last year, with one company reporting a rise of 15 percent compared to the same period last year. Many are attributing the growth to the uninterrupted New Year’s weekend from January 1 to January 4. Whatever the cause is, the industry is hoping for the trend to continue and a successful year.
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