Articles: Tourism Market Info

Travelling with Technology

We have recently been travelling overseas so it was a good chance for us to see how we would use various technologies while on the road. Sorry Apple users, you have lots of different clever things you can do with Iphones, Ipads etc that we haven’t discussed here.

We travelled with

A small laptop / tablet computer (Windows)
A Samsung S5 mini Phone (Android)
A Kindle Fire 7

What we found is: Continue reading

Air BNB & Uber snippets

AirBNB

How about an Air BnB property for around $17,000 a night?

Villa Napoleon on the shores of Lake Como in Italy is available to you!  8 bedrooms so that is just a little over $2000 per night per bedroom.

Probably self-catering, so you can even stay in and cook your own beans on toast!

Maria Carey stayed there recently, for whatever that info is worth!.

Uber

Uber NZ is apparently changing its’ model to minimise the entry barriers for new drivers – less cost and red tape. Apparently this means fares may be around 20% lower. Fares have already dropped in both Auckland and Wellington.

http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/79200616/uber-drops-prices-and-eases-driver-restrictions

Airbnb / Expedia

Airbnb’s room night numbers have doubled in their 3rd quarter of the financial year to 23.8 million nights!
see http://www.traveltrends.biz/ttn555-airbnbs-room-nights-double-during-third-quarter/

Airbnb has made a huge impact on the accommodation sector over recent time.

Expedia seems to have decided that they need to take them on and have recently bought rival organisation, HomeAway.

The international HomeAway portfolio includes Bookabach in NZ.

It also includes HomeAway.com, VRBO.com and VacationRentals.com in the United States; HomeAway.co.uk and OwnersDirect.co.uk in the United Kingdom; HomeAway.de in Germany; Abritel.fr and Homelidays.com in France; HomeAway.es and Toprural.es in Spain; AlugueTemporada.com.br in Brazil; HomeAway.com.au and Stayz.com.au in Australia; Bookabach.co.nz in New Zealand, and Asia Pacific short-term rental site, travelmob.com.

http://www.traveltrends.biz/ttn555-expedia-buys-homeaway-to-take-on-airbnb/

With the impact of Airbnb and Google entering the OTA market, the way Accommodation providers do business is likely to keep constantly changing. Expedia could be taking the Airbnb model even more to the masses although apparently there are significant technological challenges for them to overcome first.

Google becoming an OTA

Google are about to take on OTA’s with their own commission based ad programme (instead of just pay per click like Adwords.)

While this has been predicted for some time, it will most likely change the OTA market significantly. Google have trialed this option and apparently found that it generates more revenue for them than Adwords.

To date the other OTA’s have relied on dominating Google results. Google taking them on directly is likely to cause a pretty big shake-up for organisations like booking.com and Expedia.

Read the article at http://www.traveltrends.biz/ttn555-google-takes-on-otas-with-new-commission-model/

 

Online Travel Agents – OTA’s

For those of you in the accommodation business, the changing shape of online bookings has been a concern for some time.

Last year when we visited clients and other people there was great concern about the amount of commissions paid to sites like Booking.com. A bit of a sense of panic!

We have recently also had a number of meetings and sense a change in the mood from last year. Yes, people are still concerned that they are paying large amounts of commission to OTAs. But there seems to have been a maturing of attitudes to this and acceptance that this is just the way the market is now.

Now people are more accepting that if they are paying commissions it actually means confirmed business and that online bookings are often easier than walk-ins who want to look around first.

Also, many are coming up with creative ways to encourage direct bookings without violating price parity rules that some of the OTA’s have.

Some have dropped their Google AdWords campaigns – why bid to compete with the large OTA’s like booking.com for top spot if your property is coming up in their Adwords anyhow? Let them spend the money to promote you. They have much deeper pockets than you.

And we know of one site that has a “price ticker” showing the OTA prices versus the direct booking price which encourages direct booking because it shows clearly that the direct booking rate is the best price (or equal to it).

At the end of the day many of the bookers look at the OTA listing as well as visit your site – you then just need to convince them to book direct. Value added offers can help achieve that. If you are clever, you can do that without breaking price parity rules.

But check out our article about Google becoming an OTA to see what shakeup is coming soon.

TripAdvisor becoming a booking site

It has been slowly happening but now appears to be in full swing, at least in the US. Now that they have such market dominance, TripAdvisor are becoming a full blown booking site and maximising their returns.

With Instant Book, or Book on TripAdvisor, consumers get the convenience of booking the hotel on TripAdvisor or in its apps without having to navigate to a hotel or online travel agency site. The hotels pay TripAdvisor a commission instead of paying for clicks. The commissions undercut those that they might have to pay to Expedia or Booking.com, for example.

More info on the transition is at these links

http://skift.com/2015/07/24/the-numbers-behind-tripadvisors-evolution-into-the-next-booking-giant/

http://skift.com/2015/07/23/tripadvisor-transformed-the-booking-site-is-now-in-full-swing/

This will probably mean more business listing options from them for promoting your business above others. It will be driven by commission $$$ rather than traveller ratings and reviews. And an even more aggressive approach from TripAdvisor to selling you business listings.

If paying for business listings just make sure that you know if your return on investment is worthwhile. And maximise the opportunities that are available. Eg feature a special offer for your property as this provides additional exposure on the site.

You probably don’t like paying commissions but that is just the way the market is changing. Unfortunately you need to get used to it and maximise your benefit (or minimise the impact) from this change.