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Posts Tagged ‘website’

Is there ANY Loyalty to Hotel Booking Sites?

In General on August 18, 2010 at 06:15

Is there ANY Loyalty to Hotel Booking Sites?In Asia, we have a less developed online travel market than in Europe and the US. This means there are no dominant players like Expedia, Travelocity, Orbitz, and Priceline.

The nearest we get to that is Zuji, which is the Asian offshoot of Travelocity. However, this serves limited markets, and under different brands, which doesn’t give it the mindshare of the 4 dominant players in the US and Europe. Priceline has Agoda, but apparently, it contributes only 3% of Priceline’s turnover. (Interestingly, Priceline has Booking.com as well as Agoda, what’s the story with the branding there?) Ctrip is big in China, has a very innovative business model (users can book online but pay offline, which gets round low credit card penetration, and a historical reluctance about online payments), but it has very little reach outside China.

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Top 100 Hotels: 30% Don’t Use a Booking Engine!

In General on August 15, 2010 at 11:59

Tourists In The World by Francesco MarinoI’m fascinated by booking engines. A few years back i was involved in a large project to build a booking engine for Accor in Asia Pacific, and through all the pain of building a usable, profitable solution from this maze of rates and allocations, with availability stretching 700+ days into the future for 200+ hotels, i was captivated by the complexity and challenge of it. It’s also given me an insight into the crucial role of booking engines in an effective online presence for hotels. Read the rest of this entry »

Opening new markets — should i translate my hotel website?

In General on August 10, 2010 at 18:30

Opening new markets -- should i translate my hotel website?This is a common one. I’ve been building hotel websites for clients for 10 years now, and a common request is to make them multilingual. However, there are 2 particular issues you need to look out for.

Firstly, have you thought about how much it costs to create the copy in a 2nd language? Were you thinking about freelancing it, or getting a member of staff who speaks the language to translate it? Think again. Consider how long you agonised over every single word in English, to get exactly the right copy, the right persuasive tone, that would bring you more bookings. Are you going to get the same perfect, persuasive text in a second language? It costs money to do the job right! Think copywriting in the 2nd language, not just translation. Read the rest of this entry »

What to look for in a hotel booking engine?

In General on August 4, 2010 at 20:57

What to look for in a hotel Booking EngineMost hotels need to make a choice about a 3rd-party booking engine at some stage, unless they’re part of a medium to large chain: most users expect to be able to make a booking online in realtime, so having a contact form is often not enough. There is so much choice in 3rd-party booking engines, not just in functionality, but also in business model. Clients often ask for advice in this crucial area. Here are a few considerations.

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Where are the niche hotel websites?

In General on July 27, 2010 at 21:58

One thing that surprises me is that there aren’t more hotel websites for specific niches, for people with particular passions, needs and pastimes. Of course, you aren’t likely to be aware of these niches unless you have a particular need, but still, there seems to be very little in the way of hotel sites catering to families with kids, or people with disabilities — and these aren’t really niches at all, in that they apply to an enormous number of people worldwide.

I was reading Chris Anderson’s excellent Free the other day, and he talks about the internet reducing the marginal cost of reaching a lot of people, reaching the very people with special tastes and requirements that had been difficult to market to in the past.

So why isn’t it happening? Am I being shortsighted? Are there lots of niche hotel sites out there? I’d love to see some examples of these…

Anthony Green – July 2010

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The internet really HAS changed the hotel industry!

In General on July 13, 2010 at 22:11

Fabrice asks What did the Internet REALLY change in the hotel industry? — and although i don’t have the inside stats that he’s looking for (my experience over the last 10 years has been as a supplier, not as a hotelier), i would hazard a guess that the biggest recipients of any benefits would be small independent hotels. Read the rest of this entry »

Online hotel booking findings from the ITB World Travel Trends Report

In General on July 2, 2010 at 11:37

ITB World Travel Trends ReportITB is a huge endeavour, with 108,000 trade visitors, and over 10,000 exhibitors from 180 countries at its Berlin show (not including the ITB Asia show), and the participation of so many travel related companies gives it access to an impressive amount of data.

Looking through this, i was excited to see the continued growth in online bookings, especially in a difficult year for travel and tourism. Read the rest of this entry »

Who are booking hotels online, technically speaking?

In General on June 28, 2010 at 19:00

Cross browser testing important for hotel sitesA new post on the Keen website looks at 66,000 bookings from 6 million visitors, making bookings at 45 hotel and resort properties in 8 countries in Asia Pacific, to work out which visitors are the best hotel customers from a technical viewpoint. Key takeaways are the importance of tracking visitors to your site, testing across browsers and operating systems, and why visitors with large screens are so important to you.

Anthony Green – June 2010

Why hotel customers book offline

In General on June 27, 2010 at 18:09

Interesting release from PhocusWright, giving some insights into the minds of leisure travellers who prefer to book offline.

The biggest reasons for customers booking offline are personal service (33%), the feeling that they would get a better price booking offline (21%), and a belief that they would get better customer service if something goes wrong (16%).

Reasons to Book Leisure Travel Offline

Despite the US focus of this survey, all these factors will be familiar to ecommerce and revenue teams in Asia. Read the rest of this entry »

Hotel websites are all the same?

In General on June 18, 2010 at 09:54

Read an interesting post on Hotel Blogs — Most hotel websites look the same, try to be different — which comments on Seth Godin’s assertion that hotel websites all look the same.

Interesting point. Leaving aside the bigger point that hotels are struggling to innovate in their core product and brand offerings, innovation with travel sites is hard. In the early years of the internet, it could be argued that innovation was high — when the marketing department controlled the sites, and looked for the Wow! factor, often through Flash and lots of graphics. The result was a bit of a mess, and sites that didn’t necessarily generate a lot of revenue. Read the rest of this entry »