10 Airbnb Tips for Hotels, Hugo Burge talks about inspiration, Direct Bookings costs grow, Chat is the new web and more

The Shrinking Hotel Industry

Last week Daniel Craig of Reknown published a thought provoking article with the above title. I recommend you read it, a few people pitched in on the comments section (me included) which I think adds a dimension to the article which is great. As I've said before, we as an industry need to think look a little further than the short-term competition into how we can grow the pie in travel. Three factors come to mind that will do that, 1st, make travel booking easier, 2nd make trips cheaper and 3rd remove risk from booking one's trips. If we can do that we can make more people travel, and it will reduce the amount of "wars against..." that hotels are fighting. 


10 hotel tips from Airbnb's Chip Conley 

The Airbnb vs. Hotels debate seems to be the new big thing. But what can we learn from Airbnb that will make hotels better. Chip Conley is a hotelier, and his 10 tips are worth a read, some are more pragmatic than others but hoteliers should read the whole thing. If I can add one tip, it's a paraphrased line from Jeff Bezos on thinking with what won't change in your industry, and what won't change in hospitality industry is that people will want more places to stay and easier access to them. 


The increasing costs of Direct Bookings

Loyalty and cheaper rates direct, is it a race to the bottom? While I won't argue for a minute that giving perks to guests for booking direct is effective (and probably the only reason they do it) this article from Peter O'Connor is good food for thought. Advertising costs are going up, Meta-search is great but not cheap, AdWords are effective but the bids are going up, it leaves us with Facebook that can deliver cheap clicks. But where is this going to take us? How will hotel marketing go, what if things like Loyalty weren't only about cash rewards and cards with fancy names?


Chat is the new browser

Websites had an order of magnitude improvement on CDs because they reduced friction to accessing the data. But, because we have become so accustomed to the friction on travel booking things like separate booking engines exist on hotel websites. We still think with odd paradigms in which it seems totally ok that people are bouncing around upward of 30-40 websites over a period lasting days or weeks before booking their hotel. But when that paradigm changes and we find one that dramatically reduces friction, we should embrace it.


Can we solve inspiration?

In this long post from Hugo Burge from Momondo Group, Hugo discusses the importance of inspiration in travel marketing. It's a great read with many questions on where inspiration will come from in Travel. AdWords aren't really doing it, Facebook is better poised at doing it but Hugo thinks Metasearch can work on it. It's no secret that products like Google Photos were built to gather data for it. It is the holy grail in marketing and advertising. Cost efficient inspiration isn't that easy to come by. 


Martin Soler