Expedia CEO says less OTA commissions, Are reviews with stars all fake? How will luxury and data work together?

Should we change reviews to likes?

I recently had a conversation with a university professor discussing the truth in reviews, interesting stuff (but I'll spare you the long story). In real life do we LOVE 90% of our experiences? So why are we almost always giving 5 star reviews? The 5 star system feeds fake reviews because, well they're pretty fake to begin with. We feel compelled to rank it 5 stars. YouTube and Netflix already shifted to a Like or Dislike system. Maybe it's time for TripAdvisor and Amazon to do the same. Tech is good enough now to process the content of the reviews and do the rest. 


When hotels innovate, this happens

Skift's amazing Complete Oral History of Boutique Hotels is essentially a book and it's totally free (thanks Alice) but something struck me while reading it. When hotels innovate we get amazing things like Boutique Hotels with extreme care to guest experience. The other Complete Oral History that Skift published*, shows what happens when hotels don't innovate. Others do. And we get OTAs, Airbnb, TripAdvisor etc. Those are amazing innovations, but hotels feel like they're eating their lunch. Essentially, I think hotels should invest more into innovation, because guests tend to love it.


Direct Bookings saga continues with flights

The direct booking saga isn't over. Lufthansa started a movement in the flights world a couple of years ago and it it catching on. I'm no expert here, but it essentially seems they built their own direct connections (or channel management) to various distributors. Not quite the same issue as hotels. However it is great to see how one major player can have enough stamina and influence to change an industry. We could do a bit of that in the hotel space as well. 


Commissions went down, experiences going up

Expedia's CEO, Dara Khosrowshahi gave some brilliant insights at the Hotel Investment Forum in Berlin. The quote that went viral was that commissions are going down, actually it seems he said they had gone down, and in all fairness Expedia was way above Booking for a long time, and I believe still are. But the insights are quite telling of what will happen in hospitality and what it takes to run a platform like Expedia. Experiences is most definitely the buzzword for 2017 and short term rentals aren't going to slow down but professionalize. 


Can Luxury and Data work together?

Last week at the Young Hoteliers Summit in Lausanne I had the honor of speaking alongside some great people from the industry, one of them being the GM of Four Seasons in Geneva. We had a panel on data and hotels and he brought up the interesting point that in Luxury hotels decisions are taken "from the gut" and most of the time they are the right decisions. So how will luxury and data mix? If you have a lot of time, you can watch the whole video here. Otherwise, hopefully there'll be a recap published soon. 


Martin Soler