Nearly 100 million Chinese tourists visited foreign countries last year, and they are likely to extend their lead as the world’s biggest-spending travellers, state media reported Thursday.
Chinese travellers spent $114 billion overseas in 2012, making them the world’s biggest spenders ahead of Germans and US tourists.
Hotels and retailers around the world have stepped up efforts to woo Chinese visitors.
Hotel and restaurant apps, powered by Blynk, support all international languages. Have your app content in Chinese and make it easier for your guests to request your services.
Almost nothing stays the same forever. In the hotel business, you have to change if you want to keep up with the competition. In 2013, preferences of travelers may be different over whether it is better to have an Apple or an Android digital device. But, on one point, there is no argument at all. Travelers, all across the world, and right here in the United States, have become increasingly dependent on their mobile digital devices.
According to a combined study recently completed by travel marketing, research and consulting groups MMGY Global and the Harrison Group, the next generation of travelers has arrived. Results of the national survey entitled 2013 Portrait of Digital Travelers were released in August of 2013.
Key findings of the survey
1. Smartphone usage for planning and purchasing travel services has more than doubled from 23 percent in 2011, to 62 percent in 2013. That is a fractional increase of roughly 270 percent in just 2 years.
2. Tablet usage for planning and purchasing travel services has gone up six-fold from 2011 to 2013. In 2011, only 7 percent of households were using tablets for travel, while in 2013, the number surged to 42 percent.
3. Over 50 percent of the Digital Elite have children in their household, compared to only 37 percent of those who rely on more traditional methods to plan and book travel. This reflects that younger people tend to be more digitally connected, and even children of 10 or 12 years of age, get actively involved, through the internet, to help plan a family vacation.
4. Digital Elite travelers spend and do more than their not-so-well connected brethren of travelers in 2012.
• Total leisure trips: 4.1 vs. 3.8
• Weekend trips: 2.1 vs. 1.8
• Last-minute trips: 31 percent vs. 22 percent
• Spending: $4,988 vs. $3,812
16 Jan 2014
Highlights from the article in Hotel News Now.
The explosion in mobile devices has created a new distribution channel for hotels.
Approximately 55% of United States households have a smartphone and 44% a tablet, according to the Consumer Electronics Association. As a result of the growing popularity of Internet-enabled mobile devices, hotel companies are reporting a larger percentage of online sales from mobile platforms. For example, InterContinental Hotels Group reported mobile revenues of $330 million in 2012, accounting for 9.7% of online revenues, while Choice Hotels International stated in May 2013 that mobile bookings accounted for 13% of its online sales.
While most global hotel chains have mobile-friendly websites, they are now moving into hotel applications for smartphones and tablets. These apps serve a variety of functions, from booking hotels and monitoring loyalty accounts to locating nearby attractions.
Marriott International, Choice Hotels and Hyatt Hotels Corporation have one smartphone app that searches for all of their hotel brands. Marriott and Hyatt are well-known names thanks to their flagship brand sharing the name of their parent company, so it is likely guests are able to find these apps easily. The companies can capitalize on their strong brand recognition and provide an easy-to-use one-stop shop.
Highlights from the article ‘Show These Mobile Usage Statistics To Any Travel Executive Resisting Change‘.
Travelers are switching from desktop Web browsers to smartphones and tablets in droves, but some travel companies have been slow to adapt to the change in traveler behavior.
Check out these half-dozen noteworthy statistics about mobile adoption.
Highlights from article in USA Today.
(Photo: Radisson Blu Aqua Hotel, Chicago)
The iPad has revolutionized the way many travelers work and relax in hotels since Apple started selling it three years ago.
So, with the device’s third birthday in mind, Hotel Check-In asked a variety of travelers and hotel industry workers to identify the top ways that the iPad and tablet computers have changed the lodging experience. Here are their picks:
1. Replacing old binders, hotel directories and menus.
2. Less to pack.
4. iPad as tour guide.
Read the complete article here.
07 Dec 2012
We just read an excellent article at HotelNewsNow.com titled 2013 – The Year Of 3 Screen Hospitality.
Some notable quotes from the article:
2013: The year of three-screen hospitality
Google projects an overall increase in number of search queries by 24% in 2013, but search data differs dramatically across the three device categories. Searches from mobile devices will experience an increase of 68%, while searches from tablets will increase by more than 180%. Desktop searches will experience a decline of 4%.
So what should hoteliers do get ready for the three-screen battle in 2013?
Begin by treating the desktop, mobile and tablet as three separate channels.
Desktop website. Make sure your desktop website is “in good health,” in order to comply with best practices in hotel distribution and to adhere to the industry’s best practices for design, site architecture and search-engine optimization. Most importantly, make sure it is compatible with the recent Google Panda and Freshness algorithm updates.
Mobile website. A hotel mobile website generates incremental revenue through mobile and voice reservations which, without a well-optimized, content-rich, property-specific mobile site, would go to the competition or to online travel agencies.
Tablet website. According to eMarketer, global tablet sales are projected to exceed 232 million in 2016, growing from 64 million in 2011. In 2013, there will be 75.6 million U.S. tablet users, up from 13 million in 2010. Hotel marketers should consider either enhancing their desktop website for the touch-screen tablet environment or building a tablet-only version of their website in addition to their desktop and mobile sites, which all should be managed via a single digital content depository-enabled content management system.
We believe that mobile and tablet will be more important for hotels sooner than estimated. We also believe that the right way to target mobile and tablet devices is through a property specific app. An app gives a far superior experience and can have more features on a mobile device than a mobile site.
01 Oct 2012
Below is a roundup of our favorite travel apps.
1. Google Maps
Google Maps works in almost all the countries in the world. It has amazing features like turn-by-turn navigation, public transport connections and the most updated local information for any place in the world.
Simply tell Google Maps where and how you want to go and you can be sure you will never be lost.
Hipmunk is our favorite way to do flight searches. Although it does not do flight bookings directly on the site, it is the best tool to decide which flight to book. It lists flight by agony, unlike other flight booking websites.
They have recently started a hotel search engine on their site too.
We love booking.com because it helps us book hotels fast and with easy cancellation options. For most hotels, it allows free cancellation till 1 day before your checkin date. We, like millions of users, love this convenience, making Booking.com our number 1 hotel booking site.
TripIt helps you organize your travel itinerary in 1 place which you can easily share with your family and friends or on your social media sites. The best thing we love about TripIt is how easy they have made to add your flight and hotel details to your trips. Simply forward your flight or hotel confirmation to their email and it automatically adds the details to your trip.
5. Local SIM Cards
Although not really an app, buying a local prepaid SIM card in the country you visit, lets you connect to internet on your smartphone in the cheapest possible way. Its only then you can use our recommended travel apps stress free. We find that this is the better than the many world SIM card options in the market.
Feel free to tell us your favorite travel apps in the comments below.
Click here for an excellent article on mobile opportunities to grasp today.
From a targeted deal in the spa, to a beer in the bar or a mobile-optimised booking engine, the latest research from EyeforTravel shows that many in the travel industry are not yet taking full advantage of the opportunities in these increasingly mobile times.
18 Aug 2012
In the past 2 years, Google has made it clear that it wants to play a big role in the travel industry.
Google Hotel is a relatively new product in beta. Google Flights is also a new product launched after its purchase of ITA and currently is limited to USA.
Google Now, the major new search product which works on Android can also be considered part of its travel offerings as it gives you alerts based on your travel plans.
The integration of all these products have a potential that could change the way you travel. A combination of above Google products would help you quickly plan your itinerary (Google Frommers) based on your past preferences and Google’s algorithm magic as they already know everything about you ;). It would also recommend flights (Google Flights) and hotels (Google Hotel Finder), the 2 main pain points while planning a trip. During your trip, it would give you relevant alerts like when to leave (Google Now) and directions (Google Maps).
And of course ‘relevant’ ads and offers depending on where you are going or where you are.
There is a phenomenal growth in adoption of tablets and smart phones. For hotels, mobile presence today is becoming as critical as Internet presence.
- According to the Trip Advisor Travel Trends 2012 report, 44% of all travelers will be using their mobile phone as a travel resource in 2012.
- Deloitte Hospitality Trend 2015 ranks mobile adoption as one of its top 10 game changers in the industry.
- In 2011 some 475 million smart phones were sold and 17.7 billion Applications were downloaded.
The travelers are rapidly moving into this digital age and it is critical for hotels to engage guests / travelers on their mobile devices, and add value to their mobile experience!
But the biggest challenge is – How to do so? What are the ways to leverage this new exciting platform? The answer is an ‘App’ – a Tablet/Mobile based Guest Experience & Marketing App. The app would serve multiple purposes like Marketing, Branding, Advertising, Cross-Selling, Impulse Buying, Guest Loyalty, and above all it enhances Guest Experience. With effective implementation of such app, there is a definite increase in RevPAR.
Revolution in Guest and Hotel interaction
All guest services can now be presented in high quality multimedia formats with stunning images and videos. Whether it is the restaurants, spa, golf, in-room dining, concierge or travel services, presenting these services in rich multimedia formats will result in an increased exposure and usage.
Guest can access details of all offered services, place orders and requests directly from the mobile device.
Language is no longer a barrier for foreign guest to enjoy hotel services to the fullest.
All activities of the guests are logged. Hotel can track time taken to complete guest requests and monitor trends to make informed decisions based on factual data.
Live and up to date information to guests
All information presented to guests on the mobile device is controlled through a web based Content Management System. The hotel has complete control over all the content and can add, edit or remove anything at a click of a second. All changes are immediately reflected on all the devices.
Guests only see live and actual information. The hotel will never have to say “Sorry, that item (or service) is not available at this time”.
Any special events or offers can easily be added to the app. Once the event is over, the information can be removed with a single click.
Hotel presence in the Mobile World
Hotel can have its presence in mobile devices worldwide, across all the devices, like iPad, iPhone, Android, Windows, etc.
With the Hotel app, hotels can market their property and amenities to a much greater audience in completely new and engaging ways.
Having hotels’ own branded app on Apple’s App Store or Google Play will significantly increase hotel’s brand value.
The Bottom Line: Increase RevPAR
Such app gives an amazing ROI, ranging from 10-25%, in terms of increasing room service bills, restaurant bills, direct marketing revenues, Internet revenues, cross-selling, etc.
Some of the great benefits that a Hotel receives, which will increase hotel’s RevPAR:
- Customer Satisfaction and Engagement
- Targeted Advertising
- Greater Brand Value
- Shopping – Merchandise, Local Bookings
- Increase Profitability by Cross-Selling
- Increase Employees / Operations Efficiency
- Reduce Operational / Manpower Costs
- Competitive Edge
Blynk Hotel is one of the solutions in the market for achieving the above :)
– Hiren Yadav, VP Marketing, Blynk.