Review pages: Shift to consumer power

The development

Most of us are at least consulting one online rating website before booking their next stay in a hotel. One of the most important ones is TripAdvisor, which is already running now since 12 years. They have created a platform for the public that makes it very easy to share recommendations about travels and also offers a booking service. Realizing that people are usually quite collaborative and like sharing experiences they turns it into a successful business. According to PhocusWright this could lead to a “power shift toward consumer” in the hospitality industry.

Threats for the industry

Even though the number of contributors should give the reviews some reliability the most important contra is still how accurate and genuine the reviews really are. There is no checking before writing a review if you have really travelled to that certain venue. Moreover author Summer is reporting on the TravelLog on Washington Post about experiences she had, with reviewers that were ‘nitpicking a place to death’ without understanding that some of the things there were criticizing actually formed the unique experience in a hotel.

New ways and opportunities

TripAdvisor has turned into a vast store of information. Undoubtedly of the utmost importance re the over 50 million reviews and opinions by average travellers, which gives it on the first hand more reliability than smaller pages of its sort. The company managed to make it fun for their visitors, by adapting strategies from the gaming industry, from profile pictures to a strong connection to social media. The pages can not only help the hotels to increase traffic, but also have high revenue by for example click-on advertisements as illustrated below.

busapps

So what is the answer?

Considering the professional discussion I followed and my personal point of view, these pages are rather favorable. However I found it quite interesting that also professionals were concerned that some reviewers were not actually getting the point and sometimes being harder on the hotels than actual professional testers would be.

Advertisements

Choosing the right device for your next booking

What is price discrimination?

Price discrimination indicates the method of either manufacturers, retailers or wholesalers to advertise with different prices for exactly the same products based on who wants to buy them. In earlier times this practice was misused, by for example offering different prices to people of other sex or skin color. This is really rare today.

Today most people might be aware of the fact, that they are offered different prices for example by airlines, depending on for example when they book, there are however even more and more characteristics that are used to differentiate between customers.

Applications to business

There are booking websites out there that actually give you a discount on whether you are booking from a usual computer or from a mobile device.
Liz Uber, vice president of revenue management at Pillar Hotels & Resorts explains this by saying that “some of these reservations will be booked the same day or 24 hours in advance when some of your discount rates are not available. If a hotel is not priced competitively in the market they will not be able to convert this potential guest.”

The travel sites Orbitz and CheapTicket for example used this technique already. Some deals are only available when you installed the sites app on your iPhone or Android device. Customers could by that see discounts of as much as 50 % from the original price. Moreover this applications is also determining the physical location and by that will offer different prices based on where the customer is located.
So when you shop or book next time, might be a good idea to recheck it undercover…

Hotels seeking for graduates

With over 72,4 million jobs within the hotel industry in 2012 the hospitality sector is the fastest growing industry in the world. Globalization and the increased importance of e-commerce, various new job opportunities and careers have emerged within the industry. This development also leads to an increased demand for graduates, which is especially interesting for us as students.

What is needed to become part of this fast-paced industry

Nevertheless, hands-on-learning is essential within this special industry, so one should always catch the opportunity for real-life experience. Several studies in the industry have shown that there are four main skills within hospitality, which are „oral and written communication skills, supervising skills (staff motivation and training), ability to engender customer satisfaction and service skills“.
Also important, and interesting for a business application group, the role of technology becomes more and more important, which leads to the conclusion that being able to handle the current technology should be one of your skills when being part of the management in a hotel.
In an interview with the New York Times Ana Silva O’Reilly (travel blogger and marketing consultant) reported on her experience in the Four Seasons Hotel in Milan. Soon after posting on Twitter that she would be checking into the hotel, she received a message from the hotel stating that they were looking forward for her arrival. “I know hotels do it all for my loyalty and my money, but it does feel welcoming when they contact me,” she said.
Being able to find new and innovative ways to delight customers is thus also an important skill.

How the web can change tourism

Peer-to-peer hospitality

The way that people go on vacation is said to change a lot in the coming years. Over the last years peer-to-peer booking websites gained more and more popularity. As sharing is a really hot topic at the moment, what impact does it possibly have on the hotel industry?
These peer-to-peer or even sharing platforms allow the travellers to individually book a private accommodation directly from the one who owns the residence. Mostly this is cheaper that staying in a hotel, in some cases as couch surfing for example it comes even without any costs.
These booking platforms until now rather stayed a place where backpackers that are looking for some adventure have the possibility to find a cheap place to stay and might even be able to meet some new people. For business people it is however lacking the amenities of a usual hotel, however there are more and more high end accommodations in this market. Even though these pages become more and more prominent, the total share that they occupy is still insignificantly low.

Threat for usual hotels?

Douglas Quinby, who analyzes these peer-to-peer networks as he works as a principal analyst for PhoCusWright says that “There may be some incremental leakages, but we don’t see it as being anything really substantial”. However the hospitality world agrees that one should not underrate the speed at which those developments can take place.

How the web can change tourism

Did you remark that there are only about 2 months left until vacation time? And that already 21 % of all Germans booked their vacation online in 2010, as published by the Federal Statistical Office. In the age group that we, so our BusApps group is mainly in, so the age group between 16 and 24 years about 15 % booked their trips online. I already made several experiences and was never disappointed. I used expedia.com, booking.com, clickandfly.com, bahn.de and some others. I find it quite convenient to be able to research myself about what hotels are available and what are really the cheapest flights and which times fit to my schedule the best. About 3 years ago I did an internship in a travel agency and from this experience I can tell that if you know a bit about how to do research on the web you are able to do the same job as they do there. So go ahead and try it, vacation is ahead!

Significant for all you students out there who want to see the world but can not afford expensive hotels..

The way that people go on vacation is said to change a lot in the coming years. Over the last years peer-to-peer booking websites gained more and more popularity. As sharing is a really hot topic at the moment, what impact does it possibly have on the hotel industry?

These peer-to-peer or even sharing platforms allow the travellers to individually book a private accommodation directly from the one who owns the residence. Mostly this is cheaper that staying in a hotel, in some cases as couch surfing for example it comes even without any costs.

These booking platforms until now rather stayed a place where backpackers that are looking for some adventure have the possibility to find a cheap place to stay and might even be able to meet some new people. For business people it is however lacking the amenities of a usual hotel, however there are more and more high end accommodations in this market. Even though these pages become more and more prominent, the total share that they occupy is still insignificantly low.

Douglas Quinby, who analyzes these peer-to-peer networks as he works as a principal analyst for PhoCusWright says that “There may be some incremental leakages, but we don’t see it as being anything really substantial”. However the hospitality world agrees that one should not underrate the speed at which those developments can take place.

Vacation is ahead!

Did you remark that there are only about 2 months left until vacation time? And that already 21 % of all Germans booked their vacation online in 2010, as published by the Federal Statistical Office. In the age group that we, so our BusApps group is mainly in, so the age group between 16 and 24 years about 15 % booked their trips online. I already made several experiences and was never disappointed. I used expedia.com, booking.com, clickandfly.com, bahn.de and some others. I find it quite convenient to be able to research myself about what hotels are available and what are really the cheapest flights and which times fit to my schedule the best. About 3 years ago I did an internship in a travel agency and from this experience I can tell that if you know a bit about how to do research on the web you are able to do the same job as they do there. So go ahead and try it, vacation is ahead!

vacation-ahead

(Source: ClassMum)

Who of you already booked a vacation via Internet (probably already booked for this summer), on which site did you book and where did you go?