Brand Karma & TrustYou Partner to Bring Hotel & Tourism Brands the Best of Reputation Management & Virtual Reality –

Brand Karma and TrustYou have announced a strategic partnership, bringing together TrustYou’s powerful reputation management tools and Brand Karma’s digital innovation in virtual reality (VR).

The needs of the travel enterprise continue to evolve. Hotels now need to unify a complex mix of traveller feedback from reviews, social media, and guest survey data to delight the guest and stay competitive.  At the same time, new media platforms are rapidly changing travel distribution, with virtual reality revolutionizing hotel sales and marketing.

Source: Brand Karma & TrustYou Partner to Bring Hotel & Tourism Brands the Best of Reputation Management & Virtual Reality –

The Hotel and Resort Operator’s Digital Marketing Budget Guide for 2016

Cover from The Hotel and Resort Operator's Digital Marketing Budget Guide for 2016 eBook

The Hotel and Resort Operator’s Digital Marketing Budget Guide for 2016

Vizergy Vizergy – Digital Travel Marketing, the hospitality industry’s leading provider of website design and digital marketing programs, releases its eBook on how hoteliers can plan and budget to achieve the highest return on investment for the upcoming year. Budgeting for digital marketing can be overwhelming due to the rapidly changing opportunities and numerous tools available. This ebook helps hoteliers stay on track by providing thoughtful recommendations from top media analysts along with a free budgeting Excel template.

More than half of all hotel rooms will be booked online by the end of 2015 (Google Research). Therefore, establishing a strategic digital marketing plan to capitalize on this trend is vital to the success of any hotel property. Vizergy’s complimentary eBook explains how hoteliers can align their digital marketing budgets with business goals and gives useful tips on deciding how much of your marketing budget to devote to digital. In addition to useful budget recommendations, the eBook includes a hotel digital marketing budget template created by our experts with more than 15 years of hospitality experience.

Click here to get a complimentary copy of “The Hotelier’s Guide to 2016 Digital Marketing Spend” today.

Source: The Hotel and Resort Operator’s Digital Marketing Budget Guide for 2016

Contextual Marketing – How it works in the Travel Industry – Big Data for Travel – Boxever

Everybody is talking about contextual marketing, but really, what is it and how will it benefit our travel customers’ experience?

In the madmen days of advertising, you would reach a customer through billboards or television ads placed at very strategic locations or times. Outdoor billboards near snow-laden airports featuring warm, sunny climate destinations. Television ads for airlines running on the evening news, touting easy flights for business executives. When was the last time you saw one of those?

The marketing industry has come a long way and digital marketing has completely changed how we reach our target audience. Contextual Marketing means discovering the context in which specific audiences were to be found. It is about the digital fingerprint, looking at what a customer has done, what they are currently doing, and predicting what they may do in the future based on their habits and trends. In the past that meant taking advantage of situations like freezing cold northerners who drive by boards near airports as they head to and from work or business executives who travel that watch the stock market reports during the evening news.

The fundamental concept of contextual marketing reaching audiences when they are in a specific time and place or frame of mind for considering your product or service — is still very valid. The difference is that the information we now have to support contextual marketing is more personalized and enriched with more details.

Equally important, the channels for reaching travellers are now highly individualized and personalized thanks to the ubiquitous tiny screens that are ever present in our lives. Instead of reaching that winter sun-seeker on his or her way to the airport, you can beam them an email directly to their laptop or tablet. The timing has become fine-tuned as well. For example, you know they’re in a look-to-book frame of mind if you send a remarketing email within six hours of a fare or destination search on your website.

There are many data drivers for today’s successful contextual marketing.

When blended, these drivers create hyper-personalized offers and content timed to reach highly receptive audiences at exactly the right moment. These drivers can include:



Historic behaviour

Real-time information

For example, let’s take Margie Foley. An online travel agency has her in its database as a female, aged 36, who lives outside of Hartford, Connecticut. In the past she has travelled to Fort Lauderdale in early March, midweek, leaving at 7am, returning the following Monday at 4pm. Now add her device information – her email and cell phone number. Then, (here’s where it gets really fun) pull in some third party weather data.

The OTA uses a sophisticated travel marketing platform that includes a recommendation engine that creates contextual marketing offers on the fly. So, on a snowy morning in January, Margie is headed out the door on her way to work. The recommendation engine pulls together an offer for a great deal to Fort Lauderdale, including a discount for an extra night’s stay at her favourite hotel. Timed to reach her during her lunch hour – while the morning’s nightmare commute is still on her mind and the snow continues to pile up outside her office window — the offer entices her into a temporary reverie with a picture of a Fort Lauderdale beach at sunset. The discount encourages her to book now so she’ll have two months of looking forward to her vacation – surely a powerful tactic to get her through the New England winter.

Now, multiply Margie’s offer by the 2,000 other New Englanders in the OTA’s database that share a similar travel history and who are also staring at the falling snow. Divide by the fractional cost of beaming them an email and the efficiency of contextual marketing (cost divided by booking rate equals ROI) becomes very clear indeed.

But perhaps the most compelling thought is that contextual marketing is in its infancy.

As travel marketers become more sophisticated and begin applying what I call personal interest data, the recommendation engines will be able to layer in additional personalization that will really drive contextual marketing to a whole new level and really make it so that every connection is 1:1.

Margie, it turns out, is a rabid Red Sox fan and her name is in the team’s ticketing database. Imagine the team clinches the American League pennant. The next day, while visions of victory dance in her head, she receives a contextual marketing offer that includes a World Series package pulled together on the fly. Go Sox. Go Margie.

This 1:1 marketing is what our customers are coming to expect. There is a move away from generic advertising, which can be seen in the latest iOS release that has the ability to block ads. We now need to start looking at ways to interact and provide extremely relevant information and offers to our customers.

Source: Contextual Marketing – How it works in the Travel Industry – Big Data for Travel – Boxever

Sabre AirVision Market Intelligence solution expands distribution with Airport Strategy and Marketing… — SOUTHLAKE, Texas, Aug. 26, 2015 /PRNewswire/ —

SOUTHLAKE, Texas, Aug. 26, 2015 /PRNewswire/ — Sabre Corporation (NASDAQ: SABR), a global technology provider to the travel industry, has signed an agreement with Airport Strategy and Marketing (ASM), a leading consultancy firm with expertise in defining route development for airports worldwide.

sabre-logo-250x61Under this agreement, ASM will extend their current product portfolio by offering Sabre AirVision Market Intelligence to better serve their global customer community of airports and key stakeholder partners.

Sabre AirVision Market Intelligence addresses a key aspect of the airline business by connecting parties to robust market data. Ultimately, this solution provides advanced data analysis capabilities for business development and commercial planning departments. Airlines, airports, tourism boards and other travel related companies use Sabre AirVision Market Intelligence to drive efficiency around commercial planning, identify new revenue opportunities, and increase competitive insight.

“I am delighted we have reached this new agreement with Sabre, and as major users of Market Intelligence we find it to be the strongest demand and schedule data system on the market,” said David Stroud, managing director for ASM. “I am pleased we can now effectively add the product into our portfolio of services and enhance our offer to the world’s airports.”

“This new deal is a win-win scenario for both organizations. ASM deepens their customer offerings, while Sabre expands into the airport market and extends the reach of Market Intelligence to additional customers,” said Darren Rickey, vice president of Sabre AirVision.

First-class route development is dependent upon quality traffic data. With the data Sabre AirVision Market Intelligence provides, ASM will continue to provide consulting, analytics and training services to its airport customers. This new agreement reinforces the long standing relationship between the two companies. In addition to Airline Solutions’ status as ASM’s preferred airport data supplier, ASM now has the rights to market and sell this data solution.

Source: Sabre AirVision Market Intelligence solution expands distribution with Airport Strategy and Marketing… — SOUTHLAKE, Texas, Aug. 26, 2015 /PRNewswire/ —

Back to basics – ten tips for travel search marketing [INFOGRAPHIC]

Back to basics – ten tips for travel search marketing [INFOGRAPHIC].

Hanapin Marketing, a UK-based agency which works with a number of travel and tourism brands, has produced a rather handy, back-to-basics guide to search marketing in the travel industry.

(click image or here for a larger version)

hanapin infographic 550px

Travel News – Internet Moguls launches ‘m-Powered Hotels’ to offer III-Tier digital marketing service to hotels | TravelBiz Monitor

Internet Moguls, a digital marketing solutions company for the hospitality industry, has launched a dedicated sub-brand, m-Powered Hotels, to offer complete III-Tier digital marketing services to hotels. m-Powered Hotels will take over complete software, revenue management, and digital marketing related activities of member hotels which join the brand network.

The company has already enlisted 24 hotels from India under m-Powered Hotels network. Revealing this new business vertical, Avijit Arya, Founder & CEO, Internet Moguls, said that the sub-brand, m-Powered Hotels, is targeted at hotels and hotel owners who do not have the bandwidth to handle digital marketing , revenue management and technology themselves. “This is a natural progression for us from a digital marketing agency to a complete software, revenue management and digital marketing solution provider,” he said. Today, 15 to 30 per cent of the total revenue are generated digitally. The share will be reaching up to 50 per cent very soon. Therefore, hotels that fail to leverage the technology in all aspects of operational and service delivery will be wiped out from the business, Arya observed.

The vision of the company is to equip m-Powered Hotels to manage revenue of USD 100 million in the next two years, he stated.  While the services being offered is comprehensive for any type of hotel, m-Powered Hotels will be targeting more standalone, unbranded hotels. “We want to position ourselves as a one-stop-shop for all sorts of technology and digital marketing services.”

As regards their capabilities, Arya said that they have a talent pool of more than 150 people from diverse backgrounds such as social media marketing, hospitality, advertising, consulting , etc. to support the process. “Moreover, we are powered by best in class technology that can get a hotel up and running in 21 days,” Arya said.

The company has plans to expand m-Powered Hotels memberships to regional countries like Sri Lanka, UAE, etc. “We see a lot of scope for this brand globally. However, our focus would be on India market initially before going to markets like Sri Lanka, UAE, etc.,” he informed. Internet Moguls provide digital marketing solutions to 500 hotels across 19 countries currently. Besides India, the company has offices in Dubai and Vancouver.

via Travel News – Internet Moguls launches ‘m-Powered Hotels’ to offer III-Tier digital marketing service to hotels | TravelBiz Monitor.

Illusions to complete its first European acquisition

Illusions in European acquisition first

Dubai-headquartered company to buy Polish travel technology firm anixe

Illusions is poised to make its first ever acquisition, with advanced negotiations under way to purchase Polish travel technology firm anixe for an undisclosed sum.

The deal was announced on 23rd April at the FVW Travel Technology Day in Cologne, Germany, will give the Dubai head-quartered travel technology specialist access to exclusive technology, global hotel content and a brand new client base across Europe.

It’s an agreement that will see anixe, which specialises in distributing global hotel product to the European and UK travel trade, become integrated into the Illusions business.

Illusions Founder and CEO Faisal Memon said the acquisition allowed the technology firm to “cherry pick” the facets of the anixe business that would both complement and enhance its core product and its rapidly-expanding global travel marketplace, the i-World Travel eXchange (iWTX).

“It was anixe’s technology, customers, infrastructure, distribution strength and crucially, its team of technology experts, headed up by a very smart CEO, that clinched the deal and I believe we can grow this into a much bigger business,” he said.

“The product and distribution capabilities of anixe will grow iWTX’s hotel inventory to exponential proportions, with our combined offering amounting to a staggering half a million unique hotels.”

Memon has made no secret of his quest to be market leader in Germany, Europe’s biggest travel market in a short time frame, paving the way for the domination of the entire continent.

Illusions already counts Der Touristik, part of the REWE Group, as one its top clients and the anixe partnership brings another German heavyweight into its fold – the country’s fourth largest German tour operator and travel agency, FTI Touristik.

Under deal terms anixe’s current base in Wroclaw, known as the ‘Silicon Valley’ of Poland, will become Illusions’ first office in Eastern Europe and its second on the continent. Its first European office opened its doors in Lisbon, Portugal just last week.

“Setting up a satellite office in Poland demonstrates our commitment to the European market, in particular Germany, and brings us much closer to our key clients, allowing us to meet their needs more effectively,” said Memon

anixe is a technology firm that like Illusions, has spent 18 years creating customised solutions specifically for the travel industry.

The company’s Founder and CEO Piotr Zolnierek said he been looking for an opportunity to grow his business for some time but had rejected acquisition requests from several interested parties until Memon came along.

“We share the same attitude to management and business and there are huge synergies between our two businesses,” he said.

“At anixe we have some unique inventions that Illusions can market and sell and with the expertise of our two companies combined, we will create a technology firm like no other.”

anixe will give Illusions access to technology that maps the same hotel product across different sources to a room type level, refining searches to show the best deals by room category, which no other system can offer. These searches are also customisable by market.

What’s more, anixe also boasts the technology to generate the different cache file formats unique to the German, French and Dutch markets, plus its processing times are lightning fast.

Memon said anixe’s innovative hotel mapping, real-time caching and booking engine technology was one of the firm’s top assets.

“With this acquisition comes a number of enhancements to our platform, with functionality and out-of-the-box solutions for the global travel industry that will set us apart in this competitive market place,” he said.

via Tour Operator & DMC software – Illusions Online Travel Technology – News – Illusions in European acquisition first.

Beacon Technology: The Next Big Marketing Tool for the Travel Industry? | TravelPulse

mobile marketingThe increase of mobile devices has changed the world as we know it, as businesses have needed to adapt and become more mobile-friendly.

Beacon technology—placing beacons to send location-based information and offers to these mobile devices—could have a similar impact in the travel industry and beyond.

Evan Schwartz, CEO of ActionX, a mobile app and cross-screen retargeting company, certainly sees the potential in the technology. The technology has been gaining steam in the last few years, Schwartz said, but it’s about to “explode” in 2015.

The draw of beacon technology to businesses is simple. You aren’t communicating with consumers across a TV screen, where they could be miles away from your business. You are communicating with them at the selling location itself. Retailers have begun to introduce the technology to the public, and it’s starting to make its way into the travel industry, with hotels, airports and airlines beginning to use it.

Miami International Airport, for example, recently launched a new app that uses beacons to help consumers find the correct gate for departure while sending them notifications on their mobile devices for restaurant and retail deals while they’re travelling through the airport.

Marriott International now features beacon technology at 14 of its properties in the United States since unveiling the technology in July 2014. The LocalPerks initiative is available exclusively to Marriott Rewards members, making Marriott Rewards the first major hotel loyalty program to offer geo-targeted, mobile offers during a guest’s stay.

Schwartz, who already has several clients lined up to introduce the technology in the future, told TravelPulse that he sees beacon technology making a similar impact to the travel industry as mobile apps did. He specifically highlighted Virgin Atlantic and Apple as examples.

Virgin Atlantic ran a trial in May 2014 for Upper Class passengers at London Heathrow Airport using Apple’s iBeacon technology. Upper Class passengers had the opportunity to receive special partner offers as they passed through the airport, such as 0 percent commission at a MoneyCorp currency exchange booth.

At the time, Reuben Arnold, brand and customer engagement director for Virgin Atlantic, said the airline had only “skimmed the surface” of the technology, exploring the ability to notify customers of open appointments at the Clubhouse spa or introduce crew members as they board their flight, via the Virgin Atlantic blog.

Beacon technology makes a lot of sense because it almost works like a business owner standing outside and inviting customers in: it’s directly targeting customers at the point of sale.

In fact, Schwartz told TravelPulse back in October that the clients ActionX works with are no longer content with a boost in app downloads—they want to see a clear indication of a boost in revenue. In that sense, beacon technology is naturally a new way of doing just that. It’s no surprise that major companies such as Virgin Group and Apple are embracing the technology with open arms. It’s also no surprise that ActionX—a company that specializes in mobile advertising—has taken it and ran with it.

But why has it taken a few years to really get beacon technology off the ground? Well, as with any advanced technology, it takes some tinkering to completely understand. Businesses have been learning how to fully implement beacon technology into their properties, Schwartz said.

As Sarah Bradley, director of Marriott Rewards Digital Strategy and leader of the LocalPerks initiative, told TravelPulse in December, it’s particularly more difficult to implement the technology at, say, a large-scale resort than it is at a small retailer. You have to make sure beacons don’t cross signals and bandwidth usage can be a problem.

“Installing beacons is a relatively simple process, but the strategy behind their placement and how to trigger the messages is more complex then we had expected,” Bradley said at the time. “The number of outlets, the layout of the hotel and the type of business the hotel drives all impact the placement and message strategy. We have learned quickly, however, and our core team has done a fantastic job of creating a unique experience.”

And for those worried about getting blasted with digital offers everywhere they are (futuristic movies such as “The Fifth Element” come to mind), rest assured, you not only have to download a specific app, but you also have to turn on Bluetooth, location services and the app’s notifications. Similar to personalized on-line marketing these days, advertisers using beacon technology don’t want to bombard consumers with offers, Schwartz noted. They are targeting them for a reason: It could genuinely be of interest to the consumer.

And as travellers move across this wondrous world, beacon technology is only a natural fit for the travel industry.

via Beacon Technology: The Next Big Marketing Tool for the Travel Industry? | TravelPulse.

Nobox Leads the Creation of Marriott’s Innovative Marketing Program with GoPro | Business Wire

marriott(BUSINESS WIRE)–Nobox, a leading social marketing agency, is the creative force behind the innovative marketing program between Marriott Hotels, Marriott International’s flagship brand, and GoPro. “Our creative goal is to engage Marriott’s guests and empower them to share richer, more immersive content,” said Jayson Fittipaldi, Chief Creative Officer of Nobox. “Ultimately, the surprise and delight that guests who participate experience and the amazing content that they are sharing with the world continues to elevate the Marriott Hotels brand among Millennial travelers. The alchemy of putting GoPro’s in the hands of eager guests have resulted in social marketing gold for Marriott.”

“Nobox’s continuous contribution to our success has transcended the scope of a social marketing agency to become Marriott’s creative agency for the region.”

This match made in “marketing heaven”, invites Marriott Hotels guests to take GoPro HERO4 cameras for a “test-drive” and capture their travel experiences in a richer, more immersive way. Guests are encouraged to share on social media using the hashtags #GoPro, #TravelBrilliantly, and #ViajeGenial for a chance to be featured on, Marriott’s social media profiles, and even on a dedicated TV channel in the in-room entertainment system of participating hotels. To celebrate the launch of the program, the most inspiring content submitted by guests will be selected to win prizes such as vacation stays, Marriott Rewards points and GoPro cameras.

“Travelers tend to be more active in social media during and after their trips because it elevates their profile. That said, smartphones will not capture our most adventurous travel experiences like parasailing, diving, etc. Combining Marriott and GoPro creates a perfect setting for Human-to-Human marketing; transforming happy customers into a brand ambassador,” said Carlos Garcia, CEO of Nobox.

“This program is a perfect example of how Marriott continues to innovate and attract the next generation of travelers,” said Craig S. Smith, President of the Caribbean and Latin America at Marriott International. “Nobox’s continuous contribution to our success has transcended the scope of a social marketing agency to become Marriott’s creative agency for the region.” The execution of this program spans across many touch-points beyond digital and social. Most notably, the program is embedded in the hotel experience and has dedicated Marriott associates at every participating hotel. Nobox even created a program management tool for Marriott associates to keep track of GoPro cameras and engage participating guests at the property level.

Watch the video:

Visit the website:

Marriott press release:

via Nobox Leads the Creation of Marriott’s Innovative Marketing Program with GoPro | Business Wire.

How Google Now is Improving Travel. – 4Hoteliers

google nowIt seems that with every new release, smartphones are changing everything, they have had a significant impact on the travel industry over the last few years, and this trend doesn’t  seem to be stopping.

A lot of the larger hotel chains have developed stand alone apps to try and gain better control over the guest experience.

These apps are typically targeted to members of their loyalty programs or frequent travelers, but Google has a new product that might make them obsolete and level the playing field for independent hotels.

Google Now

Available with the latest versions of Google’s Android OS and through the Google Search app for the iPhone, Google Now is changing the way users are interacting with their smartphones. Using what they call Google Cards, Google Now displays a custom feed of information tailored specifically to the user. Day to day use provides local weather reports, traffic conditions, where you parked your car and new stories relevant to your interests. It pulls this data from the usage of your phone, GPS data and emails.

Specifically when traveling, Google Now can be incredibly useful. By scanning your emails, Google Now will automate a travel itinerary and update it on the fly. It knows what time your flights leave and will alert you when it’s time to check in, leave for the airport and even if there are any delays.

Google Now even generates your Boarding Passes as a scannable QR code. Once you arrive and check in, Google Now can display local attractions, nearby restaurants and other areas of interest. Now has become not only your itinerary, but your travel guide as well.

So how can hoteliers use these services to their advantage? Every hotel should make sure their emails are coded to trigger Google Now Cards. Contact your booking engine provider to see if their coding is compatible. If you’re doing your own coding, Google has provided a basic tutorial to help get started.

Encoding your outgoing emails to be captured by Google Now will only impact those currently using the service, others will see your emails normally. Once set up the Card can display a photo of your hotel, a Click to Call button, Reservation number, and Check In/Out times.

As mobile Check In features become more robust they will be integrated into Now as well. Most of the larger OTAs are already coding their emails to work with Now, so it’s important for hoteliers to match and exceed that experience as services grow.

Joshua Meehan is a Marketing Specialist at E-Marketing Associates, where he assists independent hotels with marketing strategies, social media, and contributes regularly to the E-Marketing Associates Blog. E-Marketing Associates works exclusively with independent hotels and builds innovative online marketing products that increase direct bookings and drive top-line revenue.

E-Marketing Associates helps independent hotels increase direct bookings and reduce reliance on OTAs. We build innovative online marketing products that deliver the best ROI for independent hotels. Our products aim to ultimately drive top-line revenue.

via How Google Now is Improving Travel. – Friday, 16th January 2015 at 4Hoteliers.