The Travel Marketing Awards:  Travel marketing tips from the industry’s mould-breakers – TTG Media

The recent Travel Marketing Awards in the UK highlighted some excellent new case studies.  We particularly liked this one from Hostelworld featuring Chris Eubank.


Award: Best PR Tactical, and the only platinum winner, for its Hostelling with Chris Eubank video – a collaboration with Lucky Generals creative agency.

Brief: To engage with the target audience of millennials, reminding them that hostels are not just affordable social hubs but that they boast increasingly stylish spaces.

Strategy: “The millennial audience is on mobile and social media,” says Ottokar Rosenberger, chief marketing officer at Hostelworld, explaining why digital is such a focus for the brand. The company’s Hostelling with Chris Eubank video, which was uploaded to YouTube, was born out of an 18-year-old sketch that featured on TV’s I’m Alan Partridge show, where Partridge suggested the idea to a BBC executive.

The idea was brought to life last year after Eubank expressed his confusion on Twitter over why people always asked him about youth hostels. The online hostel aggregator seized the opportunity to introduce the eloquent former boxer to the world of hostels. “Everybody knows Eubank and lots of young people are in on the Partridge joke – it was culturally very relevant,” Rosenberger explains. “So when Eubank came around and said, ‘Hey, what is up with hostels and me?’, that got us going.”Rosenberger adds that it is testament to the team’s ability to innovate quickly that made the idea a reality. “From going, ‘Should we do this?’ to getting Eubank involved and into the Brighton hostel, to putting it online, it was four days. If we’d done it a week later, I don’t think it would’ve worked… [Working on the momentum built online] was absolutely the key to success.”

Masterminding such a successful campaign all comes down to having great brand awareness, Rosenberger adds. “It was tongue-in-cheek, but also very authentic for our brand. [It’s important to] always be authentic about what you do and what you stand for as a brand.”

ROI: The video reached an audience of two billion and was picked up by national media. “We were featured in places we wouldn’t normally get to, such as the BBC” says Rosenberger. “We wanted to pierce through the consciousness of millennials. And we totally achieved that.”

Watch the ad here:


Judge’s feedback
Aneil Bedi, partner at M&C Saatchi, says: “The key to good marketing is that it has to present ‘old’ information in a new, surprising but relevant way. What makes Hostelworld’s Hostelling with Chris Eubank so brilliant is that it combined all this with the impact of everyone being in on the Alan Partridge joke. It didn’t cost a fortune and the results were outstanding – a masterstroke of marketing. It was a unanimous decision to give it The Travel Marketing Awards’ highest rating – platinum. I can’t wait to see what they do next.”

Source: TTG Media | Travel industry, travel agent and tourism news, events and jobs – Features – TTMAs: Travel marketing tips from the industry’s mould-breakers

Hotel Chains and Travel Websites in a Tug of War for Customers – The New York Times

LondonHotel Chains and Travel Websites in a Tug of War for Customers

A recent Hilton commercial that shows people tapping away on their phones and computers as the Rolling Stones song “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction” plays seems relatively benign, as does the tagline, “Stop Clicking Around.”

But it is one more — very expensive — salvo in the long-simmering tension between hotel chains and online travel agencies like Expedia, as each try to grab their share of customers.

The marketing campaign, developed by Fold7, which is based in London, is the largest such initiative in Hilton’s 97-year history. It premiered during the Grammy Awards broadcast last month and is appearing online, during major television broadcasts, on billboards and in many magazines and newspapers.

The symbiotic relationship between hotel chains and online travel agencies has been under increasing strain for some time. While online travel agencies offer consumers a wide array of options and bring customers to hotels, they do not develop the holy grail of customer relations: brand loyalty.

According to Phocuswright, a travel market research company, 31 percent of people in the United States used online agencies for their travel needs last year, and 28 percent booked directly, slightly up from 2013.

Hilton is also offering similar deals to members who book directly.

“I think what Hilton is doing is quite creative and has the potential to be very, very successful,” said Henry Harteveldt, founder of Atmosphere Research Group, a travel industry research company. “It’s all about building trust in the Hilton website, and the most effective way is to go after the online travel agencies.”

Some online, and even off-line, travel agencies are not very happy with Hilton’s public move.

Cyril Ranque, president of Lodging Partner Services for the Expedia Group, called the hotels’ campaigns, “an ill-conceived strategy in the long term.” Expedia Inc. owns, among others,,, and

Mr. Ranque said that most consumers who were shopping on Expedia and similar sites were “brand agnostic,” meaning they do not really care where they book as long as the hotel meets their needs.

“We have an algorithm that puts forward the most attractive and appealing choice for consumers,” he said. “If hotels are consistently not offering the most attractive prices to consumers, our algorithm would push other hotels ahead.”

Mr. Ranque also said that the hotels would lose customers who would have been directed to the hotels’ websites by a third party.

“We’re trying to make them understand it’s a bad approach,” he said of Hilton.

Geraldine Calpin, Hilton’s global head of marketing, says the campaign’s goal is to make consumers aware of the goodies available to loyalty customers who book directly — including lower rates and room selection — and to clear up misunderstandings that crop up with third-party bookers.

“If you book direct, it gets rid of the confusion,” Ms. Calpin said. “This is where you can get the best price and the best value.”

One factor is simple economics. Hotels pay commissions if a third party books the reservation. This commission is 15 to 20 percent for each booking, said Cindy Estis Green, chief executive of Kalibri Labs, which provides research to the hotel industry about revenue performance.

Another factor is the increasing concern about consumer confusion — that is, customers thinking they are booking directly with a hotel and finding out later that they used a third-party site. Sometimes consumers think they are booking reservations that can be cancelled without charge, only to find out later that is not the case — or they arrive at a hotel to discover that they do not actually have reservations.

The Federal Trade Commission “has gotten very interested in this,” Ms. Estis Green said. Some consumers are not just perplexed about whether they are booking directly or through a third party, she says, but also who really offered the lowest prices.

The fact is, most hotels and online travel agencies have “rate parity” agreements that neither can undercut the other’s price and that hotels must give the best prices to all the online agencies and not favour one over another.

Rate parity has come under deepening scrutiny; in 2014, about 30 lawsuits were filed in various states against major hotel chains and online-booking groups saying rate parity violated antitrust laws.

The lawsuits were consolidated and eventually dismissed because the plaintiffs were unable to prove that there was an actual conspiracy between hotels and online travel agencies to set prices, said Ilse Scott, a lawyer who specializes in hospitality law with the firm Michelman & Robinson.

There are exceptions to rate parity. One is offering “private” rates to select groups of consumers, such as those who are part of a loyalty program.

The “book direct” movement is not limited to the United States. The European umbrella organization for hotels, restaurants and cafes called Hotrec began a similar campaign last year.

“More brands will follow the direction of Hilton and Marriott,” Mr. Harteveldt said, “but the challenge is if everyone does it, will it really help the brands?”

Source: Hotel Chains and Travel Websites in a Tug of War for Customers – The New York Times

News Analysis: The Iranian boom |

Iran is getting a lot of attention on a global scale; following sanctions being lifted from the country, several business opportunities have emerged, with hospitality coming under scrutiny.

Local Iranian businesses are now able to usher in a new era of trade relations, and attract investment opportunities.

At a recent roundtable held by law firm CMS in conjunction with Colliers in Dubai, 50-year-old Iran Travel and Tourism Company’s managing director Mohsen Gharib presented several opportunities within the country’s tourism sector. “Last year we welcomed four million visitors. The vision is to increase that number to 20 million in the next 10 years (by 2025). We foresee a requirement of 400 new hotels that need to be built in Iran in the coming decade to meet that goal,” Gharib said.

Sources have revealed to Hotelier Middle East that Iran currently has between 700-900 operating hotels, albeit no official figure exists. “Along with Tehran, European tourists frequently visit Shemshak; Arabian tourists like to visit the Caspian coast and Mashhad attracts religious tourists. Whereas Persepolis is steeped in Iranian history as is the Ali-Sadr water cave.

AccorHotels is the first company to recognise this opportunity having opened two hotels near the Tehran international airport,” added Gharib, whose company owns 60 hotels across Iran.

Gilani, who previously worked as the managing director at the National Bank of Abu Dhabi, revealed more about the source of funding: “Global banks are hesitant for debt financing and their fear stems from the sanctions, but there is a new paradigm now; however the fear will not disappear overnight. And, in the absence of large global banks, there will be ample opportunity for debt financers from continental European banks, central banks in Europe, including banks from the GCC, India and China. There is plenty of opportunity for banks in these regions to raise credit.”

Gilani added that there is a limited window for investment opportunity, one that will not last for a long time.

Meanwhile, opinions on investment in Iran remained divided across two online polls conducted by Hotelier Middle East. 58% respondents on a Twitter poll suggested that the investors should wait and see, whereas more than 60% on felt that now is the right time to invest.

Grant Salter, director, head of travel, hospitality and leisure advisory Deloitte, said interest rates are bound to be high. “Given the inherent risks associated with a new and unpredictable market, we see the availability of funding being constrained in the short-term. There are likely to be players willing to accept the kind of risks associated with these market conditions but these will likely come at the price of high interest rates and heavy loan security requirements where debt is sought.”

Another concern is training, and Landais said AccorHotels will focus on developing hospitality standards. “Iranians are skilled and talented in many sectors, but sadly, that is not reflected in the service industry, which is an irony given how hospitable they are. The commitment Accor has taken as investors is to bring in the expertise, and transfer it to the local Iranian market.”

“We are in the process of registering the company in Tehran and with that we will also obtain the licence to bring Accor’s management training academy, of which we have 17 in the world — one in Dubai. The academy will enable us to train young prospects. So our philosophy is to not only develop hotels in the country, but to also develop the expertise and competence of Iranians in the service industry,” he concluded.

Meanwhile, other hospitality companies are also considering Iran with Rotana having previously reported that it has four properties under development in Iran.

It also claimed to be the first operator to announce plans into the market in December 2013, with four properties under development, all of which will be opened under the brand Rayhaan Hotels & Resorts by Rotana.

Rotana president and CEO Omer Kaddouri previously told Hotelier Middle East that the firm is also, in the tune of Accor, hoping to develop training for Iranians.

So despite a few hurdles, the country has made its plans clear to boost tourism. In January, an Iranian shipping company announced it would launch an Islamic cruise, which will sail between Iran, Muscat and Salalah in Oman, and Mumbai in India. And the government wasted no time and signed a deal with Airbus to purchase 114 new aircrafts just days after the sanctions were removed.

Source: News Analysis: The Iranian boom |

Hilton Launches New Direct-Booking Campaign

Hilton Worldwide has launched a new “Stop Clicking Around” ad campaign, underscoring that the best price is available only on its own website or through travel agents. The promotion offers Hilton HHonors members a discount of 10% off the best available rate.

“’Book Direct’ means bookings that are made on Hilton Worldwide’s hotel brand websites and reservation call centers, the Hilton HHonors app, directly at a hotel, or through preferred corporate travel partners and approved travel agents,” the website says.

“The travel agent community is an extension of our business and we greatly value their opinions and support,” Geraldine Calpin, Hilton’s Chief Marketing Officer, told TMR. “We are, and have always been, committed to supporting our travel agent partners.”

About 57 billion HHonors Points–more than 1.6 million free nights–went unearned last year because guests booked through a third party, the company said. “Our bold campaign will set the record straight and help travellers understand how to take advantage of every Point, benefit and experience they possibly can during their hotel stay,” Calpin said.

The campaign is running on numerous channels, including print, online, television, billboards, on-property ads, and social media.

Source: Hilton Launches New Direct-Booking Campaign

Up-close with Expedia’s fast-growing ad agency – Tnooz

Little has been written about Expedia Media Solutions, the small but fast-growing advertising agency arm of the online travel giant Expedia. In 2015, the division is estimated to have generated about $200 million in revenue. That’s pocket change for the Bellevue, Wash.,-based parent company, which earned nearly $2 billion in the third quarter of last year alone.

Yet Expedia Media Solutions — or MeSo, as it’s known internally — is notable for its solid growth. The division had a 23% annualized growth rate on a nine-month, trailing period, as of the third-quarter, according to a Tnooz analysis of the parent company’s filings, which was corroborated by Kevin Kopelman, director of research at investment firm Cowen and Company. (Expedia declined to break out official numbers for this story.)

Fractured market

Expedia Media Solutions helps clients — primarily travel ones, such as hotels, airlines, and tourism boards — by creating and running ad campaigns aimed at boosting bookings, visitor numbers, and awareness. In a rare competitive advantage, it knows how much value a client earns from an ad because the bulk of its ads link-in to Expedia-owned brands, where it can measure changes in demand and user behaviour before, during, and after a campaign.

A hotel chain, for instance, could see if a sponsored listing in search results generated meaningful returns in room-night growth or if a brand campaign coincided with a lift in intention-to-buy among consumers. Expedia Media Solutions is notable for its attempt to bring enterprise-scale solutions and thinking to travel marketing — a sector that might be broadly described as being small-bore, fractured, and still heavily analogue. Director of product management Wendy Olson Killion noted in an interview:“

For hotel franchises, for example, there are different budgets: there are national budgets, local budgets, regional budgets. You’ll see regional travel groups, maybe a certain set of hotels, or brands of hotels in a location.”

Similarly, the destination marketing organization (DMO) side is practically a cottage industry of boutique advertising agencies, small publishers (such as travel magazines), and tourism officials. In short, travel marketing at the ad-unit level is not an obvious hunting grounds for an enterprise-scale company like Expedia.

Expedia Media Solutions has had to fight an island-by-island campaign to gain market share. It has made gains recently by adding several high-profile clients, such as Tourism Australia last June. It has done work for the destination marketing organizations of Britain, Denmark, Dubai, and the Netherlands.

Despite the big clients, Expedia Media Solutions said it is “well equipped to help the individual small supplier.” Matthew Reichek, senior director of product and analytics, cited this hypothetical example:

“If I own a B&B in Worcester, Mass., let’s say, and you represent a big chain across town, you and I can compete on a level footing using our TravelAds product…. “I can have a thousand dollars to spend, you can have a hundred thousand dollars to spend, yet if I bid more than you for certain targeting parameters, I’m going to get the positioning I want for those targeted customers until I hit my budget and you won’t, provided all the other things are equal.”

Simplicity is another factor that the division touts. A client can also come speak to one sales person to target a broad spectrum of types of travelers worldwide.

Sharper targeting

Just because it works at an enterprise scale doesn’t mean that Expedia’s ad agency arm takes a one-size-fits-all approach, said division head and global senior vice-president Noah Tratt:

“We are pretty good about identifying the nuances in people’s goals and building campaigns that are customized. We use our research and analytics to inform your creative; how much content you need to invest in; the pitch, your approach. We can target based on a lot of activity that people do on Expedia and then we can layer on other kinds of targeting variables as well.”

“For example, clients can request ads be displayed to specific demographics in specific geographic locations who are using particular types of devices and exhibiting particular types of search behaviour.”

“If I’m marketing, say, Holland to a Brazilian or to an American or someone from the People’s Republic of China, we know from booking behaviour that visitors from those destinations are going to come for a lot longer, on average, than ones from, say, the United Kingdom and Germany.”

“We would tailor our campaign for a destination according to our research from booking data on each target nationality’s typical behaviour and interests.”

Shaking up destination marketing

Expedia Media Solutions thinks it has a few competitive advantages over its boutique ad agency rivals. It said that it excels at enabling a DMO to target customers across Expedia-branded sites that match its preferred customer profile. Other shift-share reporting services can tell any given tourism board what its competitive set looks like. But Expedia’s reports may be more comprehensive than its competitors’ are when analysing at the ad-unit-level behaviours like click-through rates and impressions.

An official in, say, Macau, could choose to specifically display ads to, say, Canadians in a city whose travel buyers have recently shown a disproportionate interest in searching and buying flights to Macau and its competitors.

Reichek added:

“Targeting may sound kind of antiseptic, but if you talk about intention-based advertising, that’s what we’re doing, because, when users come to our site, they conduct certain activities that are expressing intention, where they want to go and what they’re interested doing, and you can divine a lot of meaning from that.”

Source: Up-close with Expedia’s fast-growing ad agency – Tnooz


Mount your headsets and get ready. Virtual reality (VR) is fast-tracking its way to possibly reinventing the way travel is marketed and sold.

The highly engaging, interactive VR environments that are already taking the tech and gaming industries by storm offer the travel industry an entirely new platform for selling travel as the technology is rapidly becoming more accessible to the masses.

“The travel industry is going to be one of the industries that will be most impacted by the onset of virtual reality,” said Abi Mandelbaum, CEO of YouVisit, which helps create and distribute VR video content for various companies, including numerous travel suppliers such as Carnival Cruise Line and destination marketing organizations.

“How do you give somebody a sense of what it’s really like to be somewhere without principally being there?” Mandelbaum said. “Why do people go on TripAdvisor? Because they want to get a better feel for the place. We see [VR] as a very natural evolution that has taken place [in travel marketing], from text to photos to videos to virtual tours to virtual reality. The main thing that makes the virtual experiences unique is that they’re interactive. That interactivity leads to immersion, and that immersion leads to conversion.

“YouVisit was among the growing number of VR vendors showcasing their products at the Consumer Electronics Show #CES# in Las Vegas earlier this month, where VR content creators and hardware manufacturers were inundated with attendees hoping to experience the latest in VR technologies.

From the much-buzzed-about, Facebook-owned Oculus to the impressive upstart HTC Vive, from companies selling live-event VR capabilities to outfits hawking the 360-degree cameras and contraptions necessary to create VR video content, the VR arena was where the action was at CES. And according to industry insiders, tuned-in travel companies should be just as amped about the exploding technology.

Sean Whitmore, a senior analyst for San Francisco-based VR intelligence gathering and consulting firm Greenlight VR, said, “We’re seeing strong interest by Generation Z [people currently ages 10 to 17], who are likely to be early adopters of virtual reality-enabled headsets for travel-based experiences. However, as we’ve seen in the data for our upcoming 2016 Virtual Reality Consumer Report, Baby Boomers [people ages 51 and up] are also very interested in the concept of experiencing travel destinations through virtual reality, with 38% saying they are likely to try it.”

According to Whitmore, travel companies would be smart to start experimenting with different kinds of VR marketing efforts in order to see what works best for them and to begin to get a better sense of the level of investment required and what the potential returns will be on that investment.

“It’s important to recognize that the industry is in the early days of VR as a medium for brand advertising, and as such, measurability remains a challenge,” Whitmore said. “Despite the challenge of measurability, some marketers are achieving impressive organic reach and millions of earned media impressions, while consumers are reacting very positively.”

Source: Virtual reality check: Travel Weekly

TravelClick Partners with Sojern to Expand Digital Media Network

Data-driven solution and access to premium inventory channels will drive bookings and ROI for hoteliers globally

TravelClick, a global provider of innovative cloud-based solutions that enable hotels to grow revenue, today announced that it has partnered with Sojern, one of the world’s leading performance marketing engines for travel brands. The partnership will enable TravelClick’s digital media customers to drive more bookings by leveraging Sojern’s data-driven marketing optimization engine and its access to premium inventory.

TravelClick works with thousands of hotels around the world, ranging from large chains to smaller independent properties, to manage and improve their digital advertising campaigns. TravelClick’s global media team, comprised of both media and hospitality industry experts, leverages proprietary data to determine the best media optimization strategy to achieve high returns on media investment for its clients.

Sojern joins TravelClick’s extensive network of partners enabling hoteliers to target the right audiences at the right time. “Our partnership with Sojern is another example of TravelClick’s commitment to providing our Media Solutions customers with access to a world class travel intent network,” said Scott Falconer, EVP/GM of Media Solutions for TravelClick.

“Sojern enhances TravelClick’s robust travel-focused network by leveraging their unique data partnerships to target travellers while they are making purchasing decisions online. We are confident that our hotel clients around the globe will benefit from access to this new inventory through this highly valuable partnership.”

“We are excited to be partnering with TravelClick to help hoteliers drive direct online bookings, increasing customer control and loyalty,” said Kurt Weinsheimer, Sojern’s SVP of Property Solutions. “Our real-time targeting platform filters through over 350 million traveller profiles and billions of travel intent signals to identify and attract travellers most likely to stay at our clients’ hotels. Combining our data-driven performance with TravelClick’s customer base of hotels worldwide will ensure that hoteliers get the most out of their digital advertising budgets.”

Source: TravelClick Partners with Sojern to Expand Digital Media Network

Marketing Takes on the Digital World | By Alan E. Young

Digital marketing is a term that is used frequently, but has the time come to stop considering it an entity that is separate from overall marketing strategies?The reality is that all marketing today contains a massive digital component. Today’s strategies must be conceptualized with the digital nature of the modern consumer in mind, as opposed to being an add-on to another marketing plan. People of all ages are increasingly running their lives with digital devices, and there is a growing expectation for the experience to be customized to their personal interests and needs.

mobile marketingAt the same time, there are many organizations that continue to separate digital from other marketing avenues, with segregated teams that do not work together cohesively. While this made sense in the early days of digital, it simply isn’t the most effective approach anymore.

To achieve marketing maturity in an ever-evolving landscape, companies must build an adaptable business structure that allows their team to be unified in working toward a single goal. The need to create high quality messaging is key, and marketers must continue to develop engaging and insightful content regardless of the medium.Although traditional channels still exist, it’s important to create digital cultures rather than marketing silos in order to fully integrate skills throughout organizations as we move into the future. The array of marketing activities need to be interwoven to develop robust campaigns that achieve success across the board, allowing for traditional to influence digital, and vice versa.What can we expect to see in the coming year?

Content marketing has grown exponentially over the past couple of years, and it shows no sign of slowing down in the coming period. While it can be easy to get caught up in the complexities of SEO elements, it’s essential to remember that the key is delivering fresh and relevant content that resonates with your target audience.

A new marketing focus is shifting away from simply creating more content to providing the right content. Consumers now expect personalized and hyper-relevant information that is delivered to them instantly wherever they are engaging, whether that is on social, email or any other channel. The pressure to consistently provide a seamless and enticing experience will increase and marketers must meet this demand to achieve success.

Ad-blocking is also on the rise, which will have a big effect on the future of marketing. The model of delivering free content that is funded by display advertising, such as banners and pop-ups, is therefore becoming less effective. Taking advantage of cleaner platforms that showcase truly relevant content as part of a cohesive communications strategy will help marketers to avoid losing ground from the growing usage of ad-blocking software.

The Gold Mine of DataPredictive analytics is becoming increasingly useful to assist with the efficient allocation of marketing budgets. By utilizing the latest tools and techniques to make sense of the massive amount of data that is being generated with each impression and click, there is a tremendous opportunity to make the most out of every marketing dollar that is spent.

Most organizations are spending marketing dollars across many different channels. The ability to attribute value to each touchpoint in the path to purchase will allow marketers to accurately predict the budget allocation that will perform best. Additionally, predicting the probability of an audience to become a customer allows the focus to be on high value prospects.

Modern consumers expect a high level of personalization. By combining digital experiences with customer data, it becomes possible to predict the groups of users that are more or less likely to respond to different types of messages, offers and imagery. Today’s personalization tools allow marketers to deliver customized content that matches a consumer’s interests and expectations with a much higher degree of accuracy than has been possible in the past.B

eacon is the New MobileConsidering the growing prevalence of mobile shopping, beacon technology usage is expected to increase exponentially in the coming year. Location-based marketing offers attention-grabbing ways to engage with consumers by providing them with discounts and other information on their smartphone when they are in close proximity to a store.A 2015 study by Air Mile operator LoyaltyOne, in partnership with the Canadian Marketing Association, indicates that 62% of Canadian consumers who were surveyed are using their smartphones to assist them while shopping, with this number increasing to 80% among millennials. Impressively, 45% of the respondents said that they have used a device in-store that has led them to make an immediate purchase. When asked what they find appealing about connecting with retailers through in-store beacons, 62% of respondents said that they like the idea of receiving rewards that are relevant to their location, while 56% appreciate receiving alerts that are related to their whereabouts.

Certainly, the meteoric rise of mobile marketing has prompted a growing number of smartphone users to opt-in to location-based deals. Although this requires consumers to expose their personal data and proximity to retailers, many believe that the incentive of exclusive, time-sensitive specials or rewards are worth the sacrifice of an element of privacy. At the same time, it’s important to find the most effective quantity of location-based services to send, as 23% of the survey respondents indicated that they have uninstalled or opted out of push notifications from a retailer’s app due to the frequency of messaging.

We are now living in an era where digital marketing can no longer be considered a stand-alone entity. The organizations that are most effective have removed marketing silos to create unified messaging concepts across all types of media and campaigns. In the coming year, the hyper-personalization of highly engaging and relevant content will be the primary key to ensure successful marketing initiatives in the digital world.

Source: Marketing Takes on the Digital World | By Alan E. Young

Drones tipped as travel marketing essential –

Suppliers, operators and agents in the luxury travel sector have been urged to update their visual offerings to clients by embracing drone technology.

Speaking at the Connections Luxury Asia event in Beijing, mobile and communications expert Ewan MacLeod said that hotel groups such as Waldorf Astoria and Conrad are leading the way with drone video footage replacing traditional photo galleries on their hotel’s websites.

Companies believe such videos give potential guests a true picture of the hotel, enabling them to envisage their holiday or plan an event with greater accuracy, MacLeod said.He added: “Make sure your hotel has the right video assets, not just the same old photos, some years old, in a media pack.nano drone

Video footage will soon be an expectation, not a bonus, to travellers worldwide.”Additionally, micro and nano drones such as the Zano model, crowdfunded by Kickstarter, offer a unique enhancement to outdoor and active travel experiences, as well as functions, he said.

Palm-sized and able to hover, these drones can be programmed to track a mountain biker, paraglider or a group of people from above, to record a unique memory for participants.

Kapil Berera, chief executive of Quintessentially Travels India, said: “We recently used drones to capture an outdoor wedding reception in Jaipur. The footage was quite extraordinary.  “The value-add offered by drones to both suppliers and operators is immeasurable. ”

Connections Luxury Asia took place at the Nuo Beijing hotel, bringing together buyers and suppliers of luxury travel from around the world

Source: Drones tipped as travel marketing essential –

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 –