Destination Marketing: Promoted Pins on Google Maps to Help Local Businesses | .TR

Google logo.jpegThe giant search engine, Google, will roll out a new advertising program, which will help to offer more local adverts to consumers using the popular GPS-based Google Maps app.

Under the new program, various adverts of relevant companies that are nearby a user will be provided at the bottom of the apps navigation interface on the users smartphone. Destination marketing businesses are likely to welcome the new feature. The new advertisement program is expected to bring consumers with ads which will include businesses such as hotels, restaurants, cafes, tour companies etc.

The tool is designed to provide local businesses with more exposure to potential customers by providing localized adverts to the consumers based on the location. However, it is also expected to have a huge positive impact on travel and tourism-related businesses, and destination marketing sector, given the fact that a huge portion of location queries using Google Maps are related to travel and tourism.

In addition to providing localized search based on the location of the users smartphone, Google also intends to personalize the adverts based on the users preferences and interests, which will have been acquired from past search requests using the service, as well as online behaviour of the user. This will be of a great benefit to travel related brands, as the personalized advertising will help to target potential customers who have a higher chance of paying for the service being offered.

Google has already started testing the advertising program on some of the Google Maps users. People wishing to advertise their businesses will be able to highlight their locations on Google Maps, which will then be shown to the users through what is being referred to as “promoted pins”. The pins will highlight the exact location of the business, and will also include other details such as company logos to help in easier identification of the brand. As such it is likely that destination marketing companies will make use of the tool extensively.

In addition to the localized ads using Google Maps, the search engine will also extend the reach of the Google Display Network Remarketing campaigns. This will offer businesses advertising on Google with a broader reach to a more valuable target market, which will help to increase the chances of lead conversion, thus increasing the revenues.

Source: Destination Marketing: Promoted Pins on Google Maps to Help Local Businesses | .TR

Luxury travel outpaces the rest of the travel industry, according to new Amadeus report

Global consumers are increasingly spending their disposable income on experiences rather than material goods. And consumers’ desire for these life experiences is spurring a growth in luxury travel that is outpacing the rest of the travel industry, according a new report commissioned by global travel technology company, Amadeus.

The report, Shaping the Future of Luxury Travel, reveals the fresh challenges and opportunities that the luxury travel market will face over the next decade. Some key findings from the report include:

  • We have entered a new age of luxury travel, where luxury is curated, real-time and experience-led
  • North America and Western Europe account for 64% of global outbound luxury trips, despite only making up 18% of the world’s population
  • From 2011-2025, Asia Pacific’s luxury travel market will see faster overall growth than Europe’s, but this growth will decelerate from 2015-2025
  • India’s luxury market CAGR of 13% is higher than any of the other BRIC nations, and is the highest of the 25 countries explored in this report
  • A human desire for more rewarding experiences provides an essential catalyst to evolve and improve travel industry quality and service standards
  • A hierarchy of luxury travel needs is identified, ranging from 5-star quality and service standards to exclusive VIP privacy and security

The report was developed with data from Tourism Economics and with dozens of expert interviews with global luxury travel experts across specialist travel concierge agencies, airlines, hoteliers and intermediary suppliers through Connections, a global networking event organizer for luxury travel providers.

In 2015, Amadeus released a report called Future Traveler Tribes 2030, which identified six “traveller tribes” based on consumer behaviour, recognizing that purchasing patterns change depending on the circumstances of each trip. Using similar methodology, Shaping the Future of Luxury Travel, identifies six luxury traveller tribes to help travel companies better target and serve the luxury customer market:

  • Always Luxury: luxury is a minimum requirement rather than a perk
  • Special Occasion: luxury travel is a treat, not a given
  • Bluxury: their trip has a business objective, but they will extend it to enjoy a luxury leisure experience
  • Cash-Rich, Time-Poor: likely to seek and pay for third-party travel planning assistance
  • Strictly Opulent: seek the most glamorous experiences and will likely share on social media
  • Independent Affluent: often solo travellers seeking luxury travel to pamper themselves or try something new

“Luxury means different things to different people and this is especially true today. As emergent middle classes seek the material aspect of luxury travel, more mature markets are craving a new, evolved kind of luxury. This is why offering luxury customers a relevant personal and exclusive experience will become even more crucial than it is today – it will be a differentiating factor between old and new luxury,” said Rob Sinclair-Barnes, Strategic Marketing Director at Amadeus IT Group.

“For travel companies, understanding their role in delivering an end-to-end luxury experience for a traveller is key to improving collaboration, and reinforcing an industry-wide push for consistent luxury service. Exploring the latest technologies and innovations for making the industry work better as a whole is key to achieving a new level of luxury that has never existed before,” said Sinclair-Barnes.

You can download a free copy of the Shaping the Future of Luxury Travel report here.

Source: Luxury travel outpaces the rest of the travel industry, according to new Amadeus report

Free Whitepaper: Cross-Cultural Marketing in a Digital Age, Eye for Travel & SDL

SDLWith the right website, content and SEO strategy any travel brand can have a global presence that generates bookings.

However, this is easier said than done as each diverse marketplace requires attention to detail and consistent quality across the brand. History is littered with examples of embarrassing cultural mistakes and slogans that didn’t translate.

This white paper examines why content is important and how companies can get it right for every single target market.

Provided by localisation business SDL it does raise our awareness for the need to consider a localisation strategy for your travel business.

London welcomes over 30 million tourists for the first time ever – London & Partners

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has welcomed new figures that show the capital has set a new tourism record after more than 30 million visitors came to the city last year, drawn by global sporting events such as the Rugby World Cup and blockbuster exhibitions at its museums and galleries, according to new figures released today.

A record 31.5 million Great Britain residents and international tourists came to the city in 2015 – which is an increase of 20 per cent when compared to five years ago.

London keeps setting new tourism records. Every year since the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games there has been an increase in the number of international visitors coming to the city.  Figures released today (20th May) by the Office for National Statistics, International Passenger Survey, show there were 18.6 million international visits in 2015 compared to 17.4 million in 2014, a previous record year. (seven per cent increase) Separate data from the Great Britain Tourism Survey carried out by UK tourism body VisitEngland reveals that GB residents made 12.9 million visits to London last year, another new record.

International and GB visitors also spent £15 billion on hotels, restaurants, shopping and attractions – an increase of 35 per cent compared to 2010.

Source: London welcomes over 30 million tourists for the first time ever – London & Partners

Customer Driven Innovation Day: by One Connected Community, London 15-16th June

OCC contributorsThe Travel Marketing Store is delighted to be taking part in an important event with a focus on customer innovation.

In four weeks, major travel brands AirFrance, Expedia, BA, CitizenM, Thomas Cook, Club Med, TripAdvisor, Triptease and TimeOut will attend the only event dedicated to personalization strategies to reclaim direct, profitable relationships with customers.

Proceeds from the event also support a fantastic London charity, Oak Lodge School that will help deliver vital work for 165 students with learning disabilities.

If innovative customer engagement is important in your organisation and you are keen to learn from others and network then be quick to register as only 20 seats are left.

  • 2 Action-packed days of insight to boost direct bookings, ancillary revenues and loyalty
  • 22 + Senior Industry Speakers on customer driven innovation
  • Unmissable lessons learned inside and outside of travel
  • Dedicated 1-2-1 Meetings with industry leaders

If interested contact:

Nicola Barber: nicola@oneconnectedcommunity.co.uk

One Connected Community

t: 0208 8193122

WHEREISWHERE LAUNCHES LIVE DEMO FOR TRAVEL MARKETERS

WhereIsWhereWhereIsWhere.com, a location-marketing tool for businesses in the tourism industry, has unveiled its demo microsite, allowing travel marketers to check out its content and features before it goes live to consumers mid-2016.

The live demo can be accessed at: preview.whereiswhere.com

The microsite is a sample demonstration of the end-user experience, as travellers explore the interactive map to find out where everything is, and what each location has to offer, in the form of rich media content – videos, pictures, promotions and more.

Preview.whereiswhere.com currently features only London and Singapore, with more travel destinations to be added later. On WhereIsWhere’s interactive map platform, travel marketers can zoom in from country to area to street level; and within each category – Attractions, Lodgings, Activities and F&B, select filters according to their interest types. Speaking about the newly launched demo site, Terence Mak, the CEO, noted that “WhereIsWhere enables travellers to learn more about different destinations easily, straight from the industry itself; this way of direct marketing in Travel is a change from what travel marketers are currently doing.

ABOUT WHEREISWHERE

As an interactive world map, WhereIsWhere.com functions as a location-marketing tool, enabling businesses including hotels, attractions, icons and tourism authorities in the global tourism industry to show the world where they are, and what they have. Travel marketers claim their pins on WhereIsWhere’s map platform; and under their pin, they can upload media in the form of videos, pictures, or even their latest promotions, to entice travellers to visit.  Mid-2016 will see WhereIsWhere launch to travellers, offering them the latest information from the travel industry, as they explore the world.

For more information, visit www.whereiswhere.com.

Contact us at pr@whereiswhere.com

Source: WHEREISWHERE LAUNCHES LIVE DEMO FOR TRAVEL MARKETERS

Facebook overhauls Dynamic Ads, just for travel marketers

Facebook logoFacebook is jumping on the realisation for many travel brands that the omnipresent social network can be an important part of their marketing activity.

The company has re-launched the existing Dynamic Product Ads platform for marketers, so that travel brands can make their content more relevant to users of the site.

Whilst many have been sceptical about the effectiveness of Facebook as a challenger to Google Adwords, the pay-per-click programme used by most travel brands, some marketers are beginning to come round.

Recently for example, TripAdvisor said it would be using Facebook and YouTube more in its marketing activity during 2016.

The new Dynamic Ads for travel will allow brands to target people that have expressed an interest in going to a specific destination and during specific dates.

Facebook says the new platform has been tested by a number of travel brands, such as Trivago and Marriott, with a gradual roll-out to other customers in the coming months.

The company says:

“For example, a travel business can connect with people who viewed a hotel on their website by showing them an ad featuring the hotel they viewed along with similar hotels in the area.

“Advertisers can now also help people complete their trips by showing relevant hotels to people who have purchased flights on their website or in their app.

“And to help advertisers offer people the best experience, the hotel options shown include dynamic availability and pricing, so people always see the most up-to-date information.”

 

This week will also see the launch of the existing Dynamic Ads platform for Facebook’s sister brand, image-sharing giant Instagram.

The existing Dynamic Ads platform has also been launched with Facebook’s sister brand, image-sharing giant Instagram.

Whilst not apparently as powerful or relevant as the new Dynamic Ads on Facebook, brands can re-target users of their websites when they shift their activity over to Instagram.

Source: Facebook overhauls Dynamic Ads, just for travel marketers

Can Virtual Reality Produce Real Travel Sales?

Looking for a competitive edge, pioneering destinations and travel industry suppliers are utilizing virtual reality to create compelling sales tools that help increase sales and profits.

Companies like YouVisit are producing 3D, 360-degree views of real-world surroundings for a variety of travel destinations, cruises, and hotels, helping those organizations market themselves to prospective travelers.

“We’re changing the way travel suppliers and agents use virtual reality,” said Abi Mandelbaum, CEO and co-founder of YouVisit. His company has been developing virtual-reality experiences for more than six years, including work for Alaska, Croatia, and Carnival Cruises. To create a VR film, videographers capture images from all angles. The footage is then digitally stitched together to create the final “immersive” product.

In a travel marketplace saturated with competing advertising and marketing, utilizing technology to grab a prospective client’s attention can be a major differentiator, and help close a sale, Mandelbaum says. Travelers tend to think that “if a supplier is on the cutting edge of technology, it will offer a cutting-edge travel experience.”

Ultimate Jet Vacations (UJV)—a boutique Miami tour operator —is using virtual reality experiences produced by YouVisit to grow its business and help hotels market their properties, “We find that it’s a unique and fun way to promote our properties. Agents, young and old, have fun with it and remember the experience,” said managing partner Steven Kadoch.

For Ultimate Jet, YouVisit booked camera crews to travel to one of their top suppliers, an upscale resort on the French Riviera. Kadoch said he is working on building a portfolio of VR tours for his top-selling resorts. “Then, when we visit our travel agency partners, we take a VR headset and ask them: ‘Have you been to Nizuc Resort & Spa yet? No? Here, put these on and take a tour!'”

Matoke Tours, an African travel tour operator, produced a “Virtual Gorilla” travel brochure, featuring six travel offerings in Uganda, which can be accessed on their website. “This app enables us to convey the intensity and emotion of the travel experience before the journey has even started,” said Wim Kok, director of Matoke Tours Uganda, in a press release launching the virtual reality tour. “Travelers are then better able to decide which excursions they want to book.”

Last year, Thomas Cook Travel teamed with Samsung and YouVisit competitor Visualise to create a series of short films of several destinations for customers visiting its U.K., Germany, and Belgium stores. Visualise claims the films generated $17,500 in flights and hotel bookings in the first three months of the campaign.

YouVisit measures customer online viewing time for its clients’ VR experiences. “We’re seeing an average time spent of over 10 minutes,” Mandelbaum said, and more importantly, a customer conversion rate of more than 13%.

YouVisit has created more than 1,000 virtual experiences around the globe, most of which are interactive, including more than 300 in the travel sector. The company has been working primarily with travel destinations and hotels, as well as cruise lines and other attractions.

A video doesn’t come cheap.  A basic YouVisit package costs about $10,000. But as VR camera technology improves, and more players manufacture camera equipment, that price will drop, experts say. For example, Google recently teamed with GoPro to produce Google Jump, a circular device that holds 16 GoPro cameras for capturing virtual reality video. Samsung is experimenting with its Project Beyond camera, a virtual reality video camera capable of live-streaming footage.

Facebook owns Oculus, a VR firm that recently released its first commercial VR headset, the Rift, which retails for $599. While high, that price hasn’t stalled demand. Facebook began taking preorders for the Rift in March and sold out all of its production run for the month.

Google recently released Google Cardboard, a lightweight viewer that retails for as little as $15 online. The Cardboard can be emblazoned with a company’s logo, and has high-quality lenses that transform VR content on a smartphone into immersive experiences.

Ultimate Jet uses both Oculus Rift and Google Cardboard, Kadoch said. Matoke Tours leverages Google Cardboard as well, while Thomas Cook customers in the U.K., Germany, and Belgium use Samsung’s Gear VR headset.

Marriott Hotels & Resorts also has used the Samsung VR Headset as part of its VRoom Service kit. Guests can borrow a VR device and experience “VR Postcards,” where the users can visit destinations around the world.

There are expected to be 2.3 million total U.S. VR headset sales in 2016, according to Greenlight VR and Road to VR. The two firms, who just released their “2016 Virtual Reality Industry Report,” forecast that number to grow to 136 million in 2025.

For agents thinking high-tech sales are only for the young, Kadoch offers his personal experience. “I think VR has no barriers when it comes to demographics. We’ve had 70-year-old travel agents hold us up in meetings for 20 minutes because they don’t want to take the VR goggles off,” said Kadoch, who doesn’t describe himself as “tech friendly.”

In fact, he relied on his team members to help him take the plunge into Virtual Reality films and marketing.  “When I saw how excited they were about VR, and they slowly walked me through it, I became a big fan.”

Source: Can Virtual Reality Produce Real Travel Sales?

A sneak peek at Google’s upcoming travel app, Trips | TechCrunch

News that Google would soon begin testing a new mobile travel application leaked out in April and TechCrunch were quick to cover it.

The app, called Trips, is being trialled with a small group of testers, and will allow users to keep track of past and upcoming trips, while also making recommendations about tourist destinations, restaurants, local transportation options, and more.  Access to the Trips mobile app is only being made available to members of Google’s Local Guides program.  A revamp and rebranding of Google’s prior City Experts effort, Local Guides launched last year as Google Maps’ competitor to Yelp’s Elites.

As with Yelp, program members are offered a variety of rewards and benefits in exchange for writing business reviews, posting photos, and helping to fill in and correct Maps information. One of those benefits, as Google previously indicated, is early access to new Google products and features. This appears to be one example of that perk in action. According to the initial leak, Local Guides were invited to be among the first to try a new “travel assistant app for Android and iPhone.”

What’s interesting about the new app is that it’s able to pull in your trip information just by scanning your Gmail messages, similar to how Google’s virtual assistant, Google Now, also works.

That makes it slightly competitive with TripIt, which has the larger goal of helping to automate collection of your trips into a single interface, then provide useful services on top of that, like tracking points, getting flight alerts, setting reminders, changing seat selections, sharing trips with others, and more.

However, in the case of the Google Trips app, it seems the focus is less on mimicking the somewhat utilitarian nature of most travel planners and companion apps, and more on the fun that comes with exploring a new destination.

As an app built using Google Maps data, Trips lets you find things to do – both inside and outdoors – around your location. It also helps you manage reservations, find nearby food and drink, access a list of saved places, and plan how you’ll get from one place to the next.

For this reason, Trips would likely have more of an impact on local travel guide apps, instead of more comprehensive trip planners.

This latter feature is found in the “Getting Around’ section, which offers details on the different options, including public transportation schedules for things like buses and trains, plus information on taxis and ride sharing services and more.

Also useful is that Trips allows you to browse your saved trip information even when you’re offline.

The screenshots and details regarding the app were posted to the Dutch blog AndroidWorld, then picked up by 9to5Google.

Much of what Trips offers can actually be found in Google Maps, thanks to the enhancements of that app over the years to offer more information than just maps and navigation. However, the Trips app puts this information into a standalone, native interface complete with a Material design and easy-to-use layout.

While the app being tested is available on Android, Google had said that it would be available on iOS, as well. The company has not yet confirmed further details about the app or its launch plans.

When asked, a Google spokesperson only provided this comment on the Trips app:

“We love to travel and are hard at work dreaming up new ways to make the travel experience hassle-free. While we do that, sit tight and keep on using our amazing tools like Google Flights, Hotel Search and Destinations on Google to plan your next adventure.”

Source: A sneak peek at Google’s upcoming travel app, Trips | TechCrunch

5 trends in bus travel: a €70bn global market that is speeding ahead | Travel Industry News & Conferences – EyeforTravel

Liberalisation, falling prices and shifting business models are among the drivers for growing competition in bus distribution writes Pamela Whitby from Eye For Travel.

Sometimes you just have to be in the right place at the right time. For companies innovating to take bus travel online, now is that time. Here is why. Today millions, if not billions, of people travel by intercity or shuttle bus, a market that is worth €70bn worldwide and continues to experience two-digit growth, says to Johannes Thunert, founder and CMO of Distribusion, and the recent winner of EyeforTravel’s Start-Up & luxury coachesInnovation Awards in Europe.

And yet, 90% of tickets are still booked offline.

Marc Hofmann, CEO and founder of Checkmybus, a metasearch that is working with Distribusion, agrees that this is an interesting time in the world of bus travel. Among the trends worth noting are:

Among the trends worth noting are:

  1. Liberalisation: New markets are springing up. Germany and France are two examples but more are expected to follow
  2. Innovation, competition and transparency: Innovation is resulting in the modernisation of vehicles themselves, as well as better marketing strategies, pricing and availability and improved access to information. Markets which have been dominated by a few large companies today are challenged by aggressive new operators, information services and integrators
  3. The shift from offline to online: The share of online bookings is still small especially in big bus markets like Eastern Europe, Turkey and Latin America, and to some extent in the US
  4. Aggressive pricing and new business models: Fares are falling as new business models are adopted.  The Ryanair and EasyJet model of delivering low prices but maximum capacity is growing in popularity. Business models are changing too. For example, one trend, which is playing out strongly in Germany, is the separation of fleet and operations/marketing. This, says Hoffman, “allows rapid expansion and focus of company expertise on marketing (multichannel) and customer service”.
  5. Changing user behaviour: The growing popularity of alternative modes of transport has been well documented – peer-to-peer models like BlaBlaCar, Uber, Zipcar and so on.  And with growing pressure on the environment, and people’s pockets, the move away from individual car ownership looks set to continue.

One of the challenges in bus travel is that resellers – from OTA’s to affiliate websites and travel agents – have refrained from selling bus travel because they can’t get data from a single source. So the number 1 agency in Germany, for example, which is selling 21,000 tickets a month still has to go to every operator directly to book those, explains Distribusion’s Thunert.

The reason is that unlike in aviation, where GDSs (global distribution systems) bring inventory to online resellers and offline operations alike, and body’s like IATA do clearance, in the bus industry there is nothing like it.

Distribusion aims to fill this gap by targeting the entire value chain.  Not only is it aggregating, standardising and distributing intercity and long-distance bus data to resellers, it’s also helping with execution, payment and settlement between different partners.

So as Tim Hentschel co-founder CEO of Hotelplanner, and one of the brain’s behind EyeforTravel’s yearly Start up & Innovation Awards, puts it: “The innovation curve in our business [of travel] is anything but dead.”

Certainly the market for bus travel is still wide open and there is money to be made. In a world of increasingly connected travellers, innovators in this space have everything to gain from making bus travel as easily bookable as flights.

Source: 5 trends in bus travel: a €70bn global market that is speeding ahead | Travel Industry News & Conferences – EyeforTravel