As the New Year continues and technology develops, accommodation providers must understand what voice search is and how it can help their properties.
The first thing to know is that voice search is on the rise. In fact,20% of searches through mobile devices come through voice controls, and by 2020, this percentage will increase to 50% in the United States.
Voice control gives you the ability to interface across different platforms, recognize voice commands and support customer service efforts
Capitalizing on emerging technology now will set your property ahead of the game later. To read more about hospitality technology trends in 2019, click here.
Again, the growth of the voice assistant is rapid. The continuous development of technology brings about the optimization of devices. There are many options in the marketplace of voice technology. Examples include Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, Apple’s Siri and Microsoft’s Cortana. These devices are able to use voice to perform searches and accomplish tasks quickly.
Voice search has the potential to grow into the role of a “digital employee” and will be able to complement the work of human employees. This will allow owners and operators to spend more time and attention focused on big-picture tasks.
Voice assistants are going to have an impact on the way businesses interact with technology and collaborate internally. Determining how to deliver the benefits of this new technology across every device, from smart speaker to mobile apps, will be a major factor of success for your operation.
Want more tips and advice? To find out how you can set yourself up for success, read our Owner and Operator Performance Audit.
In 2019, social media content has to be a priority. Accommodations providers must be aware that Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and Facebook can enhance their business.
To find out how IBC Hospitality Technologies can help you improve your social media presence, click here.
Increasing mobile bookings can be a challenge. Did you know that half of travel booking transactions are completed on mobile devices? Accommodation providers find that 40 percent of customers have trouble navigating a companies mobile site. Because of this, it’s important to create a mobile-optimized website.
When you do this, you stay ahead of the game and provide a responsive website that remains the same page by page from the desktop to the mobile site.
Remember, consumers will likely leave your website if they have to take part in unnecessary scrolling or clicking, time-consuming or unrelated upselling opportunities during the transaction, and difficult to find details regarding the properties or booking. As an independent accommodation provider, try and see the product from the guest’s point of view so that you’ll be able to optimize your website.
Increasing mobile bookings online is all about making the process more simplistic and efficient. Limiting the number of steps during the purchase process takes away unnecessary confusion for the customer and shows that your brand is listening. Make sure your brand is search engine optimized. Implement a mobile-friendly internet booking engineFor more information regarding your guest’s booking behavior, click here.
As an accommodation provider, remember to proofread your website and display clear calls to action.This includes a “Click to Call Button.” More than half of travelers would likely contact an accommodation provider if given the capability.
Furthermore, your brand should be SEO optimized (75% of travelers start by using a search engine to book a room and 80% of all online searches begin on Google) and popular keywords should be within your site copy. To read more about why creating relevant content is necessary, visit our Complete Guide to Easy Social Media.
In order to increase your mobile bookings, it’s important to remember that targeting is key, and you have to understand your audience. Research your demographic and go from there.
Generational differences exist and play into how customers book rooms. For instance, 52% of millennial business travelers book on their mobile devices and 60% of mobile hotel bookings happen at the last-minute in the United States.
A Google U.S. traveler study demonstrates certain trends in traveler’s behaviors. Overall mobile bookings in North America and Europe are 28% and 33%, respectively. In Asia, the figure is between 45% and 49%. It’s 53% in the Middle East. Clearly, the tech-savvy generation is familiar with mobile and these factors account for high mobile booking rates. If your audience is mostly millennials, make sure to optimize your content for mobile devices.
In order to succeed at mobile bookings, be aware that travelers could be more confident with the mobile booking process. 55% of travelers feel that the research process is too difficult before booking. Travelers are also worried about finding the best price and want to compare options in one place. As an accommodation provider, it’s up to you to be a resource for your guests, and it’s a great opportunity to strategize ways to present your options and pricing in a way to increase mobile bookings.
To find out more about how IBC Hospitality Technologies and how guests go about booking a room, click here
This year is coming to a close, but 2018 has brought on many exciting opportunities and changes for IBC Hospitality Technologies!
On December 11, 2018, IBC Hospitality Technologies announced we had been acquired by OBASA Hospitality, the parent company to a collection of global hospitality technology and services brands.
“I am excited to join and bring IBC Hospitality Technologies into the OBASA Hospitality group of companies,” says IBC founder Pam Barnhill. “This brings IBC additional support and resources to further IBC’s mission of staying on top of industry trends, and then take advantage of them by implementing robust but easy to use technologies.”
Read more here.
In 2018, we invited our customers to participate in a wide variety of webinars. In our Webinar Series, we worked with great companies that are continuously doing exciting things within the hospitality industry.
IBC Hospitality Technologies features an open API with multi-currency functionality and PCI compliance. The IBC technology suite of products consists of:
In our ongoing effort to be the best partner to our customers, we too partner with the industry’s best companies and associations to ensure we are continually learning and passing along that knowledge and those opportunities to you.
MyKey is an industry-leading corporate housing technology product serving insurance companies, corporate travel planners, relocation companies, the entertainment industry, and individuals seeking accommodations.
It features only vetted inventory and focuses on ensuring partners have duty of care in place as safety and security take a greater role in decision-making when it comes to furnished accommodations.
Accommodation providers must be vetted in order to have their inventory featured on the platform. In addition, MyKey suppliers have the opportunity to undergo an in person 83-point inspection to earn the special “MasterKey Endorsed” certification.
MyKey will implement an advisory board of key clients in 2019 to stay on top of key needs and wants from its customer base, and will be creating a bidding tool for opportunities.
In 2019, greater process and automation will create more potential opportunities for MyKey suppliers.
MKA is a global all accommodation association that also has placed tremendous focus on safety and duty of care. Alliance members have access to more educational opportunities and resources, advocacy and discounts. Members also have access to IBC technologies as MKA has selected IBC as its technology provider of choice.
The Alliance is always seeking to expand its benefits to its members by bringing in a larger and more diverse group of accommodation owners and operators. One of the greatest benefits of the Alliance is the ability to learn from and benchmark against other members. In addition, the Alliance is overseen by an advisory board of industry experts and educators to ensure the direct of the alliance continually brings value to its members.
Members are vetted and promoted as such, and are featured on MyKey.com, where they have opportunities to win additional business, and have access to the Alliance’s more than 6,000 members to find suppliers in markets around the globe.
Connects travelers to all types of lodging worldwide and gives you freebies for doing it. Ditch the cookie cutter. Enjoy hundreds of fast global rewards, great lodging activity and car deals. Book your unique travel experience on IBC now.
Trusted Every independent property on IBC is presented to you with current low rates, photos from the owner and reviews and ratings from guests like you. With IBC, there are no surprises. You choose your experience based on your own impressions of the property.
When you book through a travel aggregator, the hotel owner receives as little as 30% of the nightly rate! With IBC, more of your money goes to the owner running the hotel. That way you’ll receive the same service and perks as other guests, while supporting small local business.
Convenient Technology Integrations (more on the way) with leading travel providers make IBC a single stop for all your travel needs. Even add optional cancellation protection to your stay. With IBC, traveling local is easy.
Rewarding Stay 12 nights and we’ll pick up the tab for your next night at any of our 60,000+ hotels. No blackout dates. No math to convert points to nights. No exceptions. With InnCentives, earning free nights is easy.
2019 is bringing many exciting trends to the forefront.Safety and Security This will be more important than ever. For business travelers, safety precautions will be especially necessary. This entails having a duty of care plan and making sure that employees know what to do in case of an emergency.
People will look for accommodations outside of the typical brand hotel offering, ground-level experiences will be more appealing over penthouse amenities, and travelers will add days on to a business trip in order to explore a new city.
There will be increased competition resulting from OTAs (online travel agencies). Hoteliers will be able to combat this through a robust metasearch plan, lower CPA (cost per acquisition) through direct bookings, and remaining aware of how important it is to keep property information up to date in your CRS platform.
It is becoming more important than ever. Instagram Stories are one area to consider focusing on. YouTube stories are the latest iteration of this trend and can be key for those with 10,000+ subscribers to their YouTube channel. Post short, engaging videos. You only have about 8 seconds to hook the viewer! Highlight “insta-worthy” experiences in memorable places, and remind your guests to check in to your location on their social networks of choice. You can even offer special perks or discounts when users check in on social. Yes, photos are nice to look at but what else do you have to offer?
Voice search is becoming a prominent tool in the hospitality industry. More brands are using it. Hospitality companies are incorporating it into sales, marketing and guest services. Voice assistance is moving rapidly toward conversational interactions. This includes speaking “I need a hotel in New York” vs typing “hotels in New York.” This shift in search engine dynamics will give companies a reason to invest in a long-tail keyword PPC (pay per click) strategy.
Here’s to 2019! We appreciate the opportunity to work with independent hoteliers and partner in their success.
As an owner and operator it’s necessary to know what you are doing right and what you can improve on in 2019. Every property has its ups and downs. Read our guide to understand how you can improve your overall performance.
Read more about these popular 2018 trends in order to hit revenue goals, increase direct bookings and increase the overall success of your property:
Bring high value direct bookings to the hotel advertiser and a seamless booking journey to the platform all while completing successful conversions. Metasearch is effective in the hospitality industry because it gives guests an easy way to narrow down options for finding the best choice of accommodation and produces results that fit guest’s travel budget and location.
Now, rate your performance on a 1 to 10 scale:
For more information on how to improve your metasearch strategy, read our eBook.
give users a more personalized search experience and more choices. Expand upon available vacation rentals and more hotel distribution channels. Make sure to optimize your alternative accommodation platform so it’s easy to navigate and user-friendly. It’s important to know that more than 55% of reservations are made on mobile devices
55% of reservations are made on mobile devices
Being a part of the alternative accommodation space in 2019 means being up to date with technology.
Rate your performance on a 1 to 10 scale:
To find out how to communicate what you offer, read 5 Steps to Develop Your Digital Marketing Strategy.
Vacation Rentals and General Lodging
are an important part of the hospitality industry. Websites created for vacation rentals show traditional accommodations and vice versa. As vacation rentals become more mainstream, alternative accommodations will rise. As a property owner/operator, it’s important to be aware of this information.
Rate your performance on a 1 to 10 scale:
Have you optimized your website in order to lead to higher conversions?
Have you completed a social media audit to figure out the best ways to highlight your property?
Have you figured out what makes your property unique?
Fin how you can utilize this knowledge to help your property
OTAs, which are third-party booking websites such as Expedia and Priceline, offer travelers an easy to search database and the opportunity to book travel arrangements through the site. Of course, as an owner/operator, it’s important to
increase your direct bookings
Rate your performance on a 1 to 10 scale:
Have you done your research to understand the OTA vs. Metasearch Battle?
Have you strategized on how to increase your direct bookings?
Have you figured out what’s best for your audience?
Find out about the
OTA vs. Metasearch Battle and What it Means for You
Digital Marketing is one of the most effective ways to promote your hotel. IBC’s blog article
Digital Marketing can help your Hotel Strategy
gives you an idea of implementing a plan for 2019 to help capitulate your hotel to success.
Rate your performance on a 1 to 10 scale:
Find out how to improve your digital marketing. Read our Social Media eBook here
Hopefully 2018 gave you the opportunity to focus on putting these strategies into practice. If you have any questions, IBC Hospitality Technologies can help you use metsearch, increase direct bookings and use digital marketing to give your property an edge against the competition. We’re looking forward to what 2019 has in store. Start a demo now or email firstname.lastname@example.org for immediate help.
Read more about Emerging Hospitality Technology Trends.
2019 brings the opportunity to engage with your audience using all the latest technological trends. Before the year begins, read our guide to help you understand how to convert your marketing efforts, implement analytics, use drone photography to highlight your property, and much more.
Marketing to millennials is a key concept that hoteliers need to understand. This demographic values experiences over material goods and are more likely to spend their money on travel instead of “things.”
Millennials spend money on leisure vacations and 38% of millennials travel for business. It is important to keep in mind that the relationship between millennials and leisure business travel is closely connected. It’s hard to find a millennial that isn’t enamored by social media. That’s why connecting with this demographic is necessary to ensure success.
How can your accommodation engage with millennials? Well, the first step is to be creative.
To learn more, read about IBC’s digital marketing strategy.
Analytics are a trend that hoteliers will not see disappear any time soon. Data will continue to emerge as a relevant way to track conversions and to develop big picture strategy for a hotel.
Did you know that 80% of customers have done travel research on their smartphone?
Being able to track how guests find your property is key in crafting an effective digital marketing plan.
Working on understanding how to read analytics and applying them to key metrics will give your property the change to succeed. Take the time to understand these key metrics:
Drone Photography gives your property the edge it needs to be highlighted in an increasingly competitive environment.
Because guests aren’t likely to see where they are staying beforehand, drone photography gives an inside scoop into the small details.
Visualization becomes an ever increasingly tactic to convince potential guests to book with you.
Read more about your guest’s booking behavior here.
Use Augmented Reality to show potential guests 3D tours of hotel rooms on mobile, and AR games to provide an interactive experience.
The more you interact with guests using technology, the more your audience will be excited to stay at your location. In 2019, major advancements are expected to happen in the world of Augmented Reality.
eDreams, a European online travel company, has launched a new augmented reality function that plays into the mobile app sphere. It allows travellers to quickly scan their hand luggage to make sure that it meets airline size requirements. Customers will save time.
It’s truly exciting that with just our voice – no typing or dialing involved – a small device can deliver our message across any distance to a specific recipient who can then carry out our request and reply in turn.
Siri, Google Assistant and Amazon Echo have changed the way that humans use their voice to interact with a technological device.
Within the hospitality industry, voice messaging brings an important dynamic.
In the future, communication optimization will take place and staff will be able to streamline their communication process, while guests will be able to experience better levels of service.
Read our blog about How to Enhance Your Guest’s In-House Experience.
An emerging hospitality technology trend is that of artificial intelligence and chatbots. Because guests expect constant communication on channels ranging from Facebook to your very own website, it’s becoming crucial that your property responds instantly. Therefore, chatbots are the of wave the future when it comes to responsible and timely communication. Chatbots give accommodation providers the option to immediately respond to simple questions. A statistic shows that 69% of consumers prefer talking to chatbots for instant information and answers.
Click the link to read Understand Your Guest’s Booking Behavior with These 3 Tips.
Artificial Intelligence is technology that makes it possible for machines to learn from experience, adjust to new information and perform human-like tasks. AI makes it possible for computers to play you in a chess match or drive your car.
It is becoming increasingly popular in hospitality. Because of the advantage it presents, customer services levels will increase at all stages of the guest experience.
Artificial Intelligence\ has the power to assist with the booking process, manage different inquiries, answer questions, order meals, and even control room temperatures. Human interaction won’t go away, but Al can put the pressure off of humans to complete other tasks to engage with and delight their guests.
Visit IBC’s blog post, What Travelers Except From Hotel Technology, to learn more.
We are looking forward to the evolution of hospitality technology and know that it will be an exciting year for the industry.
As an accommodations provider, it’s important to stay ahead of the trends. IBC Hospitality is looking forward to supporting you in your journey. Start a demo now or email email@example.com for immediate guidance.
The accommodation and independent lodging industry has come a long way. Now, potential guests have many options at their fingertips. Many are curious about what is to come!
The alternative accommodation sphere combined with boutique hotels are making a comeback and its happening faster than ever before. During the 1960s, 70s and 80s chain hotels grew enormously, however it’s now alternative accommodations time for growth.
Alternative lodging is a great way to give travelers a more authentic experience, a snapshot into local culture and one-of-kind moments. Travelers have started to expect more during their stays and alternative lodging has delivered. In 2019, the independent lodging movement will continue to grow and accommodate the growing traveler.
Read more about the history of boutique hotels here.
In order for alternative lodging to compete with hotels, it’s important to have more distribution channels.
Hoteliers should keep in mind that in order to acquire customers, acquisition costs will have to be thought through and budgeted for. Remember, it’s better to have more distribution channels than less distribution channels.
The internet has brought about even more options for these channels. In order to be successful and connected, hoteliers need to have a solid distribution strategy. Use OTA’s, search engines, social media, email marketing and digital marketing to your advantage. To read more about IBC’s tips on developing a distribution strategy, click here.
Personalized amenities are becoming more and more important for guests. While more travelers are starting to look for alternative accommodations, it is becoming more beneficial for hoteliers to provide more personalized search experiences and more choices to users.
Avalon Suites, offers hotel service with the comfort of a homestay, and focuses on 24/7 real person guest service. These furnished apartments offer an award-winning restaurant, fitness center & gym, meeting facilities, concierge services, fully-stocked kitchens and bathroom, sweeping city views, high-end modern furniture, complimentary bottled water, laptop-friendly spaces, complimentary wifi, cable TV and Netflix.
Transparency is key in the hospitality industry. One way to show guests your property values transparency is to ask for reviews. Reviews can also decide if a customer will stay at your accommodation. 93% of consumers use reviews to determine if a business is good or bad and 72% of customers don’t take action until they have read reviews.
In order to receive positive reviews, remember that providing excellent service is the most important thing you can do. Also, even though reviews are important, be careful of when and where to ask. Refrain from continuously soliciting guests for reviews. Instead, include links to reviews on emails and social media posts. Finally, always respond to reviews: be polite, and leave a thank you.
Therefore, here is a list to keep you ahead of the game as you navigate the landscape in 2019. Keep these tips in mind to optimize your success as a hotelier:
Social media< is an effective way to advertise your property (and you can do it for free). Use Instagram to create a exciting ambience that reflects the charm and character of your property. Using video and photos to do this will give guests a way to visualize the property before they arrive. Remember, use social media to develop a brand voice and keep it as consistent as possible. Keep visual content on point and effective communicate while keeping your specific niche in mind. Read our blog post on how to Use Facebook to Effectively Market Your Hotel.
Because occupancy rates are rising in 2019, encourage your customers to book earl and be flexible with booking expectations. Remember that travelers with long booking windows tend to be ignored by hoteliers. Use this to your advantage and focus on converting them into a customer. Understand Your Guests Booking Behavior with these tips.
Hotel prices are expected to rise by 3.7% and flights by 2.6% which is driven by a growing economy and rising oil prices (from the Global Business Travel Association). For accommodations, the expected increase will fuel the demand for rooms. Prices in the Asia Pacific Region are expected to grow by 5.1% and 5.6% across Europe, Middle East and Africa and 2.1% in North America. In Latin America, prices will drop by 1.3%.
Service workers at Hotels may be required to use infrared scanner applications to detect body heat within a room instead of using the “Do Not Disturb” signs. To better understand the process, it’s important that you know housekeeping will push the button at the door, which sets off the rooms scanner. If a movement is detected an electronic “do not disturb” sign will appear and the housekeeper will know to come back later.
The Hospitality Industry is expected to become more personal. Properties are adding coffee machines, home style kitchenettes, charging stations, accessibility to Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime and even better wifi connectivity. Need ideas on how to make your guests experience more personal? Visit Trip Advisor to see a list of the coolest amenities hotels provide.
Properties in 2019 will be see a trend that gives guests the ability to feel like they are one with nature while inside. Indoor waterfalls, terraces, outdoor style furnishings, plants and panoramic views will all befeatured. This trend hopes to integrate the outdoor experience for guests. Visit our guide to Sustainability at Your Hotelfor information on how to integrate an ethical outdoor experiences.
International travel is on the rise. Dubai International Airport is now the busiest airport in the world. It’s important for hoteliers to provide services in different languages and tailor experiences that are properly suited to the cultures and needs of international visitors.
Picture a beautiful hotel with a mission that helps the environment. What’s not to admire about that? Well, Sustainable Tourism is on the rise and is bringing awareness to how guests travel. In 2018, sustainability is becoming more prevalent. 87% of travelers across the world desire to travel sustainably and 39% confirm that they often or always manage to do so.
Offering eco-friendly options gives your hotel an edge and can positively impact your bookings.
Ecotourism is defined as “responsible travel to natural areas that conserve the environment and sustain the well-being of the local people.” Education should be focused on hotel staff and hotel guests.
Community Based Tourism ecompasses the idea of local residents inviting tourists to visit their communities. Usually, the residents will allow guests to stay overnight in their accommodations.
Responsible Travel is showing awareness of the social and cultural norms in the places that you travel. In order be responsible while traveling, think of small changes first and interact with different cultures in a positive way.
Ethical Travel means travel that benefits people and the environment in different destinations. Participating means a better income for families living in the area and sourcing products and services locally.
As a hotelier, provide a space that fosters sustainability. Showcase your property by benefiting the environment, economy, and the city where your hotel resides. To learn more about sustainability at your property, read our blog post.
Become a Certified Property in Sustainability: In order to become truly legitimate as a sustainability property, it is important that you take the time to become certified. Even though the process may be lengthy, your guests will appreciate how committed you are to an eco-friendly world. Your hotel will be a step above the rest.
Communicate What Your Hotel Offers: Hoteliers can do a better job of communicating how sustainable their hotel is. 64% of consumers aren’t sure if a given hotel is truly environmentally friendly. Use social media to publicize how sustainable your property is. Chances are potential guests will be excited to know that you care.
Target your Message to Millennials: Millennials, a demographic from the ages of 18-34, care about sustainability and social responsibility. A 2015 study by Nielsen, shows that 75% of the millennial generation are willing to pay extra for sustainable products. They also demand memorable moments over material goods. With that at the top of your mind, it’s a smart idea to prioritize millennials and sustainability.
Provide Unique Opportunities to Foster Relationships with Local Traditions: Set-up excursions unique to the area where your property is. Let guests know it’s your mission to shed light around local traditions, cultural activities and tours to see the area’s nature and beauty. Guests will be happy to enjoy an authentic experience.
With the evolution of consumers supporting sustainability, now is the time to research how sustainability can impact your guest’s experience. As a hotelier, it’s up to you to drive bookings to your hotel. If you’d like to dive into the traveler’s decision making process, read our blog post. IBC Hospitality Technologies can help you increase direct bookings. Start a demo now or email firstname.lastname@example.org for immediate help.