Every month, we round up the top stories from the world of hospitality. Covering everything from new hotel technology to industry thought-pieces to the latest travel developments, this is the month in hospitality!
New Build hotels are boosting the UK hotel sector
July brought news that 15,200 new hotel rooms opened last year, a 2.4% growth in hotel supply. The annual UK Hotel Development Opportunities 2018 report from Knight Frank also found budget hotels continue to dominate the market, representing 69% of all new build hotel stock and 65% of all hotel extensions.
Overall, the proportion of new build hotels increased by 37% in 2017, accounting for 66% of all new rooms in the UK hotel sector. This is great news for the industry. Although the most dramatic growth was seen in London, development is also on the rise across the UK. Overall, regions outside of London will contribute approximately 13,000 new rooms by the end of 2018, representing 62% of the total UK new bedroom stock.
The UK Hotel Development Index also named the UK’s most attractive cities, with Inverness, Brighton, Edinburgh, Cardiff and Liverpool taking the top spots. Whether the growth witnessed in 2018 will continue into next year remains to be seen, but it’s a positive sign in an industry still coming to terms with the potential impact of Brexit.
The world’s first predictive algorithm for hotels is here
Yes, that’s right. This month the industry awoke to find that tech-hospitality specialists The Hotels Network has created the first predictive algorithm for hotels. Named Oraculo, the software marries together revenue management and personalisation to increase conversions on hotel websites, the first ever hotel product to do so. The algorithm was built using machine learning techniques by the company’s data scientists, analysing behavioural patterns based on the data of millions of travellers globally.
The software works by predicting guest behaviour and segmenting users in real-time to identify the ideal offer for each individual visitor. As a result, hotel websites are automatically customised for each unique user. While previous attempts at user-driven personalisation relied on studying previous customers’ on-site behaviour, Oraculo enables hoteliers to personalise the experience for first-time visitors too.
As the Founder and CEO of The Hotels Network, Juanjo Rodriguez, explains:
“Just as every booker is different, every non-booker is too. Oraculo is able to differentiate between low-intent and high-intent users, so the optimal message and rate can be shown to each visitor, just at the point where they are deciding on their reservation.
This results in a hugely positive impact on revenue, with a potential conversion uplift of up to 65% in the low-intent segment who otherwise may not have spent at all.”
Best of all, hotels currently using The Hotels Network existing suite of tools can try Oraculo for free on a 30-day trial basis to experience the benefits for themselves.
Check out the full story here.
Google Hotel Ads joins Google Ads
Great news for any hotel marketers struggling to manage both their Hotel Ads and other Google Ads (such as search and display campaigns): the two are now part of the same platform. The search engine behemoth announced this month that Hotel Ads are set to become a part of the Google Ads platform later this year. The company also announced it was also launching a new Hotel Center to simplify the management of hotel price feeds.
Aiming to optimise the campaign management process, the new platform has been touted as having a range of benefits:
- Hotel groups to organize hotels by important attributes like brand and class
- Robust bidding controls enable marketers to optimise for bidding dimensions unique to hotels
- Smart bidding powered by machine learning to maximise bookings at your ROI goal
- Rich reporting and familiar responsive interface available with the newly redesigned Google Ads
The new Hotel Ads platform will launch as an open beta available to advertisers later this year. Hotels looking to stay up to date on the Google Ads integration and Hotel Center launch, beta test Hotel ads in Google Ads or learn more about Hotel ads can do so by filling out this interest form.
Click here for the full story.
Buoyant global economy means higher hotel and air prices in 2019
The rising cost of oil and a growing global economy are just two factors behind an anticipated increase in hotel and air prices next year. According to the fifth annual Global Travel Forecast, published this month by GBTA and CWT, travellers could see room prices increasing by up to 3.7%, while overall flight costs could go up by 2.6%.
Kurt Ekert, President and CEO of Carlson Wagonlit Travel, explained: “Prices are expected to spike in many global markets even as inflation remains subdued. The future of corporate travel can be summed up as accelerated personalization – with mobile technology, AI, machine learning and predictive analytics all playing their part.”
For the hotel industry, the overall increase is balanced by discrepancies in different regions. The Asia Pacific region could see hotel prices rise by up to 5.1%, while prices in New Zealand are set to rise a whopping 11.8%. In Australia, 2019 and 2020 are expected to see the largest number of new rooms, with an increase of 3.4% of total supply each year. Like air prices, hotel rates across Western Europe are expected to rise (by 5.6%), although Eastern Europe could see a decline of 1.9%. Hotels prices in Latin America, meanwhile, are expected to fall 1.3%, with declines in Argentina (down 3.5%), Venezuela (down 3.4%), Brazil (down 1.9%) and Colombia (down 0.7%). The report predicts hotel prices in North America will increase by 2.1% with 5% increases in Canada and 2.7% in the US.