OTAs and Meta-Search drive Google Inflation

Australian hoteliers say their Google advertising costs have risen by up to 25% over the past two years due to the intense competition from OTAs and meta-search companies, in particular Booking.com, Expedia, Trivago and Skyscanner, which are spending billions of dollars on online advertising each year, forcing up prices. More on this story soon…

Live Bookings The Future for Rome2rio

Renfre pic...
Renfre now live on Rome2rio.

Travel search engine Rome2rio has declared that live bookings are its future after announcing connections with three major European coach and rail operators. Consumers can this week book National Express, Renfre and Trenitalia services directly through Rome2rio, which had previously directed users to their sites. More 

These Are The Good Old Days says Marriott

Tahiti Market Hot Now
Tahiti Market Hot Now, 20% Revenue Growth

"It's a moment in time for us. These are the good old days."

Colourful comment from Marriott International executive Richard Crawford about the Australian hotel market at an STR breakfast gathering yesterday, which revealed the usual wildly varying performances across Asia Pacific, although generally things are good, especially in Tahiti. More 

Aussie Outbound Growth Slumps To GFC Levels

Resident departures, Short-term
Australian resident departures, Short-term

The outbound travel boom by Australians appears to be over. Outbound growth fell to just +1% during March, according to the latest ABS stats.

That's the lowest figure since the bad old days of the GFC in 2009, when outbound travel went backwards. It is the sixth consecutive month to under-perform the previous year.

Post-GFC outbound travel rebounded spectacularly but this is different, the leading edge of a longer-term trend.

Best Western Celebrates Its People

Vicki Rabjohns, Best Western Goulburn
Vicki Rabjohns, Best Western Goulburn

Best Western Hotels & Resorts Australasia is celebrating its people in a new social media campaign – The People of Best Western – featuring profiles of the owners, operators and employees that form the fabric of the 125-property chain.

“You can talk about brand values all you like but without our people putting in the hard work and offering genuine hospitality it’s just rhetoric,” says Angela Smith, Best Western’s Senior Marketing Manager. More 

Punctuality Problem For China's Major Airlines

China's aviation sector is booming but the country's biggest airlines have a problem with aviation data firm OAG ranking Air China, China Eastern and China Southern the least punctual of the world's major airlines with one-third of their flights delayed. A major issue is that 75% of the airspace is controlled by the military which will not relinquish it for civilian flights. The Govt has said this may change. Until then, count on being late.

No Longer Business As Usual on Airbnb

Airbnb has ramped up its pitch to business travellers, which trebled in volume last year, by launching a dedicated search filter that will only show listings featuring amenities like Wi-Fi, toiletries, a designated work space, an iron and hangers etc. Airbnb says 10 % of its trips are now taken by business travellers while 250,000+ companies are using it.

And Then There Was One – HotelBeds Buys GTA

Logo - gtaHotelBeds is now the undisputed leader of the "traditional" online travel wholesale space (Online Travel Agents aside), after buying  its two main rivals – GTA and  Tourico. The GTA deal was announced on Friday and followed HotelBeds' Tourico acquisition in February. HotelBeds will retain all three brands with combined annual room nights sales in the region of an estimated 50m. Impressive, but to put this in context, the Priceline Group did 557m room nights in 2016.

Dithering NSW Politicians Stall Airbnb Decision

After more than 18 long months of deliberation, which included a public inquiry into short-term accommodation, NSW politicians have copped out and today delayed a decision on setting legal parameters for the likes of Airbnb and Stayz. The reason cited is that 18 months isn't enough, they need more time to consult. A spine more like it.

Variety The Spice of Life For Hotelier Daniel Rosso

Daniel Rosso reclining 180x270No two days are the same for Daniel Rosso and that’s what he likes most about his role as GM at the Best Western Plus Hotel Stellar near Hyde Park in Sydney’s CBD.

One day he could be mopping out the basement car park after a summer rain storm, the next working on a long-term business plan for the distinctive 38-room property built in 1917.

Hospitality was an obvious career choice for Daniel, who emigrated to Australia from Uruguay as a 14-year-old with his family. More 

Mum's The Word For Travel Marketers

The new census reveals that the "typical" Australian is an English speaking 38-year-old mother with two kids, a husband, a three bedroom house in the suburbs and a mortgage. Meanwhile at the Mumbrella Travel Marketing Summit last week a panel agreed that mums are the major holiday decision makers.

So put two and two together and it's obvious who travel marketers with broad-based products should be targeting. However, they need to be careful and understand not all mums are the same.

Katrina McCarter
Katrina McCarter

Katrina McCarter, author of Marketing to Mums, says it would be a mistake to treat mothers as an homogeneous group.

She says that "mums want to hear from influential mums"and sees "Facebook Groups as being a significant opportunity"for marketers.

In an interesting aside, McCarter warned that the fastest way to put Millennial mums offside is to denigrate their partner.

Fellow panellists Kaye Fallick, Publisher Your Life Choices, and Kirsty Bloore, Senior Director – Research, Viacom, also agreed that mothers are the main decision makers followed by the kids and then dad.

Upcoming Events

No Vacancy Australia

No Vacancy Changes It Up

Sydney, November 1 & 2

Exciting times ahead for No Vacancy, founded in 2007, which has been acquired by National Media from founder Martin Kelly, who also publishes TravelTrends.biz.

The new era kicks off with No Vacancy LIVE at Sydney’s new International Convention Centre on November 1 & 2.

“We’ll be taking No Vacancy to another level, combining high quality content with a large trade show featuring up to 150 exhibitors across all verticals, transforming it into the business hub of Australia’s accommodation industry,” says Harvey.

He says the accommodation industry is worth more than $18 billion to the Australian economy. “Yet surprisingly, given the size of the industry there is no dedicated exhibition designed to meet all its needs.”

“No Vacancy LIVE will fill this void and offer hoteliers and other accommodation industry professionals a platform to discover products and ideas to optimize their properties, create amazing guest experiences and ultimately boost their profits.”

Historically No Vacancy has been very much an accommodation marketing conference, but the new look exhibition will embrace all aspects of the accommodation business. 

Content is still central to the event and will be expanded upon with more topics, more sessions and more speakers.

The exhibition will showcase the best quality suppliers across design and decor, property management, operations and finance, housekeeping, spa and leisure, in-room and guest-facing technology, and marketing, distribution and reservation solutions.

“We are really excited about where we can take No Vacancy and look forward to working closely with the community that's been supporting the event since 2007,” said Harvey.

For more information, contact:

Mark Harvey, MD, National Media
Phone: +61 7 5510 5101  //  0419 775 488

TRAVELtech Australia 2018

Returning in 2018

Change is the only constant in travel and so it is with TRAVELtech, which will be returning early in the second quarter of 2018.

The event has been bought by National Media - one of Australia's most respected event management companies - from founder Martin Kelly, who also publishes TravelTrends.biz.

Kelly says he’s happy TRAVELtech is in good hands and will remain connected in a programming and moderation role.

“I’ve really enjoyed creating and running TRAVELtech but it was time to step aside and let someone else with the capacity to accelerate their evolution take it on,” says Kelly.

He will now focus on further developing TravelTrends.biz, while also consulting to travel companies on communications, innovation, industry trends and strategy.

Mark Harvey from National Media says TRAVELtech, founded in 1999, will evolve into a much larger event.

"We have plans for become the main exhibition and conference in Asia Pacific for travel technology buyers, travel agencies, tour operators and transport professionals to source, learn and network," he says.

"It will bring together a large selection of specialist suppliers showcasing the latest innovations across distribution, reservation, business operation and sales and marketing."

For more information, contact:

Mark Harvey, MD, National Media
Phone: +61 7 5510 5101  //  0419 775 488
Email: mharvey@nationalmedia.com.au