Australian travel is still buoyant but can the industry remain immune from negative forces sweeping the country's business community? I don't think so – there will be damage. More
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…
Frequent flyers points and in-store vouchers are the most attractive loyalty rewards for Australian consumers, a Galaxy Research poll commissioned by Virgin Australia shows. It also confirmed credit card spending is motivated by loyalty rewards. Key findings include: More
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
Another terrible result for Virgin Australia, which has just posted a $62.3 million loss for the third quarter – much worse than the same period last year (a mere loss of $18.6 million). So far Virgin's lost $90.6 million in the nine months to the end of March while arch-rival Qantas made hundreds of millions in profit. More
"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
Oxford Economics says the world economy is on the upswing and that there's no immediate end in sight to Australia's ride in the Asian sweet spot, which has led to record travel demand. More
There's no end in sight to the Australian cruising boom with the number of Australians taking taking an ocean cruise growing by 21% during 2016 to reach 1.281 million passengers, according to research by industry body Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) Australasia. More
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.
Interesting first person piece by Sonya Voumard on the impact – and attraction – of Airbnb in the excellent new website, Neighbourhood. It's all there, the good, the bad and the ugly. Well worth a read.
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
Qantas CEO Alan Joyce copped a pie in the face yesterday but had the last laugh as his company's shares soared to a nine-year high on the ASX, reaching $4.73 after last week's update, in which he forecast underlying profit before tax of between $1.35bn and $1.4bn. More
Get in the car and go! Spectacular autumn scene at Millthorpe, central west NSW. Love the native trees but you can't beat scenes like this, captured on Sunday. The region is awash with yellows, gold and reds.
Australian travel tech company Hirum Software Solutions has upended its business and is claiming a game-changing technology breakthrough with its new mobile-first product Hirum Anywhere, which can operate live without internet or power.
How can that be? Hirum is not saying nor has it filed a patent for the new technology to ensure the machinations remain confidential. More
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.
More ships equals more advertising with Nielsen estimating ad spend by cruise companies in the Australian market has grown 58% since 2013 and may reach $79m this year. But Nielsen warns clouds are on the horizon. More
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.
Perth and Melbourne will be the big winners when Qantas launches its first non-stop flights between Australia and London next March 24 using the ground-breaking Dreamliner 787-9, which can fly further without refuelling than any other commercial aircraft. More
We hear a lot about virtual reality these days. Here's an insight into what it looks like when applied to a travel booking as envisaged by Justin Wilde, a user experience designer at Navitaire. More
Deborah Thomas is handing over leadership of Ardent Leisure to another executive with a media background, Simon Kelly, as the company looks to rebuild after the Dreamworld tragedy last October in which four people died. More
HotelBeds 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.
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.
Travel experiences app Leezair, founded a year ago with $1m in seed funding, is relaunching with new personalisation and artificial intelligence technology in May. More
No 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
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, 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.
Smashed, evacuated and closed by Cyclone Debbie. It's no surprise Daydream Island management has decided to immediately embark on a $50m refurbishment originally planned for 2018. More
Hoteliers really are a mess of contradictions, a SiteMinder survey of 2100 accommodation operators has revealed. More