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EyeforTravel have an attendee list for the digital and data travel elite that you need to see!

EyeforTravel 28 September 2017
Research shows that 85% of leisure travelers decide on activities only after having arrived at their destination. Making it crucial for travel brands to be able to connect and create bespoke offerings to their customers via social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram and more direct communications using customer profiles.EyeforTravel are excited about this shift and have positioned their EyeForTravel Amsterdam (November 29-30) to focus on the digital and data big bang in travel.These event's will bring together 250+ the best brands in travel to focus on how to develop data analytics, artificial intelligence, product development, revenue analytics, to drive loyalty and more personalized experiences. They are even offering a sneak peak of their attendee list 2 months before the event.To shed light on who will be at the event, Leo Langford the lead researcher for the event said "We're really excited to be welcoming back executives from Accor Hotels, NH Hotels, Eurail, The Travel Corporation, Heathrow Airport, Marriott, Lastminute.com, IBM, Vueling, Wyndham, Kiwi.com, Icelandic Air, Expedia, Finnair, Momondo, KAYAK and a lot more"He went onto to say "We don't usually release our delegate list this early but with over 2 months to go, we have over 170 people in, and thought we should share it, and give others a chance to book too!"Click here to get the most up to date attendee list sent straight to you: http://events.eyefortravel.com/digital-strategies-travel-europe/attendees.phpHere are some of the key topics we will cover: The Holistic Approach to Digital Strategy Drive Direct in a Mobile First WorldData Visualisation that makes your Revenues BoomThe Quest for Clean DataBecome the Modern Revenue Manager to Drive Lifetime LoyaltyAwaken your Brand DNA with Data and Digital InnovationDemocratising AI - Awaken the coder in everyoneLearn more about who is attending our leading data and digital event for the travel space here: (Nov 29-30):With exciting branding, exhibition and sponsorship opportunities still available, jump on now and network with travels best data and digital experts. Click here to learn more: http://events.eyefortravel.com/digital-strategies-travel-europe/sponsor-opportunities.phpContact the team directly at - leo@eyefortravel.com

A call for press to attend EyeforTravel North America 2017

EyeforTravel 19 September 2017
With attendees from brands such as Priceline, Lola, IHG, Marriott, Hilton, Expedia, Booking.com, Club Med, Carlson Wagonlit Travel, Trivago and many more - this is the perfect opportunity to find out from the decision makers themselves where the industry is headed and what the upcoming trends are before anybody else.The event will be taking place at the Mandalay Bay over 2 days and will cover travel distribution, marketing, data, RM & Pricing as well as technology. On both days, the event will start with keynote presentations until the lunch break, after which the event will split into 2 tracks and attendees will be able to choose the sessions they would most benefit from.Some of the keynotes at the event include:* Prepare for the Next Wave of Disruption: What Will the Industry and Your Business Look Like In 10 Years' Time?Fireside chat: The State of Travel with the Priceline GroupHow is the Macroeconomic Landscape Impacting the Travel Industry?Building Brand Loyalty in an Era of Abundant ChoicePersonalisation to Drive Ancillary Sales, Customer Satisfaction and LoyaltyCreating a Complete Customer Experience Through Smart PartnershipsFireside Presentation & Q&A - Delving into Rise of The Non-Traditional Accommodation ModelPoised for Digital Transformation: How Will AI Revolutionize Travel?Virtual and Augmented Reality: Hype or Hit?Connecting the Data Dots to Build and Create Personalized Interactions using Complete Customer ProfilesThe All-Inclusive Hotel Experience - Creating and Enhancing an Authentic All-Inclusive Guest ExperienceA Mobile-First Mindset: From Search and Inspiration to Traffic and TransactionsSome of the latest speakers announced include:Paul English, CEO, LolaTodd Henrich, SVP - Corporate Development, Priceline Group Noah Brodsky, Senior VP - Worldwide Loyalty & Engagement, Wyndham Hotels Ben Bates, Commercial Excellence Manager, Booking.comMichael Menis, SVP -Digital & Voice Channels, IHGMichael Marino, Senior VP - Loyalty & Digital, Caesars Corporation Michelle Woodley, Executive Vice President, Preferred Hotels and ResortsDan Christian, Chief Digital Officer, The Travel CorporationDr Sascha Meskendahl, Chief Revenue Officer, Blacklane Jay Fluegel, Head of Product - Customer Care, Expedia Parker Stanberry, Co-founder & CEO, Oasis Cliff Johnson, Co-Founder & Chief Development Officer, Vacasa Sam Macdonnell, Chief Technology Officer, Hotel TonightMichael Almeraris, Global Mobile Virtual Reality Partnerships & Strategy, GoogleKevin Froemming, EVP & Chief Marketing Officer, Playa Hotels & ResortsTo attend the event as press, please complete this form:https://goo.gl/forms/PIvDWR7Nu8VJD6eF2For more information, please get in touch with:Nikhil VijayanMarketing ManagerEyeforTravelnikhil@eyefortravel.com+44 (0) 207 375 7165

EyeforTravel: Turn Insight into Profit by Driving Innovation in Travel Data

EyeforTravel 18 September 2017
EyeforTravel are excited about this change and have positioned two EyeforTravel events to focus on just this. Their two summits - Smart Travel Data Europe (Amsterdam Nov 29-30) and Smart Travel Analytics North America (February 27-28, Miami) will allow you to turn new data legislations and technology into an advantage and convert your data into pure profit.Head of Research for EyeforTravel - Alex Hadwick had this to say "As travel brands tackle these issues, they do so with the aim of putting their customers first and trying to understand what makes them tick, and that trend is only going to accelerate." He went on to say "More sophisticated systems, increasingly skilled teams, more investment and an exponentially increasing universe of data means that brands will be better placed to reach their customers with targeted products that match their expectations!"These event's will bring together the best brands in travel to focus on how to develop data analytics, artificial intelligence, product development, revenue analytics, to drive loyalty and more personalized experiences.Take the chance to network with decision makers from Accor, Airbnb, KAYAK, Hilton Hotels, Delta Airlines, Amazon, Lastminute.com Vueling Airlines, Marriot, Southwest Airlines, Wyndham Destination Networks, NH Hotels and more, join the events today.Click here to learn more about both events:If Europe is your area of focus: http://events.eyefortravel.com/smart-travel-data-summit/ (event location: Amsterdam)If USA is your area of focus: http://events.eyefortravel.com/smart-travel-data-summit-north-america/ (event location: Miami)If you would like more information on attending contact Leo (Project Director) - leo@eyefortravel.comIf your company would like to make the most of limited branding and exhibition opportunities at these events, reach out to Shreya (Head of Partnerships and Sales) shreya@eyefortravel.com or call them on + 44 20 7375 7150Eyefortravel is a community of commercial, marketing, digital and data experts that are evolving how travel is sold and customers life time value increased. Our mission is to help the travel industry deliver a winning customer experience that tackles commoditisation, differentiates the brand and drives loyalty.####

Why your next data hire should be a neural network

EyeforTravel 12 September 2017
Although Artificial intelligences (AI) are a long way from truly emulating the human brain and replacing your data analysts, they are taking their first steps and should definitely be a part of your data team. This is the conclusion of EyeforTravel's new report into deep learning, which is free to download now.The case for using neural network-powered deep learning techniques lies in the potential return on investment that they can provide. Not only can neural networks undertake complex analysis but they can also reduce workloads, freeing up data professionals to work on more demanding tasks. For example, the report notes that Stena Line's deep learning program to understand price competition for its onboard products saves weeks of analyst labour, increases accuracy dramatically and all for a cost of roughly EUR15,000.Not only can they help with some of the more mundane tasks and working through very large data sets but it is constantly growing in complexity and will soon be able to take more tasks on. "Instead of building very complex models to understand the parameters that influence revenue, you just feed the data into a system and let the system - thanks to a deep learning algorithm - learn what works," says Marion Mesnage, Head of Innovation and Research at Amadeus IT. "There is no assumption on the model whatsoever. That's very disruptive...but we believe it could equal or outperform what humans can achieve."It's not just data teams that deep learning can help, marketing teams also stand to benefit substantially from deep learning. Neural nets can learn huge amounts about what makes customers tick, such as optimal pricing points and the best creative as well as where to deploy this. The report notes that The Travel Corporation is using deep learning to track online sentiment and automatically adjust advertising to appropriate formats and destinations.To find out more about deep learning download the free report now and see:What brands such as Amadeus, Expedia, Stena Line, and The Travel Corporation are doing to harness deep learning.How neural nets have been developed and how they power deep learning.Where deep learning will transform the industry.How deep learning can save time and reduce costs.What the limits are to deep learning and how regulation might affect it.The report is part two of EyeforTravel's How Will Artificial Intelligence Transform Travel? report series. You can find the first report, which studies chatbots in travel, by clicking here.

Can deep learning change travel and tourism?

EyeforTravel 5 September 2017
Travel could be one of the main beneficiaries of rapid advances in Artificial Intelligence (AI) learning techniques as struggles to utilise huge amounts of data in order to understand complex human behaviours. Key to this is deep learning according to the report, which is free to download now. This a method where neural networks organised in hierarchical layers evaluate data sets. Deep learning deliberately aims to emulate the way that human and animal brains interpret information and consequently is making huge strides.Currently, the technology still is at an early stage and the neural nets that power deep learning are far simpler than biological counterparts, usually using layers of nodes that passes a decision onto the next layer of nodes once a value has been reached. Therefore, what it truly excels at is focusing on a single task, which is typically finding relationships and patterns in very large quantities of data."What we are doing now is artificial narrow intelligence, AI that's specific to a certain task," says Amer Mohammed, Head of Digital Innovation at Stena Line. "We need to come up with mathematical models that can actually understand the world, not just fake understand it." In the meantime some of these tasks that deep learning is already being used for in travel include pricing, language processing, image recognition, consumer analysis, and market modelling.In the future, AIs will be able to tackle multiple tasks and come closer to human abilities as rapid advancements are being constantly made at the bleeding-edge of machine learning. Already Google's DeepMind division has been able to build a multi-tasking AI and the rate of advance is staggering.However, there a major issues and bottlenecks still to conquer if neural networks genuinely want to get close to the capabilities of the human brain. One key issue is the data and power that deep learning requires. For a neural network to effectively learn it most often required and often a guiding hand when initially tackling the task. They also a greedy when it comes to IT requirements. Whereas the human brain runs on the equivalent of around 20 watts, the AI that beat the top Go player in the world required 50,000 times that. Russian metasearch company Aviasales notes in the report that "System resource is the only limit. Even our test library consumes a lot. Hence, we could be more productive by achieving [a] new level of computer performance.""The opportunities are enormous and already unveiling themselves," says Alex Hadwick, Head of Research at EyeforTravel. "Almost everything in travel has a huge number of variables as trip itineraries are complex with multiple decision points, making deep learning especially suited to drawing conclusions from the masses of data. The other thing about deep learning is that we are training it to get better and better every time we add information, so in theory this could be a really powerful tool for personalization. There is the potential to conduct far larger scale and more variated testing and then to combine this information and refine at each stage through dep learning.""It's definitely going to come with ethical challenges, however," believes Hadwick. Neural networks can end up being black boxes due to their complexity and multiple layers of decision making. You can find yourself with an answer but not knowing how the AI arrived at it. This will run counter to European data regulations in the case of customer-facing decisions and data for starters. We can also end up programming in our own biases and ignore potential mistakes, so we need to understand and master this technology and ask where it best deployed. If we do though, the possibilities are vast."To find out more about deep learning download the free report now and see:What brands such as Amadeus, Expedia, Stena Line, and The Travel Corporation are doing to harness deep learning.How neural nets have been developed and how they power deep learning.Where deep learning will transform the industry.How deep learning can save time and reduce costs.What the limits are to deep learning and how regulation might affect it.The report is part two of EyeforTravel's How Will Artificial Intelligence Transform Travel? report series. You can find the first report, which studies chatbots in travel, by clicking here.

5 Reasons You Can't Miss EyeforTravel North America in Las Vegas this Year

EyeforTravel 30 August 2017
On October 19, EyeforTravel will kick off its 19th annual North American summit- the only travel conference in America that guarantees you will walk away with actionable insights & take-aways.With 400 senior distribution, marketing, mobile, revenue management, and data &technology executives present, it will be the ultimate location for knowledge sharing, strategy formulation as well as partnership advancement.Here are just a few quotes from past attendees:"Having never attended this conference before, I did not know what to expect. I can honestly say, after participating, that this was one of the best conferences I've ever attended...I met some great people and learned much about current travel and hospitality trends and what we need to do to prepare for the future"-- Marcus Lund, Regional Director of Sales & Marketing, Patton Hospitality Management"I have been in the hotel for over 33 years, and I have attended the EyeforTravel summit for the past 10 years, and even I was surprised how many take-aways I got from this year's summit. Innovative topics gave new perspectives on how we can enhance our business"- Jordan Joanou, Director of Revenue Management, Castle Resorts & HotelsHere are the 5 big reasons attending EyeforTravel North America 2017 will be the best professional decision you make in 2017:1. Case studies & actionable content you can apply right awayThe summit is designed to give you compelling stories and actionable content from some of the biggest travel brands including: Priceline.com, IHG, Marriott, Hilton, Wyndham, Allegiant Air, Lufthansa Systems America, Expedia and more. Hear about the challenges and successes of these organizations, straight from the source. Understand how they listen to their customers and strategize accordingly.2.The ultimate location to catch up with your peersWe know how important it is for you to make those connections and develop long-term business relationships. We've created a range of networking opportunities to enable you to meet, collaborate or even partner with your industry peers in travel. Over 15 hours of networking along with access to our dedicated networking app will make sure you make those all-important partnerships and long term connections.3. Value for moneyThe opportunity to gain high-level insights as well as tackle the day-today challenges in your business is just a start. We have designed the summit to not only offer the big picture, but also dedicated conference tracks covering distribution, marketing, data analytics, revenue management and travel technology. With over 70 speakers sharing insights across 4 tracks, over two days - I'd say this is a good start to breaking down departmental silos.4. The VenueFour words - Mandalay Bay Las Vegas. An award-winning hotel on the strip, this venue provides a fantastic platform for our event this year. One of the highlights include the rooftop networking drinks on Day 1 - not a bad place to wrap up the first day in my opinion!5. Team discounts really stack upAs soon as you bring a team member to this event, you activate discounts. The more people you bring, the higher the discounts go. Just email me with the number of people you want to bring, and I'll set up a discount code for you. Plus, the last chance price is still going - which means those group discounts stack up even further. Don't forget to secure your place before September 22nd.EyeforTravel North America (October 19-20) guarantees cross-industry unity, high-level insights, a true forum for you to network and get those all important deals done.Visit the website for more information. Register before September 22 to save $200.
Article by Pamela Whitby

Is Personalization Travel's New Super Power?

EyeforTravel 21 July 2017
Is "Challenging Assumptions" the key to cracking customer experience? Booking.com thinks so and others do too. Love them or hate them - and yes hotels over the years have had a pretty tetchy relationship with booking.com - but few could dispute how successful a company the Amsterdam upstart has been.After being acquired in 2005 by Priceline for $135m in cash, booking.com helped catapult its US parent from a $10m company to one worth over a billion dollars. This booking.com acquisition, along with others like Agoda, Kayak and more, was, as Priceline CEO Glenn Fogel outlined at a recent EyeforTravel conference, part of a strategic push to go global. "We found companies that knew how to sell the way people in Europe [and other parts of the world] wanted toA decade on and in 2016, booking.com was responsible for 80% of Priceline's annual revenues. Great news for Priceline! Not such great news for hotels, which over the years have lost control of inventory and forked out commissions of anything between 15 and 30% for privilege of a presence on OTA websites.But with eroding margins and regulatory pressure brought to bear on OTA bully boy tactics in the US and Europe, the fight back has begun. Recently, we've seen some hotels taking back control by innovating with loyalty programs, technology and more, and even entering what are perceived to be fairer deals with Google (that is another story).Although there is still some way to go, there is a growing recognition that OTAs, if managed correctly, can play a valuable role. But as Brian Harniman, a former Priceline executive and founder of strategy advisory firm Brand New Matter, puts it hotels need to "partner wisely". Other advice includes using data to shift from cost per booking to cost-per-customer, providing real value (such as upgrades, free drinks and so on) and never ever allowing anybody to dictate RM practices.Data is key here, something that booking.com understands well. Just about every decision taken here is driven by data, which are driven by a clear purpose. That purpose, Booking.com Commercial Excellence Manager Ben Bates recently told an EyeforTravel audience is, quite simply, about "keeping the customer at the centre of everything we do".This core goal is one of the secrets of booking.com's success. Joerg Esser, a theoretical physicist and former senior Thomas Cook executive, believes that in these turbulent markets, it is Booking.com's ability to 'anchor a purpose' that has made it so successful. Anchoring purpose is the first of five simple smart 'ant colony inspired' rules that Esser has been working on since leaving a senior role at Thomas Cook last year, that will give firms a 'toolbox' to drive real change.But what exactly does this mean in practice within the walls of booking.com and are there any lessons for hotels? Bates, who will be speaking again in Las Vegas this October, makes this point: "We hear a lot about trusting your gut [about what the customer wants] but I would like to challenge that assumption."The results from A-B testing, a practice that Booking.com is an evangelist of, proves the point. "Nine out ten A/B tests fail," Bates admits, because very often companies design a product or tool by making certain assumptions about what users want and are time and again proved wrong.Esser agrees arguing that in competitive markets with shifting consumer behavior, you have to start from the position that everything you do is a hypothesis and not that you have an "expert gut feel"Innovative hotels are beginning to recognize this. In a recent interview with Sagar Desai, Head of Acquisitions & Development, Viceroy Group he said: "Lot of companies today are A/B testing. Smart hotels should A/B test too. Why put up one website? Put up two and see which responds best."Viceroy is one of those hotel organisations operating with a flattened hierarchy and in a more nimble fashion. According to Desai, who will also be speaking in Vegas, in order to survive, hotels really need to operate more like tech companies and be willing to work flexibly and rapidly test and change.As a successful tech company there are, perhaps, lessons to be taken from booking.com. Bates sees seven data-driven themes emerging for hotels to take note of, and whatever your relationship with the Amsterdam based upstart, this is pretty compelling stuff. Drawing from Bates' recent presentation we have compiled these top tips.Take a Long Hard Look at Your ImagesMost immersive experiences start with immersive images, says Bates, with 67% of travelers seeing more value in clear images than in the room description or guest reviews. Customers scan images to define what they are interested in and what they are not interested in, so keep that in mind. Interestingly, 150% more booking.com users engaged with a property on the website when there were more than 20 images loaded. Other insights show that women are particularly keen on bathroom images, and more likely to convert for a two-night stay, or more, if there were at least three bathroom images on the front page. Going forward, 360-degree images could be a game-changer, especially with Facebook - another platform to watch - stepping into that environment and ecosystem. A top tip recommended that hotels prioritise snaps to reflect what previous guests have said they like most about the experience.Come to Grips With What People are Saying About You on Social Media and Review your ReviewsWhat Bates calls "cafe culture social proofing," can also leads to "buyer confidence"; in other words reviews count. According to Bates, 78% of customers see reviews as a credible source information which points to a "revolution" in customer behavior that is leading customers to trust complete strangers over established institutions. Another tidbit is that online reviews today are more effective than star ratings. In fact 50% of travelers will not book today, until they have read a review. Since 66% of guests post at least once during travelling, hotels can also benefit from highlighting social activity along the lines of '20 people are viewing this property' as a definition of perceived popularity.Differentiate Room ExperiencesNot all rooms are equal, so why not display them differently? It seems this might be worth doing too, with 90% of guests complaining that rooms are not well differentiated online. For example, help the customer to understand, with images, why they are paying $30-40 dollars more for an upgraded room. Reviews and comments on comments on photos can drive engagement when the guest is still in exploration mode.Give Your Business Travelers 'Isolated Togetherness'People travelling on business want company while "being productive" but they might not always want to engage. This desire for 'isolated togetherness' means that 36% of millennials prefer to work in the hotel lobby. This desire to slip into a hotel without having to speak is also playing out in other areas with 56% of travelers saying they prefer automated check-in. Business travel upgrades are another opportunity as Bates says over 40% of travelers do not feel the need to - upgrade that is! So one tip is to offer single occupancy upgrades to achieve higher price point. Hotels could also offer upgrades for a longer stay, , given the trend to blurring lines between business and personal travel.Consider Eco-Friendly CredentialsOn an eco-friendly note, the data finds that 62% of customers appreciate a hotel's efforts to act in an environmentally friendly way and especially (47%) if it impacts their pocket. However, while might like to do the right thing, its worth noting is that most millennials won't pay more for an eco hotel. What is more, three-quarters say they disengage if the message is overdone.Understand the Same-Day Browse and Stay Culture, and Multi-platform BehaviorPeople can make quicker decisions today, and more customers than ever are booking spontaneously within shorter windows. 'Staycations' in key cities are also on the rise. Bates says that half of bookings made on smart phones today were for the same or next day. Top tip include guaranteeing a specific room but selection at check-in, to offer inclusive meals options (a last-minute customer preference), and in markets like the US, where 80% of domestic guests travel by car, to consider publicizing parking at the right time. On the multi-platform score, 43% guests are shopping across multiple devices when planning travel, and so ensuring a consistent experience on mobile, desktop and app is absolutely crucial.Come to Grips with LoyaltyThe last theme, delivered by Bates is that brands need to rethink loyalty, as it's "very common for customers to be loyal to numerous hotel brands". In what he admits are a somewhat "controversial" stats, their data shows 47% of leisure guests booking on the brand site, and 92% through a travel agent, don't belong to any loyalty program.Perhaps the hint is that it's a waste of time to launch a hotel branded loyalty program, something the bigger chains have been investing in to drive direct bookings! But, as Harniman says, hotels shouldn't let anybody dictate their business practices. Instead, they must take back control.

Revenue management to become profit management finds report

EyeforTravel 19 July 2017
Revenue management is changing to become a more all-encompassing discipline according to EyeforTravel's new Aggregating Data Streams for More Effective Revenue Management report, with 71% of managers believing that the discipline should be recognized as profit management.The report, which is free to download now, notes that a focus on profit will be key in the years to come, with the industry moving emphasis away from the traditional measures of success of Revenue Per Available Room (RevPAR) and Total Revenue Per Available Room (TRevPAR). Instead, the industry will look at guests in the round and consider the total profitability each can bring and aim to maximize this. The key metric the industry will use in the future Gross Operating Profit Per Available Room (GOPPAR) according to the report, which also notes that Cornell University found GOPPAR is now considered the most important benchmark for the future.Therefore, revenue managers will need to consider all revenue streams and also have a better understanding and inclusion of cost factors than they have in the past. Alongside traditional operating costs of the hotel, revenue managers will need to calculate and include their distribution costs, which the report also found to be a key area of concern for revenue managers.In order to achieve this revenue managers will need to increase their skillsets and also obtain better technology according to the report. It found that 71% of revenue managers felt that they didn't yet have the tools to do their jobs effectively, making technology investment a major area for scrutiny in the next five years.Many of those featured in the report noted technology and automation is needed so that they could free up time to be spent on more important tasks, moving away from data collection and setting restrictions to working on overall strategy, coordination with other departments and guest experiences. This latter element is noted as being key in the report, particularly as guest reviews can have a direct effect on the property's profitability.Click here to download the research now and get the full report, including:The effect of competitors on pricing, how to account for them and what strategies to take to get a competitive edge.Understanding and constructing predictive analytics.Understanding the costs of a business's channel mix and how to win direct bookings.The state of the industry's approach to ancillary revenues.The key metrics every revenue manager should be working toward.The future of a revenue manager's role and the skills they will require.

Hotels make strides measuring ancillary revenues finds report

EyeforTravel 18 July 2017
As part of the report revenue managers were asked in both 2014 and 2017 "which of the following ancillary revenues can your revenue management system account for?" The findings show that in every single ancillary stream category measurement has risen and the number who reported that their system could not account for any ancillary revenues fell from 22.8% to 16.7%.In 2014, food and beverage was the most measured type of ancillary revenue but that has now been overtaken by room and service upgrades, at 43.8% of respondents, and Meetings, Incentives, Conferences & Exhibitions (MICE) at 45.8%. In both categories the percentage of systems measuring revenues increased by more than 10%. Even more dramatically, the measurement of tours, experiences and packages more than doubled, pointing to this revenue stream being recognized by hotel management as an important revenue stream and service for customers.Overall, every revenue stream was now being measured by revenue management systems to a greater degree than in 2014. The percentage of managers who reported that their system could not account for any of the revenue streams we asked about also fell from 22.8% to 16.7% of respondents, demonstrating substantial progress in monitoring and quantifying ancillary revenues.However, there was no type of ancillary reported as being measured by more than 50% of respondents, pointing to there still being some way to go."It is encouraging that progress is being made but we would probably have expected it to be slightly faster than what we have found," said Alex Hadwick, Head of Research at EyeforTravel. "We also asked revenue managers whether they felt they had the tools to do the job effectively and 71% said they did not, so it seems there are still technical and investment roadblocks. Removing these will be vital to hotels achieving their full potential revenue potential."Click here to download the research now and get the full report, including:The effect of competitors on pricing, how to account for them and what strategies to take to get a competitive edge.Understanding and constructing predictive analytics.Understanding the costs of a business's channel mix and how to win direct bookings.The state of the industry's approach to ancillary revenues.The key metrics every revenue manager should be working toward.The future of a revenue manager's role and the skills they will require.

Competition - The biggest challenge to revenue management strategy

EyeforTravel 13 July 2017
The effect of competitors is the biggest headache revenue managers face when creating their pricing and distribution strategies according to the new Aggregating Data Streams for More Effective Revenue Management report from EyeforTravel, which is free to download now.Exactly half of the revenue managers surveyed for the research find that their competitors create difficulties when trying to set their own pricing, noticeably ahead of any other category EyeforTravel asked about. Unforeseen events are the next most important challenge at 43.8% of respondents, followed by attribution of sales channel, which has come up as an issue across previous EyeforTravel research.The difficulty in measuring and predicting competition has only become harder over the last half decade as hotel comparison sites have widened the competitive pool and made product comparison easier for the consumer. Not only this but the rise of alternative accommodation sites have introduced a new stream of supply into many markets.So, what can revenue managers do to understand their competitors better and maximize their property's performance in competitive markets?The report finds that revenue managers should build a comprehensive competitor set (compset) that looks at more than just proximity of other accommodation options. Instead, revenue managers should understand their own property's attributes and the type of guests it attracts and build out to encompass rivals wo are fighting for the same customer.When it comes to setting the prices themselves the report urges caution in the part of revenue managers. The report notes that numerous studies have found that reducing prices in order to compete has long-term damaging effects for properties. Overall, properties that maintained higher average daily rates performed better, with the effects of cutting price not boosting occupancy enough to make up for the shortfall in income. Furthermore, consumers do not view prices rationally, with an accommodation purchase asking them to consider a complex matrix of factors. Indeed, a lower price may even indicate lower quality to some consumers that a property is if lower quality.Therefore, hotels need to consider the individual advantages that their property enjoys and only look at the very nearest competitors who are most likely to be vying for the same customer segments. If hotels are to try and win against their peers on price, then the report advises that hotels should not attempt to undercut the direct competition by more than 5%."It is natural, almost reflexive, for revenue managers to try and bring prices down to below their competitors, especially if their booking window is not where they want it to be," says Alex Hadwick, Head of Research at EyeforTravel. "However, our findings suggest that this could make life even harder for revenue managers in the future as they look to raise prices again and hit bottom lines. This especially so as RM is shifting away from just setting rates to working across the business to measure profitability and sell ancillaries more effectively. We found 71% of revenue managers believe that the discipline should be recognised as revenue management. This is not to say that competitive pricing is not important but it seems that revenue managers need to be thinking about all of their property's features and not just trying to be $10 cheaper per night than their rivals."Click here to download the research now and get the full report, including:The effect of competitors on pricing, how to account for them and what strategies to take to get a competitive edge.Understanding and constructing predictive analytics.Understanding the costs of a business's channel mix and how to win direct bookings.The state of the industry's approach to ancillary revenues.The key metrics every revenue manager should be working toward.The future of a revenue manager's role and the skills they will require.

Why Travel Brands Need to Be Investing in Chatbots

EyeforTravel 7 July 2017
Deploying chatbots on these channels can yield real rewards according to EyeforTravel and Travelaer's new Are Bots Worth the Bother? report, which is free to download now.The top travel apps currently reach into the millions of users, with apps from Booking.com and TripAdvisor leading the way, however, the top social media and messaging apps pass the billion mark. Facebook Messenger currently claims more than 1.2 billion users. Not only this but usage of social media and messaging apps is estimated to have shot up by nearly 400% in 2016. Therefore, it is becoming a matter of necessity for travel brands to have a first-class social media strategy, of which chatbots should form a core element.The growth is opening up a whole new channel where customers can make direct bookings with travel brands, strengthening the link between brand and consumer and lowering distribution costs. Already brands such as Icelandair and French national rail operator's digital arm Voyages-sncf.com, both of which feature as case studies in the report, have made thousand of bookings using bots on Facebook Messenger.However, the primary use for chatbots is for customer service requirements. As consumers conduct more travel research on mobile and have to manage complex itineraries through mobile, chatbots are well placed to help to consumers and drive loyalty through improved and much quicker interactions but travel brands are struggling to come to this realization, the report notes."Our research shows travel companies don't take Facebook Messaging with customers seriously," says Mike Slone, chief experience officer at Travelaer. "Most don't respond to customers via Facebook Messenger within a week, much less have a chat bot. The small percentage of travel bots that are live don't impact the customer journey in a meaningful way, are gimmicky and don't fit into an overall digital strategy. Customer service is the most demanded feature, not commerce."Therefore, travel and tourism brands need to work harder to improve their chatbot services and their ability to respond to complex customer requirements. Doing so can help to alleviate the load on teams across a business and increase customer service levels.Indeed, it is critical for brands to focus on making chatbots work with, rather than replacing, humans says the report. With such a new technology most are using the system to help with the most common questions, such as luggage queries for Icelandair and room service questions in the case of Edwardian Hotels, both of which feature in the report. Icelandair note that currently the chatbots deal with just 10% to 15% of queries typically but this is expected to grow.For more on chatbots and to download the report click here and find out:How market conditions are creating an environment ripe for chatbots.How many chatbots are deployed with travel brands currently and what level of functionality they have.How they work, what tasks they can perform, and where their limits are.What the costs associated with a chatbot are and how it can help your brand save money.How chatbots can improve customer service.What effect they are currently having and will have on the travel industry.Download the report now.

How to Make a Successful Travel Chatbot

EyeforTravel 5 July 2017
Chatbots are getting increasingly sophisticated and capable of mimicking human conversation behaviors, but what should these bots aim to do and how can brands deploy a chatbot successfully? The new Are Bots Worth the Bother? Report from EyeforTravel and Travelaer reveals all and is free to download now.The good news for brands is that the cost of implementing a relatively simple chatbot is not a huge investment and is coming down as more providers move into the space and natural language processing becomes more sophisticated. The cost of implementing a bot typically ranges from EUR15,000 to EUR50,000 according to the report. "These aren't a significant investment for an airline when they're spending hundreds of thousands, if not millions, a year on other digital experience products," says Mike Slone, chief experience officer at Travelaer.However, travel brands need a foundation of data and the resources to monitor, test and support the bot. Without this, there is potential for the bot to go astray. Data is key as brands first need to identify and understand what are the key pain points for customers first and seek to address these, rather than setting objectives beforehand.For luxury hotel brand Edwardian Hotels they began by creating apps for staff to record notes on guests, service rooms, check breakfast tables and monitor their work schedules. Icelandair started with their social media team and looked through what came up most frequently in their interactions.In both cases, these brands looked at what their customer-facing staff were being asked most by their customers and then sought to address these queries, freeing up time for their staff to focus on more complex tasks."Instead of saying 'we're going to build an acquisition tool', we look at the customer journey, how a customer interfaces with a firm and its existing digital products," he says. "We look for a gap where there's a huge customer need and maybe a chatbot could help. Then we come up with a strategy to apply the chatbot to solve it - that way, we know the chatbots will be much more successful in terms of customer satisfaction and metrics."Brands then need to monitor their bot and make sure that it is learning from each interaction in the right way. "The first version was built around understanding key words but had difficulties with the difference between: 'what's the luggage allowance for Europe?' and 'I lost my luggage in Europe.' It's a delicate situation to handle a bot telling the customer who has lost his luggage that the luggage allowance is two bags!" Said Gudmundur Gudnason, director of digital business development for Icelandair.The results speak for themselves as the brands in the report, which include Skyscanner and KLM, were able to drive bookings, boost ancillary sales and increase customer service. Customers have even been fooled into thinking they are talking to an actual person and leaving TripAdvisor reviews or cash tips for their artificial helpers!For more on chatbots and to download the report click here and find out:How market conditions are creating an environment ripe for chatbots.How many chatbots are deployed with travel brands currently and what level of functionality they have.How they work, what tasks they can perform, and where their limits are.What the costs associated with a chatbot are and how it can help your brand save money.How chatbots can improve customer service.What effect they are currently having and will have on the travel industry.To download the full report, please click here: http://1.eyefortravel.com/LP=17415?extsource=pressrelease

Travel Brands Falling Short in Chatbot Deployment

EyeforTravel 4 July 2017
The report looked into how far travel brands have made use of Facebook Messenger to deliver customer service and booking to customer. It finds that while 93% of these airlines have a Facebook page, and 81% a Messenger link, only 38% of the 206 contacted responded to researchers' messages, with a third of those contacted taking at least a week to reply.The full report can be downloaded here.From the just over a third of airlines that responded through Facebook, most used generic messages pointing to their website or reservation team, but not necessarily including links or numbers.The report notes that airlines are not alone, with no vertical in the travel space yet to fully take advantage of this emerging and powerful technology.Companies are beginning to get a handle on replying to customers, with nearly two-thirds of airline brands (64.1%) getting back to customers within 24 hours, ahead of hotels, airlines and car rental companies in that order. Hotels also performed well, with 81% of brands monitored responding in under week. However, when it came to driving potential customers towards a booking, both fared far less well. Just under half of Online Travel Agencies (OTAs) half provided assistance for booking through a Messenger chatbot, compared to 18.8% of car rentals, 15.2% of hotels, and 8.7% of airlines.The report finds that brands need to move into this space as consumers are spending increasing time using social media and messenger services and are also gradually coming to expect to interact with brands over this medium as well. Moving onto these mediums can provider travel and tourism brands with a low cost booking channel and also ease the burden on customer service provisions according to the report.For more and chatbots and to download the report click here and find out:How market conditions are creating an environment ripe for chatbots.How many chatbots are deployed with travel brands currently and what level of functionality they have.How they work, what tasks they can perform, and where their limits are.What the costs associated with a chatbot are and how it can help your brand save money.How chatbots can improve customer service.What effect they are currently having and will have on the travel industry.

Get smarter with the Smart Travel Data Series Content Pack

EyeforTravel 28 June 2017
Effectively utilizing data and analytics for travel brands in the 21st Century will not just be a case of improving performance, it will be a matter of survival. Therefore, EyeforTravel has been researching how data is changing the face of travel through a series of investigative reports that will help brands understand how to effectively gather, understand and utilize the vast and constantly expanding universe of information.You can download all seven of the reports and receive them straight to your inbox for free by clicking here.Here is a brief summary of each report in the content pack:The State of Data and Analytics in the Travel Industry: What are the big trends, challenges and opportunities being created by data and analytics for the travel and tourism industry? EyeforTravel conducted a global, industry-wide survey of more than 450 travel data professionals to find out.Understanding the Travel Consumer's Path to Purchase: EyeforTravel and Jumpshot tracked more than a quarter of a million travel purchasers across five countries through clickstream data and consumer surveys to build a picture of the path to purchase. This white paper details the how, where and why of the decisions people make before they book, and what travel brands should be doing to capture market share.Improving the Airline Experience: For passengers, booking and flying remains a process with many pain points. However, these represent opportunities for airlines, as by solving or easing these problems they can differentiate their services and avoid becoming just commodities in the eyes of consumers. With a major consumer survey and industry research, see how airlines can get a competitive edge in customer experience.Aggregating Data Streams for More Effective Revenue Management: Revenue managers are facing a data overload: competitor analysis, channel production, distribution costs, booking information, customer data and much more. How can they know where to look, what to get out of their data and how to apply it? Help is at hand as this report will guide revenue managers in data collection, interpreting their findings and building strategies to increase profitability.EyeforTravel Smart Travel Data Summit North America 2017 Round-up: EyeforTravel's Smart Travel Data Summit North America 2017, held in February 2017, saw the industry come together to engage in high-level discussions that would help attendees understand the trends and best practice surrounding data in travel. Across the two days speakers from top brands, such as Hilton, Delta, Accor, Wyndham and IHG, wrestled with the big issues and showed how their brands were creating value from data.EyeforTravel Smart Travel Data Summit 2016 Round-up: EyeforTravel's Smart Travel Data Summit, held in November 2016 in Amsterdam, brought together the continent's top data analysts and scientists to discuss how the industry could better improve its approach to gathering, deploying, and using the vast amounts of information being created in the Digital Age.Airport 3.0: The Technology and Data Transforming Airport Operations: The airport of the future will be customer-centric and data-driven with a ruthless focus on operational efficiency. This is being driven by passenger's smartphones, geolocation technology, cloud computing, and the insights being derived from all these technologies. Read this white paper to see what the innovators are doing to improve their airports and what opportunities are arising from increased customer access and cross-selling opportunities.So don't delay, download the Smart Travel Data Series now and get smart to the changes transforming our industry.

EyeforTravel North America (Las Vegas): Take the Opportunity to be a Travel Thought Leader

EyeforTravel 26 June 2017
Research predicts that by 2020, digital travel outlays will top $817 billion globally. With worldwide travel rising 13.8% in 2016 to reach 564.87 billion. Now that is staggering!"As mobile partnerships, social media and data integration revolutionises travel. It's not just money driving these trends but it's creating meaningful customer experiences, that makes consumers loyal and in our industry, that is gold!" Shreya Ganapathy, VP Sales, EyeforTravel. She went on to say. "We are at a tipping point where brands can focus on customer experience, consumer behaviour and the need to engage and build relationships with these connected travellers right through the travel cycle.... and at the centre of it all we have data!"EyeforTravel are excited about these business prospects and have positioned their next EyeForTravel North America Summit (Las Vegas, October 19-20) to focus on 'Driving Loyalty in a Digital and Data Driven World!'The event will bring together 400+ of the best brands in travel to focus on how to develop digital plans, marketing and content strategies, apps and data and personalized experiences to make sure the customer has the best travel experience.With limited branding, exhibition and thought leadership opportunities available this could be your exclusive chance to get on stage and meet the industry elite.To learn more about who is attending, sponsoring and what topics are being covered - click hereWith a recently released speaker list of the who's who in travel, this is one event you don't want to miss!Todd Henrich, SVP Corporate Development, PricelinePaul English, CEO, LolaMichelle Woodley, Executive Vice President, Preferred Hotels & ResortsNoah Brodsky, Senior VP - Worldwide Loyalty & Engagement, Wyndham HotelsMichael Marino, Senior VP - Loyalty & Digital, Caesars CorporationJay Fluegel, Head of Product - Customer Care, ExpediaSean Brevick, VP - Marketing & Digital Services, Americas, MarriottShane Corstaphine, GM - Americas, SkyscannerDan Christian, Chief Digital Officer, The Travel CorporationMichael Childers, Chief Consultant - Content and Media Strategy, Lufthansa Systems AmericaKim Matlock, VP Digital, Wyndham Vacation OwnershipMehmet Butun, Vice President - Digital Services, Turkish AirlinesChris Amenechi, VP Revenue Management, Copa AirlinesRita Kelly, VP - Marketing and Communications, ContikiKurien Jacob, Principal - Highgate Ventures, Highgate HotelsTo learn more about who is attending, sponsoring and what topics are being covered - click hereTo talk sponsorship, attending, exhibition and branding options, contact VP of Business Development: Shreya Ganapathy - shreya@eyefortravel.com
Article by Tom Bacon

How to solve the puzzle of 'unintuitive' revenue management

EyeforTravel 23 May 2017
Don't sell the seat at a discount even though there are 20 empty seatsDo not match the low corporate fare offered by a competitor to a major clientDo not raise fares despite a consistent 90% load factorDo not lower fares despite a consistent 65% load factorMost of the time, these actions are based on multi-level statistical analysis, trading off opportunity costs and actual costs, comparison of the probability of success across a range of solutions. Communicating such recommendations to the rest of the organisation, and to high-level executives, remains a key challenge for RM. Sales needs to know why RM is putting its biggest client at risk. Senior management needs to understand why financial losses pile up despite high load factors on a particular flight or market.At the EyeforTravel Smart Analytics conference in Atlanta, Kelly McGuire, Vice President, Advanced Analytics of Wyndham Destination Network, outlined some communication tips for RM organisations faced with a puzzle. She offered three suggestions namely to use business language, employ common metrics (focus on profitability and cite analogies (tell a story).Let us see how this would work with some of the common, somewhat puzzling, RM actions.PUZZLE 1: 65% load factor is optimal. Don't lower faresAcceptance of low load factors remains one of the more challenging RM actions. Why not sell more seats? Using McGuire's guide, I would offer:1. Business Language: Based on our analysis, offering a lower fare would cause existing customers to pay less. Expected dilution is not forecast to be offset by enough new passengers to be net positive. We are already offering a fare structure that includes low fares; few passengers are buying the lowest, heavily restricted fares but instead most are purchasing higher, less restricted fares.2. Common Metrics: A lower $10 per passenger would require 12 more passengers to breakeven on revenue, or a 15% increase in traffic - not something that is likely to happen in this tiny, business market. The market is more profitable by focusing on high fare traffic.3. Analogy: The market is essentially a niche market - we fly it to accommodate high fare demand. This is our 'Tiffany's' or 'Lexus'. We shouldn't discount this niche product.PUZZLE 2: We can't raise fares further even though we are consistently hitting a 95% load factorThe converse to the first unintuitive result is, on the surface, similarly illogical. Why can't you get another $1-$5 out of passengers if you are filling the plane at existing fares?1. Business Language: This market is full of the very lowest fares - we are competing on price alone here against multiple airlines with better schedules than we have. If we are not competitive with our competitors, even by $1-$5, we will lose passengers. Part of the reason for our high load factors is heavy reliance on non-refundable tickets (fully refundable business fares often experience higher no-show rates).2. Common Metrics: A $5 fare increase on our lowest fares would be expected to reduce demand by over 20%.3. Analogy: Our product in this market is a commodity, with price the main factor in customer decision-making.PUZZLE 3: Rejecting a large customer's request to match a competitor's fare is appropriateAnother common problem for RM is dealing with sales on retention of large, demanding corporate customers.1. Business Language: This large customer is one of many with a similar business profile and the fares it pays today are not out of line with its peers. We provide excellent service, something that no other carrier can match. Our experience is that:a. Rumours of a lower fare offered by a competitor often can't be backed upb. Even if the bid is real, the customer ultimately decides to stay with us 75% of the time2. Common Metrics: Dropping the fare will reduce revenue by a known $100,000 for this customer alone but if we were to do this for all customers in the same situation, the impact would grow to more than $1 million. Based on the 75% likelihood that we'll retain the customer anyway we expect to lose much less by holding the line.3. Analogy: Granting such an exception to standard pricing undermines the whole structure. Our corporate pricing structure is currently established based on measurable results; current pricing for this customer fits right into the existing framework. A request to give an exception to this customer threatens the whole structure.Sometimes, perhaps often, RM recommends an action that is not obvious on the surface or not obvious given the different perspectives, different metrics and different incentives across a broad organisation. RM needs to listen carefully to objections from the rest of the organisation and respond in easy-to-understand business terms.Tom Bacon has been in the business for 25 years, as an airline veteran and industry consultant in revenue optimisation. He leads audit teams for airline commercial activities including revenue management, scheduling and fleet planning. Questions? Email Tom or visit his website

Travel Industry Struggling with Attribution

EyeforTravel 25 April 2017
Attribution continues to be an issue for the travel and tourism industry as travellers hop across devices and sites during their journey according to EyeforTravel's State of Data and Analytics in Travel Report 2017. Of the marketing professionals surveyed, 54.3% reporting that they could either track users to a limited degree (24.5%), just on their own domains (16%) or not at all (13.8%).For those companies that report that they can track users in some detail, a quarter say they can track them across most devices and touchpoints. A further 20.7% report that they can track users across touchpoints but not across devices, illustrating that it is the cross-device behaviours prevalent in travel that are the main challenge."I think attribution will be one of the big focuses for travel brands over the medium-term," said Alex Hadwick, Head of Research at EyeforTravel. "Our consumer-focused research shows that travellers are increasing their usage of mobile, especially in Asia-Pacific markets, but huge numbers of consumers switch devices during their journey with desktop still the main channel globally in terms of spending. With personalisation the primary stated goal of the industry, brands will need to be able to track users more effectively as they switch across sites but particularly across devices if they want to truly understand the journey."The survey also found that out of the more than 450 travel data professionals surveyed, just 30.9% are gathering geo-spatial and geographic data and 30.6% are looking at mobile app data to get insight into customers. This further supports the need for the industry to expand its efforts into multi-channel data gathering. Investment into systems and skills to do this should be forthcoming, as the report notes that three quarters believe that their department will receive budget increases in 2017 against 4% who expect a decrease.Click here to download the full report for free now. Or to learn the best data and revenue management strategies directly, why not attend EyeforTravel Europe on May 3-4?

Are Travel Brands Failing to Capitalize on Own-Brand Traffic?

EyeforTravel 14 February 2017
Travel marketers spend a huge amount of time trying to get people on to their brand's booking channels but should they instead spend more time improving these channels? A new white paper suggests that closing the loop is the most profitable thing marketers can doFor every customer that makes a booking on your site, it is highly likely you have already digitally encountered them. That's the conclusion of EyeforTravel's new Understanding the Travel Consumer's Path to Purchase white paper. It looks at real purchase data from more than a quarter of a million consumers across five countries and found that three quarters of consumers will visit and then leave a travel site, before coming back to it to complete their purchase.The research looked at Online Travel Agency (OTA), airline and hotel verticals, tracking the 15 sites a consumer looks at before they make a purchase. OTA sites were visited between 73% and 78% of the time before conversion, airlines between 69% and 84%, and hotels between 69% and 70%. This suggests that all types of travel brands should aim to convert these visitors first time and optimizing their sites so that consumers don't feel the need to shop around.This is particularly the case for hotel brands, as the white paper finds that their conversion rates lag noticeably behind airline and OTA desktop conversion rates in Brazil, India and Germany. Furthermore, across all geographies both airline and hotel brands have substantially lower conversion rates for mobile bookings in comparison with OTAs."Reportedly, travel purchases in Q4 2016 had an above average abandonment rate of 82%," said Alex Hadwick, Head of Research at EyeforTravel, "and I think that this research reinforces the importance of getting the fundamentals right so that rate reduces. Travel brands need to get their own-brand site right across all devices because this is one of the most cost-effective ways of driving better profitability, especially as, typically, half of users will abandon a site if it takes more than two or three seconds to load."EyeforTravel and Jumpshot tracked more than a quarter of a million travel purchasers across five countries through clickstream data and consumer surveys to build a picture of the path to purchase. The white paper details the how, where and why of the decisions people make before they book, and identifies what travel brands should be doing to capture market share.To download the complete white paper and find all the research click here.

EyeforTravel's Smart Travel Data Summit '17 will Chart the Future of Data in Travel and Help Data & Business work better together

EyeforTravel 2 February 2017
London -- On February 22-23 2017, the best minds in Data, Analytics, Revenue Management, Product Development & Marketing working in Travel will come together under one roof in Atlanta. They will discuss how they can effectively and efficiently use data to drive all aspects of their business forward including customer engagement, product development and of course, profits and sales.Some of the confirmed attendees at the event include:Chief Data Officer at Accor HotelsDirector of Database Marketing & Analytics at IHGVP of Revenue Analysis at Hilton WorldwideDirector of RM, Talent & Education at FRHI Hotels & ResortsBusiness Intelligence Manager at TravelportWW Lead Customer Intelligence at IBMVP of Revenue at Pacifica HotelsSenior Manager, Travel Analytics at AimiaVP Advanced Analytics at Wyndham Destination NetworkPresident & CEO at HeBS DigitalSome of the agenda topics being covered over the two days include: Keynote: Developing Analytics Strategies that will give you a 360-Degree view of your CustomerKeynote: Make the Data Savvy communicate like Churchill, Jobs and Elon Musk - Soft Skills that turn Analytics into Actionable Data and StrategyKeynote: Data Partnerships and Tech Innovation that will Change Travel Business Forever and Protect you in Uncertain TimesKeynote: Strategic Partnerships, APIs and Putting a Value on Insight Sharing - What Next for Travel Analytics?Using data to make better decisions in an environment full of economic uncertainty, political upheaval & global threatsHow to Harness New Talent and Improve Existing Analytics SkillsetsWays to tackle the Attribution Question and Pinpoint the best Metrics for Marketing SuccessChampion Visualization to Read and Act upon your Data InsightHow to maintain High Revenues and Profitability when Supply outstrips DemandHow to Fight the User-Engagement Crisis with Robust Omni-Channel MarketingFor a full list of attendees, please visit http://events.eyefortravel.com/smart-travel-data-summit-north-america/attendees.php For questions about attending, please get in touch directly with Leo Langford, the Conference Director at leo@eyefortravel.com

Nominations now open for EyeforTravel's Start-Up Travel Awards 2017

EyeforTravel 17 January 2017
Does your travel company have what it takes to succeed in travel? Is your app or product a key weapon in your battle to win and engage travel consumers? New travel brands will find out as they battle it out as part of EyeforTravel's Start-Up Travel awards taking place in San Francisco, April 24th - 25 as part of EyeforTravel's San Francisco Summit.Research showed us Travel startups attracted billions of dollars in funding last year, and the travel booking sector attracted some of the most investment -- more than $650 million."Start-ups represents a fundamental shift in innovation in travel. At EyeforTravel we believe that the brands investing and innovating in mobile and new offerings deserve to be recognised", says Tim Gunstone, MD, EyeforTravel Ltd.As Charles Ralston from TripStreak said on the previous EyeforTravel Awards "The Start-up Village is a really great value for money, especially for start-ups that can't typically afford to spend thousands on conference. Bravo to EyeforTravel for pioneering this!"Travel is being changed by mobile, the sharing economy social media and that constant drive to deliver the best customer experience. Technology is transforming the way travel is sold - providing exciting opportunities to enhance the customer experience, grow loyalty and ancillary revenues.EyeforTravel's Start-Up Awards seek to recognize the young brands who are making significant progress for travel - trailblazing the way for others to follow.With new apps, services and devices hitting the travel market and extra capabilities coming to devices, travel brands cannot sit still and must continue to innovate. EyeforTravel are offering new brands a stage to shout about it!Previous finalists include FLYR, Seatwizer, Flitways, Stiya, Biz Airlines, spacebase, tripstr, Grabr, wellobox and more!The Start-up awards is a day-long event Starting with learning sessions - quizzing travel entrepreneurs on their secrets of successMeet the investors - and see what they look for in a travel start-upStart-up Pitches for the companies that are shortlistedFinalists and Winners announcedTo get involved and see if you make the cut you can register today to pitch or just attend the day - learn more hereAll entries must be received by February 28th. Find out how to enter your brand and for full terms and conditions, visit -http://events.eyefortravel.com/san-francisco-summit/startup-village.phpFor all awards enquires contact: -Shreya GanapathyProject and Content Director | EyefortravelW: +44 20 7375 7150shreya@eyefortravel.com

How data can overcome commoditization in travel

EyeforTravel 28 October 2016
In many cases travel has become a commodity like sugar, oil or steel, where the product is mostly indistinguishable from competitors' products and the primary way to differentiate offers is in the price. Indeed it is fair to say that today there is little difference between one low-cost flight and another, or between one mid-priced business hotel and another.The pricing dilemma was a central theme at EyeforTravel's recent flagship show in the US where there was a clear recognition that this approach is never going to be enough, and the only way to stand out is through digital and data innovation.Clearly there is a challenge for travel vendors who rely on differentiating their product to maintain competitivity. So the big question is, how can suppliers create meaningful differentiation in their products to build customer loyalty while at the same time remain competitive on price? The answer to this challenge lies in the effective use of big data analysis."The only way to overcome commoditisation in the travel market is through personalisation and smarter use of big data," says Carlos Sanchez, Senior Manager for Big Data Analytics and Product Innovation at the business travel agency Carlson Wagonlit Travel. "Suppliers need to understand who their customers are, where they are travelling, when and why. With this data they can work out what they need to do to make themselves stand apart from the competition."One way to make a standardised product look different is to wrap around it an experience so that it can be distinguished. While every ticket is essentially the same if you are looking at just the basic flying part, airlines are beginning to understand that they can improve the end-to-end experience by adding ancillary services. These services can include better functionality of mobile apps, offering simpler booking, quick check in and easy access to additional services like travel to the airport and related deals.In the same way, even commodity-like hotels can enhance their experience with extra benefits like seamless check-in, app-based room keys, digital concierge services or a well-marketed bed. Premier Inn's consistent approach and a 'guarantee of a good night's sleep' on a mattress that you can even buy on the Premier Inn site is a good example.So while the basic product is undifferentiated the customer perceives the overall experience as being a positively memorable. "Everything is geared to turning the trip into the best experience it can be, an experience that sticks in your mind so that you ask for the same supplier next time you travel," says Sanchez.What makes this much easier today is the increasing use of mobile devices by travellers, the availability of huge amounts of data from the customer base and accurate artificial intelligence algorithms that help identify ways to make business travel easier and more memorable.How does this work in practice? CWT advises that travellers fill out their personal information so that the booking process can be automated as much as possible. Then using the CWT to Go app the company uses mobile app analytics from Mixpanel combined with the analysis and visualisation from Tableau Software.Whatever the tools chosen, Sanchez recommends that business intelligence platforms for mobile should be based on four essential characteristics:User-centric, event-based data modelCross platform- covering native app, the mobile site and websiteReal-time data collection, manipulation and raw data export at any scaleData accessible through simple, easy-to-use tools that enable people to get answers to questions.Sanchez argues that the combination of Mixpanel and Tableau is very effective but there are also other interesting solutions like Qlik, which creates 'visualisations' and 'dashboards' to help teams find the answers to data-driven questions.If you're based in North America and would like to learn about analytics visualization and using your data to overcome the commoditisation of travel, join us at EyeforTravel's Smart Travel Data Summit in Atlanta (GA).The summit will bring together 150+ Data Scientists, Marketing experts, Product Developers, Revenue Managers and Pricing Professionals.

7 serious themes shaking up travel and hospitality

EyeforTravel 27 September 2016
Mega acquisitions, new distribution channels, driving loyalty, pricing dilemmas, the rise of 'super host' and building revenue from tours and activities are just some of themes to emerge from interviews and research in the run up to EyeforTravel, North America next month. Here we outline seven of those trends which we will be analysing more closely in the coming weeks.1. Competition continues to drive consolidationIn this fluid and competitive environment, firms are looking for ways to fill gaps in their armour through mergers, acquisitions or partnerships. This week's big news is that the Chinese Ministry of Commerce has finally given Marriott and Starwood the nod to conclude this hotel mega-deal before the market opens this Friday. Perhaps not on the same scale, but an interesting move nevertheless, last week travel and expense management platform Concur announced that it would acquire travel search start up Hipmunk. Though numbers aren't being disclosed what is clear is that Concur, which has also invested in TripIt, ExpenseIt andCleartrip, is looking to improve its search functionality and the customer experience. In Atlanta, future consolidation of the industry will be a core theme and the biggest question of all remains unanswered - could June rumours of a tie up between Priceline and TripAdvisor be the last frontier? What will Todd Henrich, SVP Corporate Development, Priceline and Ed Lang, Director - Corporate & Business Development, Tripadvisor have to say in their keynote address next month?2. Distribution - never a dull momentTravel and hospitality brands continue to grapple with how best to distribute their products and services. With the rising number of distribution channels including app, voice and virtual assistants, deciding which to align with remains sharply in focus. This week Amazon announced the launch of Echo in the UK, and we heard today that it has chosenSkyscanner as its first partner in flight search for devices in the UK. In an interview earlier this month, Shane Corstorphine, GM Americas, Skyscanner pointed to the fast-changing role of metasearch. He sees this "as a platform, where thousands of partners can come in [aka Amazon], rather than as an intermediary comparison site that arbitrages between Google or some other distribution channel and the partner". In this open APIs, data analytics and white label solutions will all play an important role. With Expedia too considering an IPO for Trivago, in which it owns a 61% stake, this further cements that metasearch is a force to be reckoned with but is it anything more than OTA in disguise? Christen Garb, Hyatt's VP RM, says it's not about trying to beat the OTAs but about finding great partnerships; it's also about fine-tuning your pricing strategy.3. The hotel of the future is not what you think it isExecutives in the hospitality sector, threatened by rapid gains made in the alternative lodgings space by players like Airbnb and Wimdu, are beginning to wonder what the 21st century hotel company might look like. Utpal Kaul, Head Global Tech Partnerships at tech firm BookingPal, believes that there is an opportunity for hotels to leverage their knowledge and expertise more widely in the management of vacation rentals or alternative lodgings. This, he argues, "is a way for hotels to dramatically decrease the cost of acquiring inventory in what is otherwise a capital-intensive business". Hotels are already recognising this opportunity. Choice Hotels already links to vacation rentals on its site, and AccorHotels snapping up high-end vacation rentals player Onefinestay for $169m is another example of how this trend is playing out....there is an opportunity for hotels to leverage their knowledge and expertise more widely in the management of vacation rentals or alternative lodgingsUtpal Kaul, Head Global Tech Partnerships, Bookingpal4. Loyalty - 'strange' things are happeningHow you drive loyalty and keep customers loyal is another perplexing issue. All the big chains have been investing aggressively in their loyalty programmes but then in a rather disruptive, some would even argue dangerous, move, US-based Red Lion handed over its member rates to Expedia in exchange for customer insight, and probably much lower commissions. Less controversial, but interesting nevertheless, is Marriott's affiliate deal with Expedia to bundle flights, ground transportation and so on into its loyalty programme. What's clear here is that Marriott is be more flexible, innovative and personal, an approach the experts strongly advocate. Hotels may do well to look to how airlines are approaching loyalty; SouthWest Rapid Rewards and Flying Blue are two notable examples.5. Commoditisation in travel requires visually disrupting and compelling contentHooking the customer in an increasingly competitive and commoditised world is another focus of travel brands. In Atlanta, Club Med's Alicia Javelon, Head Content & Product Marketing, will outline some of the ways that they are beating the competition using 360deg video, infographics, social contests and user-generated content to create visually disrupting and compelling content. In a bold brand revamp, Alaska Airlines is another that is taking the power of video a step further to reposition itself in the eye of the consumer. In another storytelling move, the airline launched a microsite to introduce a broader audience to the airline. Sangita Woerner, VP Marketing, says Alaska has delivered "real transformation of the way flyers interact with the brand'.6. The rise of the 'super host'Airbnb has come a long way since launching with an offer of an airbed and breakfast in the loft apartment of one of its founders. Today young and old use Airbnb for both leisure and business, and its growth by any metric has been extraordinary. According to a survey earlier this year by the Cowen Group, a financial services firm, room nights booked will rise from 79 million this year to a billion by 2025. Now, arguably spurred by growth in business travel, Airbnb has announced that it will test a new feature where its 'super hosts' can offer property management services to other hosts for an agreed fee. This, by it's own admission, 'de facto positions Airbnb against the many property management companies - like Airsorted, Hostmaker or BNBsitter - that have recently been surfacing in different cities...' So far, this new Airbnb feature seems to be limited to Tokyo so the race is on. Just for the record, this week Hostmaker, which has been named one of five fast-growing British businesses to watch in 2016, closed a new $1.1m funding round.7. Tours & activities: driving ancillary revenue to the edge'Becoming the travellers' companion' is what it says on the tin, but it's really a concerted push to drive ancillary revenue from tours and activities. In this space, there is plenty afoot.TripAdvisor and Viator recently announced the launch of an enhanced attractions content solution for travel partners and hospitality providers; essentially this will make it easier for travellers to book attractions in destination from their mobile device. If you think Google has missed a trick, think again; in its bid a 'personalised tour guide in your pocket' it has launchedGoogle Trips, an iOS and Android app, which pulls in a combination of data from Google Maps and crowdsourced contributions from other travellers. Also moving into this space is Airbnb, which recently announced the acquisition of Barcelona-based Trip4Real; this follows the recent brief outing of an 'Airbnb trips' app. So travel executives are actively testing the water for tours & activities in a bid to drive fresh revenues.Time is running out and spaces are limited. Join us in Atlanta (October 6-7) for EyeforTravel North America to hear the latest trends and tricks of the trade from brands includingTripAdvisor, Priceline, Hyatt, Viator, Skyscanner, Alaska Airlines, Club Med and more

Southwest Airlines, Priceline, TripAdvisor, American Airlines, Google, Kimpton Hotels and 400+ other senior travel delegates to meet in Las Vegas

EyeforTravel 22 September 2016
Disruption in the travel industry is the new normal. A rapid pace of innovation and consolidation is forever changing the travel landscape, leaving many travel brands worried they're not adapting fast enough.Networking with your industry peers and meeting innovative brands who can help you navigate this complex landscape is absolutely crucial, which is why 450+ senior executives from the world's biggest travel brands are meeting in Las Vegas on October 6-7 at EyeforTravel North America.Here's what they can expect:Content tailored to them: 20+ sessions covering the complex worlds of distribution, revenue management, marketing, mobile, analytics, customer experience and, crucially, how they are all intangibly linkedLess jargon, more actionable strategies for growth: C-level discussions alongside case study insights providing actionable takeaways which can be implemented immediatelyA variety of insights: 50+ speakers from all segments of the travel, hospitality & transport industry providing a 360-degree view of the challenges and opportunities aheadNetworking - because no travel brand is an island: Partnerships are vital to succeed in today's industry. EyeforTravel N. America will provide an intimate and friendly networking environment where attendees are guaranteed to meet the right people and not get lost in the crowdAmerican Airlines, Priceline, TripAdvisor, Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants, Google, Southwest Airlines, Twitter, Egencia, DFW International Airport, Starwood Hotels, Skyscanner, Virgin America, Best Western, United Airlines, Wyndham Destination Network and even the MD Partnerships for the San Diego Chargers are going to be there and it's not too late to join them.Simply register in 2 minutes online here - http://events.eyefortravel.com/travel-distribution-summit-north-america/registration.phpFor all event enquiries contact julia@eyefortravel.com

Wyndham, Alltherooms & Leading Hotels of the World discuss how they smash down silos to make big data more actionable

EyeforTravel 30 August 2016
On Thursday September 8th (12 PM EST) Jeremy TerBush, SVP Analytics, Wyndham Worldwide, William Beckler, CEO/Founder, AllTheRooms.com and Angelo Sasso, Sr. Director of Marketing Analytics and Customer Insights, Leading Hotels of the World will come together to share their insights on using data insight at an exclusive EyeforTravel Webinar.The experts will discuss in depth the challenges facing travel organizations in using data to its fullest potential. Specifically, overcoming the divide between data and commercial experts will be covered, as well as making data desirable and accessible to the rest of the organisation. The three speakers are keen to explain how to create a more amicable and data profitable relationship between commercial and data professionals."After speaking with a large number of data and commercial experts in the travel industry, interestingly, the problem is not the possession of data, it is making it accessible and actionable through deconstructing the department silos that hinder its profitable use" says Leo Langford - Global Conference Director at EyeforTravel who has organised the webinar.Registrants can sign up for the webinar here: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/7109736131363243266All registrants will receive the full webinar recording video. Notes for Editors: The webinar video will be available the day after the webinar and will be downloadable via a web page.This webinar is associated with EyeforTravel's Smart Travel Data Summit 2017 Contact Details:Name: Leo LangfordOrganization: EyeforTravel LtdPhone: +44 (0)207 375 7158Email: leo@eyefortravel.comwww.eyefortravel.com

EyeforTravel: Booking.com, Starwood Hotels, Google, Roomorama, Skyscanner, Tencent, TripAdvisor and more come together in Singapore

EyeforTravel 1 March 2016
Travel brands are being made to work harder with the shifting use of mobile, social media, sharing economies and the gradual move from offline to online across Asia. They need to plan new strategies, develop new teams and refocus their budgets while trying to maximise ROI and build new revenue streamsBut we still have to remember what makes you (and all our customers) want to travel today? The call of the sea, a life changing business deal, whistling windy mountains or maybe even the mayhem of a city? And we need to know how to service not just the booking but the trip itself. Travellers like to plan, experience, customise and have an itinerary built for just them.To shed light on the growth of the Asian market and how mobile is driving consumer engagement and numbers for travel brands, Tim Gunstone, Managing Director for EyeforTravel said "We are at a tipping point where brands can focus on the customer experience, consumer behaviour and the need to engage and build relationships with these connected travellers right through the travel cycle... and at the centre of it all we have data!"Asia has always been an important market to EyeforTravel and now in its 12th year in Singapore the event has changed angle to reflect the demands of their TDS Asia conference attendees, as well as the shifts taking place in the industry.With this in mind EyeforTravel Asia Summit (15-16th June) is perfectly placed to bring together the key thinkers from both the traditional travel market and the new disruptive talent.Their list of speakers extends from:Oliver Hua, Managing Director - Asia-Pacific region, Booking.comLouis Song, Business Director, Tencent International Niklas Schlappkohl, Senior Director, eCommerce, Carlson Rezidor Hotel GroupRyan Furguson, Head of Sales- APAC, GooglePaul Whiteway, Sales Director, Skyscanner Chua Hui-Lin, CEO, Singapore - ZUJIJeroen Vaassen, Senior Director - Revenue Management, Starwood Hotels and ResortsGrant Colquhoun, Senior Director of Account manager APAC, TripAdvisorJia-en-Tao, Co-Founder, RoomoramaSteven Greenway, Head of Commercial, Scoot AirlinesRanjeet Oak, Chief Business Officer, MakeMyTripLearn more about the topics and what the this c-level speaker list will cover: http://events.eyefortravel.com/travel-distribution-summit-asia/The event will explore topics like:Direct vs Indirect - Balancing the Relationship: Understand the importance of analysing your distribution channels and smart marketing tools to ensure you are pricing accuratelyRevenue Management Systems: What's New? New distribution channels, digital transformations and other factors changing the revenue management model?Social Media: Keeping your Customers Happy Learn how travel brands are using smart analytics to create customer profiles with their data to better engage customers, build loyalty and bring them back as repeat customersChina in a League of its Own: Discuss how local Chinese companies are investing internationally to cater to their growing outbound travellers and the rise of Chinese centric travel brandsLearn more about the topics and what the different event rooms cover: http://events.eyefortravel.com/travel-distribution-summit-asia/EyeforTravel Asia Summit Singapore (15-16 June) is an intimate networking and discussion event that unites 400+ leading players from travel market from the hotels, airlines, online marketing and PR teams, data integrators, software developers, social media experts, tech innovators and government to examine the steps needed to develop and deploy a strong business model to create market traction and engage the connected traveller with their host of services.Register now to save $300 with our limited passes, via the secure link: http://events.eyefortravel.com/travel-distribution-summit-asia/registration.phpor contact the travel Asia project team at shreya@eyefortravel.comEyeforTravel is a community where the world's top online travel brands - from hotels to airlines, online travel agents, cruise, car hire firms and more - come to meet to drive forward growth and innovation in the industry. We aim to provide you with industry focused news, events, reports, updates and information. EyeforTravel Limited is a registered company. The Company Registration number is 06286442. It is also registered in England & Wales. Registered office is 7-9 Fashion Street, London E1 6PX, United Kingdom.Shreya GanapathyProject and Research DirectorAsia and Middle East | EyeForTravel+ 44 20 7375 7150shreya@eyefortravel.com

EyeforTravel: TDS Asia is back with a new name and a new home!

EyeforTravel 3 February 2016
As, a result the venue of the conference has been upgraded to accommodate our growth, a bigger exhibition and better networking. EyeforTravel Asia Summit (including TDS Asia) will take place at their new home, the Marina Bay Sands Conference Centre in Singapore on the 15-16 of June.Whilst keeping an acute focus on how distribution channels are still revolutionising the travel space, this year's conference will deep dive into revenue management, new technology solutions, social media and marketing models that are powering travel brands to better engage their users.The hospitality Industry in Asia Pacific reached a record $12.8 billion value of transactions in 2013. In the first eight months of 2014, the Asia Pacific region welcomed 5% more international tourists (overnight visitors) over the same period in 2013, with more than 1.1 billion tourists expected by year-end, according to Cushman&Wakefield's Report.To shed light on the growth of the Asian market and how mobile is driving consumer engagement and numbers for travel brands, Tim Gunstone, Managing Director for EyeforTravel said "For travel brands in 2016, the channels for distribution and marketing are becoming more diverse." Tim goes on to say "It's important for travel brands to recognise their target audience and what tools they can use from data capture, CRM systems, social media and revenue management software to better manage costs and capitalise on the power of personalisation to really build on the traveller experience."To address these topics EyeforTravel Asia 2016 (June 15-16, Singapore, Marina Bay Sands) is here to provide insights. Key topics include consumer behaviour across Asia, Deep dive on China, Localisation and Talent management in the region, Revenue management, and the secrets to good Content Marketing, Social Media strategies, Analytics and a lot more.Learn more about the topics and what the different event rooms cover: http://events.eyefortravel.com/travel-distribution-summit-asia/These sessions will be led by travels foremost thought leaders: IHG, Four Seasons, Booking.com, Hotel Quickly, Kempinski and more.EyeforTravel Asia Summit (15-16 June) is an intimate networking and discussion event that unites 400+ leading players from travel market from the hotels, airlines, online marketing and PR teams, data integrators, software developers, social media experts, tech innovators and government to examine the steps needed to develop and deploy a strong business model to create market traction and engage the connected traveller with their host of services.For the complete conference program and speaker line-up, visit: http://events.eyefortravel.com/travel-distribution-summit-asia/or contact the travel Asia project team at shreya@eyefortravel.comRegister this year to save $400 with our launch discount which expires 6th February via the secure link: http://events.eyefortravel.com/travel-distribution-summit-asia/registration.phpEyeforTravel is a community where the world's top online travel brands - from hotels to airlines, online travel agents, cruise, car hire firms and more - come to meet to drive forward growth and innovation in the industry. We aim to provide you with industry focused news, events, reports, updates and information. EyeforTravel Limited is a registered company. The Company Registration number is 06286442. It is also registered in England & Wales. Registered office is 7-9 Fashion Street, London E1 6PX, United Kingdom.Shreya GanapathyProject and Research DirectorAsia and Middle East | EyeForTravel+ 44 20 7375 7150shreya@eyefortravel.com

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