Inside Travel: Understanding the latest technology and industry trend insights

Find it hard to keep track with all the latest insights into business trends, new products and technology advancements in the travel sector? The Blue Swan Daily provides you with an update on some of the key stories from the past week.

  • airBaltic works with Reaktor to streamline what has become a ‘lengthy, exhausting’ booking process
  • Great hotel service and personalised offers are how to win travellers from Italy
  • Is Portugal becoming the new culinary capital of Europe?
  • North American transient bookings are down for the 12 months ahead but rate growth remains steady
  • New data insight from OTA Insight highlights the root cause of rate parity issues
  • Peakwork partners with Agoda to offer greater accommodation options
  • ATPI Sports Events join NIO as Official Partner

airBaltic works with Reaktor to streamline what has become a ‘lengthy, exhausting’ booking process

Latvian airline airBaltic and Finnish technology firm Reaktor are planning to introduce a new booking system that they hope will make the customer experience of booking flights much faster and easier. They compare it its use “to the effortlessness of buying a concert ticket”. With widespread changes in the industry and wider ticketing and ancillary offers they say foe the traveller booking a flight has “become a lengthy, exhausting process”. By putting the passenger’s needs first, the new system will certainly support changes in the marketplace and  pave the way for modern digital services in the airline industry. “You don’t have to give extra details, you don’t have to decide on how many bags you’re bringing, you don’t have to provide a passport number, nor do you need to click “no” to countless insurance offers – you simply choose a flight and buy it,” explains Heikki Mantere, UX Designer at Reaktor.


Great hotel service and personalised offers are how to win travellers from Italy

A new study by guest acquisition platform SiteMinder has revealed that great service and personalised offers are the two deciding factors for Italian travellers when choosing their accommodation. The study, Le aspettative dei viaggiatori italiani alla base dell’evoluzione del settore alberghiero, also highlighted that hotel location, email promotions, packages with incentives, and practical use of technology where other strong influences on guest choice include. More than 1,000 Italian travellers of different ages, educational levels and socio-economic backgrounds took part in the online study conducted in Feb-2019. Of the participants, around 6% said they still used the expertise of a travel agent to make a hotel booking, while 77% said they now book online. One-in-four travelled for both leisure and business. Assessing the value of technology to their trips, participants said technology such as hotel apps and voice assistants should be useful, but not intrusive, to enhance their stay.


Is Portugal becoming the new culinary capital of Europe?

While neighbouring Spain often steals the limelight as a foodie destination, Portugal shouldn’t be overlooked, according to the country’s national carrier TAP Air Portugal. To give travellers a taste of the country’s gourmet cuisine, the flag carrier has introduced a ‘Taste the Star’ programme, through which Michelin star chefs create exceptional local cuisine which is served to business class passengers. Michelin has recently awarded three restaurants in Portugal with their first star and the country now boasts twenty restaurants with one star, and six with two stars, demonstrating that exceptional cuisine is served in restaurants across the nation.


North American transient bookings are down for the 12 months ahead but rate growth remains steady

For the 12 months through to the start of next year (Feb-2019 – Jan- 2020), transient hospitality bookings in North America are down -6.2% year-over-year, but average daily rates (ADR) for this segment is actually up 3.6%, according to newly released data from TravelClick from its North American Hospitality Review (NAHR). It shows that when broken down further, the transient leisure (discount, qualified and wholesale) segment is down -8.6% in bookings, but ADR is up 3.2%. Additionally, the transient business (negotiated and retail) segment is down -2.1% in bookings and up 2.6% in ADR. Group bookings are slightly down (-0.9%) in committed room nights over the same time last year, and ADR is up 3.6% according to the report. The data from the Amadeus company shows ADR is up 2.7% across all travel segments during the first quarter of the year, led by group travel, up 3.8%.


New data insight from OTA Insight highlights the root cause of rate parity issues

Most hoteliers recognise that they need a diverse mix of distribution channels to maximise their reach. However, it is becoming increasingly apparent that third-party sellers are not playing fair, and as a result, many hoteliers are suffering from huge losses in revenue while also undermining their direct sales and marketing efforts. A recently released data-driven infographic from OTA Insight, the cloud-based data intelligence platform for the hospitality industry, highlights one of the key root issues surrounding rate parity for hotels, is wholesalers that break the chain of contracts between hotels and Online Travel Agents (OTAs) by selling discounted rooms to non-contracted OTAs, effectively allowing them to undercut hotel room prices significantly. According to OTA Insight’s findings, major North American hotel chains are negatively impacted almost a quarter of the time (25%) by non-contracted OTAs, while major European chains are negatively impacted more than one-third (36%) of the time, with much higher figures being recorded for independent hotels and local chains.


Peakwork partners with Agoda to offer greater accommodation options

Peakwork is boosting its leisure travel network with a new partnership with Agoda, one of the world’s fastest growing online travel agents (OTA). This will see Agoda’s range of accommodation made available to Peakwork customers for dynamic packaging, benefiting consumers and accommodation suppliers, and has debuted on the luckytrip.cn platform in China.


ATPI Sports Events join NIO as Official Partner

Global travel management and events businesses ATPI Sports Events, part of the ATPI Group, has signed a two-year partnership deal with ABB FIA Formula E Championship team NIO to become the official NIO Formula E Travel Desk. ATPI’s specialist sports events division started its relationship with the team at thispast weekend’s FWD Sanya E-Prix in China. Operating from offices in the UK, The Netherlands, Canada, France, Australia, China and the United States, ATPI Sports Events delivers travel, events, corporate hospitality, ticketing, branding and sponsorship activation programmes for global sporting events, sports bodies and corporate brands.