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.

  • Air Europa teams with Expedia Partner Solutions to offer global accommodation deals
  • SiteMinder finds more French accommodation seekers prefer to book direct and still desire that human touch
  • OECD: Emerging trends in transport may have ‘profound implications’ for travel
  • More Americans are set to travel this summer, but trips will be shorter
  • IBC Hospitality Technologies announces direct integration with Google Hotel Search
  • Denmark seeking to drive stronger ‘outreach’ benefits for international meetings
  • AND FINALLY… The 7am to 8am hour arrival time is apparently the best for on-time performance, but delays are more likely after 8pm!

Air Europa teams with Expedia Partner Solutions to offer global accommodation deals

Air Europa, the airline of Globalia, the largest Spanish tourism conglomerate, has signed an exclusive agreement with Expedia Partner Solutions (EPS), the B2B brand within Expedia Group, to offer its travellers hotel bookings for the first time. The Air Europa platform is now powered by EPS’s online template, Hotels.com for Partners, providing users with access to 500,000 accommodations in more than 25,000 destinations worldwide. Air Europa passengers using the co-branded web platform will also benefit from more than 650,000 promotional rates, which could offer savings of 15% on average when hotel accommodation is bundled with a flight. The partnership will also permit travellers to collect Air Europa SUMA loyalty ‘miles’ on accommodation expenditure.


SiteMinder finds more French accommodation seekers prefer to book direct and still desire that human touch

A new report by SiteMinder, the global hotel industry’s leading guest acquisition platform, has found that more of France’s accommodation seekers prefer to book their stays directly than with a third party. The ‘Connaître les habitudes et préférences des voyageurs français pour anticiper leurs attentes dans le secteur hotelier’ research is based on the responses of more than 1,000 French travellers from varied age groups and socioeconomic backgrounds. When asked how they prefer to book their accommodation, two in five (41%) said they preferred to book directly, followed by 39% who nominated an online travel agency as their preferred booking channel. Only 20% said they preferred to book via a traditional travel agency or tour operator. SiteMinder’s research also looked at the in-stay preferences and frustrations of French travellers. Above all possible choices, SiteMinder’s research found that what French travellers (39%) wanted most was to be able to choose their room. In spite of their increased use around the world, less than 15% of respondents expressed interest in an augmented reality experience, and even less (11%) said they were interested in artificial intelligence providing them local information and a calendar of activities. Only 5% of participants said they would like to check-in at a hotel without first speaking to a human, suggesting that most French travellers still desire personalised hospitality delivered by people. When asked to nominate their top frustrations when staying at a hotel, the majority of French travellers reported a bad WiFi connection (40%) and an access card that didn’t work (28%). Other frustrations included delays in receiving customer service or a response to a request (16%), long check-out queues (10%), and televisions that showed only free-to-air programmes (5%).


OECD: Emerging trends in transport may have ‘profound implications’ for travel

The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) has released its International Transport Forum Transport Outlook for 2019. The latest annual edition has a specific focus on the impact of potential disruptions to transport systems on future demand, modal shares and CO2 emissions. OECD stated emerging transport trends such as electrification, shared mobility, autonomous vehicles, e commerce, 3D printing and new international trade routes may have “profound implications” for the sector and for setting policy. It also noted: “Uncertainty is a defining feature of the current economic climate and this limits the ability to make robust projections”.


More Americans are set to travel this summer, but trips will be shorter

More Americans will pack their bags for a summer vacation this year, but most are keeping their trips short, according to a new national survey from Discover. The survey found 71% of consumers plan to take a vacation this summer (from May through September), compared to just 58% in 2018. But, the research found that most consumers plan to take micro vacations (shorter trips of one to three days) this summer. More than half (55%) of respondents said their summer trips will last one to three days, compared to 21% who said four to six days, 12% who said one week, 6% who said 8 to 13 days and 5% who said their trip will last two weeks or more. In addition, consumers are planning their summer vacations with relatively shorter notice. Around half (46%) of respondents said they plan their trips three months or less in advance, compared to 26% who said four to six months, 11% who said seven to nine months, 10% who said 10 to 12 months and 8% who said more than one year in advance. While more consumers plan to travel overall, younger generations are more likely to take a vacation this summer than older generations, as 77% of Gen Z and 76% of millennials are planning summer trips, compared to 67% of baby boomers and 60% of the Silent Generation.


IBC Hospitality Technologies announces direct integration with Google Hotel Search

IBC Hospitality Technologies has announced a direct integration into Google Hotel Search. The company is a producer of industry-leading software and services designed to help independent accommodations owners and operators more easily manage and market their properties. The deal means its hotelier clients will have instant access to accommodation seekers globally with the integration providing hoteliers with direct booking opportunities. “This is an incomparable opportunity for our clients,” says Mike Dunklee, CMO of OBASA Hospitality, the parent company of IBC. “This better positions our clients to receive more business, and because of their integration with IBC’s distribution technology, they can receive more direct bookings from Google to help drive revenue growth and repeat business.”


Denmark seeking to drive stronger ‘outreach’ benefits for international meetings

Denmark’s four leading meetings destinations have banded together to launch a new programme designed to make international conventions more impactful for both associations and destinations. The programme includes an innovative new model of collaboration between meeting organisers and host communities – especially local businesses. The Danish destinations – gathered in the alliance MeetDenmark – are creating a new approach to building meeting legacies – a process by which convention bureaus and local host organisation. “Our goal is to build a new world-leading model for outreach. We want to create a significant value-add for the international associations coming to Denmark,” says Bettina Reventlow-Mourier, deputy convention director and head of congress for Wonderful Copenhagen. The Outreach Programme’s stated vision is that “Destinations and associations will define innovative partnership models, through meetings and congresses, aiming at creating value for both the participants and the local stakeholders”.


AND FINALLY… The 7am to 8am hour arrival time is apparently the best for on-time performance, but delays are more likely after 8pm!

It perhaps no surprise to learn that flights arriving early in the morning, most likely longer distance medium- or long-haul flights or a first sector of the day, have a better on-time performance than those late in the evening, that following LCC practices could be a sixth or even more sector for the day. The scale of the difference may be a little alarming though with more than a 15 percentage point difference between the best and worst performing hour in the US market last year. The research from The Points Guy analysed more than seven million flights, using 2018 US Department of Transportation data synthesized by Diio Mi, to discover what times of the day are the best – or worst – to fly for on-time flights. It found that while almost 90% of flights scheduled to arrive between 7am and 7:59am were on-time last year, just 73% of evening flights arriving between 8pm – 10:59pm, were punctual. In the industry standard, arriving within 15 minutes of a scheduled arrival time is ‘considered’ on-time and last year, 80% of US domestic flights were recorded as on-time. The research found clear trends in that the most-punctual times to fly were 7am to 7:59am (89.8% on time), 8am to 8:59am (88.6% on time) and 9am to 9:59am (87.6% on time), while the least-punctual times to fly were 10pm to 10:59pm (72.9% on time), 8pm to 8:59pm (73% on time) and 9pm to 9:59pm (73.3% on time). The hour of 3pm – 3:59pm (81% average on-time rate) was found to be the last scheduled arrival hour when you could expect to hit an overall 80% average on-time arrival.