Inside Travel: Understanding the latest Technology and 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.

  • New report suggests the purchase point is perfect time to unlock more value from each transaction
  • Hotelbeds builds its ‘Beyond the Bed’ activity with HolidaysTaxi purchase
  • New Ascenda and Capital One partnership will allow miles transfer benefit
  • Americans show a growing interest in holidaying in Europe
  • UNWTO seminar calls for community involvement to support cultural tourism’s digital transformation
  • TrustYou translates its review database to offer traveller hotel insights
  • Carnival Cruise Line unveils diverse 2020 schedule for ‘transformed’ Carnival Radiance
  • Auro Hotels turns to ProfitSword to deliver ‘a more robust and systematic forecasting strategy’

New report suggests the purchase point is perfect time to unlock more value from each transaction
Global e-commerce martech company, Rokt, has released a new report, ‘The Anatomy of the Upsell: Making the Most of Travel Transaction Moments’, offering travel brands the best practices they need to create and optimise the most effective e-commerce transaction experience for customers. The new report, created in collaboration with Skift, reveals how travel companies can best maximise the value of their confirmation page. Research reveals that 74% of consumers are at their happiest online when completing a purchase. This, it says, presents the perfect opportunity for travel brands to create a more valuable connection with their customers at the moment they are most receptive to further offers, recommending related products and services immediately following their primary transaction.


Hotelbeds builds its ‘Beyond the Bed’ activity with HolidaysTaxi purchase
Hotelbeds has announced the acquisition of HolidayTaxis Group, a provider of high quality, cost-effective transfer and wider mobility solutions. The acquisition will further complement the existing portfolio of content offered by Hotelbeds and reinforces the company’s commitment to growth in the rapidly expanding ancillary distribution space. HolidayTaxis Group is headquartered in the United Kingdom and operates over 20,000 transfer routes, spanning 150 countries. It will retain its brand and remain separate and independent from Hotelbeds as part of its recently renamed ancillary product line as ‘Beyond the Bed’.


New Ascenda and Capital One partnership will allow miles transfer benefit
Ascenda, a leading global innovator in loyalty technology and services, and Capital One, a financial services company headquartered in McLean, Virginia, USA, have launched a partnership connecting Capital One’s credit card rewards programme to major frequent traveller rewards programs worldwide. Starting in Dec-2018, Ascenda’s global loyalty currency network, TransferConnect, will enable Capital One to offer its Venture, VentureOne, Spark Miles and Spark Miles Select cardholders the flexibility to transfer their Capital One miles to 13 frequent traveller programmes with new programme additions coming in 2019.


Americans show a growing interest in holidaying in Europe
Americans continue to view Europe as a preferred holiday travel destination, according to travel destination data collected and analysed by Allianz Global Assistance. The top 20 European destinations saw airline tickets increase in sales an average of +26% from last year, nearly tripling the +9% increase from 2016 to 2017. Three of those cities experienced impressive growth of more than 50 percent: Barcelona (+50.2%), Zurich (+54.8%) and Lisbon (+103.2%). This upward trend demonstrates the growing interest in Europe as a holiday travel destination. Allianz Global Assistance reviewed Americans’ travel plans during the peak holiday travel season, Thanksgiving through New Year’s Day, and found a +22.5% increase in total ticket purchases, compared to the same time period last year. The top five European holiday travel destinations for Americans – London, Paris, Rome, Amsterdam and Madrid – remain unchanged from 2017.


UNWTO seminar calls for community involvement to support cultural tourism’s digital transformation
The World Tourism Organization (UNWTO)’s International Seminar on Harnessing Cultural Tourism through Innovation and Technology concluded with a renewed call for community participation in development of cultural tourism using cutting-edge technologies. Cultural and heritage attractions are key to tourism development in many countries around the world, and innovation and technology can make these attractions more accessible while preserving their essence, the seminar concluded. It also stressed that innovation and technology should empower, rather than disenfranchise, host populations and communities and can assist them in retaining their authenticity, while cultural heritage development and preservation should be a part of local and national plans for socioeconomic development through tourism and technology. The seminar agreed that informed governance and policies surrounding uptake of new technologies and innovative practices can guide tourism development and open doors for the sector, with conservation and revitalisation of cultural heritage one of its main benefits. It also highlighted that for tourism authorities, participation of, and collaboration with, the host community should be a driver for technology-driven change. It was urged that tourism development not only maximise benefits and minimise costs for greater competitiveness, but also respond to the expectations and needs of hosts and guests alike.


TrustYou translates its review database to offer traveller hotel insights
Guest feedback platform TrustYou has released a comprehensive analysis of regional and global hotel review topics. Extracted from TrustYou’s guest feedback database and its analytics capabilities, the impact scores represent the hotel categories that travellers notice and rate in their online reviews, in order to bring attention to their performance. The impact scores are divided into semantic categories, such as positive and negative ones, and reflect features like room maintenance, staff friendliness, housekeeping, etc. and their impact on the overall score of a hotel. The report highlights noticeable variations between different regions of the globe and the top 3 impact scores that are most influential in each area. The recent analysis also reveals certain similarities and standards among regions, such as the positive value of the service and the friendliness of the staff, and the management. On the other side of the spectrum, it is unveiled that the most common negative impact scores are the rooms, their maintenance and cleanliness, as well as the bathroom.


Carnival Cruise Line unveils diverse 2020 schedule for ‘transformed’ Carnival Radiance
Carnival Cruise Line announced the diverse inaugural schedule for the totally transformed Carnival Radiance, including 9- to 13-day European voyages, the line’s first to Cuba from New York and Norfolk, four- to nine-day sailings to the Caribbean, Canada/New England from New York, and a winter season of voyages to the Caribbean and Cuba from Port Canaveral, Fla. Following a USD200 million dry dock that will take place in Cadiz, Spain, Carnival Radiance will debut April 29, 2020, with a 10-day Mediterranean sailing from Barcelona, and following other European itineraries the ship will then embark on a 13-day trans-Atlantic crossing from Barcelona to New York June 11-24, 2020, positioning the vessel for its inaugural season in the Big Apple. While in North America it will offer its first visits from New York and Norfolk to Cuba, which will include an extended stop in Havana, along with visits to two Bahamian ports.


Auro Hotels turns to ProfitSword to deliver ‘a more robust and systematic forecasting strategy’
Hotel owner and developer, Auro Hotels, has introduced the ProfitSage operational and financial reporting solution from ProfitSword, a major developer of business intelligence and data integration software. Originally utilising its own in-house business intelligence platform, Auro Hotels says it has selected ProfitSage in order to implement “a more robust and systematic forecasting strategy” that could adapt to the company’s ongoing growth and increasing complexity, while also “maximising operational efficiency and increasing the potential for additional revenue”. Auro Hotels currently oversees 30 upscale properties across the United States of America.