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.

  • Lufthansa confirms its lowest fares will be offered exclusively through NDC
  • Melia Hotels sells its services through Amazon
  • New generation hotel platform Bidroom raises EUR15m in new capital investment
  • Edinburgh is attracting more young people than any other generation
  • UNWTO partners with Niantic to develop innovative tourism experiences through Real-World Games
  • GlobalStar Travel Management partners with Atriis Technologies
  • Standard voice channels can increase a hotel’s conversion rate by more than a third and boost cross- and up-selling, claims report

Lufthansa confirms its lowest fares will be offered exclusively through NDC
The Lufthansa Group has confirmed that with effect from 01-Dec-2018, the cheapest European Point to Point fares offered by Austrian Airlines, Lufthansa and SWISS will only be available via NDC and direct sales channels. Economy Light fares will no longer be available in GDS from this date, but can instead be accessed via Lufthansa Group airlines Direct NDC API, SPRK, austrian.com, lufthansa.com, swiss.com and lhgroup-agent.com.


Melia Hotels sells its services through Amazon
Melia Hotels International has become the first hotel company to sell its services through Amazon. The group will sell accommodation and experiences through the e-commerce website by offering two types of Meliarewards gift cards – one worth 35,000 points and the other worth 55,000 points. Gift cards became available for sale in the UK, Spain, France, Italy and Germany, starting with a 40% discount during Amazon’s Black Friday sale. They can be exchanged for stays at any of Melia’s hotels, along with other services offered by the group and its partners across airlines, car rental, leisure, retail and financial services, among others. Meliarewards members will also be able to exchange points they’ve earned for Amazon gift vouchers.


New generation hotel platform Bidroom raises EUR15m in new capital investment
Two months after its new management board took office, Bidroom, a rising online travel community, has announced a substantial capital investment which will be used to accelerate growth. An initiative designed by hoteliers for hoteliers and started in 2014, the company is an alternative to high-commission platforms and one that aim to bring more business freedom to the hospitality industry.  The capital injection will be used for the accelerated international roll-out. According to CEO Bas Tolmeijer, the company’s workforce will expand to 200 employees within the next year after it moves into a new, hypermodern office in Kraków in April 2019. Bidroom is now working behind the scenes to finalise its new growth strategy and launch of consumer campaigns.


Edinburgh is attracting more young people than any other generation
Edinburgh is attracting more young people than any other generation, a new study has found. According to research, almost three-quarters (72%) of Generation Z and 80% of Millennials have experienced Edinburgh’s top attractions – compared with over half (51%) of the Silent Generation and 47% of Baby Boomers. The study from activities booking specialist Klook, also revealed that literary influences have inspired young people to visit and explore Edinburgh, with 17% of Gen Z and Millennials visiting the city due to authors such as Arthur Conan Doyle or Ian Rankin. In contrast, only 5% of the Silent Generation and only 4% of Baby Boomers visited the city due to literary inspirations.


UNWTO partners with Niantic to develop innovative tourism experiences through Real-World Games
The World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) has partnered with one of its newest affiliate members, real-world games developer Niantic, to enhance global tourism through the use of mobile augmented reality game experiences. UNWTO will collaborate with Niantic, creators of Pokémon GO and Ingress Prime, to curate unique campaigns around the world that will build awareness for the Organisation’s Travel.Enjoy.Respect campaign, designed to enhance tourism’s contribution to the United Nations’ 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Each activity will also be designed to inspire and support exploration, and promote safe and responsible gaming practices for players of all ages. Niantic and UNWTO will work together to combine tourism and Augmented Reality technology for players to engage with real-world locations using Niantic’s mobile games in a variety of ways.


GlobalStar Travel Management partners with Atriis Technologies
GlobalStar Travel Management has entered into a strategic partnership with Atriis Technologies, to use its Atriis.GTP global travel platform to allow its members to successfully navigate the rapidly changing distribution landscape. Atriis.GTP is a booking platform designed for both TMCs and corporates to access the broadest range of content possible, via connections to multi GDSs, NDC enabled airlines, hotel direct connects, OTAs, rail platforms, value add services, parking services and ancillaries.  Additionally, it introduces a marketplace where wholesale partner fares can be easily accessed and distributed between partner TMCs and by aggregating access to desired content, it eliminates fragmentation, excess cost and additional processes. In addition to broad content options, the platform allows GlobalStar partners to enhance global effectiveness by allowing them to access and service another partner’s booking through its unique GSS (Global Shared Services) feature.  This seamless handling adds value for GlobalStar clients by facilitating a regionally consistent traveller experience and provides GlobalStar partners a means to compete globally with Mega TMCs.


Standard voice channels can increase a hotel’s conversion rate by more than a third and boost cross- and up-selling, claims report
According to Majorcan technology company, Roiback, a key factor to boost hotel direct sales is to have a specialised booking centre service, but it notes that such a service is currently lacking among many hotel businesses. According to their research, sales through the telephone channel can increase the conversion rate by 35%, as well as cross-selling and up-selling, thus enabling the price to be adapted and to increase the profit up to 60% of the average reservation price. However, the company underlines that 6 out of 10 hotels do not have an appropriate booking centre. Obviously, to offer a good telephone booking service is very expensive and requires a great specialisation of resources and is why many hotel chains outsource this service to specialised booking centres. The study by the Palma-based company shows quite simply that the more calls are answered, the more sales are made. But, at the same time, it increases the conversion ratio and reduces cancellations up to 20%. Likewise, upgrading opportunities are better leveraged, allowing the hotel to increase its revenues and the client to receive a better and more personalised service.