Tuesday, 24 April 2018

Travel brands are missing out on a huge revenue opportunity

More and more markets are becoming mobile-first, giving brands huge potential to reach out to travelers, but EyeforTravel and SAP’s new free mobile market report finds that brands are missing out by failing to reach consumers on their smartphones.

Creating a mobile messaging service is effective, so why aren’t more brands doing it asks EyeforTravel and SAP’s new Driving Intelligent, Interconnected Mobile Engagement Throughout the Travel Journey report? The research, which is free to download now, finds that 83% of travel brands that have automated messaging services find that they are effective at increasing customer satisfaction. However, just 41% of brands surveyed report that they currently have these services, although a further 20% report that they are also developing the capability to do so.



Delving deeper into the deployment of possible mobile messaging routes, a similar story emerges of a lack of communication routes between brands and travelers. Just under a third of brands reported that they had developed an app, 29% could reach customers with mobile messaging or push notifications and just under a quarter can send SMS texts. This leaves the majority of travel brands bereft of ways in which to communicate directly to travelers’ smartphones, aside from through email, but even in this field, only 40.4% of respondents said they use mobile-optimised email.

This mismatch leaves a huge gap that is increasingly vital for travel brands to exploit. The research notes that not only do travel consumers increasingly resort to mobile as they research their trip and as they journey, but also they are actively interested in being reached. 87% of US travelers said that they find travel notifications useful, with trip status updates the most popular but also discounts and pricing widely sought after. 

Therefore, travel brands are missing out on better performance in two ways says the research: Firstly, they are largely unable to cross- and upsell the consumer travel products, as well as less able to accommodate last-minute mobile bookings, hitting revenue directly. Secondly, they are missing out on a key means to drive loyalty with the consumer, as smart mobile messaging allows a relationship to be built.

This latter point can be done through a number of ways, such as making the customer’s journey more convenient, sending personalized messages, responding appropriately in moments of crisis, and creating an easier means to gather feedback and encourage reviews.

“Only the travel brand knows if you made a change to your flight or PNR, so in terms of loyalty why should a travel brand acquiesce that relationship to Google?” says Michael Bayle, head of mobile at Amadeus. “It should be them bringing these things to the attention of the traveler. The more current and actionable data, such as a flight cancellation, Google can’t act upon. The travel brand can make a positive change to get a result and take advantage of that disruptive management.”

However, to make the most out of mobile, it isn’t enough to simply deploy an app or an SMS service. Travel brands need to create an overarching mobile strategy. “For the traveler, there are no mobile stages. Mobile is everything and everything is mobile. We interact in making our purchase decisions seamlessly on our tablet and phones, and sometimes on our computers, so it is no longer fair to call out mobile as a separate category. It is no longer a case of ‘do you have a mobile strategy?’ Instead it’s ‘What are you doing to embed that deeper into the consumer lifecycle or purchase journey?’ says Rohit Tripathi, general manager and head of products, SAP Digital Interconnect.

Tripathi also notes that this needs to be contextual and appropriate to the consumer’s situation. “If it’s a general update or information about an upcoming promotion that is not immediately relevant, then email is the best way to reach out, or social media. If it is something critical that needs to be acted on, such as a change of travel plans, an unexpected disruption or threat, then SMS is clearly the way to go. You can safely rely on SMS to be available globally whether or not the person has a data plan,” he explains.

“When our customers reach out using SAP Intelligent Notification 365’s unique multi-channel API they can do so across communication channels either on-device, social media or on a brand app. Therefore, they can maintain two-way transactional or marketing engagement that matches the customer’s needs through an autonomous system that enables and escalates message routing across all mobile channels.”

Get ahead of the competition now and download this completely free mobile market report to access:
  • A major industry survey of all travel verticals uncovering their mobile strategies and technology deployments.
  • Analysis of how consumers are using the mobile channel.
  • Projections for mobile’s growth across travel.
  • Where you should be investing to reach the mobile consumer.
  • How you can ensure mobile-focused communications are effective.
  • An overview of how you should be measuring and overseeing an m-commerce operation. 


Monday, 23 April 2018

Insights from the Smart Travel Data Summit North America 2018


In an era of digital transformation, companies that master data and analytics can outgrow their rivals and boost loyalty among customers.

This is a wide-ranging task, however. They must trace travelers through virtual space, build leading-edge data science teams, create rich customer profiles, optimize revenue and personalize pricing.

It’s a time for innovation, but not all the rules are clear. Disruptors abound in the industry taking advantage of technological developments, such as blockchain technology, which was a growing area of interest at the Summit. New privacy rules are taking effect, and data breaches can significantly damage even the foremost travel brands.

EyeforTravel’s Smart Travel Data Summit NorthAmerica, held in Miami on February 27th and 28th 2018, delved into data-driven insight through insights from top executives from Amazon, Expedia, Airbnb, Southwest Airlines, Hyatt, Wyndham Worldwide and Delta Airlines among others. 

To find out what they were talking about, click here to download the full Round-up report now.

“Every individual in this room is in a fantastic position,” said Leo Langford, EyeforTravel global conference director. “Whether you are part of a nimble startup or you are a more established, traditional travel brand, it is a boom time to be in data.”
Companies with advanced analytics are five times more likely to make decisions before their industry peers, said Priti Dhanda, director of revenue management analytics for Hyatt Hotels Corp.

Over the next five years, about USD800 billion in revenue is expected to shift to the 15% of companies that get personalization right, said Stuart Greif, a former Microsoft executive who now leads the travel and hospitality practice for Amperity, a Seattle software firm that is disrupting the industry with its “intelligent” customer data platform.

“You have everything that would make amazing customer 360-degree profiles. It’s pulling all that data together,” Greif said. The stakes are high as, according to Greif, 41% of customers dropped a brand last year due to poor personalization. “It is no longer just a nuisance. It is standing in the way of you and your customer and potentially losing them.”

The audience also agreed, with data-driven personalization thought to be the most important game-changer for the industry, chosen by 63% of the audience polled at the event, although this slightly lower than at the 2017 Smart Travel Data Summit North America.



Will Coleman, partner of travel, transport and logistics for consulting firm McKinsey & Co. noted that travel brands have key leverage when it comes to personalization: “You as travel suppliers are better positioned to do this than any other industry. You operate hotels and airports where people spend hours of their lives. You interact and engage with customers via social media, and they interact with you more than in any other industry.”

Coleman said 57% of travelers feel brands should tailor their experience based on their past behaviors. “Increasingly we are seeing customers are expecting, and even demanding, this type of customization,” he said.

Meanwhile, technology is increasingly complex. Consider Apple's new iPhone X, which features facial recognition. "It does 600 billion calculations per second and it's the first mass-produced artificial intelligence chip," said Abhijit Pal, head of research for Expedia Inc.’s Global Partner Group. “Facial recognition is absolutely a game changer.”

This growing power is becoming married to more powerful data connections. Verizon just announced its 5G Network that can power 10 gigabits per second. That translates to downloading an entire high-definition movie in less than one second, Pal said. 
Expedia allocates USD1.3 billion a year for technology and content spend as it focuses on becoming a mobile-first company, since one-third of its bookings come from mobile. It’s forays into technology currently encompass machine learning and artificial intelligence, virtual reality, and using voice technology with Amazon Echo: “Voice is becoming an important aspect of what we do. That will enable us to personalize. You want technology to know about your tastes. Alexa is going to offer that,” said Pal.

Machine learning and artificial intelligence are quickly becoming the backbone of many innovative travel platforms, including Airbnb.

“Airbnb is totally built in-house,” said Theresa Johnson, product manager at Airbnb. Machine learning is critical to the success of the short-term rental platform. It’s used at every step of the user experience, she said.

“Data scientists are people who take a lot of disparate information that you have scattered all over and organize it in a fashion that both humans and machines can understand,” Johnson said. “Machine learning is people, not algorithms. Data is really the voice of our customers speaking to us at scale.”


Click here to download the full Round-up, which features insights from:
·         Expedia
·         Airbnb
·         Hyatt
·         Amazon
·         Wyndham
·         Hertz
·         Allegiant Air
·         Greyhound Lines Inc.
·         Winding Tree

And more …!

Wednesday, 18 April 2018

German hoteliers set for profit squeeze in 2018

Although the German hotel market is seeing buoyant demand in 2018, cost increases and rising room supply are likely to put pressure on profits finds a new report

The German accommodation market is in the midst of a strong period of high demand, with the number of overnights stays in German accommodation establishments with 10 or more beds rising from an estimated 436.4 million in 2015 to 459.6 million in 2017. Despite the recently buoyant market, 2018 will see hotel profits in the country under pressure as demand growth from German travelers slows, room supply increases and costs grow says a new report, an excerpt for which can be downloaded for free here.

According to Hotstats data provided for the report, average room rates in Germany have been increasing, rising 2% year-on-year in 2016 and 2.5% in 2017 on the back of stable occupancy rates at around 75% across each of three years. This has allowed profitability to rise gently in those years but further gains will be difficult in 2018.

The primary pressure on hotel profits will come from rising wage bills as the German market is experiencing the lowest unemployment it has seen since Reunification with no sign of suddenly increasing supply. Workers are also becoming more vocal about getting a higher wage packet, leading to labour disputes in several German states thus far in 2018.

Competition for workers could be exacerbated even further by new hotels opening in Germany in 2018. Germany has Europe’s second largest pipeline of hotel rooms and the supply-side expansion will also put competitive pressure on hotel pricing in 2018. Pablo Alonso, CEO for HotStats notes that “Historically Germany has always been an attractive market for hotel investment due to the stability of headline performance levels, which provide a consistent income.

“However, profit levels at hotels in Germany will be challenged in the short term as payroll costs are on the rise as the jobless rate in Germany is at a record low and a 4% increase in minimum wage was implemented in January 2017. Additionally, inflation rates in Germany are at their highest level since 2013, which is driving up Cost of Sales.”

On top of growing wage bills and expanding room supply, demand growth from domestic German consumers, who power the market, is likely to be softer as they rediscover their love of international travel and feel confident to book previously shunned destinations. Already in 2017 interest in outbound travel was rising and concerns about safety when abroad were diminishing notes the report.

“This trend will likely accelerate in 2018,” says Alex Hadwick, Head of Research at EyeforTravel. “Whilst rising wages across the German economy means more costs for businesses, it also marks out a very healthy German consumer. Unfortunately for German accommodation providers more of this demand looks like it will be directed outside Germany in 2018 than in 2016 and 2017. Forward booking indicators appear very strong currently and the return of Turkey to growth in particular should lure away German consumers.”

You can download an excerpt from the report by clicking here. Use this free excerpt from our German Travel Consumer 2018 Report to understand the trends shaping German destination choices and spending patterns both at home and abroad in 2018.

To access the full report and all of EyeforTravel’s research become a member of EyeforTravel On Demand now
  • Detailed analysis of Germany’s economy and its ramifications for consumer travel spending.
  • More than 80 charts, figures and tables of data detailing the state of the German travel consumer.
  • Outbound and domestic travel market overviews and outlooks.
  • A breakdown of the German journey to booking, including lead times, key apps and most popular websites.
  • Age and location breakdowns for key online behaviors, destination preferences and spending.
  • Trends in German device ownership and usage.
  • An overview of the state of Germany’s travel industry.
  • Forecasts and outlooks for technologies, destinations, and market growth.
  • Data taken from more than 80 different sources.


Monday, 16 April 2018

Germany to continue to lag other markets for mobile travel bookings

The German online travel market will continue to be less mobile-focused than other major travel markets for the foreseeable future says a new report

Although digital travel bookings made through mobile are rising, a number of factors will mean Germans continue to rely on their desktops and laptops to look and book their trips says EyeforTravel’s new German Travel Consumer 2018 Report.


The research expects continuing rises in smartphone usage during the booking journey as younger generations are more likely to use the device. However, even by 2020 the report expects roughly two thirds of digital bookings to still be conducted on desktops and laptops in the German market. A free excerpt from the report covering booking trends can be downloaded by clicking this link here now.

Low rates of mobile usage in the market relative to other European travel markets, such as France, Scandinavia and the UK, is a result of several factors including a conservative attitude to technology and lower ability to access mobile data. Broadband infrastructure for mobile devices is relatively weak in Germany and data plans are often expensive, leading to Germany ranking near the bottom of OECD countries for data downloaded per subscription. According to OECD data, Finland, which ranks at the top of the countries in the organization for mobile data, saw nearly 11GB of data usage per mobile subscription in 2016. By contrast, only seven of the OECD’s 32 countries came below Germany, where the average mobile subscription uses just 1.21GB of mobile data. Germans are also highly concerned with privacy, which can be seen in relatively low rates of social media usage and more focus  

This leaves mobile devices trailing desktops and laptops for users time as they plan and book their trip, especially when it comes to older generations. In a survey conducted for the report, just 0.6% of over 55s report buying their flight through a smartphone. In comparison, 29% reported making their flight booking via a face-to-face sale.

Desktops and laptops are also sticky in terms of consumer behaviour, with very low numbers of consumers switching over to mobile devices after using a desktop as their primary research device, and most German consumers heading the other way to make their booking. just 2.4% of consumers who report mainly using a desktop/laptop to research report going over to a tablet and 1.8% to a smartphone

Therefore, as well as Germany lagging behind other major markets for smartphone device usage in the travel journey, it will also shift relatively slowly due to consumer attitudes, demographic trends, infrastructure issues, and an established market of traditional travel agencies.

You can download an excerpt from the report by clicking here. The excerpt includes data on digital habits, device ownership, cross-device movements, research behaviors, lead times, search terms, key research and booking points, social media engagement, and device usage rates both inside and outside the travel journey.

To access the full report and all of EyeforTravel’s research become a member of EyeforTravel On Demand now
  • Detailed analysis of Germany’s economy and its ramifications for consumer travel spending.
  • More than 80 charts, figures and tables of data detailing the state of the German travel consumer.
  • Outbound and domestic travel market overviews and outlooks.
  • A breakdown of the German journey to booking, including lead times, key apps and most popular websites.
  • Age and location breakdowns for key online behaviors, destination preferences and spending.
  • Trends in German device ownership and usage.
  • An overview of the state of Germany’s travel industry.
  • Forecasts and outlooks for technologies, destinations, and market growth.
  • Data taken from more than 80 different sources.


Thursday, 12 April 2018

China Travel Market: Trends to Watch in 2018

What are the key trends will define the Chinese travel market in 2018? Alex Hadwick, Head of Research at EyeforTravel, and Gary Bowerman, Director of Check-in Asia, discuss what you should be keeping an eye on this year.



Click here to view the full report on the Chinese travel consumer. 
Our thanks to Gary Bowerman, Director of Check-in Asia,

Wednesday, 11 April 2018

Germany’s outbound market will have its best performance in years in 2018


German spending on international leisure travel is set for a bump in 2018 as Germans feel more confident in their own economy and the safety of international destinations

Germany’s outbound market accounts for over 30% of the overnight stays made by EU citizens but the market is set to get even bigger in 2018 on the back of strong economic performance, receding security concerns and high consumer confidence finds the report, an extract of which can be downloaded for free here.


The research expects spending by Germans on international leisure travel to exceed €80 billion in 2018 as a result of renewed confidence among German travellers to travel further abroad and return to a variety of destinations, principally Turkey, alongside record high expectations of improving wages.

This comes off the back of an improving environment in 2017 after setbacks in 2016. The report notes a much wider number of destinations reported good growth in 2017 than in 2016 and destinations previously in free-fall appeared to bottom out. Destinations reporting strong growth came from those close to home in Scandinavia, Belgium and the Netherlands, and further afield, Greece, and Balkan and Southeast Asian countries.

In terms of where these trends will head in 2018, perennial favourites Italy, Spain and Greece will continue to be the most popular but Spain will see its growth rates hit by diminishing price competitiveness. Already more expensive than many destinations in the Eastern Mediterranean at the start of last year, average daily rates rose strongly in the market in 2017 and tourism-focused tax rates have further increased costs. Instead, Turkey seems set to experience double digit growth, German tour groups are returning to Tunisia, and Southeast Asian countries seem likely to continue recent high growth as Germans look at long-haul destinations more frequently.

Turkey, Tunisia, Morocco, and Egypt will also be helped in 2018 by receding security concerns that have previously been at the forefront of German travellers minds. The report notes that polls have found that German fears of terrorism have decreased from its peak in 2016 and it is no longer the top concern.

All of these destinations are seeing extremely strong early booking indicators in 2018 according to travel agents, who also report record confidence for growth in 2018. They are being helped by extremely strong economic indicators, particularly with regard to conditions for the average German consumer. Seasonally adjusted unemployment is at a post-Reunification low and consumer confidence is at a record high when it comes to expectations of wage increases. These expectations are not baseless, as the German labour market now has little excess labour to call on and German firms seem to be aware that wages must rise. Furthermore, German consumers have been reluctant to loosen their purse strings when overall European economic conditions have been poor and risks high, but this has shifted as of early 2018, with the eurozone reporting the best economic conditions since the Recession and renewed confidence. This will boost Germane travel consumer spending in 2018 and, barring an economic shock, mark it out as a vintage year for the outbound market.  


You can download an excerpt from the report by clicking here. Use this free excerpt from our German Travel Consumer 2018 Report to understand the trends shaping German destination choices and spending patterns both at home and abroad in 2018.

To access the full report and all of EyeforTravel’s research become a member of EyeforTravel On Demand now:
  • Detailed analysis of Germany’s economy and its ramifications for consumer travel spending.
  • More than 80 charts, figures and tables of data detailing the state of the German travel consumer.
  • Outbound and domestic travel market overviews and outlooks.
  • A breakdown of the German journey to booking, including lead times, key apps and most popular websites.
  • Age and location breakdowns for key online behaviors, destination preferences and spending.
  • Trends in German device ownership and usage.
  • An overview of the state of Germany’s travel industry.
  • Forecasts and outlooks for technologies, destinations, and market growth.
  • Data taken from more than 80 different sources.


Tuesday, 3 April 2018

German consumers ready to spend on leisure travel in 2018


Soaring consumer confidence, a growing pay packet and a rising interest in travel will push German spending on leisure travel upwards in 2018 finds a new report from EyeforTravel.

The German economy and consumer is in excellent shape in early 2018 and that means increased spending on travel in the world’s third largest outbound market says EyeforTravel’s new German Travel Consumer 2018 report, a free excerpt from which is available now.

The German economy’s strength stretches across multiple measures. GDP growth has been consistently upgraded to a forecast of 2.3% in 2018, unemployment has retreated to a post-Reunification low and measures of consumer and business confidence are either just above or at record highs.

Consumers are right to be confident as very low unemployment is creating an environment for strong wage growth, especially as consumers and unions are willing to ask for raises. Although real wage increases slowed down to 0.8% at end-2017 higher rates in 2015 and 2016, this should accelerate again, creating a strong environment for expanding spending on travel.

Already in late 2017 there were signs of stronger growth in consumer expenditure and the travel vertical economy that will carry through to 2018. Germany’s trade surplus fell for the first time since 2009 even though export demand is very robust. This is a sign of quickly rising demand on the part of German consumers. This demand carries over to the German travel market, both domestically and internationally, with interest in travel among German consumers reaching a 10-year high as of late 2017. In 2017 the domestic market continued recent trends of solid expansion and the outbound market performed far better than in 2016.

Furthermore, German consumers were helped in 2017 by the performance of the euro. The Euro Currency Index, which measures a basket of major currencies against the euro, had its strongest value growth in 14 years, and this should hold over to 2018, helping support German spending power abroad.

This German spending power is already at the top of major European economies notes the report. In terms of Actual Individual Consumption (AIC) per capita, Germans spent EUR3,400 more than the European Area average of EUR21,100 in 2016 and in purchasing power standard, the average German household had around 19% extra disposable spending per year over the Euro Area average in 2016. Further growth in German pay packets in 2017 and 2018 will only strengthen German travel spending. The greatest areas of concentration of consumer spending power are to be found in the Ruhr, and major urban centers, such as Hamburg, Frankfurt, Stuttgart and Munich.

While the overall number of German consumers who participate in leisure travel is expected to remain broadly stable at just under 80% of consumers according to the report, there is scope for increased spending. The report notes that older German consumers will be the key demographic in the medium term. This is due to those aged over 55 increasing in size as an economic cohort alongside their greater leisure time and growing wealth. The report’s consumer survey notes that those aged over 55 spent noticeably more than younger cohorts and were less concerned about budgetary considerations. Whereas a quarter of consumers under 35 reported spending less than EUR500 on their trip, just 14% of over 55s had such a low trip spend. This is no surprise as older Germans have done well in the current period of economic expansion. German state pensions experienced their biggest ever rise in 2016, estimated at 4% to 5%, and there were further increases of 3.6% in 2017.

This means that travel brands need to keep a close eye on the German travel market over 2018.

You can download an excerpt from the report by clicking here. This excerpt covers the state of the German economy, consumer and travel market in 2018. It includes economic performance data, consumer confidence outlooks, household wealth data, market sizing, spending analysis, and currency data.   

To access the full report and all of EyeforTravel’s research become a member of EyeforTravel On Demand now:
  • Detailed analysis of Germany’s economy and its ramifications for consumer travel spending.
  • More than 80 charts, figures and tables of data detailing the state of the German travel consumer.
  • Outbound and domestic travel market overviews and outlooks.
  • A breakdown of the German journey to booking, including lead times, key apps and most popular websites.
  • Age and location breakdowns for key online behaviors, destination preferences and spending.
  • Trends in German device ownership and usage.
  • An overview of the state of Germany’s travel industry.
  • Forecasts and outlooks for technologies, destinations, and market growth.
  • Data taken from more than 80 different sources.