The Direct Booking Summit 2017: Day 1 highlights

NEW YORK, NY - 28 September 2017 - Hundreds of hoteliers joined us in New York for the return of the Direct Booking Summit, and there was one clear message — hospitality begins online.

Triptease’s Chief Tease Charlie Osmond kicked off the event — the only one in the industry to focus solely on increasing direct bookings — by explaining why he believes bringing the magic of your hotel lobby onto your website is the next chapter in the Direct Booking Movement.

He told the audience: "The next piece of the puzzle has to be improving guest experience. It’s bringing that hospitality experience all the way through, before people arrive on your property.”

Fellow speaker, Daniel Tennant the General Manager of New York's Hotel on Rivington, revealed the tactics he’s using to make guests feel at home online. Among them, a partnership to get video content about the local area pushed on to the boutique hotel's website. It's saves potential visitors the job of researching the destination themselves and keeps them on your site. “At the end of the day, it’s about all about on guest experience on your website. They need to look at what they are buying into.”

Josh Runes, Director of Digital Marketing and Social Media at Modus Hotels, said one of his golden rules is consistency. “You need to have the same message about booking direct, whether that’s on your website, booking engine, email communications or individuals on-site speaking to hotel guests.”

Other highlights from the day included a staggering stat courtesy of McKinsey's Del Ross. He told delegates he had received 23 emails from the Expedia company alone over the last 30 days. OTAs are marketing to your customers constantly and he encouraged hotels to get a piece of the action.

Ross also predicted that voice-based search could be the way Amazon breaks into the travel market. It might be a way off yet — voice technology still needs refining — but it's certainly something to have on your radar.

Another hot topic was education. Many of our hotelier speakers said they are still putting a lot of effort into explaining the benefits of booking direct to both staff and guests. Emily Patrician, General Manager at Mere Hotel, Winnipeg, said she regularly tests whether her training is paying off by having a friend call her hotel to explain they found a better deal via an OTA.

After all that, we think our speakers and delegates deserve to let their hair down, so we’re throwing a fabulous penthouse party for them in the heart of Manhattan. There will be epic skyline views, games and dancing into the small hours.

We’ll have more from the party tomorrow, as well as a full round-up of the second day of events. We’re starting with a delve into digital with Kalibri Labs, before uncovering the small changes that could make a big difference to your revenue. Lastly, Charlie Osmond will be back with more on where the Direct Booking Movement is going next.

Stay tuned!

Join us in Barcelona

If you like the sound of the Direct Booking Summit, then there is still time to book your ticket for its sister event in Barcelona on October 18th and 19th. Check out the agenda.

Media Contact:
Ian Macleod
TRIPTEASE
+44 (0) 7554 437322
ian.macleod@triptease.com
www.triptease.com

Related News

Coming up in January 2018...

Mobile Technology: Relentless Innovation

Technology has become a crucial component in attracting and retaining hotel guests, and the need to enhance a guest’s technology experience is driving a relentless pace of innovation. To meet and exceed guest expectations, 54% of hotels will spend more on technology in 2018, and mobile solutions in particular will top the list of capital investments. Many hotels are integrating mobile booking, mobile keys, mobile payments and mobile check-in into their operations. Other hotels are emphasizing the in-room experience, boosting bandwidth and upgrading flat screen TVs to more easily interface with guest mobile devices. And though not yet mainstream, there are many exciting technology developments on the near horizon. The Internet of Things (loT) is taking form in some places, and can be found in guest room control systems, voice activation systems, and in wearable sensors that can be used for access and payment options. Virtual reality headsets are available at some hotels so guests can enjoy virtual trips to exotic locations or if off-property, preview conference facilities and guest rooms. How long will it be before a hotel employs a fleet of robots for room service, or utilizes a hologram as a concierge, or installs gesture-controlled walls that feature interactive digital displays? Some hotels are already using augmented reality for translation services, or interactive wall maps, or even virtual décor. This pace of innovation is challenging property owners and brands to stay on top of the latest technology trends while still addressing current projects. The January Hotel Business Review will explore what some hotels are doing to maximize their opportunities in the mobile technology space.