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Hotels, OTAs and Airbnb are firing up for a new war

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By the time I finished writing the article, "Expedia, Priceline join battle against Airbnb," hotel giants Marriott and Wyndham announced bold new strategic moves: Marriott is going to team up with Alibaba to serve Chinese tourists abroad. The deal will enable Chinese travelers to book a Marriott hotel on Alibaba's travel service platform, Fliggy, and to process payments with Alipay, Alibaba's online payment platform. Wyndham purchased Love Home Swap for $53 million, a startup that allows people to swap homes. Moreover, Wyndham is going to consolidate its timeshare business and turn its hotel unit into a new publicly traded company. Hotels, online travel agents (OTAs) and Airbnb are basically competing for the same type of business — accommodations for travelers who are away from home. As the competition heats up, does it mean hotels, OTAs and Airbnb are now at war against one another? Let's check out what they do when facing stiff competition.
Hotels — the long-time…

Expedia, Priceline join battle against Airbnb

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The growth of Airbnb has made a significant negative impact on hotel business, even though the hotel industry has also been enjoying a steady long-time growth since 2009, as measured in almost all performance indicators including occupancy, average daily rate, revenue per available rooms and number of new hotels open for business.

For hotels, it is a loss of revenue (or uncaptured income) when a traveler chooses to stay in an Airbnb listing rather than a hotel room. Hotels have been trying hard to fight with Airbnb, but it does not seem any of their strategies can actually stop the growth of the room-sharing website. Besides hotels, Airbnb also makes a negative impact on online travel agents (OTAs), such as Expedia and Priceline, especially when Airbnb is aiming to become a true full-service travel enterprise. Because a large portion of OTAs' revenue comes from the commissions on hotel sales, it is also a loss of revenue for OTAs when a traveler books a room elsewhere, either on Air…

Staying Prosperous Year Round (by Victoria Alahuzos)

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Many restaurants that are located in tourist and college towns usually shut down during their slow months, but is it possible to run a successful restaurant business year round? Jay Khan and Rob Longstreet, who are both restaurant owners, stated that: Yes, it is achievable to continue the business during the off seasons in the article --- "11 Ways to Survive the Slow Season" (Barrett, 2017). Khan is the owner of RJ Mexican Cuisine in Dallas, Texas, and Longstreet owns the Craft Public House in Athens, Georgia. Both run successful restaurants year round as each owner follows the 11 simple steps to stay profitable, including:

1. Start planning early
2. Involve your vendors
3. Meet your neighbors
4. Run contests
5. Enlist outside help
6. Test new specials
7. Have a party
8. Hold a pop-up event
9. Spread the word
10. Follow up with previous guests
11. Trim operating costs (Barrett, 2017)

These recommendations may appear simple and common sense, but in reality, many owners may not…

7 technologies that will transform the hospitality industry by 2025

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I was in Baltimore last week for the annual iCHRIE (International Council on Hotel, Restaurant and Institutional Education) Conference, where hospitality professors and graduate students got together to showcase their research work and network with one another. Additionally, selected executives in major hospitality firms were invited to share their perspectives about the industry and their views on the future trends. For example, Mike Webster, the senior vice president and general manager at Oracle Retail & Oracle Hospitality, spoke in the opening general session at the conference. He believed that by 2025, the following technologies would make transformational changes to the hospitality industry: 1. Wearables Smartwatch sales in the global market hit a record high in the last quarter of 2016, at 8.2 million for the quarter and 21.1 million for the calendar year. Experts predict wearable tech will make transformational changes in the sport and fitness sector. Will wearable tech als…

2 critical issues highlighted at HITEC 2017

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HITEC 2017 (Hospitality Industry Technology Exposition & Conference) came to an end in Toronto last week. Hosted and organized by the Hospitality Financial and Technology Professionals (HFTP), HITEC is the world's largest annual hospitality technology event.
This year's conference in Toronto took place at a special time — during the week of Toronto Pride, Canada's 150th anniversary and a new wave of global cyberattacks. The conference featured four keynote speakers, including: Dave Berkus — "super angel" investor, speaker, author, governance expert and entrepreneurAlex Tapscott — CEO of Northwest Passage Ventures, author, speaker and investorKevin Rosen — partner at Shutts & Bowen, LLPRobert Villanueva — executive vice president at Q6 Cyber These speakers shared their visions of hospitality technology in three keynote speaker sessions and highlighted two critical issues: 1. The future belongs to those who are prepared for innovative disruptions.Berkus is an…

Emailing videos to promote sales: A good idea? (by Kayleena Thorp)

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I read an article entitled “Hotel Sales – It’s Time to Use Video Email to Outsell the Competition” on Hotel-Online.com. As a person who works at a wedding venue and catering business myself, I actually see many flaws of the article. The article states that phone calls are becoming less common, and emails have become a more desirable form of communication because of its new power of sending videos email videos. The author further used an example of sending a video to a potential client during an event set-up stage, stating something along the lines of “if you choose us as your venue, this is what your setup would look like”. I have found a few issues with this approach of promoting sales for a company.
I currently work as a set-up lead, server, and tour guide at the Kellogg House and Kellogg West on Cal Poly Pomona’s campus, and I am going to provide examples and explanations as to why this article is flawed. At the Kellogg House, we do our best to allow tours during the time when we se…