Are you ready for a new year? I know I am. As we are looking forward to 2017, let's review some of the key events and discussions in 2016 as published at MultiBriefs.com.
Impacts from the major events in 2016
There were several surprising, if not revolutionary, changes in 2016 that need our special attention as we enter 2017. Here are some examples:
Donald Trump will officially become the 45th president of the United States after the inauguration on Jan. 20. I do not believe his presidency or his comments about illegal immigrants will stop people from traveling to the U.S., but his foreign policies — such as tighter border controls and new regulations or procedures of handling visas for temporary visitors — might have a negative impact. Meanwhile, Trump's infrastructure plan may boost the travel and tourism industry, providing easier, faster and safer access to a destination.
A growing number of terrorist attacks in Europehave made (or soon will make) it more difficult to travel from one country to another in Europe. Those tragic events also put people in great concern of their safety when traveling inside of Europe.
Brexit is probably the most shocking news in 2016 for Europeans. This past weekend, Italian voters rejected a batch of reforms, and the resounding defeat has led to the resignation of Prime Minister Matteo Renzi. Now, there is a strong chance Italy will become the second country to separate from the European Union (EU). The collapse of EU would make it more difficult to travel in Europe. The positive spin of Brexit is that the value of the pound is at a historic low, making a trip to Britain a great bargain.
The U.S. dollar remained strong in 2016, and this trend will probably continue in 2017. We can expect a more diverse mix of international travelers visiting the U.S. as the number of visitors from Canada and Mexico drops. Meanwhile, more Americans are expected to travel overseas.
2016 has been an exciting year for many hoteliers. Marriott and Starwood completed a merger and became the biggest hotel chain in the world. Yet the competition is just going to get tougher. For example:
Electronic word of mouth (eWOM) and online reviews deserve continuous attention from businesses. I am going to share the results of my research on online reviews as soon as my papers become available on the journals' websites.
Above is a highlight of the key events of 2016, as reflected in my discussions over the year. Do you recall any big events in 2016 that I missed? How would they impact the future of hospitality and tourism business?
Recently, the American Hotel and Lodging Association (AHLA) and Smith Travel Research (STR) released the "2016 Lodging Survey." The goal of this biennial survey is to provide a current and comprehensive understanding of hotel operations, with the possibility of identifying the critical travel trends heading into 2017.
The survey covers a wide range of areas. I highlighted the key findings from the survey on Multibriefs.com, but here is a brief summary: TechnologyAlmost all hotels across various chain scales (from luxury to economy hotels) adopt central reservation systems (94-100 percent).More hotels are using mobile apps for customer service, including checking-in into a hotel. 98 percent of hotels offer high-speed in-room internet service with wireless access, with fewer hotels charging for the service. Fewer hotels are using social networking sites for marketing purposes, dropping from 93 percent in 2014 to 87 percent in 2016.
Additional discussions for consideration: Repla…
A recent trend has emerged in the beverage industry that pinpoints a change in attitude and behavior in consumers. Want to find out what this new trend is? Next time you are at a grocery store, walk down the wine aisle and look for something out of the ordinary. Between all of the wine bottles, something different will pop out: wine cans. It now seems that beer is not the only alcoholic beverage sold in cans. Within the past year, the creation and consumption of canned wine have greatly increased. In fact, canned wine sales have more than doubled in the past year, according to a Business Insider study. The study showed that sales of canned wine reached up to a revenue of $6.4 million in 2015 and so far to $14.5 million in 2016. Although canned wine currently only makes up about 1% of the market, the growth rate is rapidly climbing, comments Sommelier, Andrew Jones.
The idea of canned wine only began a few years ago. Andrew Jones, who started Field Recordings winery in Paso Robles, Ca…
"A second chance is all hoteliers need to get back in the game." By saying that, I am referring that the staggering numbers hotel websites get from the horrors of booking abandonment, which can be better understood as "cart abandonment." There could be various reasons why guests decide to leave a hotel website during the booking process. For example, a consumer may feel unnecessary to continue browsing in the hopes for a better price later; or the hotel website lacks the information that the customer is looking for. If your hotel has ever experienced book abandonment by consumers, remember that a second chance does exist! That is, with the help of 'retargeting'.
Why and where is the abandonment?
No business wants to be abandoned, especially when it was over something as small as a payment issue on the website. It has been found that about 81% of guests desert the travel booking with the following reasons:
39% - Browsing around and wanting a wider variety thro…