gorilla scratching head

  Scratching your head over Direct vs OTAs booking war? Don’t…   First the overall: I’ve landed in the Travel sector and particularly in the hotel chain’s scenario back in 2010, roughly 7 years ago.   Since the beginning of my journey in this amazing and hefty industry, I’ve increasingly come to realize genuine discomfort between ends of the same stick:   On one hand, hotels and other types of lodging owners with their attempt to drive bigger volumes of direct business and thus increasing bottom line; On the other side, tour operators and agencies that still have an established business model and strive forRead More →

Online travel landscape is a bit like the movie Highlanders. Lots of contestants, all fighting for the same fable prize: just replace chopping heads until you’re the last standing immortal with getting customer’s to book with them! And despite all other web-related actions, search was on a not so long past the very best choice in terms of marketing budget ROI.     How come? Well, search is (as you’re about to see, not sure if it still is…) closer to conversion.   Explaining why search is so conversion oriented   When you’re searching, you are probably in an interest/consideration mode and that is deeper on the purchaseRead More →

The last 5 years have been lavish in technological leaps! Powerful mobile devices, multi-touch technology, cloud computing and big data compiling and analysis have completely changed the way we live life, communicate and consume content.   Of course when life itself evolves, so should marketing! For instance marketing segmentation is changing.   And what is changing in real life that impacts your marketing segmentation?   Cross-device, cross-browser, omni-channel experience is expected; People definitely have more choices combined with less time; That creates a minimal attention span that needs to be efficiently addressed with compelling perfectly tailored and segmented content; Your audience has grown a mind of theirRead More →

“You don’t know the power of the Dark Side.” (Darth Vader)   One of these days, I found myself listing the different threats that would end up in a website security being compromised. It’s a big list as you can imagine…   Being in the business for over a decade, I’ve had my fair share of close encounters with DDos, Brute Force attacks, malware and spammers.   On all of this, there is one reasoning that usually made me feel a little safer by the end of every day: the concept that a hacking would involve some kind of deceptive move, followed by some form ofRead More →

According to Travelweekly, Expedia has been promoting to its customers the Red Lion Member Rates. Red Lion is a US / CA hotel chain with a little over 100 hotels.     Similar to many other hotel chains and independent hotels, Red Lion Hotels have their own member rates, named Hello Rewards and they offer loyal customers an exclusive “thank you package” with the following benefits amongst others: a free night every 7 stays, discounted rates, express check-in and check-out; late check-outs; room upgrades; member-only offers;   All of this is now available to Expedia and Hotels.com users, since July 2016 at least. Check outRead More →

This might be a little old for some, nevertheless I’m sure it will help some of you out there dealing with server migrations.   The propagation of a DNS can take up to five days, this is because among other things, when you migrate a site to another server / host, during the first hours it can happen that they’re still accessing your old server / host.     1st tip to speed up DNS Propagation A good way to speed up this process and speed up the DNS propagation is to run the following command (valid for Windows operating systems):   Start> Run> cmd>Read More →

  This article’s objective is to help you define & set proven quick-wins for a well succeeded Hotel Digital Strategy aimed at increasing your direct bookings.   First, let’s just get 3 things straight: Your marketing budget makes little difference; It doesn’t really matter if you are the owner of a Big Hotel Chain with 1000s of rooms or you only manage a small 15 room Boutique Hotel; Makes no difference your current standing point on digital marketing;   Specifically hotel and in overall travel digital landscape is a hard and competitive one. We´ve spoken before that a winning digital strategy from 2-3 years ago, if usedRead More →

Searching the web for the last 10 years, I´ve come across some big digital advertising mistakes (I´ve done a few also, but enough about me…). Oddly enough, some of my best findings didn’t belong to beginners, inexperienced or wannabee webmasters or and high-school students. No sir! Actually, some of the biggest mistakes I´ve found where “made” by very knowledge people in the online business, but somehow, something was forgotten… Take for example the Luxury Travel Website Mr.&Mrs.Smith (don´t mistake with Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie 2005 movie). Just let me start by saying that the above website is undoubtedly a very well established and interestingRead More →

If you were asked to name one volatile always evolving market, online digital market would probably be top of mind. Whether we´re talking search, social, pay-per-click, mobile, apps or email marketing, there is always something happening every time! To help you focus on what really matters in 2016, I´ve come up with a digital marketing short list you just need to check!   For those guys who are not keen on reading, here´s a 15 sec summary: 1.      Mobile is your n.1 screen 2.      Facebook goes business mode 3.      You´re only as good as your content 4.      Know & personalize as much as possible 5.     Read More →

In the travel industry, every time someone speaks about booking directly, you´re in for a good argument! I have been in dozens of travel fairs, conferences and meetings and nothing fires up the room the most… If you´re a hotel owner or manager, chances are you´re very pro direct bookings. On the other hand if you work for an intermediary, travel agency or tour operator, direct bookings are your worst enemy. After all, if 100% of the travel related bookings were direct, you´d be out of job, right? In this argument, “we” from the travel industry business very often forget about the 3rd part inRead More →