Expedia eyes innovation to boost revenue for hoteliers

“The online hotel booking business has been growing rapidly every year because of the use of smartphones and availability of high-speed internet,” said Pimpawee Nopakitgumjorn, marketing management director of Expedia Thailand Ltd.

Big data analytics, artificial intelligence and natural language processing technology have been adopted by online hotel booking service Expedia to boost revenue for hoteliers and make it more convenient for users.

“The online hotel booking business has been growing rapidly every year because of the use of smartphones and availability of high-speed internet,” said Pimpawee Nopakitgumjorn, marketing management director of Expedia Thailand Ltd.

The site received 600 million visits per month globally in 2016, compared with 450 million visits in 2015.

Mobile use has been increasing, accounting for one-third of visits last year and one-fourth of total transactions globally.

Mrs Pimpawee said hoteliers will shift from hotel occupancy rates and pricing wars to focus on revenue management to increase their margin.

To serve the needs of hoteliers, Expedia launched a new feature called Rev+, which are analytic revenue management tools as part of Expedia Partner Central (EPC).

EPC is a partner portal that helps hotels manage their properties and rates. Rev+ will aggregate price of hotel rivals automated to hotel managers, to use for planning price strategies.

Previously, the price comparisons were done manually by hotel staff which take about one to three hours a day, but this new automated tool enables hotels to manage their price strategy in seconds.

“Normally, less than 15% of hotels can afford revenue management software because of its high price but we offer the tool free of charge to our hotel partners,” Mrs Pimpawee said.

In addition, artificial intelligence will play a more important role in making people’s daily life more convenient. In the US, Expedia customers can ask voice-activated personal assistant Amazon Alexa about flight reservations and booking a car rental.

Mrs Pimpawee said in Thailand, the company will expand more hotelier partners in secondary cities not just main cities to have small hotels expose the global market.

Expedia has 14,891 hotelier partners in Thailand, one of its fastest growing markets in Southeast Asia. Besides flights and car rental, it plans to expand to package tour booking.

Moreover, Expedia will integrate HomeAway Inc, a vacation rental site which it acquired at the end of 2015 to compete with Airbnb Inc. The company is in the process of integrating HomeAway with its local office here.

Mrs Pimpawee said Japan, the US, Singapore, and Australia had the highest number of citizens visiting Thailand.

Expedia global revenue in 2016 reached US$72 billion, and it spent US$1.2 billion in research and development.


New Analytics Product Helps Airbnb Hosts Compete with Hotels

DENVER, Aug. 14, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — Leading provider of vacation rental data AirDNA has released a cutting-edge market intelligence product to help professionalize the Airbnb host community. Market Minder displays key hospitality metrics for every Airbnb rental worldwide, enabling hosts to compete on the same level as hotel executives.

AirDNA Market Minder

In a simple, interactive dashboard complete with maps, charts, and adjustable filters, the tool allows vacation rental managers to make informed pricing decisions, spot peaks in travel demand, and better understand how their properties stack up against similarly sized and priced competitors.

After hosts have optimized their own rentals, the Market Minder also provides insight on the best locations in town in which to expand their businesses. With neighborhood-level analytics available in more than 1,000 major tourist destinations, the application allows users to explore different parts of town to discover where the most profitable short-term lodging can be added.

Market Minder empowers small operators with big data. “Airbnb hosts have been operating in an informational vacuum,” says Scott Shatford, CEO of AirDNA. “We have created a tool that finally puts the business intelligence directly into the hands of these small business owners, allowing them to make more informed, data-driven decisions in an increasingly competitive marketplace.”

The demand for hotel alternatives like Airbnb shows no signs of slowing. AirDNA projects that global revenue for all properties listed on Airbnb will exceed USD $40 billion in 2017 alone. Yet, despite the 1.7 million Airbnb hosts currently using the platform, no analytical tools have emerged to empower this new generation of entrepreneurs. With the release of Market Minder, these mission critical KPIs are available to any host who wants to optimize their listing for success and intelligently compete for tourist dollars in their own city.

Market Minder is a subscription-based service for users to access local information on more than 25,000 cities and neighborhoods around the globe. Pricing starts at USD $14.99/month. For more information, please visit https://airdna.co/market-data

About AirDNA

AirDNA is a market research firm specializing in everything Airbnb. Everyone from individual Airbnb hosts to hedge fund managers trust AirDNA to better understand the disruption and opportunities that the rapidly growing private accommodation industry is creating.

Abigail Long




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