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Trends Assessment Trends Assessment Document Transcript

  • Trends Assessment |1 Ali Wade, Chuck Turnblad, Tracey Vang HT 344 Section 001 Hospitality and Tourism Marketing and Sales October 3, 2012 Trends AssessmentUniversity of Wisconsin-Stout
  • Trends Assessment |2Overview of Mobile Booking Apps Mobile booking is a fairly new trend that the entire world is quickly catching up on.According to “The Traveler‟s Road to Decision,” a study done in 2009 by Google, consumersare now checking reviews before making reservations; 41% are making leisure travel plans and50% are making business travel plans. The study also finds that travelers are doing research ontravel via the internet more than any other source. Consumers are becoming more educated on travel and are becoming more demanding.They want to know the ratings on where they are going to be staying while traveling. They alsowant to give their opinion and rate places that they have stayed. Travelers were booking trips viathe internet, using a computer. But now, a study done by PhoCusWright in February of 2012,found that more than half of all leisure travelers and three in four business travelers now own asmartphone.Hotels are using this research to their advantage by advertising their hotels on theinternet, but more specifically on the social media networks like Facebook where PhoCusWrighthas found that more consumers are more likely to book then compared to advertising onsearchengines like Google. Hotels are creating their own apps to allow consumers access to their hotelinformation and deals/discounts. In 2010, two-thirds of businesses planned their travel through search engines, makingsmartphone bookings rise to 69% according to a Travelmole study.Mobile apps not only make iteasier to book for businesses but also for leisure travelers.A little over half of consumerssurveyed from the Association for Corporate Travel Executives is still skeptical on the securityof apps. Apps are still a new concept to consumers and they feel they have little knowledge aboutmobile payment and using apps. But, for the younger generation, whom are more familiar withsocial media,are more spontaneous, and looking for a great deal, apps are quick and convenient. Now that mobile booking is available as an app on smartphones, if a consumer‟s flight iscanceled or delayed they do not have to wait in line at the airport to book a new flight, they canlook an app up on their smartphone, book and pay for a new flight in seconds.Mobile booking isnot just for flights, it is available for booking hotel rooms, restaurant reservations, rental cars,etc. Not only can a consumer use their smartphone to book but they can also use other means oftechnology like the Kindle Fire, Android Tablets, and iPad, according toBusinessTravelNews.com.Huffington Post.comstates that there is now a mobile-only appfocused toward last minute booking. Because of the economy, more travelers are waiting untilthe last minute to book. The New York Times.com comments that mobile booking will be doneon the go now and in the future. Online travel booking is expected to triple by 2013 according to PhoCusWright.In theU.S. alone researching travel on a mobile device is expected to increase by 51%. Booking travelarrangements is expected to grow in China, India, and Brazil by the end of 2012.University of Wisconsin-Stout
  • Trends Assessment |3Impacts of Mobile Booking for Hotels The growing trend of generating revenue in the hospitality industry from mobilebookings is a trend that has been in significant increase. Mobile booking is a resourceful tool forconsumers who are not only looking to book a trip in the future, but for those eager to book a lastminute stay when they have already arrived at their destination. The Ritz-Carlton Hotels introduced their mobile app earlier this year to give their guestssimpler access to their company‟s assortment of hotels around the world. However, Ritz-Carlton‟s app not only provides a booking engine for guests, but is also filled with personalizedinformation and features. According to Melanie Nayer‟s article, Ritz-Carlton Debuts Mobile AppPacked with Personalized Info, Hotel Insights, “The Ritz-Carlton app includes personal tips fromPresident & COO HerveHumler that identify the „hidden gems‟ guests shouldn‟t miss when theycheck in. Additionally, the app will offer personalized suggestions to guests based on locationand duration of stay.” The company is marketing their mobile app in a meaningful and relevantway for consumers to differentiate it from other hotel brands. Even though the mobile app‟s initial objective was to provide booking options for guests,it cultivated into more of an experience and less of a necessity. One of the innovative featuresthat the app incorporates is the scanning of QR codes to offer the guest with comprehensiveinsight and exciting activities to do like wine pairing or a digital scavenger hunt. These elementsof the Ritz-Carlton app allow guests to gain access to interesting facts that they would not haveotherwise known. The Ritz-Carlton Hotel addressed the trend of mobile booking in a very cliché way. Thecompany became aware that there was a need for mobile booking and identified that a mobileapp could offer a variety of features in addition to the booking of hotel rooms. Conversely, theQR scanning feature of the app is a creative way of marketing the unique activities thatconsumers can participate in during their stay. In order to improve the hotel companies marketing approach to mobile booking, Ritz-Carlton could have put more emphasis on the booking facet of the app and advertised theproficient functionality of that feature. By targeting the main feature on the app and providing animmense distinction between other hotel brand‟s apps enables Ritz-Carlton to advertise howenhanced their booking of rooms is compared to any other hotel. Marriott‟s Fairfield Inn & Suites has used the concept of mobile booking to an entirelynew level. To drive last-minute bookings, Marriott developed mobile video advertisements.These video advertisements are promotional videos that show how Marriott is striving toincrease efficiency for the consumer. They also include expandable banner ads with aconspicuous button underneath that encourages users to book a room at that very moment. Thereasoning behind mobile video advertisements is because Marriott identifies their targetaudiences as frequent business travelers who are always on the go and greatly rely on their cellphone. The use of mobile technology is a significant component of Marriott‟s marketingcampaign in order to promote their services to the frequent business traveler. Video is a majorcomponent as well because it makes an effort to share the brand story in an appealing way whileUniversity of Wisconsin-Stout
  • Trends Assessment |4giving the opportunity to strengthen the brand‟s image. The mobile app also includes numerousfeatures for the guest such as viewing amenities and tours of the hotel. Mobile bookings have been a substantial success for Marriott‟s Fairfield Inn & Suites. Inthe article, Marriott Banks on Mobile Video to Drive Bookings, Lauren Johnson states how, “Thecompany revealed that 50 percent of its smartphone bookings are for same-day stays.”Furthermore, last year Marriott launched multiple smartphone apps along with a restored mobilesite to correspond with guests who are looking to swiftly book a hotel room. For Marriott‟s Fairfield Inn & Suites to utilize the element of video advertisements toinspire consumers to book a room at their hotel is a beneficial way to differentiate themselvesfrom other hotel brands. But for the company to be more successful with their marketingconcepts within the mobile app, they must take into consideration whether a busy frequentbusiness traveler would want to listen to a promotional video advertising the hotel brand. If theconsumer is a frequent guest at Marriott‟s Fairfield Inn & Suites they may possibly want asimpler function opposed to continuously going through the video advertisement. Mobile booking is a trend that can be applied to other industries as well such as thehealthcare industry. In the healthcare industry, mobile booking would be useful for patients toschedule doctor appointments through their smartphone instead of calling and potentially havingto be put on hold. These types of bookings could also stem to other health and wellnessindustries for scheduling appointments such as a dentist appointment, appointment with achiropractor, or even a manicure or pedicure at the local nail salon. The entertainment industry is an industry that has already noticed the advantages thatmobile booking can offer. In the professional sports industry, fans apply this marketing conceptto their benefit by buying their tickets right from their mobile app without having to log on to acomputer. This is present in other aspects of the entertainment industry too by consumers buyingtheir movie tickets through their mobile apps to insure a seat for the movie. The trend of mobilebooking is a time and laborsaving way that can be applied to a countless number of industries inour society.Interview1.) How do you see the trend of mobile booking impacting the business landscape? “Mobile booking will certainly end traditional travel agents and even have a negative impact on web site bookings such as Orbits and others.” The modern traveler wants everything instantly, so the apps serve a great purpose.2.) How do you see that mobile booking will change moving forward? “Mobile apps will become more sophisticated. Transferring information into your computer calendar will be more available, storing info in just about any electronic device will become the norm.”University of Wisconsin-Stout
  • Trends Assessment |53.) What do you see will be needed to stay ahead of competitors in regard to mobile booking? “To stay ahead in mobile booking simple requires more creativity and imagination in determining what the market demands. The quicker, easier, user-friendly mobile booking can be, the greater the success. It is truly the wave of the future.” “Based on all the conferences and industry updates I have attended, using cellphone/mobile apps, etc. for reservations is the thing of the future. Most hotel chains and major brands have aps available and it is a convenience that many business travels and even leisure travelers are using moreand more. Travel agents are becoming more a thing of the past.” Dan Creed Instructor, Hospitality Management DeptNormandale Community College I was excited to take on this subject. I am convinced that this is truly more than a trend. Isee this being strong and long lasting. I am not of the generation that is into tech and fasteverything, but I love the tech. This is something I see spreading into many areas of hospitality,airlines, restaurants, entertainment, and etc. The possibilities for mobile apps and hospitality uses are endless. I can see more thanreservations being made on mobile apps - restaurant pre-orders, table reservations, hotelreservations, room service, and additional on-site services, buying tickets for events, movies,concerts, and other amusement venues. Dan Creed, Instructor in the Hospitality Management Department of NormandaleCommunity College, My Manager/interviewee makes a good point in regard to impacting thebusiness landscape, we do want everything instantly. I agree that it will have an impact on travelagencies and online travel sites. I can especially see it impacting the smaller less powerful sites. I also agree that these apps and mobile sites will become more sophisticated, and I wouldventure that they will become more far reaching and interactive. These systems will sync with allyour calendars and devices. I also see new types of mobile devices coming into the mix, new andwonderfully more powerful devices as platforms new and more interesting apps. Dan also states that “The quicker, easier, user-friendly mobile booking can be, the greaterthe success. It is truly the wave of the future.” I do believe these are the keys to staying ahead. IUniversity of Wisconsin-Stout
  • Trends Assessment |6am sure they will become quicker, easier, and more user-friendly as time goes by. With the speedat which technology is progressing, I won‟t be surprised to see these changes happen veryrapidly. I can imagine that most of the larger hotel chains do have these apps or sites in place, orin the process of doing so. Smaller chains and independents would be wise to jump on this assoon as possible if they haven‟t already. Restaurants have similar mobile apps and sites formaking reservations. Airline and Car rental companies are also putting out apps and sites. Dan Creed has taught at Normandale for the past eight years in the Business andHospitality departments as well as coordinated the International Global Studies program. Dan has an extensive background in business, hospitality, and international travel. Hehas traveled in over 60 countries and enjoys the opportunity to take students to various parts ofthe world. I met Dan as a professional connection on Linkedin.University of Wisconsin-Stout
  • Trends Assessment |7 Sources:Belopotosky, D. (2011). Mobile Booking Apps Are Only Just Starting to Deliver. RetrievedSeptember 29, 2012, fromhttp://www.nytimes.com/2011/05/05/business/05APPS.html?_r=0Brady, P. (2012). Why We’ll All Soon Be Booking Hotels On The Go. Retrieved September 29, 2012, from http://www.huffingtonpost.com/paul-brady/mobile-booking- travel_b_1613844.htmlJohnson, L. (2012). Marriott Banks on Mobile Video to Drive Bookings. Retrieved September 25, 2012, from http://www.mobilecommercedaily.com/marriott-banks- on-mobile-video-to-drive-bookingsNo Author. (2011). NewsLog. Retrieved September 29, 2012, fromhttp://www.businesstravelnews.com/Hotel-News/IHG-expanded-its-mobile-booking-apps-to-be-available-on-the-Kindle-Fire,-Google-TV-and-Android-tablets/?ib=Technology&a=mgmtNo Author. (2012) Online Travel Market. Retrieved September 29, 2012, fromhttp://www.newmediatrendwatch.com/world-overview/91-online-travel-marketNayer, M. (2012).Ritz-Carlton Debuts Mobile App Packed With Personalized Info, Hotel Insights. Retrieved September 25, 2012, from http://www.boston.com/travel/explorene/blogs/packup/2012/05/ritz- carlton_launches_mobile_a.htmlDan Creed763-350-6237 cell952-358-8689 officeNormandale Community College9700 France Av. S.Bloomington, MN 55431dan.creed@normandale.eduUniversity of Wisconsin-Stout