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2016 Year in Review: Hospitality and Travel Tech


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SnapShot's roundup of the most interesting, useful, or surprising blog posts, stories, and articles in the hospitality, travel, hotel tech, and big data industries.

Published in: Travel

2016 Year in Review: Hospitality and Travel Tech

  1. 1. SnapShot’s 2016 Year in Review: Hospitality & Travel Tech @snapshot_demand Kurfürstendamm 212, 10719 Berlin
  2. 2. 2016 turned out to be a very exciting year for the hotel tech industry. Most of all, it was a year where new technology was finally widely discussed and speculated upon, and even introduced and tested. New tools like analytics, messaging, chatbots and the like are now being adopted by hotels around the world. We as an industry are moving quickly forward in improving and modernizing the tools and workflows we use everyday in running our hotels and in building hotel technology. Let’s give ourselves a major round of applause for a year well done. We can’t wait to see what’s in store for 2017. For this roundup, we'll start with the most recent news and work our way back through the year. So, without further ado, let’s jump right into the top hospitality and travel tech news of 2016. Here’s to a fantastic new year! - Clay and The SnapShot Team Editorial A look back at the top hospitality tech news in 2016.
  3. 3. Find out more about what we do: visit us at
  4. 4. One of our most popular posts came right at the end of the year. It’s our updated Hotel Distribution Tech Chart. It's been over a year since we published the original chart, and a lot has changed in the industry since then. Many have written to us asking to be included in "V2" or offered suggestions on how we could improve upon the chart. So we made a few big updates to it. Use it to better understand the current hotel technology landscape. View on our blog The Hotel Distribution Technology Chart: 2017
  5. 5. One of the biggest themes in the greater tech industry in general this year has been artificial intelligence, and we’re beginning to see it trickle down into enterprise software and even hotel tech. Artificial Intelligence or so-called neural-networks of learning computers have already vastly improved Google’s most popular apps like Translate, Google’s speech tools, and Image search. It’s only a matter of time until A.I. is used to improve the capabilities of travel technology. Read on NY Times The Great A.I. Awakening
  6. 6. Leonardo on some of the major innovations, upsets, and happenings that influenced hotel marketing in 2016: Facebook updates, Tripadvisor changes, Voice-activated booking. Give this informative post a read! Read on Leonardo’s Blog Major Changes in 2016 That Impacted Hotel Marketing
  7. 7. It's no secret that the airline industry is often a few steps ahead of the hotel industry when it comes to embracing state-of-the-art technology. Read this article that details some of the strategies we could adopt, specifically regarding revenue management. Read on eHotelier What Hoteliers Can Learn from the Way Airlines Handle Revenue Management
  8. 8. In November we brought back our Hotel Tech Insiders series with a conversation with Hotel Christian IV general manager Kasper Linnet Jørgensen about the pros and cons of being a small, independent hotel using modern hotel tech. Read on our blog
  9. 9. A.I. and machine learning are certainly buzz words in the world of technology, but not all of it is really directly relevant to what we do. Thankfully, someone’s made this very comprehensive guide to machine learning and AI, including current players, trends, and the overall industry. Read on Medium The Non-Technical Guide to Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence
  11. 11. Also in November, Skift chatted with Facebook's Head of Travel on Facebook's aggressive investment in the travel sector and how our industry can leverage that to their advantage. Read on Skift Interview: Facebook’s Head of Travel Reveals How Brands are Winning on the Platform
  12. 12. Mews, a new cloud-based PMS, put out a lot of great content this year. We always enjoyed reading their personal yet informative blog posts. Here is one of our favorites that offers seven potential changes GMs could make to improve their operations in each department. Take a look, maybe you'll find some inspiration, too! Read on Mew’s blog 7 Changes a GM Can Make Across Every Department
  13. 13. Net Affinity was certainly another one of our favorite industry insiders when it comes to high-quality, informative and fun content, and this blog post is a perfect example: It’s a comprehensive look at various strategies revenue managers can use when working with data, with practical, usable information at the forefront. Read on Net Affinity’s blog How Do Revenue Managers Use Data?
  14. 14. Not only has Google employed their vast amount of user and historic data to notify customers before flight prices suddenly jump, they're also now doing the same for hotel prices. Whether it’s good or bad, data-powered functionality will inevitably become more commonplace in travel tech. Read on VentureBeat Google Now Tells You When To Book Cheap Flights and Hotel Rooms
  15. 15. If you're considering making the switch to a different PMS system, here are the big questions you should be asking before making the leap. Read on our eHotelier Next-Generation Property Management Systems: Is Now The Right Time To Upgrade?
  16. 16. The Hotel Technology Index is a community-updated knowledge base for the hotel tech and hospitality industries. Software, applications, providers and terms! It's the result of hundreds of hours of research and we're very excited to share it with you. Learn more about it and how we made it on our blog. Read on our blog
  17. 17. There are many ways hotels can use chatbots to enhance the customer experience. This article gives some useful examples for the entire customer journey from before their arrival to after their departure. Read more Five Ways Chatbots Could Change The Hotel Industry
  18. 18. Travelers want more amenities for cheaper prices, hence the promotion of packages. But what, specifically, can hotels capitalize on? Read on Skift How Hotels Can Drive Revenue by Rethinking the Hotel Package
  19. 19. We sat down with the experts and put together a detailed chart exploring the connections between data sets you can find at your hotel. What happens when you compare your various types of metrics? Our Infographic can help you find out! Read on our blog
  20. 20. David Chestler of Siteminder gives an interesting look at the potential future of hospitality tech, including what the future might hold for OTAs, distribution, and more. Find out more Hotel Distribution, OTAs, and the Future Of Hotel Technology
  21. 21. Towards the end of the summer, Tnooz and Triptease published this great infographic outlining the battle between OTAs and hotels. So let's take a moment to walk down memory lane! Check out how metasearch engines have evolved since the mid 1990s, in the educational infographic. Read on Tnooz Direct Hotel Booking Battle: A Historic Infographic
  22. 22. We put together this guide to how to use Google Analytics for a hotel, including detailed examples of UTM tagging, e-commerce setup, and a free reference doc. There are other guides out there, but we made this one because there was a clear need for a very useful guide for hotels. Take a look! Read on our blog
  23. 23. As one of the world’s fastest growing chains, Yotel’s has always been ahead of the curve with hospitality technology, and they've got big plans ahead of them. Learn how they’re “disrupting” hospitality in this interesting profile in Digiday. Read on Digiday How Yotel is Disrupting the Hotel Industry
  24. 24. Here’s another disruptive, forward-thinking hotel. Yet, with just one hotel up and running, Virgin hotels have already made a big splash. By embracing innovative digital marketing and a responsive booking engine, Virgin’s further raising the bar for hoteliers who want to look further into the future of the industry. This one’s a nice one to compare with the earlier Yotel piece. Read more on Tnooz How Virgin Hotels’ Digital Marketing Strategy has taken Shape
  25. 25. It’s always good to keep up on the developments in how shoppers are using (and feeling) about OTAs. Tnooz compiled some key takeaways from a recent Phocuswright study that looks at exactly that. Read on Tnooz The State of Online Travel Agency Bookings in Charts
  26. 26. They say 80% of your future business will come from 20% of your current customers. Customer retention should be a top priority in order for your business to survive. Here are some tips on how to keep it up and stay in the game. Learn more here How to Improve Customer Retention in 2016: 10 Best Practices (Infographic)
  27. 27. There is no doubt that Google tends to overshadow other apps, but so far they've shied away from travel apps (aside from Maps, of course, and their Flights website, used by advanced travel hackers). Google Destinations seems to be their first major contender in the space. Must say, it looks pretty cool. Read on Travel and Leisure Everything You Need to Know About Google’s Crazy New Travel Planner
  28. 28. An important read on recent changes made in tripadvisor that may influence your web traffic, and what you can do about it. Read on Pulse Has Your TripAdvisor Traffic Plummeted? If So, This May Be Why
  29. 29. Our in-house Demand and Revenue Management Consultant, Linda Girrbach's practical guide to developing a modern, effective segmentation strategy for hotels. Read on our blog How To Set Up Modern Hotel Segmentation
  30. 30. Our friends at StayNTouch put together this list of tips for hotels using cloud tech. The trend is undeniable: Many hotels are moving to cloud-based tech. Here are some reasons to consider making the leap. Read on StayNTouch 4 Ways Independent Hotels Can Get Ahead with Cloud Technology
  31. 31. opensmjle put together a great list of Internet Booking Engines AKA IBEs for our educational enjoyment. You have to sign up for the full list but you can still get a good idea from the article here (though it's worth the sign up). Read on opensmjle Internet Booking Engine Provider Overview - 2016
  32. 32. Data can be complex, so data analytics is important to reveal the story data has to tell. It is up to hotels themselves to give them a clear and useful meaning. More often used for marketing purposes, how does data also empower employees? Read on Skift Data and Analytics are Defining the Future of Hotel Employee-Guest Relations
  33. 33. The title really says it all. But it doesn’t need to be that way! There are many ways, both in the front-of-house and back-of-house that hotels can improve guest experience and operations, done simply by implementing smart technological upgrades. Read more on Skift. Read on Skift Hotels Struggle to Exit the Analog Age
  34. 34. What's wrong with hospitality I.T. and hotel tech integrations? What can we do about it? The infamous Spaghetti Chart holds the key. Get a better idea of why hotel tech often hits roadblocks, and what you can do about it. Darja and Anton explain. Read on our blog The Sad State of Hotel Tech Integrations: The Spaghetti Chart
  35. 35. Not every hotel owner immediately understands the value of revenue management. Thankfully, we have resources like this to help owners better understand how their hotel can benefit from solid revenue management. Read on eHotelier How to Demonstrate The Value of Revenue Management to Property Owners
  36. 36. While it costs a pretty penny to view the full report, you can get a very nice overview of it from the executive summary, which is worth reading on its own. It's a look at the industry as it both consolidates and is disrupted by numerous companies who are thinking outside the standard hotel tech box. Read on Skift The Strategic Guide to a Modern Hotel Technology Stack
  37. 37. Social media can be powerful marketing tools for hotels, but how to judge success on various platforms can be confusing. Nevertheless, Facebook is a serious tool for acquiring new customers and keeping old ones happy. Here are some tips on how to see how well your hotel is doing on Facebook from eHotelier. Read on Net Affinity The Facebook Metrics that Matter for Hotels
  38. 38. We’ve share a few similar lists before, but this Hubspot list of data visualization tools adds a new layer of usefulness. Lots in here from digging up publicly-available data to visualizing that data. Read on Hubspot’s blog 17 Data Visualization Tools & Resources You Should Bookmark
  39. 39. "Data is only as good as its use." “ ” Image source: Tableau The Definitive Oral History of Online Travel This extensive read that Skift put out this past spring was one of the major highlights for us this year. Major props to Skift for this oral history of the Online Travel industry. In it they chat with some of the original founders of the businesses that got the industry going as well as today's mover's and shakers. Read on Skift
  40. 40. There’s a lot of data out there. I mean, the hospitality industry has more guest data than almost any other industry, so it can be naturally kind of intimidating. Once that data is organized, however, it starts to make a lot more sense. That’s what this Types of Hotel Data Infographic is all about. It’s the Wheel of Discovering Your Hotel Data… Or something like that. No matter what you call it, this chart will help you understand the types of data your hotel encounters: big data, small data, their sources, and the tools used, so take a look and get a better handle on your data today. Read on our blog The Hotel Data Types Chart 2016
  41. 41. Alice was another tech insider that regularly published stellar content. Here’s one of their best, an eBook on the data-driven hotelier. From an average morning in the life of a big city GM to use cases for data, this eBook is a great introduction to how GMs can use data to improve their day-to-day operations. Not just informative tips but a look at real hotels leveraging data and analytics. Any hotel interested in doing the same should check this out. Get the eBook from ALICE The Data-Driven Hotelier An eBook
  42. 42. If you’re looking for a all-in-one no-B.S. guide to what your hotel website should look like in 2016, take a look at this guide put together by our friends at Tambourine. It’s an awesome checklist of features that any successful hotel website should have. After all, it’s one of the most important marketing tools at your disposal, so make the most of it! The 25 Most Important Features Of Your Hotel Website Read on Tambourine’s Blog
  43. 43. Here’s a look at how you can use tech and data to customize and improve the guest experience, from the time they book through arrival. (It's pretty useful during their stay and after their departure, too). Everything from destination marketing, personalized emails (and other communication tools), and building better guest profiles. Read on Net Affinity 10 Key Trends for Modern Revenue Management
  44. 44. Why must we subjugate ourselves to frankly boring Excel charts and uninspired graphs? How you communicate information doesn’t end at the data used, but actually how it’s presented. Human beings are visual learners so when data is presented in easily understandable ways that are also aesthetically pleasing, more information is retained. With that in mind, here is a great list of data visualization tools for both non-techies and developers. Why look at never-ending lists of numbers when you can look at pretty (and informative pictures?) Get those XML files ready! Read on Next Web The 14 Best Data Visualization Tools
  45. 45. Hotel marketers often get concerned with getting good stats rather than investigating whether they are actually using the right metrics. This article lists some highly useful tips on the hotel marketing numbers that actually matter today. Agreed on the important categories mentioned here by Vikram, and also will use any reason to sneak an awesome dinosaur picture into these slides. Read on Words of Vikram Dinosaur Metrics Are Taking a Bite Out of Your Hotel Marketing Performance
  47. 47. This list showcases the top trends of hotel tech that started in 2016, which are, unsurprisingly, mostly data related. From data security, to location-based data, to improving mobile engagement, hotels are beginning to make better use out of the current tech tools available to them. Check out this list for all the interesting stats and get a head start on understanding where the industry is headed. Read more 6 Mega-Trends In Hotel Technology
  48. 48. Data isn’t numbers, it’s people. “ ”- Riley Newmann Data Scientist, Airbnb Image source: Tableau Airbnb’s Insights from 5 Years of Hypergrowth Data science belongs everywhere at Airbnb Airbnb was one again of the hottest topics in the industry this year. Their "disruptive" approach to hospitality can teach a thing or two, regardless of how you feel about the company. One of their biggest resources for growth is their forward-thinking use of data. "Data is not numbers, it's people." That sums it up pretty well. Read more on their Nerds blog post about how data factors into just about everything they do. Read on Airbnb's blog
  49. 49. Many in hospitality use Excel on a daily basis. But like most applications, we stick to what we know. This highly informative eBook on how to use Excel will show you some useful tricks you'll want to have handy. As the author correctly states, “You may know how to plug in numbers and add up cells in a column, but that's not going to get you far when it comes to reporting on your metrics.” Read on Hubspot How to Use Excel A Must-Have Guide
  50. 50. Around the beginning of 2016, Net Affinity published these useful tips on how to build a beautiful landing page for your hotel that actually converts guests to book direct. It’s a compilation of posts from various sources that give you a well-rounded understanding of landing page best practices in the hospitality industry. Read on Net Affinity Landing Pages: Hot Tips For Your Hotel
  51. 51. And finally, for one of the first posts we shared this year, also one of our favorites that we keep returning to, it’s: “Designing Data-Driven Interfaces.” Because telling the story behind your data is just as important as the data itself. Here’s a great look at how to think about representing and presenting data by one of Uber’s designers. Read on Truth Labs Designing Data-Driven Interfaces
  52. 52. At SnapShot, we believe hoteliers should have a right to their data, and a right to use it intelligently. That's why we built SnapShot Analytics. Analytics is a cloud-based hotel analytics tool that presents a comprehensive overview of your hotel data on a powerful yet intuitive dashboard. Everything you need in one place: PMS data, benchmarking, pricing, web analytics, and social media stats. Dig as deep as you want, or keep it surface level for immediately actionable intelligence. Click below to learn more about us. Learn more About Us Everything you need to see, nothing you don’t. HOTEL ANALYTICS This Hotel Data and Analytics 2016 roundup is brought to you by Clay and the SnapShot team. Thanks for reading! SIGN UP Did we miss something? Feedback always welcome at