Google has just launched what may be the future of mobile travel search tools: Google Destinations. Brilliantly, Google has integrated the power of their hotel, airline, and destination search into a single, mobile-friendly travel planning platform.
The completely immersive experience is simple for travelers to navigate and – ironically for a search company – intended to eliminate the need for multiple searches. As the user navigates, the search results auto-update. One simply scrolls and Google Destinations handles all the heavy lifting.
It's difficult to imagine Google designing the "search" out of search, but one look at Google Destinations makes it easy to see how this could easily become the future of travel search. To test Google Destinations, enter a destination and add the word "vacation" (e.g. "Florida Vacation")… and Google Destinations does the rest.
Here's what I'm reading this week to stay aware of emerging trends and opportunities:
Travel Weekly Consumer Trends 2014: Explosion in Mobile Bookings
With the launch of the new iPhone 6 by Apple this week, larger phones and "phablets" will continue to gain mobile share. The larger interface is a great canvas for hospitality sites and apps, which rely on rich media and large photos. Phablets have just 6% of the market share but 11% of the app usage, meaning owners of these devices are heavily device dependent and actively engaged.
Measuring Acquisition Cost alongside RevPAR
As focus shifts from gross revenue to net profit, acquisition cost per room night has come under more scrutiny. Is it acceptable to measure total RevPAR, or should hoteliers focus more closely on net RevPAR and ProPAR (Profit per available room)? This is a very intriguing topic and one conversation that most revenue managers are not fully prepared to have with their ownership.
A detailed discussion of new benchmarks for hoteliers, including ProPAR, ProPOR (profit per occupied room), Net RevPAR, Net RevPOR, and COA (cost of acquisition). This article, along with the previous piece, represent a strategic shift in revenue management. Great read.
Hey You—Your Elevator Pitch Stinks. Fix It.
Hannah Morgan points out that, while our jobs and roles as salespeople have evolved, our quick sales pitch has not kept up with the times. I found this to be a great wake-up call read for the hotel sales profession, in particular.
Question: What's the best iPhone / Android app that you're *NOT* using?
For 95+% of the iOS and Droid users, the answer is BUMP.
This great app allows you to quickly share your contact information or photos with other new contacts by simply bumping your phones together. Seriously, it's that easy. You don't have to call one another and save the number in your phone, download VCards or any other legacy sharing strategy. Just bump and done!
A new Mojiva study being reported by EyeforTravel reveals that 61% of smartphone users would be comforable booking travel on their iPhone or Android.
The study, which was based on responses from almost 200 mobile users on the Mojiva network, shows that while 64% of users would be comfortable spending up to $500 dollars via their phones for travel, nearly forty percent of smartphone users would be comfortable booking travel in excess of $500.