The Hotel and Travel Week

We’ve visited World Travel Market London 2012 last week and here is a quick round-up of impressions:

WTM London 2012 –
destination promoter walking the halls

The most obvious fact compared to previous years was the lack of large OTA exhibitors – the likes of booking.com, HRS etc. Only Expedia showcased with a smallish booth. Are they saving money or don’t they need representation anymore we asked ourselves?

A similar picture with large hotel brands – no corporate IHG, Starwood or Wyndham stands – only smaller groups such as Warwick, Jumeirah and Millienium Copthorne Hotels were present. However, individual hotels exhibited under their given destinations, both branded and independent.

Destination booths there were plenty from all over the world, showing off with costumes, colours and ‘noise’ even though some of their budgets have been cut, too – as Enrique Ruiz de Lera, Head of the Spanish Tourist Office, UK and Ireland told the audience at a social media marketing conference taking place aside the WTM show. During the seminar titled ‘Spain – Marketing in the time of nada’, he offered figures of his marketing budget having shrank from 90 million per year to only 10 at present and how to approach this difficulty.

20.7% of guests who booked on the individual hotel website
found the hotel on an OTA portal.

There was a large technology section, ranging from tech offers like booking interfaces, channel managers, on-site search to mobile and payment solutions. Several seminars and presentations took place on social media marketing (Facebook, Foursquare, Blogging), trends such as the one by PhocusWright on ‘Innovation: Shaking Up the Travel Marketplace’ and general hotel online marketing. During one of the latter, online marketing agency Wihp offered an interesting fact they found doing some market research. OTAs listen up: 20.7% of guests who booked on the individual or brand hotel website found the hotel searching an OTA portal.
Maybe this answers our question above?

QR codes everywhere (stands, posters, hand-outs, business cards) were the big trend at this year’s show. We were slightly surprised that the travel industry took so long to take them on board as we’ve got a QR code on the back of our business cards since 2009!

It also surprised us that only now travel companies are beginning to think about monetising their social media presences and moving on from marketing to social media merchandising. Again, we introduced Hotel FaceBooker 3 years ago – a booking interface enabling users to check availability directly from within Facebook which links to the hotel’s booking engine: www.hotel-facebooker.com

We don’t want to praise ourselves but both facts speak for the accuracy of our company slogan: creative  web solutions for the hotel and travel industry: www.e-conceptory.com

WTM London 2013 we are coming!

WTM London 2012

WTM London 2012

WTM London 2012 starts coming Monday and we are looking forward to the show and innovations in the hotel industry.

For example, Palladium Hotel Group in collaboration with Paytouch is bringing a combination of biometric technology and a Facebook initiative to WTM 2012. World Travel Market visitors will be able to log into Facebook using their fingertips at 4 Palladium Facebook Pods placed around London ExCeL. Users will be able to update their Facebook status and upload pictures directly from these pods.

Alfonso Giménez, Associate Director of Marketing said: “The biometric technology developed by Paytouch, twinned with the existing Facebook sharing options mark a significant advancement for technology and WTM is the ideal platform to launch this exciting initiative.” Palladium Hotel Group has become the first hotel group worldwide to offer Paytouch at its Ushuaïa Ibiza Beach Hotel. This biometric technology allows guests to make purchases with the touch of their fingertips.
In 2011 the group pioneered a live Facebook sharing experience. Guests to Ushuaïa Ibiza Beach Hotel were able to share their holiday experiences on Facebook in real time using RFID bracelets and totems distributed across the hotel. In just over 2 months, Ushuaïa Ibiza Beach Hotel had in excess of 70,000 Facebook ‘likes’, and more than 2000 registered users of the new RFID wristbands.

We will certainly give it a try next week… See you all in London!