Τρίτη, 23 Ιανουαρίου 2018

HolidayPirates user survey reveals the motivational factors behind a customer review

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As the competition for customer loyalty rapidly grows, hospitality establishments are feeling the pressure to secure reviews from its visitors. But what impact does an online customer review actually have and what incentivises a customer to write one?
HolidayPirates surveyed more than 1,000 of its U.K. based users to identify what motivates them to write a review (or dissuades them). The survey results provide the travel and hospitality industry with an understanding of how to obtain valuable customer reviews.
Customer reviews matter
  • The survey found that over 70% of customers will search for reviews from previous customers before making their decision to book their next trip, hotel stay, or restaurant visit.
  • More than half of customers (58%) trust an online customer review as much as a personal recommendation.
  • A staggering 96% of respondents said that the reviews will always or sometimes impact their decision to book their next trip, hotel stay, or restaurant visit (with just 3% saying it will not).  
Incentives to write a review
According to the respondents to the HolidayPirates study, more than three quarters of customers will publish an online review of an establishment or stay following their holiday. The primary motivation is that the customer had a positive experience and wanted others to benefit, or to contribute to the collective knowledge of other visitors.
But a positive experience on its own is not sufficient enough incentive for customers to leave a review. When asked what motivational factors (offered by establishments) might most encourage customers to contribute a review, respondents said:
  1. The promise of an offer, such as a future discount
  2. A ‘thank you for the visit’ email, without explicitly asking for a review
  3. A recommendation on which review site would be preferred by the establishment
Of the small number of customers who stated that they would never write a review (12%), the main reasons are a belief that the review will not make an impact (42%), or because too much time has elapsed since the visit (23%). Finally, if the experience was neither good nor bad, 15% do not feel it is worth leaving a review.   

David Armstrong, CEO at HolidayPirates comments: “Reviews can offer crucial insight into what customers think about your establishment. But with the growing impact reviews have, and the pressure to receive them, it is easy to become too pushy with urgent requests for a review even before the customer has left the site, and this can seriously backfire. Customers mean everything to a business and we hope that this insight can help the travel and hospitality industry better understand why and how to ask for a review.”

Zurab Pololikashvili: The MENA holds a strong tourism potentia

unwto fitur2018 MENA meeting

The World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) and Casa Árabe, the public consortium headed by the Spanish Ministry of Foreign Affairs organized an event to discuss future tourism prospects at the Ministerial Round Table on Tourism Development in the MENA Region.
Opening the event, UNWTO Secretary-General, Zurab Pololikashvili, said that “The MENA holds a strong tourism potential. The region has proven yet again its resilience and demand will continue to recover as consumer confidence rises and rises. There are many reasons for optimism and I come into this meeting full of confidence for the region’s future. UNWTO forecasts point to MENA receiving 195 million international tourists by 2030”.
Participating in the debate were H.E. Mr. Zayed R. Alzayani, Minister of Industry, Commerce and Tourism of Bahrain, Mr. Hesham El Demeiry, Chairman of the Egyptian Tourist Authority, Mr. Abdel Razzaq Arabiyat, Managing Director of Jordan Tourism Board, H.E. Mr. Avedis Guidanian, Minister of Tourism of Lebanon, H.E. Ms. Rula Ma’ayah, Minister of Tourism and Antiquities of Palestine and H.E. Mr. Mohamed Al Muhairi, Undersecretary for Tourism at the Ministry of Economy of the United Arab Emirates.

According to the latest UNWTO International Tourism Barometer, international arrivals to the Middle East grew by 5% and by 13% to North Africa in 2017. The Middle East (+5%) received 58 million international tourist arrivals in 2017 with sustained growth in some destinations and a strong recovery in others.
Tags: MENA Region.UNWTO

Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines’ Ben Williams appointed as new Head of Marketing

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Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines is pleased to announce the appointment of Ben Williams as its new Head of Marketing, with effect from 1st March 2018.

Ben has been promoted from his previous role as Fred. Olsen’s eBusiness Manager – in charge of the company’s website and social media communications – and will take responsibility for developing the brand and marketing strategy.

Having joined Fred. Olsen in 2012 as an eBusiness Executive, Ben quickly progressed into a supervisory and then management role. He previously spent six years working as a Marketing Executive in the Business Travel sector for the Gray Dawes Group.

Ben graduated from the University of Hertfordshire in 2003 with a BA Honours degree in Business Studies with Marketing, and more recently was sponsored by Fred. Olsen to study for a Post Graduate Diploma in Digital Marketing, and the ILM Level 5 Certificate of Leadership and Management.

He said: “I am very excited by this new challenge and relish the opportunity to further develop our position as a market leader in smaller ship cruising. We have a great product which our guests love, strong brand awareness and an excellent team around me – all of which are vital in driving Fred. Olsen forward.

Justin Stanton, Sales and Marketing Director for Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines, said: “I would like to congratulate Ben on his promotion, which is well deserved. He is an extremely motivated and highly capable individual, and his appointment comes at an exciting time for the company, with the launch of our innovative fly-cruise programme, together with our new European river cruise programme, which has captured the imagination of our guests.

“Ensuring we keep the benefits of cruising with Fred. Olsen in customers’ minds is key to the success of our business, not only for our own promotional activity but also to support our travel agent partners who sell the majority of our cruises. I have no doubt Ben’s drive and talent will help the business’ future development.”

Porter Airlines latest Canadian airline signed for Travelport’s Rich Content and Branding

Αποτέλεσμα εικόνας για Porter Airlines latest Canadian airline signed for Travelport Rich Content and Branding

Travelport, the leading Travel Commerce Platform, announces a new, multi-year renewal content agreement with Toronto, Canada-based Porter Airlines. Porter operates flights to 23 destinations in Canada and in the United States. Porter now becomes the latest Canadian airline that has signed on for Travelport’s leading merchandising solution, Rich Content and Branding.

Under the new agreement, Porter will join more than 250 global airlines using Travelport’s Rich Content and Branding merchandising solution to display their branded fares and ancillary content in a graphically rich and visual way in order to feature ancillary products more prominently. For travel agents shopping for and booking flights via Travelport’s Airline Merchandising capabilities, Rich Content and Branding provides enhanced travel content and greater access to airline ancillary offers that can result in increased revenue for the agents.
“Porter strives to make the travel experience easier not only for passengers, but also for travel agents,” said Michael Deluce, Executive Vice President and Chief Commercial Officer for Porter Airlines. “Travelport’s Rich Content and Branding helps to showcase our award-winning on-ground and in-air service to travel agents around the world.”

Mike Douglass, Vice President Americas, Air Commerce for Travelport, added: “Porter’s participation in Travelport’s Rich Content and Branding adds to the significant endorsement by the Canadian airline industry of Travelport’s innovative technology leadership and our commitment to partnering with airlines on the future of branded fares and ancillaries merchandising.”

Iberostar Opens First Hotel in Barcelona

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Iberostar Hotels & Resorts opens the doors of its newest hotel, the Iberostar Paseo de Gracia, marking the chain’s first hotel in Barcelona. This establishment is part of the urban hotel segment and is the first of 15 hotels that Iberostar will open over the course of 2018.
At just 7.5 miles from the El Prat International Airport, and located in the heart of Plaza de Catalunya, the hotel is in one of Barcelona’s most vibrant and centric neighborhoods, surrounded by modern buildings, prestigious fashion stores and famous restaurants. The Iberostar Paseo de Gracia is in a historic building designed in the monumental classical style and dates to 1942. It features neo-baroque decor at its foundations, including sculptures by Frederic Marés and boasts panoramic views of the city’s skyline, visible from the property’s terrace.
While the new building dates back to 1942, as the result of the transformation of the historic Hotel Colon in 1902, it was built along the same architectonic lines as the nearby Casa Pich i Pon.
This superior four-star hotel boasts 119 rooms, including double rooms, rooms with city views or corner city views, rooms with or without terrace, and two duplex suites (the Tower Suite and the Barcelona Suite) with panoramic views, as well as a fully-equipped gym, rooftop pool and meetings and event spaces where guests can enjoy a unique 360° view of the city.
The hotel’s extensive culinary offering includes the Ca’s Menestral Restaurant, which specializes in the cuisine of the Balearic Islands and Mallorca, in addition to offering a variety of international dishes, the Mmmallorca Coffee Bakery Bar, located in the lobby and where guests can enjoy delicacies such as Soller oranges or almond ice creams, and a sky bar, located in the penthouse, which provides the perfect atmosphere for gazing on the Barcelona sunset while sipping a cocktail. Guests who would rather relax in their rooms also have room service available 24 hours a day.
“We’re thrilled to have the Iberostar Paseo de Gracia be our first grand opening of 2018. We continue to work hard at boosting our presence in the world’s top tourist cities, with hotels in privileged locations and in unique buildings,” said Aurelio Vázquez, Chief Operations Officer of Iberostar Hotels & Resorts. “This hotel is the perfect embodiment of our urban hotels line, where we are now bringing the excellence of our products and services to urban settings. Because of its design, its strategic location and its high standards of service, we are certain that the Iberostar Paseo de Gracia will become one of our most representative urban hotels in the not too distant future.”
The hotel’s privileged location in the heart of downtown Barcelona provides guests a wide variety of entertainment possibilities: from shopping to visiting the numerous tourist attractions that make Barcelona one of the world’s top tourist destinations.

As part of Iberostar’s latest strategy, the company recently unveiled a new segmentation of its line of hotels. The Iberostar Paseo de Gracias becomes part of the urban hotel segment that the company is using to strengthen its commitment to city tourism. Identified by the navy blue color, urban hotels are top-level buildings located in the heart of the world’s top tourist cities, such as Madrid, New York, Lisbon, Budapest, Miami and Havana.

Boutique cruise lines to set sail in the Eastern Mediterranean and Bali

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Variety Cruises, named one of the top ten best boutique cruise lines by USA Today’s Readers’ Choice Awards 2017, announced two new destinations to their small ship cruising portfolio, the Eastern Mediterranean and Bali.
Variety Cruise The CallistoThe Callisto
Gods, Kings, and Pharaohs, which takes voyagers to Israel, Egypt, and Jordan, is set to begin in November 2018, and Splendors of Egypt by Sea will begin in December 2018, which will feature a tour though Egypt and Jordan by sea.  A Bali cruise is also planned for mid-2019, where guests will explore the Indonesian Archipelago.
"Since we launched Variety Cruises 50 years ago, our boutique small ship sailing destination portfolio has continued to expand to include some of the more exotic parts of the world” said Yiannis Vontas, Senior Partner and Executive VP of Development and Marketing, Variety Cruises. “What attracts our guests to Variety Cruises is the intimacy of the private mega-yacht experience, and the ability to visit ports that are not accessible to large cruise ships. This year, 2018, Variety Cruises is introducing two new itineraries: Gods, Kings & Pharaohs, visiting iconic sites in Egypt, Israel and Jordan, as well as a separate itinerary focusing on the Splendors of Egypt by Sea. In 2019, we are expanding further and will introduce Bali." 
God, Kings, and Pharaohs – Sailing from Ashdod, Israel to Aqaba, Jordan, guests will be treated to some of the most fascinating destinations the Eastern Mediterranean has to offer. As you sail down the Suez Canal, take in its sights and sounds and imagine yourself in the place of the Ancient Egyptians; visit the Coptic monasteries or take a full day excursion to Cairo; discover the Valley of the Kings at the Mortuary Temple of Hatshepsut, dedicated to the only ever female Pharaoh and to the Colossi of Memnon; swim and snorkel, or simply kick-back, relax, and enjoy the beauty of the Red Sea on an afternoon sailing trip to Hurghada and Gubal Island.
This cruise will be offered as an 8-day cruise from Ashdod to Aqaba or reverse, and a 6-day cruise from Ashdod to Hurghada. 
Splendors of Egypt by Sea- Sailing from the ancient city of Alexandria, Egypt, and ending in Aqaba, Jordan, guests will be able to explore some of the most renown ports in the Eastern Mediterranean.  Highlights include many of the same locations as Gods, Kings, and Pharaohs, but focuses only on Egypt and Jordan.
This cruise will be offered as an 8-day cruise from Alexandria to Aqaba or reverse, and a 6-day cruise from Alexandria to Hurghada.
Guests booking these cruises will sail on the Callisto, a small, but elegant Motor Yacht.  The Callisto has 17 finely appointed exterior cabins located on the Lower deck and the Main deck. All cabins are comfortably arranged and beautifully furnished with wooden furniture and light fabrics. They all have marble-appointed en suite bathrooms with showers and are equipped with windows or portholes.  
Bali – Sailing from Benoa Port to Rinca island, experience the Indonesian archipelago on an island-hopping adventure. Relax on Satonda Island, a flooded volcano with a crystal-clear lake at its center; snorkel off Keramat Island and explore the colorful coral reefs below; stroll through the Komodo National Forest on the Islands of Komodo and Rinca and view the largest living reptile on Earth- the Komodo Dragon; bathe beneath a waterfall on Moyo Island.
This cruise will be offered as an 8-day cruise departing from/returning to Bali.
Variety Cruise Panorama II at SantoriniVariety Cruise Panorama II at Santorini
Guests joining the Bali cruise enjoy the private yacht experience aboard the Panorama II- a two-masted state of the art Motor Sailer accommodating up to 49 passengers in 25 cabins. All cabins are handsomely designed, finished with lustrous wood trims and warm fabrics. The fully equipped bathrooms are finished with marble. All cabins are air-conditioned and fitted with TV, telephone (for internal use), hairdryers, mini-fridge, central music, public address system and safe boxes. The aft area at the upper deck provides generous semi covered or sun exposed areas and some magnificent views.
Variety Cruises, based in Athens, Greece, is a leader in defining the small ship cruise experience, operating a fleet of 11 fully owned vessels with a maximum of 72 passengers. Guests on board get to explore secluded coves, renowned ports and legendary landmarks not accessible by larger ships. Scheduling leisure time and overnights in port highlight Variety’s commitment to providing a memorable and private yacht experience.
For solo travelers or anyone just wanting a little ‘alone time,’ Variety offers a personalized cruise experience not found on larger cruise ships- the crowd-free environment fosters socializing whether at the deck bar, open seating dining or during excursions. Each yacht has an intimate ambiance and a community of like-minded fellow travelers. Known for its high passenger-to-crew ratio, Variety staff is able to cater to the needs of all its guests.
Variety guests can select from a diverse range of handpicked cruise destinations including Greece, Spain and Portugal, the Adriatic Sea, Cape Verde, the Seychelles, West Africa, Costa Rica & Panama, Cuba, and Iceland.
For more information on conditions, restrictions, and booking, please contact your local travel agent or contact Variety Cruises at: 1-800-319-7776

To see the entire 2018-19 Voyage Collection, visit: www.varietycruises.com

PATA members can now access digital marketing data and insights

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The Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) and AppNexus, the world’s leading independent advertising technology company, today announced a new Preferred Partnership agreement.
The agreement will allow PATA members to better understand the new landscape of programmatic advertising and how best to utilise it for their respective organisations.
As a Preferred Partner, AppNexus will have access to and network with PATA’s hospitality members, tour operators, destination management companies, and National Tourism Organisations members. In addition, AppNexus will share programmatic advertising trends, data, and analysis to PATA members.
“Digital advertising is changing constantly, and it is vitally important that our industry adapts to the evolving landscape in order to remain competitive. Our partnership with AppNexus is an exciting opportunity for both parties,” said PATA CEO Dr. Mario Hardy. “PATA will now have the ability to offer its members the opportunity to access unique data and insights from AppNexus, allowing them to be more informed about the evolving digital marketing landscape.”
“The power of programmatic advertising, data, and analytics can transform the travel industry in the Asia Pacific region,” said Sonal Patel, Managing Director APAC, AppNexus. “PATA has been instrumental in spearheading strategic evolution of the market, and I am delighted to be working closely with them as we drive innovation for PATA’s travel members.”

AppNexus’ advertising technology encompasses all digital channels (desktop, mobile), formats (display, video, native), and application purposes (guaranteed and programmatic). Its technology platform is open and programmable, which affords customers the ability to build and innovate on top of its Application Programming Interfaces (APIs).