Latest HA D&T Perspective

Reputation economy gets a boost

The importance of hotel reviews has been emphasised in two new reports, with not just the review but a hotel’s response now being assessed by potential guests.

Leisure customers have now been joined by business travellers in checking reviews, with comments about hotels reportedly influencing how guests judge their value.

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Starwood focuses ‘loyalty lens’

Starwood Hotels & Resorts has expanded its loyalty programme to allow meeting and travel professionals the chance to earn points and status, as well as any member who books an event, joining others in the sector in offering points to non-travellers to drive business.

At Starwood Hotels & Resorts, the company said that, from October, meeting and travel professionals could earn SPG elite status, upgrades and Starpoints for B2B business booked at any of Starwood’s properties.  In addition, any SPG member who booked a group stay, event or corporate business meeting, regardless of whether they were a travel professional or not, would earn Starpoints and status for the business they influence.

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Australian competition authority’s issues with Wotif deal

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has released a Statement of Issues relating to Expedia’s planned acquisition of Wotif.com Holdings.

The competition authority highlighted the potential for the deal to “substantially lessen” competition in the Australian market and also the threat of Expedia increasing commission rates for hotels and other accommodation providers in the country.

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Google to level playing field

Google is reported to be planning to launch a new platform that integrates brands’ loyalty and rewards programme information “into a logged-in Hotel Finder travel search experience”.

The “captive demand” platform, could, according to a report from Evercore, level the search playing field in travel “like we have never seen before”.

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Hotels go after Millennial ‘Jeneration’

Shangri-La Hotels has launched a new hotel brand under the name Hotel Jen, which is aimed at the Millennial market.

The announcement came as Accor focused attention to the technology offering at its revamped Novotel brand, as the battle for the Millennial traveller grows more intense.

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