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eTourism Trends and News
Social media, mobile Internet, online distribution, online communication in tourism (French-English-German) Web: www.hevs.ch / www.tourobs.ch / www.etourism-monitor.ch
Curated by Roland Schegg
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Perceptive Intelligence: The Future of Cognizant Machines and Devices

Perceptive Intelligence: The Future of Cognizant Machines and Devices | eTourism Trends and News | Scoop.it
In 1950, pioneering computer scientist Alan Turing proposed the question “can machines think?” He felt that if a machine could imitate humans closely enough to fool them into thinking it was a human, it passed the “Turing test.” As today’s devices pack more powerful processors and sensors, they have become much smarter. But, can they pass the Turing test? And if they can think and behave like humans, what will this mean for us?

As devices begin to see and hear in 3D and as machine learning allows them to perceive and process that information like humans, new worlds of possibilities open. Robots, cars, and other devices will become autonomous, anticipating outcomes far faster and more accurately. Devices will also have the intelligence to think with us, rather than for us.
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Travelocity joins Expedia’s brand portfolio

Expedia on Friday made official what the industry suspected would happen, buying Travelocity from Sabre for $280 million in cash. Expedia already had controlled much of Travelocity for the past year, using its booking platform to power the site. Selling Travelocity was “a next logical step,” Sabre CEO Tom Klein said.
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Mega (and meta) digital social mobile study released - Tnooz

Mega (and meta) digital social mobile study released - Tnooz | eTourism Trends and News | Scoop.it
We Are Social, a global social media agency, has released its “Digital Social Mobile in 2015″ report, a 376-page infographics-led study modestly described as “the most comprehensive, free compendium of up-to-date digital statistics and data you’ll find.”
Using publicly available and internal data, the study offers a wealth of global, region and market-specific insights.
The global highlights would be a good place to begin.
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Mobile Apps and Sites May Actually Work Together - eMarketer

Mobile app ads have been found to perform better than those on mobile sites, and other analysis suggests time spent with mobile internet skews heavily toward apps. However, in a December 2014 study by Harris Poll for the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) Mobile Marketing Center for Excellence, US smartphone owners didn’t view usage the same way: 33% said they used mobile sites and apps with about the same frequency, compared with 18% who said they spent a significantly larger amount of time with apps.
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Quietly, quietly, a Chinese online travel giant prepares to take on the world

Quietly, quietly, a Chinese online travel giant prepares to take on the world | eTourism Trends and News | Scoop.it
Last week’s announcement that “Ctrip.com has partnered with Amadeus to power its global expansion” has largely gone unnoticed, despite some very clear indications that this could be a significant moment in the evolution of online travel.
Ctrip’s has not responded to requests for interviews nor written responses to emailed questions. Amadeus was more forthcoming, in its carefully worded way.
The clues are all there in the release issued by Amadeus’ Singapore office. Ctrip itself appears to have said nothing officially other than a quote in the release and a bylined blog post on Amadeus’ corporate site from Xiong Xing, CEO of Ctrip’s Air Ticketing Business Unit, Ctrip.
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Booking.com tops SiteMinder’s revenue-raising big league

Booking.com tops SiteMinder’s revenue-raising big league | eTourism Trends and News | Scoop.it
Hospitality channel manager SiteMinder has revealed booking.com retained its top spot as the biggest revenue earner for the 14,000 hotels using its platform in 2014.

The global OTA came out above rival Expedia in second and Siteminder’s own direct Booking Button, reflecting the rise of the direct channel, said SiteMinder.

The 2014 revenue earning table was unveiled as SiteMinder announced it had signed up Spain’s largest hotel chain Sercotel, further establishing it in the Spanish market.
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How #mobile is set to take over the #travel industry in 2015

Travel is a space that is forever in flux and it can be incredibly hard to predict where and when the next major developments are going to arise. However with mobile devices increasingly becoming a necessity for travelers, it’s a safe bet that this is the space in which competition between brands will really heat up.
Salt and Pepper. Rosemary and Thyme. Ant and Dec. To a list of things that go hand in hand you could justifiably add travel and innovation. The industry is replete with new ideas, cutting-edge technologies and disruption, with this year promising to enhance its reputation even further. In 2012, 2013 and 2014 it’s been the year of mobile but this year; 2015 I actually expect mobile to be at the forefront of these innovations.
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Should Hoteliers Be Concerned with Amazon Becoming the Next Mega OTA?

The industry press is full of articles about Amazon entering the travel retail space, opening travel industry-focused offices, and contacting hoteliers to strike merchant-model wholesale deals.  Industry “oracles” are predicting that Amazon will become the next Expedia or Booking.com.
In my view, by adding a “merchant model” extension to their flash sale-oriented site, Amazon Local, Amazon is achieving two objectives. On one hand, Amazon is simply “testing the waters” with all of their recent moves into the travel space. On the other hand, they are trying to expand the hotel offering of the fledgling Amazon Local.  Like everyone else (Living Social, anyone?), Amazon is realizing that the flash sale model is extremely cyclical. In today’s post-recession environment, hoteliers are no longer willing to provide steep discounts and outrageous deals when they can sell their inventory at higher rates direct or via cheaper distribution channels.
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US: Want to Reach Millennials? Say Hello to Snapchat

Yes, Snapchat’s audience in the US is still small. Yes, its asking price of $750,000 a day for ads has many advertisers laughing. But there’s no denying the platform holds great potential as a way to reach one major demographic: millennials. According to November 2014 polling by Cowen and Company, 18- to 29-year-olds accounted for 71% of US internet users who had accessed Snapchat in the past 30 days. Those ages 30 to 44 represented 19% of users, the 45-to-60 group 9% and the over-60 crew a meager 1%. Millennials’ share here was higher than their portion of users for any other social network studied.
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Visit California relaunches, in once-a-decade website overhaul

Visit California relaunches, in once-a-decade website overhaul | eTourism Trends and News | Scoop.it
Visit California, the digital portal for the state’s direct marketing organization (DMO), relaunched today.
The cost was $250,000 to revamp the website’s infrastructure, in what was called a “once-a-decade overhaul.” The website will become a centerpiece of California’s approximately $100 million-a-year media marketing plan.
A more flexible architecture enables the site to now handle bigger visuals and rapid updates of content. It can also perform better on mobile devices.
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Die Macht der Online-Bewertungen

Die Macht der Online-Bewertungen | eTourism Trends and News | Scoop.it
Bewertungen in Online-Shops, auf Buchungsplattformen und Sozialen Medien spielen bei Kaufentscheidungen eine herausragende Rolle. Wir haben untersucht, wie wichtig solche Bewertungen im Schweizer Markt wirklich sind und unsere Erkenntnisse in einer Infografik zusammengefasst.
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TripAdvisor partners with CNN

CNN’s readers will be able to read TripAdvisor’s user reviews regarding hotels, restaurants and attractions mentioned in CNN Travel articles, as well as photos, maps and other information.
CNN and TripAdvisor today announced a first-of-its-kind partnership between the worlds’s leading international news brand and the world’s largest travel site.
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Amazon’s online travel march continues, should Booking.com and Expedia be sweating?

As hotels are under the gun, pressured by the cost for Google, Facebook, etc, and OTAs, a tough competitor would be welcome. Especially one, that settles for a margin of 15% and less which would be acceptable for Amazon and beneficial to hotels.
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Hotel: Balance digital with human interaction

Digital is the way of the future, but hoteliers have to remember that personal interaction still has its place. A strong website with a chat box to talk to a live person might be the best option.
The days you’d call a hotel to make a reservation are nearly as long gone as the rotary phone, and not many regret that passing. With all kinds of technology at one’s fingertips, it makes a lot of sense to bypass human contact. Digital is evermore the way, for the guest and the hotel.
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Payment Landscape: New Technologies Shake Up Old Money | MIT Technology Review

Payment Landscape: New Technologies Shake Up Old Money | MIT Technology Review | eTourism Trends and News | Scoop.it
As technology-driven payment ideas give cash a run for its money, the big winners could be established banks and credit card companies.
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What distribution tricks independent hotels use

At a recent "Distribution Tips and Tricks" webinar hosted by Hotel Management, marketing executives discussed how independent hotels can develop effective distribution strategies to better compete against larger, more powerful chains.
The first panelist to present was Bryan Woodward, CMO for Horseshoe Bay Resort, in Horseshoe Bay, Texas. Woodward has been in charge of managing the hotel’s social media marketing and public relations strategies across all advertising mediums and media platforms since 2012. Woodward has led marketing and sales programs for other properties, including the Garland Resort in Michigan and New Mexico’s Turtleback Mountain.
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HoloLens: Possible travel uses for Microsoft's rival to Google Glass - Tnooz

HoloLens: Possible travel uses for Microsoft's rival to Google Glass - Tnooz | eTourism Trends and News | Scoop.it
Today Microsoft previewed its augmented reality goggles, HoloLens. A prototype will be released later this year for testing, and it has plenty of potential uses for travel companies.
HoloLens claims to offer high-definition holograms with the spatial illusion of being integrated with your physical places, spaces, and things.
The virtual reality eyewear is similar to Oculus Rift and Google Glass. While Google’s eyewear has a heads-up display of static information in a static location, Oculus Rift — like HoloLens — creates the illusion of 3D depth.
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Google touted as suitor as Orbitz sale speculation heats up

Google touted as suitor as Orbitz sale speculation heats up | eTourism Trends and News | Scoop.it
Speculation has emerged suggesting that Orbitz Worldwide is exploring a sale, with Google mentioned as a possible suitor.

Orbitz Worldwide, which runs Orbitz.com, Cheaptickets.com and ebookers, is working with a financial adviser as it reaches out to potential buyers, people with knowledge of the matter were reported by Bloomberg as saying.
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Getting bold with OTAs

To retain customers and minimize the impact of booking abandonment due to visitors looking to shop for prices on other travel sites, UK-based Shire Hotels have taken a bold step by allowing visitors to compare hotel rates against Expedia, Booking.com, Hotels.com and Late Rooms directly within their own website.
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Let the intergalactic pirating begin: Elon Musk lays out plan for the space internet

Let the intergalactic pirating begin: Elon Musk lays out plan for the space internet | eTourism Trends and News | Scoop.it
In a private event captured on amateur video (embedded below), space pioneer Elon Musk has outlined his next task: space internet.
Of course, this makes sense – if you are going to start pushing travelers into space, there must be some infrastructure for them to post about their adventures to social media back down on earth. The ability to deliver the Web in space is also a vital component of future commercial space tourism, as there would need to be some familiar communications infrastructure to manage the growth in the industry.
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Holiday Ecommerce Sales Topped $100 Billion in US

The final results for holiday retail sales are pouring in. According to the National Retail Federation, US holiday retail sales growth rose for the third consecutive year, with an increase of 4.0% topping the 3.8% seen in 2013 and 3.0% in 2012. In all, total holiday retail sales—which include November and December—reached $616.1 billion, compared with just over $600 billion last year.
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Facebook Closes in on 1 Billion Mobile Users Worldwide

Nearly 1 billion Facebook users worldwide will access the social network on a mobile phone at least once each month in 2015, according to a new forecast from eMarketer, which for the first time breaks out mobile phone Facebook users by country.
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The third industrial revolution is coming

The third industrial revolution is coming | eTourism Trends and News | Scoop.it
Looking back at 2014, I see that a lot has changed in the world economy. For example, there is a new perception of the role of technology. Innovators and tech chief executive officers both seem positively giddy with optimism. New manufacturing technologies have spawned a feverish excitement for what some see as a coming revolution in industrial production. Yet, as we sit upon the cusp of a Third Industrial Revolution, it is not certain that the demand for labour will continue to grow as technology marches forward ‒ unless the proper policies to nurture job growth are put in place.
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6 tenets of good hotel website design

Booking engine, information platform, marketing tool. A hotel’s website serves many purposes, least among them as a front door to the online-shopping world. Here are six ways to get guests to pick your proverbial book off the shelf.
It’s crucially important hoteliers design pages that provide the same enticing sense of welcome as does the property itself. “(Guests) look before they book. … It’s really the new reality of the way people navigate and make their consumer decisions. They have a lot of options, a lot of information and a lot of competition putting out competition messages,” said Josh Johnson, digital media producer and contributing editor for the travel and lifestyle brand Matador Network, during a webinar titled “What every smart hotelier must know about Web marketing.”
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Google sending mobile usability warnings to webmasters

Notifications contain the subject “fix mobile usability issues found on…” and goes on to explain that these sites have critical mobile usability errors on 100% of the pages on the site and thus the pages will be “displayed and ranked appropriately for smartphone users.”
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