This month’s roundup of news from the technology sector includes AI vacation planning; Airbnb acquires a travel guide; tech driving innovation; and more.
Hotel News Now’s Tech Impact Report each month features a news roundup from the hotel technology sector. Subscribe to the free monthly report here.
Google using AI for vacation planning
Wired reports Google is looking to use artificial intelligence to help consumers plan trips through the company’s new Google Trips app. The app helps generate an itinerary for 200 international destinations “based on your tastes, needs and available time.”
Travelers are also able to update the itinerary after arriving at their destination with attractions close to their locations.
Airbnb buys travel guide startup
Airbnb has bought Barcelona-based Trip4real for an undisclosed price, according to a report from TechCrunch. The sharing economy giant had already worked with Trip4real as a partner. That startup company “offers a marketplace of experience for tourists to browse and book ahead of time to lend their trip a little local color/flavor.”
The acquisition is expected to fit in with Airbnb’s efforts to have a bigger role in travel planning along with the company’s Trips app and City Hosts program.
Hotel CEOs: Tech will drive distribution
A group of hotel industry CEOs who spoke at the recent International Society of Hospitality Consultants annual conference agreed investments in technology are going to be key for success going forward, reports HNN’s Jeff Higley. Kirk Kinsell, president and CEO of Loews Hotels, said he’s particularly taken aback by owners who push back when asked to spend on tech.
“That’s not very smart, so you have to kind of get people into the mindset that it is an investment,” Kinsell said. “Where is that investment going to sit in terms of not just looking at a cost, but how do you transform that to benefiting your business?”
What to know when picking a social platform
As the final piece of Hotel News Now’s “The State of Social Media” special report, Engagement Labs Chief Research Officer Brad Fay shared some insights into what to know before establishing a social media plan. The key to everything, including choosing which platforms to focus on, is having a good sense of who your audience is and what they want.
“For starters, companies should first identify the type of audience they want to reach,” Fay said. “From there, depending on social media goals, a decision can be made about which platform will best reach the target audience. Once there’s alignment between the platform and the audience, the content will resonate better when shared.”
Tech is driving hotel industry trends
Hotel executives speaking at the recent Lodging Conference said hoteliers need to have a mind for trends in technology to keep up with consumer’s desires, HNN’s Bryan Wroten writes. Eric Danziger, CEO of Trump Hotel Collection, said it’s no longer a luxury for a hotel to meet guests tech desires, it’s a must.
“The biggest consumer frustration is if the Wi-Fi doesn’t work,” he said. “It’s things they expected that were not reliable. It’s not about the number of things we add, but doing the things well so they’re dependable and can be relied upon.”
Compiled by Sean McCracken.