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Reflections on 2016 and Predictions for 2017


It’s that time of the year when we ask industry leaders for their thoughts on what happened in 2016 and what they forsee will happen in the new year. Here’s Part 3. 


Guillaume de Marcillac photo website

Guillaume De Marcillac, Co-CEO, FASTBOOKING

3 Top Things That Happened and That Mattered in 2016

1. Is bigger always better? Hotel industry consolidation has accelerated dramatically in 2016 but impact yet to be seen.
2. The show goes on: Despite terrorist attacks and worldwide conflicts, travel continues to grow.
3. The MarketPlace When a major global hotel chain and independent hotels join forces – a new model.

3 Top Predictions for 2017

1. Rise and demise of metasearch: … and at the end Google wins.
2. China goes abroad: Chinese travellers will be No 1 growth engine for hoteliers throughout the world.
3. Mobile first: Smart hoteliers will focus their energy on mobile platforms to grow traffic and reservations.

Diana Helander photo website

Diana Helander, Senior Director, Product Marketing, Revinate

3 Top Things That Happened and That Mattered in 2016

1. Industry Consolidation: Marriott completed its acquisition of Starwood in September. Commune Hotels and Destination Hotels also merged earlier in the year. These are just a few examples of the consolidation of bigger hotel brands in recent years.
2. The Rise of Google: Google is now THE place that travellers start their research. 58% of leisure travelers and 68% of business travelers always start their travel booking and shopping with search (Google/Ipsos Media CT, 2015 Traveler’s Road to Decision). We’re also seeing in our own data that the volume of online reviews on Google is increasing quite rapidly year over year. Because of this, it will be very important for hoteliers to put an effort into increasing visibility on this channel in 2017.
3. Growth Forecasted through 2017: In February of this year, STR released a projection of overall growth for 2016 and 2017. overwhelmingly, demand is expected to surge. This tells us that many hotels will be able to look at whether it makes sense to push ADR and can, according to this data, expect a nice boost in RevPAR.

3 Top Predictions for 2017

1. Guest Data: For smaller brands and independents, the ability to collect and leverage guest data will be critical. With the right guest feedback insights, hoteliers can make smart investment decisions about their properties. And, with the right information about their guests, they can create personally relevant, unique hotel experiences. These are going to be critical differentiators and competitive advantages.
2. The Rise of Small Brands and Independents: Consolidation of the bigger brands might seem scary, but it actually represents a huge opportunity for smaller brands and independent properties. For the immediate future, those brands will be facing the headache inherent in merging two large organizations, giving smaller hotels the opportunity to upgrade systems and improve skills.
3. Increased Marketing Prowess: While the big brands are distracted, smaller hotels need to take this opportunity to increase their ability to do what they do best – provide unique and personal guest experiences. This means investing in new ways to communicate with guests on a more personally relevant level. By increasing targeting capabilities, small brands and independents can differentiate their services, and at the same time, open up new revenue streams in the form of direct repeat bookings.

Patrick Andres photo website

Patrick Andres, Managing Director Asia Pacific, Rainmaker

3 Top Things That Happened and That Mattered in 2016

1. Hotel consolidation (Marriott-Starwood, Accor-Fairmont, etc…).
2. Ctrip goes global (Skyscanner, India, US wholesalers).
3. Airbnb continues to impact industry.

3 Top Predictions for 2017

1. More consolidation in OTA and Hotel space.
2. Oracle disinvest the PMS business (Opera).
3. North Korea and Iran emerge as hot travel spots.

Min Yoon photo website

Min Yoon, CEO, Tide Square

3 Top Things That Happened and That Mattered in 2016

1. Search innovation in Korea – metasearch soars.
2. Flight supply and low oil price lead Asian travellers to travel more, a lot more (number of Korean outbound travellers increased 18% compared to two consecutive years, now exceeds 20 million).
3. Politics and environment impact the market.

3 Top Predictions for 2017

1. Consolidated locals go global – Ctrip bought Skyscanner, who and what’s next?
2. Google’s steps forward.
3. AI is coming.

Jason Nash photo website

Jason Nash, Head of Global Marketing & Product Incubation, Travelport

3 Top Things That Happened and That Mattered in 2016

1. Travelport making rich content and branding available to 200 airlines in 2016.
2. Airbnb targeting new experiences: Air opportunities.
3. Lufthansa surcharge.

3 Top Predictions for 2017

1. Uber moves into Corporate travel.
2. Unmanaged travel: SMEs start to get managed though mobile primarily (might take another year or 2).
3. Voice starts to become a new user paradigm that matters.


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