Redefining the Idea of Hospitality: What Hotels Should Know About Digital Travelers.
By Will Pinnell
Tuesday, 29th April 2014
As the director of marketing and sales at TripCase, I have the pleasure of traveling the world on behalf of Sabre;

It's ironic that while I'm traveling, I get to use the very product that I work in the office to build and promote.  If you're not aware, TripCase is a consumer mobile application, built by Sabre that allows travelers to bring all their travel details into one place…and then intelligently guides them through the trip with helpful messages from the travel companies they care about.

This past week, I had the good fortune to attend my very first Sabre Hospitality Global Customer Forum in Amsterdam.  It was an incredible event, in a beautiful location and was attended by hundreds of hotel customers throughout the world.  In fact, I snapped these pictures of the city upon my arrival and on my way to the conference each morning…

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I normally spend time with Sabre's travel agency partners, corporate customers, TMCs, and airlines, so it's rare for me to have a chance to talk with our hotel customers.  The insight I gained through the conversations was compelling. Most hotels struggle with how to communicate with their guests while they are traveling and staying on property.  It's difficult to tell a guest everything a property has to offer… room service menus, spa and restaurant hours, happy hour specials, concierge services, etc. and all the other things a hotel wants the travelers to know.
I am grateful to the hospitality team for the invitation to attend as well as speak about the changing expectations of travelers.  In fact, my presentation entitled, "Redefining the Idea of Hospitality" provided insight that very topic. Today's travelers are smarter and better connected than ever before. Expectations are high as the new demographic of digital travelers have never known a world without mobile phones and social networks. I explored the digital trends impacting travel and how hotels that embrace them are digital concierges, quickly growing revenue and market share.
To that end:
  • Travelers demographics & expectations are changing rapidly
  • Travel tools are evolving to be more mobile and social
  • Understanding traveler trends & behavior is the key to monetization of services and better guest care
Stats shared:
  • 44% of the world's population is under 24 - all born in the digital age
  • Consumers have 26 applications on average loaded onto their phones
  • #1 requested free perk from hotels is now Internet access - over breakfast and parking
  • 70% of mobile bookings were for hotel stays within 24 hours @Expedia
  • More than 50% of travelers today write reviews of their travel accommodation
In summary, these travelers have very different expectations around self-service and human-interaction while on property. Many travel with dozens of mobile applications, believing that self-service is the best service. Products like TripCase allow these digital natives to embark on their journey with a combination of tools and messages directly from the hotel about where to go, what to seem, and what to do.

If you struggle with how to tell guests about the amenities of a property, consider using TripCase.  It's free for travelers and hotel customers as well (at least for now).  Drop me a note if you'd like to hear more about TripCase and how it can help your hotel serve its guests.

Will Pinnell is Director of Sales & Marketing for TripCase. He can be reached at will.pinnell@sabre.com or follow him on Twitter: @willpinnell.

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