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hotel concierge team baggage cart

How the hotel industry will never be the same again

Trevor No Comments

Online Travel Agencies (OTA) are changing significantly how hotels do business. You, more than likely, have booked a hotel using online travel agents such as Expedia, booking.com or Hipmunk; considered to stay in other people’s home through Airbnb, Housetrip or Homeaway; and probably checked out the hotel reviews in Trip Advisor or Yelp.

What is a pressing concern for hotels is that OTAs are exercising more and more power over them. Any booking conducted over an OTA means a commission received; these commissions are negotiated behind closed doors and can range up to 25%. Furthermore, Intercontinental Hotels group, the biggest operator worldwide has about 4,500 hotels; in contrast, Booking.com has a listing of half a million hotels worldwide.

Online Travel Agencies: Benefit or Not?

Considering the large chunk of commissions that these online travel agencies charge, should they be considered detrimental to the industry?

According to Tony Pollard, President of the Hotel Association of Canada states that it really depends on how you use OTAs.

“This is inventory that a hotel offers up on the internet through a third party that derives a commission. So if you have a few rooms left at the end of the day, and you know that you’re not going to sell them and want to put them in an OTA, then it’s a great move to make. But if you’re selling all your rooms through an online travel agency, then you’re only leaving money on the table”.

Cho Wong, managing director of Supranational Hotels, say that 30% of the bookings in his chain of 800 hotels come from Booking.com; and that he focuses on the repeat customer.

“We need to learn from other retailers. If you have a voucher so that next time you get 20% off or free drinks at the bar, you will come back”.

OTAs won’t let a hotel lower prices to customers who book directly; but if you start creating a loyal customer base through promotional offers, and also giving sweeteners for people who book direct at full price, it may seem like the perks compensate for the standard price.

hotel amenities kit


Peer-to-peer travel: A threat to the Hotel Industry?

According to a survey carried out by World Trade Market 2014 Industry Report, 9% have booked a holiday through a site like airbnb, Housetrip or HomeAway. What’s interesting is that out of that percentage, 86% say that they would do it again.

Dorian Harris, founder of Skoosh, sees Airbnb (and similar) as “the biggest threat or challenge to the hotel industry of all”.

Tony Pollard, offers his thoughts on these type of service:

“[peer-to-peer is an ] uncontrolled and unregulated industry that goes out and functions providing rooms, but without having to have all the regulatory conditions, including everything from: health, safety, comfort, bookings, third party liabilities. All of these things are completely unregulated…”

Dual-Service through Reviews

With sites like Trip Advisor, no bad customer service goes unnoticed pressuring hotels to improve and maintain their customer service standards. If someone feels like they got terrible service in a hotel or restaurant, they will undoubtedly write a review worthy of their experience.

On the flip side, Airbnb offers a dual review service where both the renter and rentee can review each other. This seems like the new trend, where customer reviews are leveraged by venue reviews of the customer.



Sources: BBC News & Business News Network


Halloween flat costume cartoon characters

How Big is Halloween (Really)?

Trevor 3 comments

Halloween is the second largest holiday in the US, only surpassed by Christmas. Ever wonder how much Halloween is really worth? Well, total spending on Halloween this year will reach $7.4 billion, a substantial increase compared to last year’s $6.9 billion, but still lower than 2012’s whopping $8 billion.

A total of $2.8 billion will be spent on costumes alone this year; $1.4 billion in adult costumes, and $1.1 billion in children’s costume. Pets will not be left out of the party, it is estimated that a total of $350 million will be spent on pet costumes alone; a $20 million increase from last year. Needless to say, the pet costume industry is looking at a growing chunk of the pie.

dog wearing devil costume

More people are expected to celebrate Halloween this year (162 million) compared to last year (158 million). Of course, one must consider that this year’s Hallow’s Eve is on a Friday making more adults available this season. An increase expenditure might indicate economic recovery, but the reality of the matter is that ‘half the shoppers plan to buy their Halloween items at discount stores’ and a quarter of shoppers say they’ll make their Halloween purchases at a grocery store.

Economy counts, and 1 in 5 shoppers say that their spending will be impacted by the economy in such a way that 20% of them will make their own costumes instead of buying them, and 8% will not hand out candy this year. This, of course, doesn’t really impact that candy industry as consumers are expected to spend $2.2 billion on candy alone; and another $2 billion on decorations.

pumpkins halloween candy and decoration statistic

If you haven’t gotten your Halloween costume yet, Pinterest seems to be a growing source of inspiration. NRF’s survey found that 11.4% of people in the US will use Pinterest for costume ideas, compared to 9.3% last year.

Top Children’s Costumes 2013

Princess- 8.2%

Animal – 6.1%

Batman – 5.4%

Action/Super Hero – 5.1%

Spider Man – 3.9%


Top Adult Costumes 2013

Witch – 9.6%

Batman – 5.4%

Vampire – 5.0%

Zombie – 4.4%

Pirate – 3.8%


Top Pet Costumes 2013

Pumpkin – 7.9%

Hot Dog – 6.9%

Cat – 4.8%

Devil – 4.8%

Witch – 4.2%

Superman – 3.4%



NRF ‘The not so spooky stats Halloween 2013’

NRF ‘Record number of Americans buy Halloween Costumes’

CNN ‘Halloween Fast Facts’


25+ Awesome Business Card Trends for 2014

Trevor No Comments

A business card is the opportunity to say so much more about yourself and your business.

Get inspired with different business cards designs. Get your potential clients’ attention with these awesome business card designs and trends for 2014.


The ‘Obviously for Lego’


The Google Inspired


The Website Inspired


bcard 8

The Zoo-ist

bcard 11

The Streamline

bcard 10

The Accent

bcard 9

The Newer Google Inspired

bcard 7

The Mysterious

bcard 6

The Stamp

bcard 5

The Colorfully Embossed

bcard 4

The Stylist

bcard 3

The Designer

bcard 2

The Illustrator

bcard 1

The Spartan


The Futuristic


The Crafter


The Consultant


The Elaborate


The Artist


The Retro


The Hipster


The ‘So, What is your ideal weight?’


The Witty Sticker


The Tech Savvy


The Growable


The Strategically Placed