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Marketing Featured APAC

Booking.com launches second edition of ‘Booking Explorers’ campaign

Singapore – Online travel agency and reservations company Booking.com has launched the second edition of its ‘Booking Explorers’ campaign, where it features more inspiring travel stories from leading personalities across Asia-Pacific.

This year’s campaign features five new personalities from Australia, India, South Korea, Vietnam and Japan. They include Former MasterChef Australia grand finalist Simon Toohey, upcoming Bollywood actor and Mumbai native Shanaya Kapoor, multidisciplinary artist MY Q, nature-loving lifestyle personality Tran Quang Dai, and Japanese supermodel Ai Tominaga.

Through this year’s Explorers, Booking.com aims to continue to celebrate the relentless spirit of travel, and their desire to keep experiencing and exploring all things new and familiar, whether it’s in their own backyards or around their home countries. 

“However, as much of the world seeks to travel again, we also recognise the need for sustainability: from avoiding single-use plastic and making smart, responsible choices when choosing stays, to transforming how and where we travel to so that we minimise our impact on the destinations we visit; and hopefully leave our destinations better than when we first arrived,” the company said.

Laura Houldsworth, managing director for Asia-Pacific at Booking.com, said, “As the world returns to travel with great enthusiasm, we want to inspire travellers in Asia Pacific through the rich stories of our explorers. They are truly inspirational with their desire to keep exploring despite the challenges faced — and now they invite us to dig deeper into the sights and cultures of the countries they call home and the destinations we likely have yet to discover. I hope these stories stir travellers everywhere to open their hearts and minds to new experiences and put sustainability at the forefront of all they do.”

The first ‘Booking Explorers’ campaign was first launched in August 2021.

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Marketing Featured South Asia

Marriott Bonvoy brings travel campaign alive in its new anamorphic 3D installation in India

Mumbai, India – Marriott Bonvoy, a travel programme and marketplace under Marriott International, has brought its ‘Here’ campaign videos alive, with an immersive anamorphic installation at Cyber Hub, Gurugram, and Phoenix Mills (Palladium) in Mumbai until 26 September 2022. This installation was created by Inventech, a Laqshya Media Group company.

The ‘Here‘ campaign, which was created in collaboration with Singapore-based creative company, The Secret Little Agency, and was launched last August 2022, builds on Marriott Bonvoy‘s global tagline ‘Where Can We Take You’, with ‘Here’ as an expression for revelling the authentic, relatable little moments missed by travellers. These videos celebrate the power of travel with moments everyone can relate to; from trips to beach destinations or mountains, the local videos capture cities such as Chennai, Bengaluru, Mussoorie, Gurgaon, Kochi, and Goa.

Khushnooma Kapadia, Marriott International’s senior area director of marketing for South Asia, noted that as an organisation, they are constantly innovating to find new-age communication vehicles customised for an audience that has the appetite to consume narratives that appeal to their evolved sensibilities. 

“Our members are now eager to travel and get back on the road, and with this immersive activation, we want to help them discover all the places and experiences our hotels have to offer. This is an attempt to engage with our audience in a high-impact visible format with the travel content we have developed,” said Kapadia.

Meanwhile, Sommnath Sengupta, CEO of Inventech, a Laqshya Media Group company, shared that the 3D DOOH format is extremely dynamic and engaging, and it changes the relationship with the recipient as it is impossible to go by without noticing it, as well as it is changing the way people interact with advertisements – it’s futuristic. 

“With the right amalgamation of art, science, and technology, our super-skilled, experienced, passionate team has created this best-in-the-class user experience for Marriott Bonvoy TG. Our immersive content ideas and interactive storytelling solutions for our clients with cutting-edge, next-generation technology differentiate us from the others,” said Sengupta.

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Technology Featured APAC

Hotel tech firm Vouch launches new digital guest platform to modernise hotel experiences

Singapore – Hotel tech provider, Vouch, has launched a digital guest platform that combines pre-arrival guest engagement and experience personalisation for hotels. Called ‘Bespoke by Vouch’, the platform empowers hotel guests with a convenient way to tailor their hotel experience, while boosting productivity and revenue for hotels through smart automation.

‘Bespoke by Vouch’ is a pre-arrival extension to the company’s flagship guest experience platform, a product that offers hotels faster, more efficient guest services through service digitalisation. Through this platform, guests may personalise their upcoming hotel stays by purchasing experiences that interest them and receive instant confirmation on their purchases. 

Moreover, the platform’s algorithm also allows tailored recommendations based on guest profiles and preferences which ensures a high degree of relevance and value for each guest.

The key benefits of ‘Bespoke by Vouch’ include flexibility for guests, incremental revenue for hotels, pre-arrival data collection of guest information, and a powerful management portal that gives hotels full pricing and inventory control on all items, as well as guaranteed delivery of every paid transaction, and manpower savings for front office and reservations departments.

Joseph Ling, founder and CEO of Vouch, said that with their years of knowledge and technical capabilities, they are well-positioned to create an ideal solution that achieves both guest satisfaction and labour efficiency through automation.

He further shared that the pre-arrival experience, which is often neglected, has largely been labour-intensive and this lapse in digitalisation has created a wide efficiency gap for hotels when compared with other industries in the service sector. 

“This is where we can support our hotel partners with reliable solutions to aid them in their efforts to provide a great guest experience every single time,” added Ling.

Vouch said that the platform is also programmed to disable access for guests on the day of their arrival, ensuring no unexpected, last-minute requests that hotels will be pressed to fulfil. Additionally, for room upgrades, the platform triggers a second round of inventory checks on the hotel’s PMS to verify room availability before proceeding to allow guest payment on the platform.

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Marketing Featured Southeast Asia

Singaporean travellers want high-tech, low-touch hotel stays

Singapore – As reopening of borders have now allowed more travellers to visit choice locations, a large majority of Singaporean travellers want to have their hotel stay offer some tech-related service for reasons of accessibility and low-frequency contact with other people, according to the latest study conducted by Oracle Hospitality and Skift.

The research notes that 80% of people in Singapore want hotels to offer tech that minimises contact with staff and other guests, and 86% are interested in hotels using AI to deliver more relevant offers.

Meanwhile, 52% want to order room service from their phone or a chatbot, 52% are also looking for contactless payments with only 5% wanting to pay in crypto, and 46% wanting a fully self-service model, with staff only available upon request.

In terms of travellers’ perspective of a contactless hotel experience, 46% said they want a fully contactless experience for all basic hotel transactions, and 38% said a staff shortage, and resulting slow service, would be their first deterrent to rebooking a hotel. However, just 20% noted that a lack of daily room cleaning is an issue, showing consumers have accepted that this pre-pandemic mainstay is never coming back.

Staff-wise, 72% of Singapore’s hoteliers said incorporating new technologies for staff best describes their strategy to weather labour shortages and attract new talent. Meanwhile, 62% added that their highest priority is to adopt tech that improves or eliminates the need for the front desk experience between now and 2025. 

Patrick Andres, regional vice president for hotels and food & beverage in JAPAC at Oracle, said, “We have seen how technology has reshaped and enriched guest experiences in new ways. Guests have now come to expect highly digital, self-service experiences across all aspects of their lives, including travel, and the hospitality industry must move at the same pace by adopting and integrating new systems in order to better serve the modern traveller.”

Over the next few years, travellers are also looking to personalise their journey even more by picking their exact room and floor and paying for only the amenities they want – and even wanting to pre-screen properties in the metaverse (76%). Moreover, 86% are interested in hotels using AI to better tailor services and offers, such as room pricing or food suggestions and discounts. Around 52% of hotel executives in Singapore see this ‘unbundled’ model as the future of hotel revenue management. 

Whether ordering room service or signing onto Netflix, Singapore travellers want the ease and convenience of home while travelling, with 51% saying on-demand entertainment access that seamlessly connects to their personal streaming or gaming accounts is their #1 must-have during their stay. Likewise, 48% of hotel executives said this in-room entertainment set-up is what they’re most likely to implement by 2025.

Meanwhile, 87% of travellers are interested in using automated messaging or chatbots for customer service requests at hotels, 41% want voice-activated controls for all amenities in their rooms, and 37% want room controls that auto-adjust temperature, lighting, and even digital art based on pre-shared preferences. 

Categories
Marketing Featured Global

Airbnb’s ban on parties is now permanent

United States – Following its implementation of a temporary ban on parties across registered listings globally in August 2020, vacation rental company Airbnb has permanently codified its party ban globally.

According to the company in its official blog, the temporary ban implementation had proved to be effective, as they have seen a 44% year-over-year drop in the rate of party reports. They have also reported that in 2021, over 6,600 guests were suspended from Airbnb for attempting to violate their party ban.

“We know that the overwhelming majority of our Hosts share their homes responsibly, just as the overwhelming majority of guests are responsible and treat their listings and neighbourhoods as if they were their own. In turn, we focus on trying to deter the very rare cases of Hosts who do not operate responsibly, or guests who try to throw unauthorised parties,” Airbnb explained.

The party ban also includes disruptive parties and events that will continue to be prohibited, including open-invite gatherings. So-called ‘party house’ properties will continue to be strictly prohibited as well.

During its temporary ban, Airbnb introduced a 16-person occupancy cap — which was prompted primarily by COVID-19 concerns around large gatherings prior to the introduction of vaccines. As part of the updated policy, and based on feedback from a number of hosts who have listings that can house above 16 people comfortably, they will remove this cap.

“Finally, strong policies must be complemented by strong enforcement. We’ve introduced a number of anti-party measures in recent years to enforce our policy and try, to the best of our ability, to stop both unauthorised parties and chronic party houses,” Airbnb added.

Categories
Marketing Featured Southeast Asia

Chrystel Ilano Acuna named as new director of marketing communications for Shangri-La Group in PH

Manila, Philippines — Luxury hotels and resorts company, Shangri-La Group, has appointed Chrystel Ilano Acuna as its new director of marketing communications for the Resorts. This appointment will serve as a return for Acuna to the hospitality company after previous stints.

Acuna will be responsible for leading the marketing teams and the initiatives for Shangri-La to cater to the easing of borders and travel restrictions. In her new role, she will be prioritising the return of international guests and how they can consider Mactan or Boracay as their holiday destination.

She holds an extensive understanding and knowledge of the hospitality business and the marketing industry. Prior to returning to Shangri-La, she was with Chroma Hospitality as marketing communications and digital manager leading the Crimson, Quest, and Timberland marketing teams. Prior to that, Acuna was with Shangri-La Group as a digital marketing executive handling the Philippine properties and before that, she was with Makati Shangri-La as a digital marketing executive, marketing executive and corporate trainee – communications. Her first job was with Acacia Hotel Manila as a marketing communications assistant.

Commenting on her appointment and coming back to Shangri-La, Acuna shared, “I’m excited to return to Shangri-La Group and to elevate the campaigns of resorts as we welcome back international travellers.”

Categories
Marketing Featured Southeast Asia

Malaysia-based business hotel Impiana Hotel Senai launches new rewards app

Senai, Malaysia – Impiana Hotel Senai, a business hotel located in Johor, has launched the new Impiana Hotel Senai Rewards App. This mobile app allows users to access the latest F&B deals and room promotions. All registered users are entitled to get one point for every RM1 spent via the app and enjoy various rewards throughout its usage.

While cumulative points are redeemable at all F&B outlets, as well as at the hotel in the form of room nights, the app is user-friendly and offers instant rewards such as F&B discounts, complimentary meals on birthday month, and special room rates dedicated only for the app users. It allows users to choose a promotion of their choice by clicking on any of the offers displayed, and then filling in the necessary information before being directed to the payment gateway.

Mahadi Mathana, Impiana Hotel Senai’s general manager, said that with this one-for-all app, they are not only building a platform that gets them closer to a full omnichannel experience with the shoppers, but also increasing their capabilities to deliver more customisable options for users.

“In conjunction with Impiana Hotel Senai 5 years anniversary since its opening on 10 October 2017, the hotel grants instant 500 points for every installation of the app until October 2022,” he added.

The hotel said that all promotions are viewable on the newly launched app and foreseen to be one of the best-selling deals on the platform is the BBQ Buffet Dinner. The latest updates are also available on Impiana Hotel Senai Facebook and Instagram page.

Categories
Marketing Featured APAC

Accor launches Pacific-wide campaign for lifestyle app, ALL.com

Australia – As travel plans were disrupted due to the pandemic, many hospitality companies have been making efforts in reigniting people’s love for travel. With this in mind, Accor has launched a Pacific-wide ‘ALL – Accor Live Limitless’ marketing campaign to promote ALL.com as the all-encompassing digital destination for the best travel experiences, with incredible loyalty benefits.

The brand campaign leads with some of Accor’s preeminent brands such as Sofitel, Pullman, Novotel, and Mercure, as well as Mantra, and ibis, connecting them to ALL.com. It highlights the many benefits of the ALL – Accor Live Limitless loyalty programme, such as room upgrades and limitless experiences.

The ALL.com brand campaign is now available until 30 September 2022, and will come to life through various campaign elements, including paid media, promotional spots on Australia’s #1 breakfast show – Sunrise, a national competition airing across New Zealand on TVNZ 1, digital advertising, and social media, as well as video content. It also includes partner advertising, such as LED signage and video advertising on Accor Stadium screens, plus Accor brands on LED signage at AFL and NRL matches across the region.

Moreover, the campaign has also owned channels, including email marketing, app, and website display advertising, social media campaigns, and assets for digital screens at Accor properties and hotel social media channels and websites. A tactical promotion of Accor’s flexible rates across the Pacific is also included in the campaign, with rates starting from AU$119 per night in Australia at ibis Melbourne Central, and NZ$99 per night in New Zealand at BreakFree on Cashel Christchurch. There is also a loyalty offer giving members of ALL, who will book before 30 June 2022, 2X Reward points for stays until 30 September 2022.

Sarah Derry, Accor Pacific’s CEO, shared that increasingly, their guests are seeking more personalised experiences and this brand-led campaign showcases the richness and quality of choice across the Accor network, promoting ALL.com as the gateway to discovering more destinations and incredible experiences.

”Guests have access to multiple unique experiences through ALL.com, from our collection of boutique MGallery hotels, experiencing Swiss indulgence with Chocolate Hour at Mövenpick Hotels & Resorts, through to relaxing in Mantra’s spacious family apartments,” said Derry.

Categories
Platforms Featured APAC

Guest experience platform SevenRooms expands to Singapore, Hong Kong

Singapore – SevenRooms, a guest experience and retention platform for the hospitality industry, has now expanded to Singapore and Hong Kong. The local team will be led by Paul Hadida, SevenRooms’ general manager for APAC, who has over a decade of hospitality industry experience and has led the platform’s rapid expansion in Australia over the last 18 months.

SevenRooms’ CRM-driven platform includes a reservation, waitlist and table management, online ordering, contactless order and pay, review aggregation, and marketing automation. It empowers operators to create meaningful and personal guest relationships both on- and off-premise that maximise profits, incentivise loyalty, and cultivate exceptional experiences at every interaction, from acquiring to engaging and retaining more customers.

The expansion will see SevenRooms significantly ramping its on-the-ground presence in Hong Kong and Singapore with the hiring of sales and customer success roles. The company is currently recruiting heavily across the region, with 11% of the company’s total global roles for 2022 expected for APAC. This will account for a 120% increase in the number of SevenRooms employees across Singapore and Hong Kong. Moreover, SevenRooms will continue to build out integrations across the region over the coming months.

Hadida noted that this is a significant milestone in the platform’s mission to revolutionise the way the global hospitality industry provides exceptional guest experiences.

“We’ve grown organically in the region over the last few years, with 1-Group, Jigger & Pony, and Wine Connection amongst our existing local customers. The timing of our launch is very significant. Restrictions are easing at different rates, and while challenges remain, there is excitement about what the future holds. Our mission is to help operators – big and small, new and established – rebuild by creating the data-driven foundations that incentivise loyalty, boost revenue and build meaningful guest relationships.”

Meanwhile, Joel Montaniel, SevenRooms’ CEO, commented that they are delighted to officially launch SevenRooms in Singapore and Hong Kong, empowering operators as they enter a new era for post-pandemic hospitality. 

He further shared that these cities are two of the hospitality capitals of the world, offering a diverse array of restaurants known for their culinary excellence and incredible guest experiences. 

“After two incredibly challenging years, we are helping the local industry return to its former glory. Through the opening of our local office, in addition to the planned expansion of our on-the-ground team, we are supporting the local hospitality sector, helping operators discover new ways to adapt and drive growth in an ever-evolving, competitive market,” said Montaniel.

Categories
Marketing Featured Southeast Asia

Hilton Malaysia launches campaign for Ramadan to inspire ‘family reconnection’

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia – In line with the celebration of Ramadan, the holy month of fasting for Muslims, hospitality brand Hilton has reiterated its global campaign, ‘To New Memories’, with the launch of its Malaysian-based follow-up campaign, aimed at facilitating the reconnection of people through packages that fully embrace Ramadan traditions.

In 2021, Hilton debuted ‘To New Memories’, which was built on research insights that show consumers are craving reconnections with family and friends and are inspired by travel memories. For this year, the campaign will be encouraging families to make new memories as they spend some quality time with loved ones by offering special room and dining packages along with special arrangements to support their practices this holy month. These include changing breakfast hours to accommodate morning prayers, and providing prayer mats, the Quran, as well as prayer timetables within the guest rooms.

Eugene Oelofse, Hilton’s marketing and communications director for Malaysia, Philippines, and Sri Lanka, said, “Cherished family memories are at the heart of Hilton. We want guests to know that Hilton and our Team Members are ready to fully facilitate connection with loved ones during the month of Ramadan.”

All 11 Hilton outlets nationwide will partake in the Ramadan traditions of Iftar and Sahur, or the evening and early morning meal, with a specialised dinner buffet highlighting Malaysia’s Culinary Heritage and other central Asian specialities. This campaign will run until 3 May 2022.