Thursday, March 25, 2010

Over-heard at NoVacancy: tweets and chatter from No Vacancy hospitality conference 18 March 2010

Innovation, Distribution, Inspiration @ No Vacancy 2010
Normally it is the end of the year that signals the conference season with TRAVELtech, WebInTravel and PhoCusWright following each other month by month starting in September (note - TRAVELtech is Aug 31 this year rather than usual Sept). But for the BOOT this year the season has started early with adtech, No Vacancy having just wrapped up and Eyefortravel TDS Asia coming up in Singapore on April 28 and 29.

Last week was my first year at No Vacancy. It is part of the same conference stable as Martin Kelly's SearchEngineRoom and TRAVELtech and is targeted at the hospitality industry - all channels - rather than being a purely online or technology conference. I (and others) tweeted our way through No Vacancy under the hashtag #novacancy. Not all of you are on twitter so here in this post are some of the top tweets and quotes I took away from No Vacancy. Here are the the most interesting tweets:

On the market general (Australian bias)
  • 2009 hospitality market in Australia according to Dransfield."held up better than expected" "rates down 3%" "revpar down 8.2%". 2010 "good start, expect rate increases" but " lost 40% of capital globally" "another shock could come" They went on "Credit availability + bank conservatism means still shortage of capital" "has hit valuation "av hotel down 20% value"
  • Travelclick" gds htl vol in 2009 46mm trans, to 2003 levels". Wonder how much corp bookg decline, how much OTA neg rate growth?
On Online Agents and Intermediaries
  • Robbie Cook (Wotif CEO) said "60% of business is direct to site, then organic search, paid is a single digit % of the business". He went on to say that "Wotif saved $2.2mm in costs post business post acquisition."
  • Yury Shar Hotelscombined said that "less than 10% of traffic comes from typing in URL direct" "59% of traffic affiliate. Paid 24%, rest organic search" Sam_Linder added in his tweet "@hotelscombined 2 mil visitors pm to 6 mil in last year. Affiliates is primary channel, 15,000 such as skyscanner in uk"
  • Latest stats from "22,400 properties, 270k newsletter subs, 160k bkings/ 650k nts in 2009 (+ 30%yoy)" also advertising revenue
On Hoteliers
  • Starwood AsiaPac "2009 -2% in occupancy, -7% ADR for -9% RevPAR in Pacific" "online only channel to grow- branded faster than OTA"
  • Starwood "2-3 years to get back to 2007 rate levels" to which robertkcole said "Sorry, Starwood's dreaming if they think it will only take 2-3 years for rates to return to 2007"
  • Accor AsiaPac "Occ finished 2009 at 74%. Good but down from all time high in 2007" "price down 6%" revpar down 9%"
  • Accor "Online up from 10% of sales in 2005 to 35% planned for 2010" "65% of online sales will be direct up from 50% in 2005"
  • Accor "happy with 65% of online business being direct. Won't artificially cap 3rd party distribution or hold back inventory"
Other accom types
  • 25-46% of bookings online at "freespirit" (a holiday park/caravan park company). If true for whole sector then parks online larger percentage than hotels


Port Douglas Specials said...

Hi Tim, thanks for this round up. Great short summary for those who couldn't attend.
rgds, @portdouglasfan

Air Tickets India said...

Good information on travel. Nice Blog :)

steve sherlock said...

interesting stats on direct traffic from wotif and hotelscombined.

wondering if wotif includes organic searches for "wotif" and "" etc as direct? i think they should.

i consider brand name search via google (seo & sem) to be direct traffic. if that was the case then wotif direct could be over 70%..

i reckon direct traffic levels under 25% would be a worry for a brand lead approach. understandable if less for those with large affiliate networks like hotelscombined and hotelclub for example.

Tim Hughes said...

@steve S - I agree with you. I think brand search traffic should be considered direct, especially if you have a non generic name.