The Newsletter Is Out: New website for Radisson Hotels, Expedia Group scam, TripAdvisor new study, ReviewPro partners with the Hellenic Chamber of Hotels...
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TRAVEL NEWS
Digital. The Top 10 Travel News Stories of the Week: Day In, Day Out
When I came up with the #BlitzkriegBopFriday concept, I was paying homage to one of my all-time-favorite bands: the Ramones. The idea behind it was to publish a weekly recap of the 10 best travel news that could be read in a couple of minutes, just the average length of a punk rock song. Blitz means Lightning in German, and the main concept was to have something that could be quickly browsed "in a blitz". 

Some colleagues, however, pointed out that the Teutonic reference,  if taken out of context, could have been misunderstood, here's why, starting from today, BlitzkriegBopFriday changes its name to Digital

If anyone felt offended by the title of my weekly posts I deeply apologize, but it was not my intention, nor it was Tommy's and Dee Dee's* (authors of the original song), may the God of Punk Rock have them in his Glory.

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OPINIONS
Is Our Industry Lagging Behind Due to a Lack of Proper Education?
"Is our industry lagging behind due to a lack of proper education? It surely is and the joke, as the mighty Bee Gees would put it, is on all of us".

Read my thoughts on the topic on HospitalityNet, together with Giulia Eremita, Peter O'Connor, Max Starkov, Linchi Kwok, Osvaldo Mauro, Klaus Kohlmayr, Jason Price, Ian Millar, Martin Soler, Paul van Meerendonk, Larry Mogelonsky, Frederic Gonzalo, Daniel Craig, Mark Fancourt, Erik Muñoz and Ross McAlpine.


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* Fun fact: in several interviews, Tommy Ramone stated that the original title of the song was not even Blitzkrieg, but Animal Hop, and that Dee Dee came up with the Blitzkrieg because he wanted to "Ramones-ize it", dismissing the conspiracy theory as "all nonsense". 
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The Newsletter Is Out: Marriott And British Airways Data Breaches, OYO Gets Bigger, Apaleo Partners With Siteminder, And Much More!
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TRAVEL NEWS
#BlitzkriegBopFriday
After last year’s infamous Starwood data breach, Marriott has been fined for £99 million by the UK’s data protection regulator. The decision, anyhow, is not final, and the group stated it will “respond and vigorously defend its position”.

The 10 Best Travel Headlines Of The Week In Less Than 90 Seconds.

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TECHNOLOGY
The Current State of Marketing Automation in Hospitality
“There are undeniable advantages in implementing MA in hotels: better guest segmentation, man-hour optimization, workforce allocation, and business scalability, just to name a few. Thanks to increasingly accessible technologies and infrastructures, moreover, even the smallest bed and breakfast can choose whether and what to automate”.

Hotelmarketing.com published a shorter version of my piece on marketing automation.


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DISTRIBUTION
Expedia Fights Hotel Rate Leakage with Automatic Rate Matching
"Introducing the tool in an email to hotels, Expedia writes "by taking advantage of this automatic rate-matching service, you can help ensure that the rates you offer to Expedia Group travelers are always your most competitive rates. This, in turn, will help improve your visibility on our sites and drive more potential bookings and revenue to your property”.

Hotelmarketing.com published my opinion piece on the newly introduced ARM.

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The Newsletter Is Out: Expedia Launches Automatic Rate Matching, Fecebook AI Uncovered, Bye Bye Baidu, Metasearch Stats, and much more!
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TRAVEL NEWS
ʎɐpıɹɟ doq ƃǝıɹʞzʇılq
I won two tickets for the Stranger Things marathon tonight, so #blitzkriegbopfriday comes one day earlier this week.
See you in the ¡uʍop ǝpısdn!

Expedia Launches Automatic Rate Matching, Facebook AI Uncovered, Bye Bye Baidu, Metasearch Stats, and much more!

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DISTRIBUTION
All Pain, No Gain: Expedia Fights Rate Leakage with Automatic Rate Matching
Last week, Expedia launched a new feature called Automatic Rate Matching.

I haven’t found any official statement about it yet but, according to the mail some of my clients (mainly in Asia) received, the group will “compare the rates you offer to travelers on Expedia Group with the rates listed for your rooms on other online booking channels. If we find lower rates on another online booking channel, we’ll automatically match the lowest rate”.

To me, it sounds ironic that a company known for wildly undercutting hotel rates now offers solutions to a problem it actually helped create.


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TRAVEL NEWS
The Science Of Fear: A Politically Incorrect Reflection On Strong Customer Authentication
I am working on a piece on SCA, that should be published in the few days. Here's an extract:

"An essential requirement for PS2D compliance is the adoption of the Strong Customer Authentication (SCA) for (with few exceptions) all online transactions. For a purchase to be authorized, under PS2D, two out of three different types of authentication methods are needed, namely knowledge, possession and inherence.

A password or a pin are typical examples of knowledge: they are something the traveler “knows”. Possession, on the other hand, is something the traveler “owns” like a phone or a token. Inherence takes the Frommian’s highway, as it refers to something that travelers “are”: their voices, fingerprints, faces, etc. In a word: biometrics"
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The Newsletter Is Out: Do Loyalty Points Still Matter? Four New Google Features You May Have Missed, Is Amazon the Elephant in the hotel Room?, BlitzkriegBopFriday, And More
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LOYALTY PROGRAMS
Do Loyalty Points Still Matter? 
A lot of attention in the loyalty space in the past year has focused on integration: Marriott International integrated the Starwood program (triggering some complaints about status changes and difficulties in redeeming points) and introduced Bonvoy; this year, Accor rebranded and relaunched Le Club into the ALL “lifestyle” loyalty program encompassing hotel and non-hotel brands. Both — along with many other hotel programs — are flogging experiences as ways to spend those points, whether you’re an elite or occasional guest.
 
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DIGITAL MARKETING
Four New Google Features You May Have Missed
Over the last few days, I’ve been playing with Google and found four interesting new features. Not sure how many of them will survive, but it’s fascinating to see how Google is constantly improving its travel products. Here are my findings: companies can now create a Google MyBusiness custom URLs in order to redirect easily their customers to Google Reviews. In order to claim your URL...

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DISTRIBUTION
Is Amazon the Elephant in the (Hotel) Room?
The Amazon / ClearTrip partnership is far from a revolution, but it's another tiny step Bezos' company took into the travel space. I think the time has come to address the elephant in the room: acquisitions. Rather than building from the ground up and launching its own products (remember the 2014' AMZ Travel fiasco?), in fact, the company now seems to prefer a different approach, partnership with existing providers.

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TRAVEL NEWS
Blitzkrieg Bop Friday
The first Blitzkrieg of the week is, unsurprisingly, about the abrupt departure of Gillian Tans as CEO of Booking.com. No official motivations have been disclosed, even though rumors of tension between Tans and Booking Holdings’ CEO, Glenn Fogel (currently covering for Tans’ position as well) have circulated abundantly. Tans is now Chairwoman for Booking.com, a role specifically created for her.

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VIDEO
Hoteltech2020, Why And How The Role Of Technology In Hotels Is Changing
5-minute-wrap-up of the #BTO11 panel with Margaret Ady, Carlo Fontana and Martin Soler, moderated by me. The growing role of technologies in Hotels. The problem of choice in the face of a market that offers more and more technological solutions. Aspects to consider, comparison metrics, exchange of information between systems, new trends. In-depth analysis with the main players involved.

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