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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