Hotel Industry Trends and Hospitality News That’s Worth Knowing

Our latest round-up of hotel industry, travel, and hospitality news has everything from a drug-smuggling nun to a failed sleepover on the Great China Wall, so grab a coffee and dive in!

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Hotel Marketing Advice from Travel + Leisure’s 2018 World’s Best Hotel

Nihi Sumba – a beachfront resort on Indonesia’s Sumba Island – has taken the title of ‘World’s Best Hotel’ in Travel + Leisure’s 2018 World’s Best Awards. James McBride, the CEO and Founding Partner of Nihi Hotels, spoke to Tambourine about his career, his thoughts on hotel marketing, and why Nihi Sumba is so successful. According to James, an essential piece of their marketing success is a strong social media presence, and a strong presence on Instagram in particular. Head over to the full article to read more.

Hey Alexa, Book Me a Vacation

Get ready to start telling your grandkids about how, back in your day, you actually had to type words and read things to book flights and hotels. According to Harvard Business Review (HBR), virtual, voice-activated personal assistants like Alexa and Google Assistant are about to become your new travel agent. This means that consumers will have less need for traditional airline and hotel websites as well as online travel agencies like Expedia and HBR recommends that travel providers partner with Amazon and Google ASAP, offer loyalty programs through smart-speaker devices, and adapt their content for conversational search.

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AirBnB’s failed Great China Wall Sleepover

AirBnB has had to cancel a competition for a sleepover on top of the Great Wall of China following an uproar on Chinese social media network Weibo. The competition, which launched last week, asked contestants to explain, “Why it is important now more than ever to break down barriers between cultures? How would you want to build new connections?” for the chance to sleep on “one of the greatest architectural feats in human history”. Weibo users responded by saying “uhm, you’re going to do what?” while the Beijing Yanqing Cultural Department said it hadn’t received or approved an application for the event. The lesson here might be to make sure you have permission before you start breaking down cultural barriers.

Drug Smuggling Nun

Winning the award for the most bizzare travel news story that we’ve heard recently is this nun’s attempt to smuggle cocaine into Australia. Sister Denise Marie Woodrum, a 51 year-old from Missouri, fell in love with a mystery man online who urged her to smuggle some “artifacts” into the country in the heels of several pairs of shoes in her luggage. Ms Woodrum claims that she wasn’t aware that she was carrying nearly 1 kg of cocaine, however she has pleaded guilty to importing a commercial quantity of a border controlled drug.

Google Launches Promoted Hotels

Google has launched Promoted Hotels as a feature of Hotel Ads, meaning that the top two spots in a Google Maps search by destination are now open for advertising. The spaces will work on a cost-per-click model, and will be managed as a campaign subtype from your Google Hotel Ads console. Take a look at this article from Mirai to find out more.

I’ll Have What She’s Having

Thanks to social media shopping app, you can now book your next vacation directly from your favorite influencer’s Instagram feed. The app allows influencers to monetize their influence by collecting commissions from retailers on the sales they drive. Until recently, the app focused on fashion and beauty, however it has now branched out into travel through the introduction of #LTKgetaway. Fairmont Mayakoba in Mexico is one of the first hotels to partner with the app. Find out more over at

Everyone’s an Influencer

In all of the conversations about social media influencers that are happening at the moment, we feel like there is one very influential group that is overlooked: hotel guests. Take a look at our recent article for some advice on how to benefit from word-of-mouth marketing and encourage your guests to advocate for your hotel.

Here at Global Image Creation we are currently working on an in-depth guide to Instagram for hotel marketers – make sure you’re subscribed to our newsletter so you don’t miss out!

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