This is a roundup of product news and announcements for travel marketing in tourism and hospitality for February 2017.
Friday 24 February 2017:
Avianca launches Carla bot
- The Colombian airline will have Carla fronting its first bot tool within Facebook Messenger, giving it the chance to interact with passengers when they have questions about a flight or service. Carla will handle flight statuses, confirm itineraries, ticket refunds and flight check-in.
refers with MentionMe
Monday 20 February 2017:
- The Accor-owned luxury rental provider will use MentionMe to power its referral scheme for guests. The platform sits within the existing guest engagement element of the site will allow OneFineStay to offer rewards or incentives to guests when they recommend the brand to their friends or family.
TripBam takes TrustYou reviews
Wednesday 15 February 2017:
- The corporate hotel search and booking service will use TrustYou to provide review content for properties on the system. The partnership will also include an integrated review service for TripBam customers on their email alerts.
Rocketrip adds GE and Twitter to client list
- The pair are two of a number of high-profile companies to sign up to the Rocketrip rewards programme, alongside the likes of Edmunds and Refinery29. The system works by generating a "budget to beat" for company employees on a trip, incentivising them with cash and gift cards.
- The travel planning site has integrated more than 500 360-view videos and 200 "live" photos of tourist hotspots in 18 cities around the world. The site plans to reach 100 cities by the end of 2017. Content is available on both mobile and desktop versions of the service.
launches high-end Collections
Tuesday 14 February 2017:
- The Accor-owned rental service is expanding to feature expensive properties in locations away from its existing big city destinations (London, Paris, Rome, New York et al). The Hamptons upmarket area on the US East Coast will be the first area, with 20 luxury homes, followed by locations in Southern California, French Riviera and Edinburgh. The existing model of property servicing and other features for guests will remain.
HomeAway integrates Expedia rentals
Monday 13 February 2017:
- The $3.9 billion acquisition deal by Expedia - with the integration of HomeAway content - is now also working the other way, with 800,000 listings from the mothership now appearing on the rental giant's website. The additional product from 500 cities around the world will bring HomeAway's total inventory to two million places to stay worldwide.
HotelKit creates guest messenger service
Friday 10 February 2017:
- The Facebook Messenger tool can be used by hotels to interact with guests during their stay, allowing them to take orders for amenities, find local information and other services from within the existing hotel management platform. The first hotel chain to adopt the service is Prizeotel budget chain in Hamburg, Hannover and Bremen.
ArrivalGuides content with Luxoft
- The software development firm for multi-national corporations will use ArrivalGuides to supply travel and destination content to its clients. The company produces tools for merchandising, distribution and other systems.
scores sharing economy deals
Wednesday 8 February 2017:
- The travel and expense-tracking app (TLabs here) has signed partnerships with Uber, Lyft and RedAwning. Users of the app can use their reward points from services as credit for the trio. The app has also been upgraded with How To guides and a 24-hour reimbursement service.
HotelsByDay creates Flexbook
Monday 6 February 2017:
- The spin-off site from the day-time accommodation service allows consumers to pick a property with guaranteed early check-in or late check-out slots. A number of hotels - Hyatt Centric Times Square, the Kimberly, Sixty Columbus, the Radisson JFK and the Hollywood Hotel - have signed up as early providers of content to the site.
TripSee launches website
Amsterdam City Tours
- Predictive trip planning app TripSee is launching a web version of its service at TripSee.travel. Parent company TierItUp said the move is to give people planning a trip the option of using TripSee on the web, with the ability to store the itinerary on a device.
- The guided tours specialist is celebrating its tenth anniversary with a new website which is mobile-friendly, includes more reviews and imagery and had better search categories and filters. Spanish, German and French language versions are being rolled out and the site will also feature more day-trips and overnight tours from Amsterdam.
targets youth marketing
Thursday 2 February 2017:
- Indian OTA Yatra has linked up with Prajakta Koli, one of India's leading YouTube influencers and a "youth favourite". Every fortnight a "Yatra playlist" will be posted onto her Mostly Sane YouTube channel, featuring her take on travelling and travellers.
KLM creates pilot web game
- The Dutch airline has borrowed from the famous Snakes Game mode, allowing players to "pilot their plane" around a screen and collect destination-themed objects. The game is available on both the carrier's website and Facebook page.
Travel marketing image via Shutterstock.