This is a roundup of product news and announcements for travel MARKETING in tourism and hospitality for February 2014.
Thursday 27 February 2014:
Japan industrial tourism website launched
- A new website that focuses on Japan's industrial tourism has been launched. The site has details about factory tours, plant tours, craft centers, industrial museums, farm tours, brewery tours and more.
Uber tests service in Riyadh
Tuesday 25 February 2014:
- The company has launched in test-mode with limited vehicles. It has also announced a 15% discount (as limited time promotion offer) off the standard fare.
Hotels.com states the obvious
- The Expedia-owned hotel booking site has a new online video campaign, featuring a character known as Captain Obvious.
OneFineStay goes old school with a magazine
Monday 24 February 2014:
- A "digital journal", called The Edition, is the latest ploy from the UK-based apartment rental service. The fortnightly magazine will feature previews of some of the company's rental properties, interviews with owners and showcase the areas they are situated in. The launch follows the introduction of a quarterly print publication called Guestbook and online local area guides.
Uber launches in Shenzhen, Guangzhou; test launch in Mumbai
Friday 21 February 2014:
- After three months of trial run, now, Uber has officially launched in Shenzhen and Guangzhou. Also, iPhone users can register for an Uber account via Alipay's (Alibaba's payment service) account, this enables users to pay for Uber taxis via Alipay account. Also, Uber is testing its service in Mumbai, India. As a promotional offer, the company gives $8 (Rs 500) discount for first two rides.
Hotels.com signs up its 10 millionth loyalty customer
Thursday 20 February 2014:
- Hotels.com has announced that 10 million customers have signed up for their loyalty program, marking a milestone for the Welcome Rewards program launched in 2008.
Clear Channel Airports and Adlux have inked a deal to distribute advertising to private airport terminals around the world
Tuesday 18 February 2014:
- The partnership gives CCA reciprocal access to Adlux's network of private airports - and vice versa. The audience of high net worth travelers is an especially lucrative advertising channel.
Booking.com makes UK television advetising debut
- The ad started airing on TV channels from 16 February under the "Booking Epic" catchphrase. It was created by Wieden+Kennedy in Amsterdam. It's the latest in a line of efforts to boost the company's profile using mainstream media.
Friday 14 February 2014:
South Dakota Tourism gets presidential for Valentine's Day
- MMGY Global is behind a major campaign called Monumental Love for the US state, featuring both a social media blast on various channels and a series of "teaser" videos on YouTube ahead Valentine's Day this week. The campaign centres on the four presidents featured in the state's major tourist attraction, Mount Rushmore.
Here is the clip:
Uber launches in Shanghai
Wednesday 12 February 2014:
- In August 2013, Uber soft-launched its service in Shanghai. After nearly six months, the company has officially launched in the city with a Chinese name - You Bu. Uber also announced the launch of Alipay mobile payment facility for its taxi services. Recently, the company slashed its prices in Shanghai by 30% to remain competitive.
Uber launches in Manila
- In December 2013, Uber soft-launched (limited inventory of cars) in Manila, now the company has officially launched in the city.
launches affiliate network
- The Asia-Pacific focused search engine will now allow travel and tourism websites to embed their own flight and hotel search features into their own sites. WAN.travel is essentially a white label version of the main Wego brand and feature product feeds from its existing portfolio of suppliers and intermediaries.
redesigns website, gets mobile accessibility
- The USA Today-owned service, which matches travellers with "travel specialists" such as travel agents, says it has improved the user experience of the site and search engine optimisation to increase potential leads to partners. The system is now also available fully on mobile and tablet devices.
teams up with HolidayCheck
Air New Zealand
- The Singapore-based digital marketing service will work with the European travel portal to capture better information about customers for hoteliers. Using its iO system, Brand Karma will analyse sentiment, topic and demographic information from around ten million reviews, pictures and videos across HolidayCheck's portfolio of sites, currently available in ten languages.
launches new safety video
Monday 10 February 2014:
Google Flights gets calendar view
- Google has updated its flight search application to display lowest fare for each day - when the travel dates are viewed in a calendar style. When users change stops, length of stay, or preferred airline, prices displayed in the calendar will update instantly, without having to do any extra searches.
New website launched for China travel campaign
- China National Tourism Administration (CNTA) has launched a global campaign to promote China as a travel destination. The campaign, called "Beautiful China – 2014 Year of Smart Travel", also has a dedicated website that displays high resolution pictures of key attractions in the country, things to do, places to see, destination details, and also a trip planning section. Currently, the site is available in English and Chinese, but soon new languages will be included - French, German, Russian, Korean, Japanese, and others.
's new commercial
- Booking.com has launched a yet another commercial that conveys the message that when the hotel looks good, guests look even better. The company's previous two advertisements this year - here.
Expedia's new ad - Find your storybook
- Expedia has launched a storytelling-based advertisement that says - any kind of trip that people can imagine, they can find it all in one place - Expedia.
Korean Air's new ad - Its all about you
- Korean Air's new animated advertisement says - its the customer that the airline cares the most - be it the food onboard, in-flight entertainment systems or any other service provided by the airline.
Friday 7 February 2014:
Musafir appoints India business CEO
Sunday 2 February 2014:
- Middle East-based OTA that recently launched its India operation has appointed Vijay Kesavan as its CEO for India operations. Prior to this, Kesavan was senior VP at Thomas Cook, and he has also worked at companies including Amadeus, Abacus, IndiGo.
Jetsetter expands its hotel inventory by 50%
- The flash-sale site [which was bought by TripAdvisor during summer 2013] is copying Priceline's model of pushing retail [i.e., non-discounted] inventory. It has added 600 properties to its retail "Jetsetter 24/7 permanent inventory," bringing the total to more than 1,900 properties
scores TV deal through Opera Software
- Through the partnership, B2B travel content brand ArrivalGuides will be able to distribute its ArrivalTV service to the Opera TV Store, a system which creates ready-to-run apps on web-connected televisions. ArrivalTV creates content for and distributes on behalf of 130 official tourism offices around the world. Content also streams into around 240 operators and supplier websites.
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NB2: Travel marketing image via Shutterstock.