It's mostly about accommodation distribution as Treovi, SLH, Ibis, Hotelbeds, GuestCentric, JustBook, HomeAway, Reevoo, AeroNexus, Elite Meetings and Greenland all make the cut in our roundup of stories making news and driving opinion on 22 January.
Hotels and mobile
Online reservation startup Treovi (TLabs Showcase here) has unveiled its latest beta website with greater mobile optimisation. The enhanced service also includes User Accounts enabling users to see all their reservations and Hotel Favourites where preferred properties automatically show up in the account for easy reference.
Small Luxury Hotels of the World says its website attracted almost four million visits in 2012 - a 19% increase year-on-year. Reservations via the site have increased 26% while the total share of bookings via the service increased by 15% compared on the previous year. Almost 500,000 visits came from iPads, representing a 167% increase while iPhone visits were up 132%.
Accor-brand Ibis has developed a mobile application for iPhone, Blackberry and Android devices. Ibis says the app offers personalised search, virtual tours and hotel images.
GuestCentric is providing a mobile optimised website to Tivoli Hotels & Resorts. The website is said to take advantage of behavioural data collected by the digital specialist to make the service more intuitive and easier to use. According to Tivoli, 15% of its visits are already coming from mobile devices, three times more than last year.
JustBook, the same-day hotel booking service is offering Miles & More rewards for bookings anywhere in Europe. Miles & More is the loyalty programme used by Lufthansa and other airlines.
TUI Travel-owned bedbank Hotelbeds has partnered with Oracle to help it respond to the volume of online transactions it is processing. Hotelbeds has had to redesign its technology infrastructure to incorporate Oracle Fusion Middleware and Oracle Engineered Systems to enable its continued growth. Hotelbeds claims 400 searches per second and 26,000 bookings a day in high season.
HomeAway has extended its ReservationManager technology to UK owners and consumers. The service enables owners to accept online bookings and payment as well as better manage enquiries and communication with guests. HomeAway describes the credit and debit card service as 'attractively priced' with a 1.4% flat fee for domestic UK payments and international payments starting from 1.9%. Payments are via HolidayRentPayment. The same tools have been available in the US since 2011.
Social commerce specialist Reevoo has created an ebook with tips to make reviews and social content deliver results. The tips aim to help companies increase traffic and search engine rankings as well as online conversions. The free book is available after registering here.
South Africa-based private charter carrier Aeronexus is providing portable playstations to passengers after a tie-up with IFE Services. The PSPs will be loaded with film, television programmes and a range of games.
Elite Meetings International is boasting in excess of $1bn in meeting requests via its SpeedRFP tool. The company says that group RFPs for more than three million room nights were submitted via the service representing a potential $1.3bn in revenue for hotels. SpeedRFP was released in 2010 and saw 30,000 new buyers use the system last year, a 300% increase on 2011.
And finally, bringing you something completely different...
Greenland is making a social media push with the release of a series of videos focusing on activities in the destination including biking, fishing and hiking. The 'Rough.Real.Remote' videos are designed to provide an honest image of the Arctic Circle and are aimed at niche markets. They will appear on the I Love Greenland Facebook page was well as the website and via the sites of travel partners.
Here's a taste: