The Yin and Yang of Social Media

The theme of the luncheon keynote presentation to the 2012 Receptive Services Association of America Summit Conference was “The Yin and Yang of Social Media.” The event was held at the Hyatt Regency New Orleans on February 7, 2012.

A Faster Way to Search Google Flights – Cut and Paste

Google Flight search provides incredibly fast search air fare results by leveraging technology acquired through the ITA Software acquisition. While not yet supporting flight routing outside of the US, it provides many interesting new features. By copying the URL/query string text into a Chrome browser, experienced travelers can experience Google Flights searches with unprecedented speed and efficiency.

What are Most Trusted Sources for Hotel Reviews and Ratings?

Hotel reviews and ratings are a popular topic of discussion, with many hoteliers relying on hotel rating sources to validate the quality of their hotel operation and promote it to a broad spectrum of travelers that would otherwise have been too difficult to reach. A key question asked by this survey is what source does a traveler trust most when it comes to hotel reviews and ratings.

Mobile Marketing Best Practices – HSMAI Resort Special Interest Group

Presentation at Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International (HSMAI) Resort Best Practices Meeting by Robert Cole of RockCheetah. Key areas covered include the current mobile landscape, why mobile dramatically changes the playing field and how the splinternet introduces deployment and measurement challenges. Traveler Engagement must be considered before technology decisions can be made. Future implications are simply described as changing Anytime/Anywhere to Everytime/Everywhere.

Big Brother in 1984 Apple Macintosh Ad was Steve Jobs!

When Apple introduced the MacIntosh computer during the 1984 Super Bowl, Steve Jobs defined the Apple brand promise by daring a community of creative individuals to fight conformity, support innovation and combat overbearing corporations. Too bad that a quarter century later, Apple’s strategies have begun to make Steve Jobs look a lot like Big Brother from that commercial. By controlling the hardware, software and advertising platforms of its mobile devices, Apple has created a totalitarian state that is making decisions for its customers and inhibiting access to information. This former fanboy is disappointed.

HITEC Presentation: Mobile Distribution – No, It’s Not Billboards and Neon Vacancy Signs

It was great to see that attendance rebounded healthily at the annual Hospitality Financial & Technology Professionals HITEC conference, held in Orlando, Florida June 21 – 24, 2010. The good news was that I had been selected to speak on a subject that combined two of the hottest topics in technology and travel: Mobile Hotel […]

Google Maps Hotel Prices: Fear & Loathing in Online Travel

Google’s announcement that it is testing the addition of the hotel price to Google Maps search results resulted in fear and concern within the travel community. Google appears to be testing the water on the Maps platform in preparation of launching the hotel price integration into the Universal Search results on all Google results pages. The end result is that advertisers will be able to link more directly and deeply to relevant content from a search results page.

How Google Can Help Simplify Online Travel Planning

The planning phase of the seven-step travel process is a hot area for travel startups that are developing innovative solutions to address a complex problem. Google, with 70+% share of US search traffic and many existing travel planning tools is perfectly positioned to improve and simplify the travel planning process. In the future, end-to-end planning of complex travel arrangements will result from enhanced profiles supporting trip-centric traveler personas and geo-aware itinerary sequencing tools. The introduction of hard and soft filtering will provide support for emerging Web 3.0 technologies capable of providing more relevant travel product recommendations.

How Google Can Help Enhance Online Travel Research

Recent studies have shown that the research phase of the seven-step online travel process is becoming frustrating for consumers. Many travelers search a large number of sites or spend extended periods of time seeking information regarding airlines, hotels, car rentals, attractions and destinations that are best suited to their interests and needs. Google, with its massive search traffic and extensive advertising platform is well suited to help the travel industry improve travel research. In addition to many innovative tools that are currently offered, Google could help travel marketers by embracing travel industry standards and working to create persona-based traveler profiles that will better align the products of travel suppliers with customer needs.

How Google Can Help Facilitate Travel Inspiration

Google, through its embracing the Open Source development community provides a wide variety of tools to developers, if creatively employed, can produce applications that help inspire travel. The Google Code site that supports developers offers numerous technologies that can help online travel sites create more compelling content to support eComerce for airlines, hotels, car rental, attractions and destinations. Google Wave provides a powerful platform for traditional travel agents to engage and collaborate with clients that will enhance their ability to inspire travel.