The travel and hotel industries are making headlines in this week's franchising news. Just because summer is coming to an end doesn't mean people aren't still traveling, and the travel industry is taking advantage of this continuing wanderlust by expanding hotel locations, incorporating new engagement techniques, and catering to the growing demographics. Read on to find out what your favorite hotel and travel franchises have been up to this week!
Hotel Franchises Are Expanding in India
International hotels brands like Hyatt hotels and Hilton Worldwide are taking advantage of India's stabilizing hospitality market and growing demand. Hyatt is launching its new luxury brand Andaz in New Delhi this year. The hotel will feature 401 rooms, 45 suites and 129 extended stay apartments. Hilton is set to open its second luxury Conrad property in Bengaluru in 2017 and is also looking at opportunities for bring in in Waldorf Astoria and Curio-A collection by Hilton as demand continues to grow.
Hotels Turn to YouTube to Bolster Engagement
Hotel marketers are finding that YouTube offers significant advantages in engaging guests through video content that tells a story to promote their brand and better communicate their brand's culture. Plain and simple: YouTube is a great platform for storytelling. And since YouTube was acquired by Google in 2006, it functions as one of the top three search engines now. Tracking engagement has gotten a lot more thorough with YouTube as well. Marketers are able to target more specifically with their ads, see how many people skipped ads, and see where viewers are clicking through to book on the hotel's website. Both Best Western and Wyndham Hotels have seen success with their YouTube series that have become popular viewers, such as Best Western's "Travel Hacks" tip videos and Wyndham's "Wyndham Rewards Wyzard".
Cruise Planners Caters to Trend of Millennials Using More Travel Agents
According to a study by Association of Travel Agents, Millennial travelers book through travel agents more than any other generation. Since Millennials are labeled as more sociable and more likely to travel in groups, travel agents can simplify planning group vacations. Cruise Planners recognizes Millennials' desires for unique and customized vacations, and the franchise is here to help. Cruise Planners offers personalized services as well as a cutting-edge mobile app, from which travelers can access their personalized trip information, itinerary, and check the weather in their destination.
Wyndham Garden Introduces First Global Hotel Prototype
Wyndham Hotel's new Wyndham Garden brand is designed to make travel easier while also delivering greater returns for hotel owners through operating efficiencies and its LEED-certifiable design. The prototype uses natural materials and pops of green to emulate the serenity of a garden, evoking the outdoors with an abundance of natural light, which is proven to increase comfort and creativity while also reducing energy consumption. The hotel also includes low-flow water fixtures, electric car charging stations, and locally sourced menu items for a more sustainable food process. Nine prototypical hotels are under development with the first expected to open in mid-2017.
aloft Hotels Unveils Voice-Activated Hotel Rooms
Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide unveiled the results of its top secret "Project: Jetson" experiment Thursday, announcing that its aloft Hotels brand has gone futuristic with the debut of the first-ever voice activated hotel room. Each voice-activated hotel room is equipped with an iPad running a custom aloft app for controlling things like room temperature, lighting options, music, and exploring local attractions. All guests have to do is ask "Hey Siri". The new rooms are now available at aloft Boston Seaport and aloft Santa Clara. aloft Hotels is constantly pushing the envelope to reinvent hotel stay and changing the way people travel. In addition to the new voice-activated rooms, aloft has been ahead of the curve with the world's first robotic butler, the world's first Emoji-only room service menu, and keyless rooms that allow guests to use their smartphones as room keys.