Tag Archives: Amazon

Vacation Rental & Travel News & Trends – May 15th 2015

Travel & Tech News
Travel & Tech News

Amazon is getting into the travel business. Right now it’s limited to the same type of offerings that Groupon and Living Social offer, but could a day be coming where you can book flights, lodging, activities, and rent a car all on Amazon? You can get everything else there, why not a vacation package?

One of the ways you can help your guests have a great vacation, and also stay top of mind with them, is to send them tips like these prior to their stay, and in your monthly/quarterly newsletter to them. Part of your brand should be that you’re looking out for your guests to ensure that they have a fantastic stay. (If you are not currently marketing to your past guests, contact me via the Contact tab and I can help you put a plan in place.)

Concierge via txt messaging is already here. This is something that I think will be commonplace in the next 5 years or so. The cool thing about this app is that it starts the guest experience 72 hours before they arrive. If they need fresh towels, they can just touch the “Towels” button and it will send a txt to the housekeeping staff to replace towels for their room.

You can already start doing this for your guests, and you don’t need a fancy app to do it. Buy a smartphone that guests can text day or night if they have a request or issue, and pass it around to different staff members each week to be the one “on call”. Give them $50 for each week they are on call as an added incentive. Your guests will love you for it.

Here’s an interesting article from Tripping.com about the amenities in your homes that add the most value. These are the amenities that should be front and center in your unit descriptions, pictures, and marketing material.

Until next week…

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Travel & Tech News – Services, Instant Messaging, and Canada

Travel & Lodging News & Information
News & Information

Amazon is getting into the “handy man” and demand services business, with “Amazon Home Services”. This could be a useful resource for vacation rental companies that need work done on their units and don’t have a regular plumber, electrician, handy man, etc. Or just want to shop around for the best price.

Here’s another new idea that Amazon is trying out; “Dash” buttons. (Press the button and it automatically orders you a new batch of the item it is associated with. Paper towels, detergent, etc.) Imagine a day when your guests don’t have to call you for something they need, but can just press a button and have it delivered.It’s hard to say whether this will actually take off or become a novelty relegated to “Remember When?” type articles and shows. Regardless, it is more evidence that services on demand via wireless technology are becoming the norm and will soon be expected, rather than just a luxury.

In the not too distant future, you may communicate with your guests predominantly through an instant messaging service. Hotels are already trying to figure out what this looks like, and services like Facebook’s Business Messenger could make it really easy and affordable.  This line from the article sums the idea up nicely, “…messaging is a platform for customer-centricity, which is among the biggest opportunities we have.

HomeAway makes an expansion into the Canadian market by investing in CanadaStays. According to the article, destinations in places like Montreal and British Columbia saw demand grow by double digits last year. This is potentially a very good thing for all involved as it adds popular inventory to the HomeAway Network for travelers, but could also get other North American properties in front of Canadian travelers. My guess is that it will be offered as a part of the bundling packages that HomeAway provides.