Tuesday, 27 June 2017

How travel brands can succeed with VR

VR may seem futuristic but travel brands are already experimenting, and succeeding, with this new medium to generate consumer interest according to EyeforTravel’s Does Virtual Reality Have a Place in Travel? White paper

The biggest use-case for VR currently is in-store, where consumers can try it out for free, according to the report. Brands such as Thomas Cook, Flight Centre and Virgin Holidays are already experimenting with this. In-store VR makes the most out of VR’s main potential in travel, which is to inspire travellers. It also allowed the consumer to avoid the costs currently associated with the majority of VR headsets and supporting systems, which can be very expensive with the exception of Google Cardboard and its imitators.

Both Flight Centre and Virgin have found it so successful in their trials that they have widened the placement of VR in their stores. Both of these companies and Thomas Cook used VR devices to give potential customers tours of key destinations. For Thomas Cook in the first three months of in-store deployment it generated flights and hotel bookings totaling GBP12,000 in the UK and Germany and has seen a 40% return on investment. There was an 180% uplift in New York excursions revenue demonstrating that visualization of tours and activities could be the most powerful use of VR in travel.

It is not only tour companies that innovating, with hotels and airlines also noted in the report as using VR for innovative marketing purposes. In 2015 Marriott and Shangri-La Hotels announced VR services using Samsung Gear that allowed guests to borrow headsets and experience VR environments. Best Western Hotels and Resorts has gone a step further by creating a Best Western Virtual Reality Experience that allows users to view virtual reality tour of nearly 2,000 properties.

Lufthansa, has deployed VR for various marketing campaigns and has won awards for these and also used VR to offer customers upgrades to Premium Economy Class at the gates in New York and Frankfurt. In a case study within the white paper Lufthansa notes that for VR marketing campaigns “Timing and relevancy are important” for VR marketing campaigns notes Lufthansa in a case study within the white paper, citing the example of their “Soccer Summer Story in 360-Degrees during the European soccer championship in France.” However, users should be aware that “scheduling a storyline for a 360° video requires more time and energy than an average video.”

“I would advise travel brands that can see a way in which they can get VR face-to-face with the consumer and at no cost to those individual consumers to get engaged with this medium straight away,” said Alex Hadwick, Head of research at EyeforTravel. “This shows real returns on investment today if done well. Similarly, if travel brands can see a cost-effective way to make VR content they should also experiment. Getting in at the ground level now should help when this technology is more widely adopted in three to four years’ time. In particular, experimenting with VR content for activities at the destination and trying to upsell these to consumers could yield real rewards, as allowing consumers to get a taste of experiences they may not have even considered could spur many to action. Already, videos have been shown to increase conversion rates for travel consumers, so there is no reason not to project this over to VR and expect at least the same effect, if not a more pronounced one.”

The full whitepaper goes into detail about the business case for VR, case studies from leading travel brands currently using VR and much more. You can download the full whitepaper here.

Monday, 26 June 2017

EyeforTravel North America (Las Vegas): Take the opportunity to be a travel thought leader

It wasn’t long ago people traveled with physical maps, no smart phones and a lot of help from travel agents and books. Today personalized travel is the internet, machine learning and mobile devices!
Research predicts that by 2020, digital travel outlays will top $817 billion globally. With worldwide travel rising 13.8% in 2016 to reach 564.87 billion. Now that is staggering!
“As mobile partnerships, social media and data integration revolutionises travel. It’s not just money driving these trends but it’s creating meaningful customer experiences, that makes consumers loyal and in our industry, that is gold!” Shreya Ganapathy, VP Sales, EyeforTravel. She went on to say. “We are at a tipping point where brands can focus on customer experience, consumer behaviour and the need to engage and build relationships with these connected travellers right through the travel cycle…. and at the centre of it all we have data!”

EyeforTravel are excited about these business prospects and have positioned their next EyeForTravel North America Summit (Las Vegas, October 19-20) to focus on ‘Driving Loyalty in a Digital and Data Driven World!’
The event will bring together 400+ of the best brands in travel to focus on how to develop digital plans, marketing and content strategies, apps and data and personalized experiences to make sure the customer has the best travel experience.
With limited branding, exhibition and thought leadership opportunities available this could be your exclusive chance to get on stage and meet the industry elite. 
With a recently released speaker list of the who’s who in travel, this is one event you don’t want to miss!

·       Todd Henrich, SVP Corporate Development, Priceline
·       Paul English, CEO, Lola
·       Michelle Woodley, Executive Vice President, Preferred Hotels & Resorts
·       Noah Brodsky, Senior VP - Worldwide Loyalty & Engagement, Wyndham Hotels
·       Michael Marino, Senior VP - Loyalty & Digital, Caesars Corporation
·       Jay Fluegel, Head of Product – Customer Care, Expedia
·       Sean Brevick, VP – Marketing & Digital Services, Americas, Marriott
·       Shane Corstaphine, GM – Americas, Skyscanner
·       Dan Christian, Chief Digital Officer, The Travel Corporation
·       Michael Childers, Chief Consultant - Content and Media Strategy, Lufthansa Systems
·       Kim Matlock, VP Digital, Wyndham Vacation Ownership 
·       Mehmet Butun, Vice President - Digital Services, Turkish Airlines
·       Chris Amenechi, VP Revenue Management, Copa Airlines
·       Rita Kelly, VP - Marketing and Communications, Contiki
·       Kurien Jacob, Principal - Highgate Ventures, Highgate Hotels

To learn more about who is attending, sponsoring and what topics are being covered – click here:
To talk sponsorship, attending, exhibition and branding options, contact VP of Business Development: Shreya Ganapathy – shreya@eyefortravel.com

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Thursday, 15 June 2017

EyeforTravel Data & Digital Strategies Europe 2017 – save the dates

250 heads of data, analytics, technology, digital, marketing social media and innovation from Europe’s biggest transport, hospitality and travel brands will meet with one goal … to identify the data strategies, digital partnerships, innovations and business models that will make their companies thrive in the future.
Data and digital have turned travel distribution and marketing on its head. With two conferences covering these topics in the same venue, it’s about capitalising your time with your team to gain insights and strategies on both.
“As mobile partnerships, social media and data integration revolutionises travel. It’s not just money driving these trends but it’s creating meaningful customer experiences, that makes consumers loyal and in our industry, that is gold!” Tim Gunstone Managing Director, Eyefortravel. He went onto say “We bring together two of our most niche events to give you the chance to learn and network with the people that focus on innovation and integration strategies you need to hear about”.
Data driven customer insight, the evolving mobile consumer and API technology are the drivers behind this change and we are looking for innovators in this space to join the speakers such as Vueling, Marriott, Momondo, Lufthansa, Kempinski Hotels, Expedia, Heathrow Airport, Google, Accor, NH Hotels and more to showcase how they are going to improve customer experience.
What makes this conference a must attend for your 2017 calendar and budget?
  • The best speakers on data and digital in travel – with more C-Level and directors level executives sharing their insights this is the place to learn from the leaders in travel
  • The agenda has been created after months of in-depth research with the industry to make sure the most cutting-edge and business critical issues are discussed
  • Two conferences, one common exhibition to get the best companies to showcase their expertise to experts in both the data and digital domains in travel
  • A unique opportunity to benchmark against your peers because let’s face it, you won’t learn how to outperform your competitors by sitting at your desk
A mixture of active debate, insightful presentations, 1-2-1 networking and a canal boat networking cruise will be at the heart of this year’s conference.
With limited branding, exhibition and thought leadership opportunities available, this could be your exclusive chance to get on stage and meet the industry elite. 
Want to join us on the 29th and 30th of November in Amsterdam? Or to learn more about who is attending, sponsoring and what topics are being covered at both events:  click here for Data Strategies  and here for Digital Strategies or drop us a line:
Shreya Ganapathy, VP Business Development –shreya@eyefortravel.com


Wednesday, 14 June 2017

Distribution dilemmas, picking partnerships and chatbot champions – what’s on the mind of the European travel industry?

From the opening session with Priceline CEO Glenn Fogel to the end, the EyeforTravel Europe Summit 2017 was tackling the big issues. What effect will Google, Facebook and WeChat have on our industry? What are the new areas of opportunity? Tours and activities? Rail travel? How will natural language processing alter how customers interact with brands? We have the key opinions on these issues and more in our new summary report of the Summit, which you can download for free now.

To see what the top minds in European travel were saying just click here and download the report now.

The report features advice and learning from brands including Priceline Group, Momondo Group, AccorHotels, Eurail, Rome2Rio, Voyages-scnf.com, KLM, Gatwick Airport, and many more!

Get all the key discussions in one easy to digest report so you can keep on top of the ever-evolving world of travel and tourism.

You can also see any of the presentations from the Summit and any of our other events in full video format with accompanying slides by signing up to EyeforTravel On Demand Premium now.

Tuesday, 6 June 2017

Mastering Mobile and Advancing AI in Travel - the San Fran Summit Round-up

San Francisco is the tech capital of the world, so it was only natural that EyeforTravel’s San Francisco Summit 2017 was there to capture how technology is transforming travel. Artificial intelligence, apps, machine learning, virtual/augmented reality, and data-led marketing were all central to the Summit and you can find out what was hot in our new round-up report.


The report features advice and learning from brands including Google, Booking.com, Marriott International, Hilton Worldwide, Lonely Planet, Microsoft, Trivago, and many more!

Get all the key discussions in one easy to digest report so you can keep on top of the ever-evolving world of travel and tourism.

You can also see any of the presentations from the Summit and any of our other events in full video format with accompanying slides by signing up to EyeforTravel On Demand Premium now.