Will hotel home-share brands take over the market? | Travelers worried as virus hits South Korea, Italy, Iran | Several tips for limiting influencer freebies
February 26, 2020
ILHA SmartBrief
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Will hotel home-share brands take over the market?
A Marriott home rental in Zermatt, Switzerland. (homesandvillasbymarriott/Instagram)
A strong push toward hotel-like branded management and customer service in the $115 billion vacation rental business from companies such as Onefinestay and Marriott International's Homes & Villas is giving traditional Airbnb-type companies some healthy competition. The key for all players is meeting customer expectations, which may require categorizing offerings to avoid the blurring lines.
Full Story: Skift (2/24) 
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The Concierge Desk
With high numbers of coronavirus cases in South Korea, Iran and Italy, all three countries are on high alert and are restricting some travel in and out. Italy has locked down 10 towns with at least 50,000 people in the northern Lombardy region; Pakistan and Turkey have closed their borders with Iran; and some areas of South Korea have declared a state of emergency, while the US government is suggesting cruise passengers avoid trips to Asian waters.
Full Story: The New York Times (tiered subscription model) (2/24),  CNN (2/24),  CNN (2/24) 
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Several tips for limiting influencer freebies
(Roslan Rahman/AFP via Getty Images)
Luxury hotels are using several methods to limit the number of influencers and imposter influencers eager for free five-star stays. For example, the JW Marriott in Phu Quoc, Vietnam, insists on posts that highlight its sustainability and wellness missions and expects free usage of influencers' photographs, while Ritz-Carlton has whittled down its partnerships to microinfluencers that have high engagement rather than potentially bot-driven follower numbers.
Full Story: Jezebel (2/24) 
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Hospitality Trends and Technology
CitizenM joined the hotel market more than a decade ago with a plan to provide tech-forward "affordable luxury" that would appeal to millennials. "Butlers, footmen, and concierges were out. Team members and Hotel technology were in," says hospitality technology consultant James Harrison, who explains how the company has succeeded in its mission.
Full Story: Hospitality Net (2/25) 
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To help stem the tide of unhealthy growth, cut costs and streamline its business, Expedia will cut 12% of its workforce -- about 3,000 jobs -- just two months after the company's CEO and CFO stepped down, according to an internal email.
Full Story: Fox Business (2/25) 
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Featured Content
Sponsored content from Expedia
Performance Marketing for Hotels: Efficient and Effective
Sponsored listings are a proven method for driving bookings — especially in highly competitive markets. Hotel marketers and revenue managers who are building their understanding of pay per click marketing can read this quick post for three tips on getting started.
How One Hotel Sparked a Massive Turnaround in Bookings
"When we saw these early successes, we just kept doubling down," says the Water's Edge Shoreside Suite on their sponsored listings strategy. Explore the approach they used and learn how you can apply their lessons-learned to drive your own profitability.
Spotlight on Development
Southern Living hotel plan progress in Tuscaloosa, Ala.
(Southern Living/Facebook)
The $60 million Southern Living Hotel Tuscaloosa has secured funding and is being planned for the northern banks of the Black Warrior River. Based on the lifestyle magazine of the same name, the 120-suite hotel will have a restaurant, a bakery and coffeehouse, a rooftop lounge and events such as baking tutorials and bourbon tastings.
Full Story: The Tuscaloosa News (Ala.) (2/23) 
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International Update
Amarendra Bhushan Dhiraj rounds up several places where travelers can find luxury for less. Istanbul; Mexico City; Phuket, Thailand; Cape Town, South Africa; and Taipei, Taiwan all have plenty of affordable activities and posh hotels that are far less expensive than their American or European counterparts.
Full Story: CEOWorld Magazine (2/25) 
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Oceanside opulence isn't hard to come by in Mexico's Riviera Maya. The Casa Malca hotel, for example, features a beachfront master suite with a private terrace and hammocks, and the property has three pools, including one with an underground grotto.
Full Story: The Luxury Editor (2/25) 
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Survival techniques: Coping with airplane's middle seat
(Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)
Alexandra Napoli calls the middle seat on an airplane "the flying equivalent of being locked in an escape room with strangers who have no concept of personal space." Her (mostly) tongue-in-cheek tips for surviving such a seating arrangement include laying claim to both armrests and making eye contact with the people on either side "just long enough to show them who's boss."
Full Story: BuzzFeed (2/16) 
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Six Senses Hotels Resorts Spas have been the leaders in sustainability and wellness before the concepts were on the radar as trends worth talking about in the industry. Neil Jabobs goes into depth about their thought process behind the brand and their unique narrative. "We care deeply about sustainability and right now our mission is to be 100% plastic free by 2022," Jacobs says. Read more here.
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The International Luxury Hotel Association held its INSPIRE’19 Summit at the Four Seasons Miami in December. Here is a snapshot of what we learned.
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Editor’s Note
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