Friday, 23 January 2015

The President of Sabre Hospitality or the CTO of AirBNB or the COO of Citizen M hotels?

All three are meeting to look at how mobile is impacting accommodation sales. Who has the best plan to grow. If any travel sector is reeling from the impact of mobile it’s the accommodation sector. The dominance of OTA hotel booking apps has led to our researchers hearing about huge drops in brand led direct bookings. But the hotels occupancy levels are still high. How will the owners react? One way that the brands are defending their position is by investing in incredibly useful apps that their guests will want to use. We are seeing huge ROI on the brand apps that extend the services the big brands can offer and the products they can sell. And we heard this week that Barclays financial analysts finally recognise that AirBNB (and its 50% per annum growth) is having an impact on the hotel industry. Accor is singled out by Barclays for attention with “9% of its rooms under threat”
This debate is part of the event I am running at Mobile World Congress this March 2. Who do you feel is going to have the best future strategy?

Come along and participate in the debate live or subscribe to gain access to the recording.

Tim Gunstone
Managing Director
+44 (0)207 375 7557
Mobile +44 (0) 7815814314

Tuesday, 4 November 2014

Why Mobile needs data

Our research shows that Mobile spend by the travel sector is up again. Interestingly it seems that the travel industry understands how critical data analytics and mobile are to send contextual messages that sell more, reduce costs and serve their customers better.
  • According to EyeforTravel’s latest research 68.8% of travel executives said they would spend more on mobile in 2014 
  • 80% OTA (online travel agent) and metasearch executives who believe mobile is business critical and will be investing more in the next three months
Revenues from the distribution of non-core travel products have been behind the success of top travel companies for decades. As the number of travel consumer’s that book and communicate via mobile sky rockets the ability to display these products has shrunk due to need to simplify the research and booking process.  Today Travel companies are experimenting with the analysis of social, transactional and location data to show more targeted products on the small screen. Significantly this has enabled the different parties that make up a travel experience to sell more products and provide more services throughout the traveller’s journey.

I believe the days of the billboard travel website are over. If you want to sell to and service your consumers you need to apply data to your mobile strategy in order to provide a contextualized mobile experience.

Pre booking, pre trip, on trip and post trip, all the companies that make the trip possible now have the ability to serve the consumer for longer. A new battle for the customers trust has begun and the correct use of data and mobile is mission critical.

As an indication how critical this goal is 16 senior C level executives from the world’s biggest airlines, airports, hotels, rail providers, tour operators and intermediaries are meeting the Monday before ITB at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona to debate, collaborate and discover the new opportunities that data analysis and mobile can provide.

To find out more about EyeforTravel@Mobile World Congress 2015, visit

Monday, 27 October 2014

Does your travel company have what it takes to succeed in mobile?

Mobile technology is no longer a nice to have – it’s a must.  But research shows travel brands shouldn’t expect praise from their customers for it.  Increasingly travel consumers expect brands to offer an up-to-the-minute seamless mobile experience.   The reward?   Chances are that tech savvy brands will win customers and avoid losing market share to other savvier travel brands.

As many travel brands will attest, getting the right mobile strategy in place is not easy.   It requires a considerable investment of time, money and resources as well as a willingness to experiment and make continual improvements.  Indeed, the job of a mobile executive is never done.

EyeforTravel’s Mobile Innovation in Travel Awards seek to recognize the travel brands who are making significant progress in mobile – trailblazing the way for others to follow.

Taking place in San Francisco, March 23rd as part of EyeforTravel’s Mobile & Innovation in Travel conference, the awards will feature 4 categories –

·         Best Mobile Travel User Experience
·         Best Mobile Travel App
·         Best Mobile Travel Strategy
·         Best Mobile Travel Solution
Past winners and finalists of the awards include KLM, TripAdvisor, Marriott,  Best Western, Carlson Wagonlit Travel, Worldmate, Checkmate, BookAssist, and more!
To find out more about how to enter your brand visit -
For all awards enquires contact:-
Gina Baillie
London, UK: +44 (0)207 375 7197
US Toll Free: 1 800 814 3459 ext. 7197

Wednesday, 17 September 2014

EyeforTravel Berlin giveaway: How you can win one free pass (and more)

Taking place in Berlin, EyeforTravel's annual online marketing, mobile and social media conference is only 2 weeks away and we couldn't be more excited.

This year, EyeforTravel Berlin features more CMOs and senior level speakers than ever before with speakers from Ryanair, Thomas Cook, Low Cost Holiday Group, Accor, Malaysia Airlines, Disney, Carlson Wagonlit Travel, Kempinski and more.

Want to know more about the free entry to the event? 

We're pleased to offer you a chance to win one free* gold pass to EyeforTravel's Online Marketing, Mobile & Social Media conference.

Fill out the form below, including the question and you stand to win an all access conference gold pass if you're lucky. We also have runner-up prizes that give you access to the recorded sessions from the conference .

Deadline for entries is 12pm BST on Tuesday 23rd September.

Good Luck!

*Access to the conference is free of cost. Please note that you will have to arrange your own travel and accommodation.

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Missed EfT's Social Media & Mobile in Travel conference? Catch up on the highlights here

Winners of Mobile Innovation in Travel Awards announced

Earlier this week, in San Francisco, 9 finalists battled it out in the final of EyeforTravel’s 3rd annual Mobile Innovation in Travel 2014 Awards.

Tensions rose as each finalist presented a 5 minute pitch to the panel of expert judges and to the audience of EyeforTravel’s Social Media & Mobile Strategies for Travel conference.

Following a period of deliberation by the judges the winners were announced as 

•    Best Mobile Travel App
•    Best Mobile Travel User Experience
•    Best Mobile Travel Strategy
•    Best Mobile Travel Solution
With thanks to the judges -
·         John T. Peters, President, Travel Media Group, USA Today
·         Gina Baillie, GM, EyeforTravel Ltd.
·         Glenn M. Gruber, Sr. Mobility Strategist, Propelics, Inc.

·         Michael Becker, Managing Partner & CEO North America

·         Dr. Natasa Christodoulidou, Director of Hospitality Technology Research Institute, California         State University

The Mobile Innovation in Travel awards will be returning in 2015, in March in San Francisco.  Contact for details.

We will also be holding a European edition of the awards  in Berlin, October 1-2.  Contact for details.

Congratulations to the winners!

Monday, 10 March 2014

What do Apple, Twitter, Facebook and Google plan for the travel industry?

Back in 2010, travel industry commentators went into overdrive as it was announced that Apple had patented ‘iTravel’.  
According to the Patently Apple blog, iTravel is designed to facilitate ticketless travel as well as check-in services with a plan to employ near field communication (NFC) for identification and ticketing by transportation providers for iPhone.  Was this going to be Apple’s first foray into the travel space?

The industry got pretty excited, after all a mega brand like Apple could carry serious weight in the travel space and have a profound influence on the travel lifecycle. 

Since this date though, aside from the launch of Passbook in 2012, they have remained fairly quiet on the travel front. 

Last year however, Apple launched their own NFC technology, iBeacon.  In November they updated their patent for iWallet.  Combining all these technologies would result in a pretty useful offering to travelers on the go.

This year, I couldn’t help but notice that for the first time employees from Apple will be attending EyeforTravel’s upcoming Social Media & Mobile Strategies for Travel conference in San Francisco next week.   I’m going to be sure to ask them what insights they might be able to provide into what lies in store.

Industry giants Twitter, Facebook and Google will also be at the event.  Each of whom have the ability to be a disruptive force in the travel industry, particularly with their access to enormous datasets and daily interactions with consumers. 

What do they all plan?  Stay tuned on this blog next week to find out what’s discussed!   You can also follow the event discussions using the twitter hashtag #smtravel14 or to be at the event in person contact me –