Airbnb may have made a huge impact on the leisure market, but it now has its sights firmly on business travellers.
Julian Persaud, the regional director of Asia Pacific Airbnb, told industry representatives at last month's PATA Global Insights Conference in Auckland has been steadily working on snaring the business sector, which now represents 10% of its market. ‘We are signing 1400 companies a week,’ Persaud says.
Airbnb has spent a lot of time training its hosts to be business-travel friendly. ‘We’ve also worked hard to provide travel managers with the tools they need to offer this service to their staff.’
Global Travel Network (GTN) and Mondo have signed a new partnership agreement. As part of the new arrangement, Mondo Travel will be incorporated into GTN airline contracts and will utilise the services of its consolidation unit.
Rob Beecher, a director of GTN, says the move effectively sees Mondo as part of a significantly wider network, while retaining its own independent identity. ‘It is a big development for us,’ says Beecher, ‘and part of what is shaping up to be a really successful year.’
GTN retains confidentiality over its exact number of associated agents. However, Beecher says somewhere between ‘40 and 80’ are on board. In more big news for the network, it will sign six new agents on 1 August and another on 1 September.
‘We are close to achieving our 2016 target already, with just seven months gone, and we are actually set to reach next year’s target by end of 2016.’
Tony Terrill, chief executive officer of Mondo, is delighted with the new arrangement. ‘Mondo and GTN are like minded in our approach to a strategy of adding cost effective bottom line value to our members. Together we can offer a specific set of solutions within either a branded and / or independent operation.’
House of Travel consultants described the company’s first television brand campaign in five years as ‘brave and bold,’ ‘overdue’ and ‘authentic’ when it was launched with hoopla on Friday night.
Dubbed by HoT CEO Mark O’Donnell as the ‘worst kept secret’, the advertisements appeared for the first time on television screens last night. ‘The best holidays are created together’ campaign features House of Travel consultants planning holidays with their clients.
‘I love the style of the ads,’ says Glen Armstrong from HoT Ellerslie. ‘They are ads that make you stop and think. The time is right to position the brand as collaborative – we are not the gatekeepers of knowledge anymore. Clients come into us with their research and we work together to find the best outcome.’
HoT’s Steve Parsons from Palmerston North says the ads reflect ‘what we do all day every – we create experiences for our customers.’
Marketing manager Ken Freer says the campaign creative embraced customers’ ideas. ‘It had to be authentic so we've used real consultants, real customers and real experiences created together,’ he says. ‘But it is not just about this campaign. We have a powerful proposition that resonates with New Zealanders, and one that we can deliver.’
Tourism offices in short-haul destinations are keeping a close watch on sharp fares to the USA, saying they are likely to have at least a short-term impact.
However, they are also emphasising that airfares and packages to their own destinations are as competitive as they have ever been.
Jacquie Carson, Vanuatu Tourism Office New Zealand representative, says she is sure the North American fares will have some impact on the short-haul market.
‘These prices will definitely make people think about doing that ‘holiday of a lifetime’ now.